Veteran faculty member recalls Vietnam era

first_imgAs the United States celebrates Veterans Day today, Peace Studies professor and 1968 alumnus David Cortright said he will remember his unique experience as a Vietnam-era soldier actively involved in the anti-war movement. “I became strongly opposed to the war effort while I was in the Army,” Cortright said. “I came to believe the Vietnam War was unjust, which brought me to a crisis of conscience.” While Cortright was never deployed to Vietnam and instead remained stationed in the United States from 1968-1971, he was far from inactive during the war. “I joined the underground anti-war movement while inside the Army, which was called the GI Peace Movement,” Cortright said. “I organized soldiers, as there was an active opposition to the war even among those inside the military.” Cortright said the movement gave him a sense of purpose while he served. “I found my involvement in the GI Peace Movement to be personally liberating and fulfilling,” Cortright said. “It gave me a sense that I was doing something that was necessary and I felt like I was serving my country more nobly by speaking out against an unjust war, rather than remaining silent about something that I felt was wrong.” Cortright said his experience in the Army during the war inspired him to study public policy. “Once I began to speak out against the war and learned more about the nature of militarism and the need to work for peace, I decided to dedicate my life to it,” he said. He completed his doctoral studies in 1975 at the Union Institute in residence at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., where he received a Ph.D. in History. “My dissertation was on the U.S. military during the Vietnam War, especially on the anti-war sentiment within the military in those days,” Cortright said. Cortright returned to his alma mater in 1989 as a professor at the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies. Today, he is the director for Policy Studies at the institute. Cortright said his experience as a soldier during the war enables him to bring a unique perspective to his teaching and research. “I made some of the most important decisions of my life during the Vietnam War,” Cortright said. “It has shaped my passions as I search for the truth in a profound and distinct way.”last_img read more

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Students to perform in coming-of-age play

first_imgThe debut performance of Notre Dame’s film, television and theatre department’s production of “I and You” takes place Wednesday at DeBartolo Performing Arts Center (DPAC).Courtesy of Carys Karesny The play by Lauren Gunderson, recently named the “most-produced playwright in America” by American Theatre magazine, follows the adventures of 17-year old Caroline, a young girl confined to her room due to illness, and her unexpected friendship with her classmate, Anthony.Senior Mary Patano, who plays Caroline in the production, said the best part about her role is getting to play a character who is “so authentically herself.”“Caroline makes up for her physical weakness with an overactive use of language, specifically using sarcasm and self-deprecation to make herself feel better,” Patano said. “What I like most about Caroline is that she is kind of unlikeable. She’s annoying in the way most 17-year-olds are, and can be a little bit of a brat sometimes. But this is juxtaposed by her passion for photography, Elvis and waffle fries.”Patano said this play in particular is incredibly applicable to the lives of young adults. She said the story of Caroline and Anthony demonstrate two people who were wary of each other initially but bonded more strongly with each new discovery about the other.“I think it’s important to tell the story that when you get to know people and look past what you initially see or think you see, you have the chance to form a relationship you never thought possible,” Patano said.“I and You” is relatable in that a lot of the worries and anxieties felt by young adults materialize on stage, Patano said.“We’re on the cusp of real responsibilities, and oftentimes feeling so much pressure to succeed in what is expected of us we forget we’re supposed to be having fun along the way, and that’s what this play does,” Patano said. “It reminds everyone to keep in tune to the stupid silly things that we love and will be with us even as we grow up,” she said.The two-person show — which also stars junior Eric Ways as Anthony — has been challenging, Patano said, because the two actors have essentially memorized an entire play between them.“This was pretty daunting at the beginning of the process, but since we’ve been running it we’ve gotten a chance to feel how everything fits together for the first time, which has been pretty cool,” Patano said.Patano said during her time at Notre Dame she has realized that a lot of the art can feel like “a stretch” for students. She said there’s a geographical challenge as well, since DPAC is so far from where most people live, and often walking to the venue to watch a play you’re unsure about can seem like a large request.“I believe ‘I and You’ is the perfect combination of quirky teenage comedy blended with the sincerity and fear of what happens when you grow up, and will be something students will be excited to see,” she said. “I promise, it’ll be worth the walk.”Tags: DPAClast_img read more

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Gay marriage and preserving religious freedom for celebrants

first_imgPundit 18 March 2013 Will all marriage celebrants be immunized? The Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Bill will soon, it seems, be passed. The Second Reading went through comfortably by 77 votes to 44 in Parliament last night. I do not wish to debate the substantive merits of the Bill but rather to comment on the conscience clause inserted to protect religious liberty. Will marriage celebrants who object, on the ground of religious belief or conscience, to conducting marriage ceremonies for homosexual and lesbian couples be protected in law? There have been numerous assurances that they will be. The latest version of the Bill, as reported back form the Select Committee, contains a clause that the Committee thinks will do the job.Section 29 amended (Licence authorizes but not obliges marriage celebrant to solemnize marriage)In section 29, insert as subsection (2): “Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), no celebrant who is a minister of religion recognised by a religious body enumerated in Schedule 1, and no celebrant who is a person nominated to solemnize marriages by an approved organisation, is obliged to solemnize a marriage if solemnizing that marriage would contravene the religious beliefs of the religious body or the religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of the approved organisation.”There is a problem however. Despite the Committee’s hope that this version will provide the necessary clarity that the Ministry of Justice and Crown Law advisers sought, a flaw still remains. The problem is that the exemption is not worded widely enough.http://pundit.co.nz/content/gay-marriage-and-preserving-religious-freedom-for-celebrantslast_img read more

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