The Public Humanist

The History of Moving Images

Lisa Simmons’ assertion that Hollywood films by and large continue to feature damaging stereotypes of African Americans strikes me as true. But Ms. Simmons’ urging that independent thinkers create images which challenge these stereotypes makes me wonder...

Teaching about Race

Mervan Osborne’s recent post made a great deal of sense to me. As a former high school history and humanities teacher (independent and public schools) and a member of the Education Department at Tufts, I found that race was a topic that, in some way, shape,...

Teaching and Learning the F Word

"I’m not a feminist." In classes I teach, a female student invariably tosses this one into conversation, using the phrase to make sure that, despite what she is about to say, no one should think badly of her. And I have taught many different kinds of...

Global warming IS a moral issue

In March 2007, leaders of several conservative Christian groups sent a letter to the National Association of Evangelicals complaining that the organization’s focus on global warming is diverting attention from “the great moral issues of our time,”...

Green on Our Minds

I have no quarrel with David Tebaldi calling global warming a moral issue, and certainly share his dismay at the notion that for Christians to be concerned about it takes attention away from the real moral issues – “abortion and sexual morality.”But...

Change Comes From the Bottom Up

During the July 23 CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Clinton was asked if she would describe herself as a liberal. A serious enough question you might say, but the audience laughed. Why? Mainly, I think, because “liberal” has long been...

Two cheers for liberalism

So what is American liberalism, and how (if at all) has it changed since the 60’s? Is it truly as irrelevant to our times as the "re-branding" of Senator Clinton and others would seem to indicate? In its broadest meaning, the classical political...