Apr. 14, 2017
The Russian tripact
At first glance, Putin looks like a Communist. He was a former KGB agent before the collapse of the USSR — known as the Committee for State Security in English, the KGB was the security agency for the Soviet Union — he leads an authoritarian regime, and he has publicly lamented the collapse of the USSR.
Oct. 14, 2016
Recently rethinking religion
Is God a real being? I had an hour long conversation with a friend, attempting to explain why I personally don’t believe in any god. I cannot be convinced that there is a god, even by someone as close as my friend. Throughout our conversation, I realized that this issue needed further reflection. After quite a bit of thinking, I realized that not believing in God has directly contributed to my happiness, and made me who I am today.
Oct. 2, 2015
Blurred lines: when church and state collide
Technically, the Pope is a head of state. Courtesy of the Lateran Treaty, which the papacy signed with Benito Mussolini in 1929, the Vatican—all 108.7 acres of it—is an independent, self-governing entity. It does not, however, maintain state-to-state relations with other countries, nor does it have accredited ambassadors. It’s the site of a building complex, a bureaucracy that administers the affairs of a worldwide religion and the residence of the Pope. Supposedly, it maintains open channels to the deity who occupies the universe but has no earthly headquarters.
Dec. 6, 2013
Hobby Lobby’s legal folly
If, in fact, “corporations are people, my friend” (shout-out to Mitt Romney for that one), what kind of people are they? Can they have a religion? And, if so, who gets to decide?
Oct. 25, 2013
Building a secular society
You may have met University City’s newest celebrity on your walk to class. Conversation and controversy have surrounded the now infamous preacher who parades both the Drexel and University of Pennsylvania campuses with his megaphone and bright white signs screaming, “Jesus saves!” While sights like this are nothing new to campus and certainly nothing new to Philadelphia, they are still difficult to ignore — especially when the perpetrators demand so much attention from their surroundings.
Aug. 9, 2013
The illusion of contradiction
“Gay rights are threatening religious liberty.” This statement, while a touch extreme, is, no less, a common sentiment among political conservatives in the United States. Its iterations and manifestations can be seen across the board, from Washington’s attempt to give “religious and moral exemptions” to anyone who was conflicted about serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (including grocery stores, gas stations, medical clinics, etc.) to Congress’ inability to pass the Student Non-Discrimination Act (which conservative think-tanks warned would make legitimate opposition to the homosexual lifestyle illegal). The legitimacy to which they refer is, in essence, derived from thousands of years of unchanged and unchangeable religious heritage. Therefore, the very concept that homosexuality should be recognized under the law is in clear violation of the religious freedoms that the Constitution so clearly guarantees.
May. 10, 2013
The other side speaks
I’m a devout Catholic, and I fully accept and support all of the Catholic Church’s teachings on social issues that divide the world today. Nevertheless, I have enjoyed reading the first two editions of Vaughn Shirey’s Queerview column in The Triangle despite our fundamental disagreements on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. It’s encouraging to hear a reasonable voice on the other side of the argument. When dealing with an issue like this, it can be hard to speak out against the flaws of those who want the same outcome as you. I applaud Shirey for having the courage to do this, and now I’d like to do the same.