Faculty Opinion Writers Influencing Discourse

April 26, 2013

Op-ed pieces contributed by Emory faculty have been showing up frequently in diverse media outlets. Here’s a quick rundown:

Rabbi Jonathon K. Crane, the Raymond F. Schinazi Junior Scholar of Bioethics and Jewish Thought at the Center for Ethics, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about applying the Talmud to choices about diet and the nation’s obesity problem.

“The prophet Isaiah, for example, inveighed against the Israelites for vainly fasting when so much injustice surrounded them,” he wrote. “Such fasting, and particularly fasting only for self-affliction, was sinful, rabbis of the Talmud said. But the Talmud also counseled ‘removing your hand from a meal that pleases you.’ . . . The Talmud teaches that people should eat enough to fill a third of their stomachs, drink enough to fill another third, and leave a third empty.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Also in the New York Times was an article that draws parallels between the Obama and Nixon presidencies, written by Mary L. Dudziak, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Law and director of the Project on War and Security in Law, Culture and Society.

She wrote,  “On March 17, 1969, President Richard M. Nixon began a secret bombing campaign in Cambodia, sending B-52 bombers over the border from South Vietnam. This episode, largely buried in history, resurfaced recently in an unexpected place: the Obama administration’s ‘white paper’ justifying targeted killings of Americans suspected of involvement in terrorism. . . . Barack Obama is, of course, no Richard Nixon — we expect better of him. And we deserve the transparency he promised us, not a new version of secret warfare.”

To read the entire article, click here

A Huffington Post op-ed by Gary Laderman, professor and chair of the Department of Religion, pondered the growing number of Americans who claim no religious affiliation. “I have seen the future of religion in America, and its name is ‘none,’” wrote Laderman. “Yet another survey just recently published and publicized is emphasizing what is now an undeniable trend on the American religious landscape: increasing, if not historic, numbers of Americans are claiming no religious affiliation when asked to state their religious identity. . . . My own take on the current moment is that this is not an ‘awakening’ – which is after all associated with a revival of the Christian spirit and Americans returning to the church – but a great cultural metamorphosis. If things continue to go in this direction into the future, religion will never look the same as it once did.”

To read the entire article, click here.

Sheryl Heron, an associate professor in emergency medicine who practices at Grady Memorial Hospital, wrote about guns and family violence for Al Jazeera.

"As an emergency physician working in a busy urban emergency room for the past sixteen years, I have seen or heard of at least one patient a month who has been shot by their partner,” wrote Heron. “It’s time for health professionals to remember to ask about guns in the home with patients suspected of partner violence. And it’s time for the President and our legislators to stand up to the gun lobby and to create reasonable boundaries on gun ownership.”

To read the entire article, click here

Also appearing in Al Jazeera was a piece from Lynne Huffer, professor of women’s gender, and sexuality studies, who discussed feminism and economic equality.

Her op-ed takes the form of a letter to Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook: “Here’s your bigger problem: behind that need to speak our bitterness is the bitter pill that is capitalism itself. As any student in Econ 101 will tell you, our profit-driven economic system is shaped like a pyramid, with workers at the bottom and Chief Operating Officers like you at the top. I don’t doubt you're sincere in wanting success for every woman: more female CEOs and Presidents, more Hillary Clintons. As 1970s liberal feminists used to put it: you want a bigger piece of the pie for all of us…. So Sheryl, don't take the hate personally. You didn’t bake the pie. But can you lean in enough to hear the messy, unscripted, sometimes unhappy endings that come out of those spaces where most women live?”

To read the entire article, click here.

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, professor of women’s studies, also contributed to Al Jazeera.  

In her “Elegy for Oscar Pistorius,” she wrote, “In my lectures, I almost always showed eye-popping pictures of Pistorius eagerly racing forward on those elegantly arched fiber carbon legs. I presented him as more than a champion runner who's overcome his disability. Pistorius desegregated the Olympics, I’d explain…. We’ve lost that shining light now. He will now only ever be known as a perpetrator of violence against women regardless of the outcome of his trial or the final version of this sordid story.” 

To read the entire article, click here.

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