Commentaries

If you're a regular listener to NPR news programs, you're probably familiar with the occasional brief commentary during the morning or evening news programs by experts in various fields; people providing insight into public affairs, observations on the arts, and thoughts on how we live. This page contains transcripts and/or audio recordings of local commentaries that have aired on WYSU.


Cultural Relativism

Thursday, April 3, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

A prominent ethical theory, cultural relativism, holds that the right or the good is the customary. Further, in that customs often differ from culture to culture, so right and wrong differ, and there is no objective, universally applicable moral law. "(T)here are only the various cultural codes, and nothing more. Moreover, our own code has no special status; it is merely one among many." (1)

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Jeremiah Wright

Monday, March 24, 2008
Commentator: Regina Reynolds
Transcript:

Most Americans love their country and why shouldn't they; we are some of the riches, freest people in the world. However, it is very possible to love one's country and at the same time see its faults. Much as a mother loves her children while being fully aware of their shortcomings and past discretions. This is very much how I see the current accusations against Barack Obama's preacher, Jeremiah Wright. I went to the web sites and listened to several of his sermons and yes to my very white ears they were sometimes harsh in deed.

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Senator Obama on Religion

Thursday, March 6, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Presidential aspirant Barack Obama tells us that he wants to overcome divisions in America and refocus Americans on the pressing problems that face the nation and the world. One such division is between evangelicals, on the one hand, and liberals and seculars, on the other. How exactly does the Senator hope to bridge this gulf? He answers this question in a chapter on religion in his book The Audacity of Hope. (1)

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The Gospel of Prosperity under Fire

Thursday, February 21, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

He wears elegant silk suits, he drives a $350,000 Bentley, he lives in a $10 million oceanfront mansion, and he flies around the world in a private jet. Is he a billionaire investor, a corporate CEO, or a Hollywood celebrity? None of the above, it turns out. He's a pastor of one of the six mega-churches which are a target of an investigation by Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, who has requested a mountain of financial information from them. All six ministries preach the Gospel of Prosperity, the message that God bestows earthly riches on the faithful. (1) They are Benny Hinn's World Healing Center; the Rev. Creflo Dollar's World Changers Church; Paul and Randy White's Without Walls International Church; Joyce Meyer Ministries; Kenneth Copeland Ministries; and Bishop Eddie Long's Ministry.

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Justice Brennan's Dissent

Thursday, February 7, 2008
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

There are powerful forces in America today promoting the entanglement of church and state. Dozens of religious organizations intrude into politics in defiance of the laws granting them tax-exempt status. (1) The courts are ever more receptive to entanglement as was shown last year when the Supreme Court approved President Bush's faith-based initiatives

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Judge Jones

Thursday, December 13, 2007
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

John Locke, America's philosophical father, cited as a key objective of government to provide "known and indifferent judge(s) with authority to determine all differences according to the established law..." (1) Locke's ideal of an independent judiciary guided only by the law has not always been realized in practice in the United States. One clear case in which it was involves federal Judge John E. Jones III who sits on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. On December 20, 2005, Judge Jones issued a 139-page ruling in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

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Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

On the fourth Thursday of November every year, we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States to give thanks to the Almighty.  This purpose has been affirmed and reaffirmed since colonial days. (1)  On Thanksgiving millions of Americans enjoy a feast with their families, one usually featuring turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and rolls.  Just before the meal, most families bow their heads in grateful prayer to God.

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Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District

Thursday, November 8, 2007
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

Next month marks the second anniversary of the landmark ruling by Judge John E. Jones III in the U. S. District Court in Harrisburg in the case of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

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World Religions in Modesto

Thursday, October 25, 2007
Commentator: Tom Shipka
Transcript:

The United States is now the most religiously diverse nation in the world. Despite the fact that during their lives young Americans will deal with followers of religions other than their own, few of them know much about any religion except their own. Seven years ago Modesto, California, a city of 200,000 residents about ninety miles east of San Francisco, decided to do something about this. It was then that the Modesto public schools established a mandatory, semester-long course in world religions for ninth grade students. (1) Teacher-led committees, which designed the course with the help of the Arlington, Virginia-based First Amendment Center, consulted extensively with parents and clergy in the community served by the schools during each stage of development. (2) This strategy not only secured important input but also defused potential resistance.

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Baseball

Thursday, October 4, 2007
Commentator: Lou Zona
Transcript:

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