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Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy

By Mo Liu and Jamie Lance, V Form

Letter to the Editor: Native American Policy

Dear Editor Jackson,

It occurs to me that there is much attention raised among the general public regarding our government’s policy towards Indians, and therefore in writing to you, I, as a member of the Board of Indian Commissioners, want to clarify my position. Indians cannot be entirely excluded from our picture as a nation. However, the Indian society is not a cultivated society likes ours. One of my colleagues, who is experienced with Indian affairs and always provides us with elaborate information about the Indians, says their tribes are corrupted by “idleness, improvidence, and indebtedness”. The lack of private property or land and the underdevelopment of laws mark the Indian society as barbarous and inferior to ours. Because of this difference, since 1871 Indian tribes are no longer considered sovereign nations. Governments before us circumvented the Indian dilemma by relocating and establishing reservations west to the Mississippi River, yet now with a closed frontier and western migration, conflicts between settlers and the Indians are inevitable. The issue is pressing. (more…)

The Thin Blue Line of Family

By Lexi Schumaker,  VI Form

The Thin Blue Line of Family

 “Cops in the U.S – especially in Texas – are savage animals that will shoot you whenever they please. Now in Dallas is payback time, pigs.”

This tweet, shared to me by a classmate, is what I woke up to the morning after the Dallas shooting. I read it repeatedly until tears swelled up my eyes. I could not comprehend the fact that someone would want my father, a brave cop whom I look up to, dead. I called my father immediately and asked him what I should do and how I should feel. He simply told me to ignore these kinds of comments because not many people view the police force the way my family does. If it does not bother him, it should not bother me either. So, why did it? (more…)

Paul Tillich and Marcus Borg: Responses to the Challenges of Unbelief

By Charlotte Wood, VI Form

 

Paul Tillich and Marcus Borg: Responses to the Challenges of Unbelief

Paul Tillich and Marcus Borg are Christian Existentialists. They see God and religious life in a radical way. Therefore, they would address the four major challenges to belief (in Philosophy, Psychology, Theodicy, Politics) in thought-provoking ways.

The Challenge from Philosophy is that there is no real “proof” of God’s existence. It is important to note that the “God” most often referenced in this challenge is the God of supernatural theism, that is, the God “out there,” separate from us and our universe. Tillich and Borg would likely agree that there is no proof of this God, however, that is not their God. Tillich describes religion as “asking passionately the question of the meaning of our existence and being willing to receive answers, even if the answers hurt. Such an idea of religion makes religion universally human, but it certainly differs from what is usually called religion. It does not describe religion as the belief in the existence of gods or one God” (Tillich 1). Faith doesn’t necessarily need to involve “God” at all, and definitely does not need to involve the God of supernatural theism or the monarchical God. (more…)

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

By Marion Donovan, Assistant Librarian

World War I Primary Sources Collection at the Library

As a librarian at St. Mark’s this fall, I have begun to “weed” through our history collection and have taken a deep dive into time travel. In the past, I was a history teacher myself, so the primary sources that bring the past to life call out to me. A particular section in the library especially rich in those sources covers World War I. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWI on the Allied side, one as a doctor and the other as an engineer, so I grew up with stories and artifacts of “The Great War,” as it was first known. When I applied to graduate school for history at the University of Chicago, I discovered that La Verne Noyes, an American inventor and manufacturer of agricultural equipment, book holders, and windmills, had left the bulk of his fortune to scholarships for Allied veterans of WWI and their direct descendants. These scholarships have now expanded to include 48 colleges. April 6, 2017 will be the one-hundredth anniversary of the United States’ entry into WWI. The European side of the war began in 1914, so many newspaper and magazine articles have already examined new and old perspectives on those events. More will be coming with April 6 in view. We at St. Mark’s are lucky to have an extensive collection of first-hand material (diaries, letters, memoirs, news reports, propaganda, art, photographs) from marshals and generals to privates and civilians on wide-ranging aspects of this war. (more…)

The Individual’s Perception & “Knowing” God

By Lucy Cao, VI Form

The Individual’s Perception & “Knowing” God

The controversies over the existence of God or the validity of religious beliefs derive from a lack of tangible proof. Religious doctrines, unlike mathematical equations or scientific formulas, are usually proposed without a sequence of logical inferences backed up by repeated and consistent observations. Therefore, the question lingers whether a consensus is attainable among us regarding a universally accepted proof of a deity. My answer is no. Nevertheless, we can still know God. Religious and spiritual experiences rely on the self. The uniqueness of each individual’s perception of God makes it impossible to establish a defined path to the objective knowledge of God. However, we can know God through a subjective point of view, and the validity of the knowledge of God should not be diminished by its subjective nature. (more…)

Brantwood Camp: The Toughest Yet Most Rewarding Summer Challenge

By Lauren Menjivar, V Form

Brantwood Camp: The Toughest Yet Most Rewarding Summer Challenge

Have you ever imagined being a teenager and escaping from the world for sixteen days to take care of ten girls (or boys), live in a shack with them, and have your devices taken away in order to better connect with the people around you? The situation may seem unfathomable for some, if not, most millennials, but I decided to stow away my laptop and phone in exchange for books and a flashlight at the Brantwood Camp. (more…)