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Constitutional Studies visiting fellow discusses threats to religious freedom

first_imgDaniel Mark, visiting fellow with the Constitutional Studies Program, called for a defense of religious freedom in the face of global and national threats during a lecture Thursday.“We have before us the underlying question of whether people have the right to choose and live their faith free of interference by the government or whether the limits of religious freedom are determined solely by judgements of prudence such as whether encroachments on religious freedom will detract from a state’s international standing,” he said. “In other words, we have the question of whether people have a right to religious freedom in principle or only in practice when it suits the state.” Ann Curtis | The Observer Visiting fellow Daniel Mark presents a lecture Thursday in Jenkins-Nanovic Hall on modern threats to religious freedom around the globe and domestically from both the left and right sides of the aisle.Mark said he sees a “landscape that is deeply worrisome” when looking at religious freedom today and that he believes religious freedom is a right granted by God.On a global scale, Mark said totalitarianism, both religious and secular, threatens religious freedom. Mark cited Saudi Arabia and Iran as examples of this totalitarianism.“What critical to remember about those places is that the problem isn’t just religious freedom for minorities; it’s religious freedom for everyone,” he said. “ … [No one] is free to dissent or change or deny … The theocratic ways of these countries deprive the entire population, not just minorities, of religious freedom.”To have religious freedom, Mark said everyone must have the freedom to choose which religion to follow.“Religious totalitarianism ultimately aims to control the entire person, even down to one’s thoughts,” he said.Mark said the other global totalitarian threat, secular totalitarianism, “fears the true God” rather than “false gods.”In secular totalitarianism, Mark said, countries such as China suppress religion in the name of security.“In these countries, through elaborate systems of registration and approvals, the governments regulate and monitor all religious activities,” he said.In the U.S., Mark said, we must be grateful for our religious freedom and be vigilant in defending it.“We’re not inherently better or more deserving of religious freedom than anyone else in the world, and we should not take our good fortune for granted,” he said. “Rather, we must work hard to preserve the cultural and political and legal conditions that make religious freedom possible … We should neither exaggerate our problems here and forget how good we have it, nor should we exaggerate our blessings and neglect our defense of religious freedom.”Mark said the threats to religious freedom in the U.S. from the left are “more obvious and better known.”As an example of one recent trend, Mark noted that the fastest growing religious group in America is the “Nones,” or the people who do not identify with any religion on surveys.“My concern about this trend is that people who do not value religion are unlikely to value religious freedom,” he said.Mark said the underlying idea of many actions on the left “rejects anything that stands in the way of radical personal autonomy, not only to choose unrestrained what we do but even what we are.”“Having abandoned the proper grounds for human rights in order to make room for the ever-expanding list of demands, they’ve left the concept of rights so thin and so watered down that the very idea is in danger,” he said.In the U.S. on the right, Mark said there are two threats to classical liberalism, otherwise known as modern-day American conservatism. One of these is the alt-right, which Mark said represents a form of “identity politics that rejects the inherent dignity and equality of all human beings.” The other, Mark said, is a group of critics within the conservative movement that rejects classical liberalism and believes American democracy is “fatally flawed and bound to fail.”While he said the ideas of classical liberalism must be balanced with other values, Mark said individual rights are still important.“Is [classical liberalism critics’] goal to build a newer, better, likely smaller Christendom, or is their goal to create just enough space to build a Christian culture within a classical liberal world?” he said.Mark said he believes virtue and religion are necessary in today’s world. Citing a difference between liberty (“the freedom to pursue the good”) and license (“the freedom to do whatever you want”), Mark said the right to religious freedom must be grounded in the good of religion.“Once we know what is truly good for our nature, what is truly part of human flourishing, then we can know which rights are real and which aren’t,” he said. “ … Religious freedom is essential to the good of religion because in order to be genuine it must be freely chosen. The rights protect the goods.”Tags: classical liberalism, Constitutional Studies Program, religious freedom, totalitarianismlast_img read more

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Syracuse makes 7th-inning comeback but loses to Binghamton, 2-1, on walk-off double

first_img Published on May 3, 2016 at 10:08 pm Contact Matt: mjfel100@syr.edu VESTAL, N.Y. — Corinne Ozanne threw her glove into the dugout as she walked away from first base. Rachel Burkhardt, who had held a smile just 10 minutes prior, looked around at her teammates with a blank face as she slowly walked in from right field. Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch stood watching his team shake hands with Binghamton, slowly making his way to the back of the line himself.As Carrie Maniccia sprinted home moments earlier, players spilled onto the field from the dugout. This time, unlike a half-inning prior, it wasn’t from Syracuse’s.The Bearcat players celebrated, having just set the record for most Division I wins in a season in Binghamton softball history (31) with the walk-off win.Syracuse (27-25, 9-14 Atlantic Coast) eventually lost to Binghamton (31-13, 12-3 American East), 2-1, Tuesday at the Bearcats Sports Complex. The Orange was unable to muster momentum from Burkhardt’s home run and allowed a walk-off double from Jessica Rutherford to end the game just a half-inning later in the bottom of the seventh. With the loss, SU will ride a four-game losing streak into the ACC tournament, which is set to begin on May 12.“They didn’t put any pressure on themselves going into that last inning,” Binghamton head coach Michelle Burrell said of her players. “I think they just trusted each other and stayed relaxed.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the top of the seventh, Rachel Burkhardt represented one of Syracuse’s last chances to score a run. The Orange trailed by one and only had two hits to that point. Two outs separated the Orange from being shut out.Burkhardt dug into the right hand box, drilling the first pitch of the at-bat to deep left-center field. The ball carried over the net protecting Vestal Parkway and nestled against the small plastic fence bordering the freeway, where it still sat an hour after the game ended.“That was a big hit. That’s a big motivator, to get a big home run,” Bosch said. “We gave ourselves the opportunity to at least compete and win.”And while Burkhardt’s home run gave SU an opportunity late in the game, the Orange failed to fully capitalize.The home run was just Burkhardt’s second of the season, and her only hit of the game. Heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Orange had shifted the momentum after a lackluster first six innings.But Burrell said the Bearcats weren’t worried even as AnnaMarie Gatti headed back to the mound after allowing no runs in five innings of relief work.On her way, Gatti stopped to talk to Bosch. As the two parted ways, Gatti began to limp toward the circle, picking up the ball from the ground and beginning her warmup.After surrendering a single to Maniccia, Gatti was removed from the game and Jocelyn Cater re-entered after not pitching since the first inning.“(Gatti) had tweaked her foot, she limped out there a little bit,” Bosch said. “That’s not really a risk I was wanting to take in that situation.”Cater struck out the first hitter she faced, but a sacrifice bunt by Stephanie Bielec put Maniccia on second base with two outs.With the game on the line, Jessica Rutherford stepped into the batter’s box as Cater went into her windup. Rutherford drilled Cater’s pitch to the centerfield wall, over the head of Orange outfielder Maddi Doane, driving in the winning run.“I thought they did a really good job trusting each other,” Burrell said. “(Bielec) had a nice bunt to move (Maniccia) over, and (Rutherford) came through with a big hit.”The game had come full circle for Binghamton — the Bearcats scored runs in the first inning and the last.“At the end of the day if you think you’ve competed, played hard,” Bosch said, “then win or lose at least you can go home and feel that way.”But, as important as it is to Bosch, competing and playing hard just wasn’t good enough for the Orange to get the win. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more