I’d like to extend a warm welcome to the incoming class of pre-meds-oh excuse me, freshmen. I know, I know, not all of you are pre-meds, and I’ll have more to say to the others. But more of you will start as pre-meds than anything else by far, and many of you are making a mistake.
It has come to my attention that many people, frequently liberals, like to pat themselves on the back for knowing that there are, broadly speaking, two types of Muslims: Sunni and Shia. This often occurs after a pubic figure makes some kind of gaffe, which apparently reveals his or her ignorance of this division, such as John McCain’s recent declaration that Iran (a predominantly Shia nation) is offering aid to al-Qaida (a Sunni terrorist organization) in Iraq.
Atheists and Christians may not have much in common philosophically, but they do have this to share: Both tend to get the shaft when it comes to popular media portrayals. The typical onscreen atheist is a broken-spirited cynic. She may have been a believer in the past, but an unbearable personal tragedy has darkened her outlook and shattered her faith.
How would you feel if women were excluded from a Washington University facility in order to accommodate the wishes of a religious minority? Some might laud the University’s commitment to religious and cultural pluralism, while others would probably object to what appeared to be discrimination and the unacceptable encroachment of religion into the lives of others.
About a month ago, the conservative New York Times columnist Bill Kristol confessed to Jon Stewart that he is “ambivalent on torture.” It’s tempting to condemn him for this (though he should be commended for his honest language, avoiding Orwellian euphemisms like “enhanced interrogation techniques”).
The United States is drunk on ethanol, and our judgment is impaired. Despite the growing consensus that global warming is a real threat that must be addressed sooner rather than later, little has actually been accomplished. One of the most popular proposals is to grow copious amounts of corn and turn it into ethanol, an alternative to fossil fuels.
Last week, in the pages of Student Life, Ryan Winograd attempted to defend the honor of Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales against the “left-leaning organizations on campus.” He did not succeed. Mr. Winograd claims that we should not be concerned with the firing of eight U.S. Attorneys by Gonzales’ Justice Department.