Emory Report
April 6, 2009
Volume 61, Number 26


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April 6
, 2009

Taxpayers on hook for economic risks
The economic situation is inspiring record deficit spending in Washington, but there isn’t a readily apparent alternative to government stimulus, according to Goizueta Business School’s Jeff Rosensweig.

“The taxpayer is on the hook for most of the risk” with recent bank bailout plans, Rosensweig said March 25 at the Ella Baker Lecture. “What worries me is the iceberg: how much risk is below the surface” with new government initiatives. He said the U.S. needs to grow income levels to manage the growing national debt.

Rosensweig projects the economy will bottom by next year, then shift toward a slow recovery: “We’re not going to come roaring back.” — Emily Looney

Religion matters in gay rights quest
As the first openly gay Bishop in a mainline Christian denomination, the Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson wants to assure other gays and lesbians that they are not “abominations,” despite the persecution they may have experienced.

“Let’s be honest, most of the discrimination . . . has come at the hands of religious people, and the greatest single hindrance to the achievement of full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people can be laid at the doorstep of the three Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Judaism and Islam,” says Robinson. “I believe it will take religious voices and religious people to undo the harm and devastation.”

Robinson, who delivered the CSLR’s Currie Lecture in Law and Religion to an overflow crowd of 700 on March 31, is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. Click here for multimedia mateial of Robinson's lecture.—Mary Loftus

Darwinian debate, the human soul
The science-versus-religion debate unleashed by Charles Darwin is still going strong, said Edward Larson at the Luminaries in Arts and Humanities lecture March 31. Larson, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his book on the Scopes Trial, quoted geneticist Francis Collins in saying “science will certainly not shed any light on what it means to love someone” or to believe in God.

“A sociobiologist and a neurologist would strongly disagree,” Larson said, “but opinion polls suggest that Collins speaks for about 40 percent of the population.”

Even among scientists, views are split on the evolution of human mental and moral attributes, he said. “The human soul remains at the heart of the ongoing debate over our origins.” —Carol Clark