Dr. Kenneth Mott, Professor of Political Science at Gettysburg College explains that beginning with the nomination of Senator Barry Goldwater in 1964 and the passage of the Civil Rights Act shortly thereafter, the two parties have moved away from the “middle” and toward the “more purified” or ideological. The reasons are complex but are mainly due to regionalism and segregation, as well as social media and an emphasis on individualism.
Dr. Kenneth Mott, Professor of Political Science, Gettysburg College; author of “The Supreme Court and the Living Constitution” takes us on a tour of the U.S. Constitution. In addition to a structure and a process for an American government, the Constitution assumes a distinction between permanent principles and occasional demands, between the “permanent” will of the people and the “whim” of frequent change. Thus what is left unsaid is the key to the endurance of the Constitution. The role of the Supreme Court becomes critical in keeping this dialogue alive and well.
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Dr. Christianson asks Dr. Daryl Black, new President and Executive Director of the Gettysburg Seminary Ridge Museum, the question, “Why do we have museums and should they do more than just collect “keepsakes”? Dr. Black describes the change in museums over the past two decades from emphasizing a collection of items, e.g. rifles, to interpretation of these items in the wider context of the need for human beings to make meaning of the past. He illustrates this with the conflicting ways North and South used the Bible and even viewed God in the Civil War.
In this episode, a theologian, Dr. Largen, and a historian, Rev. Dr. Maria Erling, talk about the construction of Lutheran identity, and how it relates both to theological doctrines and also social, historical context. The issue of slavery is discussed as one example of such identity construction.
Dr. Largen speaks with The Rev. Dr. Martin Zimmann, Pastor, Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, about the importance of talking about issues of race and culture in the church. Pastor Zimmann offers some helpful strategies for beginning the conversation.
Shirley Armstrong, Psychological Counselor and Peer Education Advisor at Gettysburg College describes the goals of The Reconciling in Christ (RIC) Program is for congregations, synods, colleges, seminaries, and other Lutheran organizations. RIC recognizes Lutheran communities that publicly welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender believers. She discusses the need for churches to make a statement on the subject, but stresses that the main objective is to get people talking with each other, not simply taking votes.
Recorded before a live audience at St. James Lutheran Church in Gettysburg PA, Dr. Christianson disusses with Kristin Rice how her office is a ministry as well as an essential public service, balancing justice with a fair trial and compassion. Publically financed defenders were established as late as the 1963 when the Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment guarantees legal counsel to poor defendants in criminal cases. She believes that the next frontier in her field must be the improvement of mental health services, and she continues her opposition to the death penalty.
Dr. Christianson talks to Stephen Niebler, Executive Director, Adams County Council for Aging about important issues around aging. How to avoid family conflicts over the right to die as in the cases of Casey Kasem or Terri Schiavo. What to do when you suspect abuse of an older person-- financial, physical, or emotional. The most important local issues that impact on the aging: transportation, housing, trying to understand complicated forms—in health, banking, Social Security, etc.