Student Journal of Nonfiction
Lander University 320 Stanley Avenue Greenwood, SC 29649
New Voices is a publication of the College of Arts and Humanities Lander University 320 Stanley Avenue Greenwood, SC 29649 Editors: Paula Birch Billingsley Lindsey Copeland Aerin Phillips Amy Strickland Editorial Assistant: Brittany Chapman Art Director: Jared Simmons Faculty Advisors: Dr. Lillie Craton Dr. Misty Jameson
New Voices congratulates Jeremy Babb Winner of the 2011 Dessie Dean Pitts Award email@example.com -1-
Table of Contents Reflective Essays The Passing of the Torch (Editors‟ Choice)……..……………………………………3 Andi Mills Field Lessons………………………………………………………………………………………5 Conner Lewis Medics and Generals……………………………………………………………………………7 Rebecca McKay This Monster Called Humanity……………………………………………………….……9 Haley Wilson
Academic Essays Agnostic Exploration in McCarthy‟s Blood Meridian (Editors‟ Choice)…….10 Joshua Watt Should Stupak-Pitts Have Been Included? (Dessie Dean Pitts Award)………14 Jeremy Babb The Importance of Roots………………………………………………………………………21 Lauren Johnson Intervention in Libya: Why Is It the Right Decision?……………………………….23 Courtney Priester Current Challenges in the Teaching of Science.………………………………………26 Taylor Trevathan
New Voices Biographies……………………………………………………………………….28 -2-
The Passing of the Torch
Amos Moses crawled out of the safety and security of the den where he was born. He was predestined to be a vagabond, bound by unconditional love and devotion to one individual, but with the ability to win the hearts of all who would come to know him. Amos made his way to the wide mouth of his den. He closely resembled a tarantula in his manner of gait as his fat little belly wobbled from side to side, his tiny legs not yet strong enough to raise the bulk of his body completely off the ground. His recently opened eyes were not yet seeing clearly, and his still sealed ears heard nothing as he made his first journey into the light. He was the first of three that came out of the den. My friend‟s German Shepherd, Annie, was the proud mama, and the daddy was an Australian Shepherd from the neighboring ranch. My friend and I took the pups to the vet. As we left the vet‟s office with a clean bill of health, I stuffed the reddish yellow ball of fluff into my jacket. I kept him within touching distance of me from that point on. I marveled at my little companion and wondered where our journey would take us. My work required me to do extensive traveling, and for a decade, Amos was my constant companion. He was no longer a five-pound ball of dirty fur, but ninety pounds of reddish gold fur with a white chest and four high white stockings. He was a handsome and majestic dog. We traveled all over the United States and Canada. We experienced life at many levels. He was my protector, my friend, and my confidant. I never knew I could be so totally attached to a dog. He could read my mind and knew when I was sick or sad. I had no doubt that he would give his life to defend me. We had melded into one entity. Life teaches us some hard lessons. It taught me that a life can be changed in the blink of an eye…literally. I lost the vision in my right eye over an eighteen day period. I was told that it was permanent, progressive, irreparable, and that the other eye was affected also. Bottom line, I was going to be totally blind—soon. Shock, fear, confusion, loss, anger, and denial hit me with the force of an avalanche. I drove commercially, and by CDL regulations, a driver cannot operate a commercial vehicle if she is blind in one eye. My job was over. The next five months were spent learning Braille, cane mobility, and how to do things with little or no vision. Amos knew something was not right. He would lean up against my legs and try to push me to help me avoid a hole or an obstacle. He seemed to sit closer to me and snuggle closer as we slept, and he seldom took his eyes off me. He had sensed that something was wrong and had taken it upon himself to take care of me. He did it well. I had applied for a Guide Dog. I traveled to California and was paired up with Mr. Tibbs. At first, I wasn‟t sure I was going to bond with him because I felt like I was betraying Amos. As our training progressed, however, I learned to trust this new partner. I remember the day and minute it happened. We were crossing six lanes of traffic in Los Angeles at rush hour. A car didn‟t stop, and Mr. Tibbs physically pulled me backwards out of the line of traffic. OK, no problem—trust established. The first twenty-eight days of training, we were required to be attached to our dogs by a six-foot leash, except when we were in the shower. I discovered it is impossible not to bond to something warm and fuzzy that is physically tethered to you for a month! -3-
After graduating with flying colors, Mr. Tibbs and I flew three thousand miles home. It had been the only time I had been apart from Amos, and it had been for an eternity of thirty-two days. I knew he must feel as though I deserted him. My biggest fear, however, was how to introduce Amos and Mr. Tibbs without Amos feeling replaced in my life. They met. Amos welcomed him, and all seemed well. Then, when I had to leave Amos home and take Mr. Tibbs when I went out, I noticed a sadness creep into Amos‟s eyes…like he felt discarded. I spent extra time with him and gave him special privileges befitting his rank and seniority, but to no avail. He always was happy to see Mr. Tibbs and would share his food or toys with him. The problem was with me. He didn‟t know why I wasn‟t depending on him anymore. Amos was eleven. Arthritis was seeping into his bones. He took a little longer to get up. My pal was aging well, but still the inevitable signs of age were making themselves visible, and I didn‟t like it. On a warm fall day, a year after Mr. Tibbs had joined us, I took them into the yard to enjoy the warm sun. Amos was off his leash. Once the sad look had come into his eyes, it had never left. I knew he felt replaced, but I didn‟t know how to tell him he would always be first in my heart. The look said, “I don‟t know what I did wrong, but if you want to leave me at home, I will wait for you and love you anyway.” As I walked across the yard, I twisted my ankle and fell like a ton of bricks. Amos was on the far side of the yard. Mr. Tibbs had his harness on and was at my side. As soon as I went down and hollered in pain, Mr. Tibbs was all over me, trying to see if I was OK and licking my face to encourage me to get up. When I realized nothing was broken, I tried to get up. Mr. Tibbs sidled over to me and practically shoved his harness under my hand. There is no doubt it was an intentional move on his part. I held onto the harness that fastened around his chest and body. Then he took a wider stance with his feet, stiffened up all eighty pounds of muscle, and became a solid object I could use to pull myself up. Amos had started toward me from across the yard when he heard me holler. Because of his arthritis, he had been slower and did not make it to me before Mr. Tibbs had begun to take charge of things. Amos stopped and watched without approaching. Once I was on my feet and standing without support from Mr. Tibbs, he approached. He didn‟t come and love all over me, which was what I expected, but came and loved all over Mr. Tibbs. He licked at his mouth, which is an “acceptance into the pack” behavior. He was wagging and wiggling all around where Mr. Tibbs and I were standing. Later that evening, I noticed that Mr. Tibbs and Amos were both asleep together at the side of my chair. Amos had given up his traditional place and joined Mr. Tibbs and me. After I let them out for the last time that evening, Amos looked up at me, and I noticed, with what little sight I had left in my left eye, that for the first time since Mr. Tibbs had joined us, the light was back. The sadness was no longer there. Somehow in his doggy way, he had accepted his retirement from certain areas of my life with the confidence that he wasn‟t less in my eyes, that he could lay down his sword, and that Mr. Tibbs was worthy of being my guardian. He seemed relaxed. He had given Mr. Tibbs his approval. Once he saw that Mr.Tibbs was able and willing to take care of me, as he himself had done for over a decade, it all came together for him. The torch was silently passed to the upstart who had disrupted his life. Amos still watches me as I move around the room. He keeps an eye on the young whippersnapper who has now proven himself. Love is indefinable. Life is good. Yes, we are all at peace…and the torch has finally been passed. -4-
Field Lessons Conner Lewis
I used to be the world‟s most competitive person. If I did not win, then I would consider myself a failure. This all changed the moment I set foot on the church league softball field. I am the youngest person on the team by far. The second oldest player is my dad at the ripe old age of 46. Because of the lack of athleticism on the team, we do not win very often. So why do I stay on the team? I keep playing because it is on this team where I have learned some of the most important lessons in life. Whether it is how to deal with death, the importance of friendship, how to persevere, or the virtue of patience, the softball field seems to be the place where I have learned the most. Our coach, Luke, did the best he could with what we had, and somehow it did not take long for the team to blend together. After just a few practices, we were officially a team. Eventually, though, it was time to see what we were made of. Unfortunately, the first few games went badly for us—really badly. We knew that we would not be the cream of the crop, but we at least thought that we would be able to compete with the other teams. However, even after getting dominated over and over again, our heads were held high, and I learned how to take a loss and how to have fun doing it. Halfway through the season, I had to learn how to take a real loss. It was game day. Just as I grabbed my glove, my phone rang. It was my dad calling to let me know that Luke, his best friend, our beloved leader, would never get to see us win a game. I took it upon myself to notify the rest of the team. My first call was to our shortstop, Ron. When he answered the phone, it hit me. This was real; we lost a teammate. My voice cracked, and Ron immediately knew something was wrong. “This isn‟t in our hands,” he said. It was in this moment when I realized that there was nothing that I could do, and I just had to stick it out and be a good teammate. As I sat on the front row at Luke‟s funeral, I looked to my left, and there were my teammates, even at this low point, with their heads still high. Seeing them take a loss in this way taught me that some things in life we just cannot help, so we just have to take them in stride and learn from them. A week after the funeral, we were back on the field pressing on. With injuries in abundance and old age catching up to us, it was looking as if we would never get a win. Just making it through a game without injury was a win for us. That did not bother us, though, because we were getting what really made us content, friendship. True camaraderie is what makes our team. Our friendship goes further than just the field. After we would get our tails whipped, we could all laugh about it while playing a game of poker. We built a fraternity made up of all kinds: lawyers, doctors, stay-at-home dads, production planners, and one foolish student. Since I grew up in a stable home, I never had to overcome any major adversities, so I never really understood the saying, “Patience is a virtue.” Once again the softball field had something to teach me. In one particular game, we were within reach coming into the last inning. I was on third and only had to cross the plate to get our first win. My teammate made contact with the ball, so I took off speeding down the base line. Only the catcher was between my team -5-
and our first win, but I made a foolish mistake. I decided to run through the catcher, got ejected from the game, and ultimately cost my team the win. My teammates could have easily gotten mad at me, but they did not. Instead, they chose to show patience towards me and taught me patience in the process. With my newly learned skill of patience, we finally got what we were waiting for, a victory. With the small amount of talent that we had, we were not going to win many games, but the Bible says, â€œAsk and you shall receive.â€? We asked for help, and we received help. The collegiate baseball season was over, and that meant only one thing: the triplets were coming. The triplets had been playing ball since they learned to walk. They were big, athletic, and ready to play. They came onto the team just in time for the playoffs. We went into the playoffs 0-12, the worst record in the entire league. However, with the new addition to the team, morale was lifted. We did it. We won our first game. We persevered. Not only did we win a game; we made it to the semi-finals of the tournament and finished the year with a 3-13 record. Some people learn their lessons through church. Some people learn their lessons at school. I, however, learn on the softball field. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by such great men. Even though they are losers on the field, they are winners in life. The next season, we had the same record, and we probably will never get more than three wins. With that said, we are not looking for wins anymore; we are just trying to learn the lessons of the field.
Medics and Generals Rebecca McKay
When I was seventeen, my parents put me on birth control. It was a new, powerful prescription called “you are going to spend your summer being a camp counselor to fifty of the loudest, wildest children in the community, making you so miserable that you will abstain from that horrible activity which produces the little hellions.” As a teenager, working as a camp counselor was my most difficult job yet, especially with children whom I had no experience or wherewithal to help. But much to my surprise, it was also one of the most entertaining, fun jobs I have ever had. My first three years at camp, I was a counselor in the eight-to-ten year old group. The thought was terrifying, and my first two weeks were rough. However, I quickly learned that, to counter the rude, sarcastic attitudes of children on the brink of adolescence who withheld little of what they were thinking, I had to pull out the snarky preteen hidden deep within. Not only did it make my job exponentially easier, but I gained the respect I hadn‟t even realized I was seeking. Craft time was probably the most difficult time with that age group. While the Martha Stewart in me delighted in the prospects of glitter and construction paper, most of the kids thought the whole activity was lame. I found it unfathomable that they couldn‟t appreciate making a paperweight with their own faces pasted in the center, as they were all wholeheartedly in love with themselves. I guess it involved too much work for their precious hands, though, and I ended up making not one, but twenty-seven paperweights. After craft time, we traveled back to the gym to play wiffle ball, or, “someone is going to get hit in the face and cry because the baseball „all-stars‟ have apparently turned this game into a homerun derby” ball. Either way you looked at it, disaster was imminent. The good thing about wiffle ball, though, was that it always went over much better than craft time. The kids, both girls and boys, enjoyed taking out their aggressions on the small, plastic ball filled with holes. It wasn‟t surprising to have a bent bat at the end of the game. The game usually came to an abrupt end as I walked the crying children to the office in search of the all-healing ice pack and a bandage for the cut they got seven days earlier but were insisting was newly acquired. But I was always glad to take them because that meant it was time to play my favorite game, Medics and Generals. The premise for Medics and Generals was easy—it was an intense game of dodge ball in which each team had two medics and one general. The medics, usually the stronger, stockier kids, were to find the players who‟d been hit and drag them back to the safe zone, wherein they could rejoin the game. The generals were to be protected, as once they were hit, the opposing team won. The campers loved the game, and the counselors loved watching their least favorite kids get smacked in the face with the balls—don‟t worry; the balls were made of foam and didn‟t actually hurt. After a few intense rounds, it was finally time to change and prepare for my absolute favorite time of the day—lunch time. Walking out the doors of the building was bittersweet; my growling stomach was practically cursing at me for the neglect I‟d given it all morning, but the stifling air was still so damp as we walked down to the picnic tables at the waterfront that all I could dwell on were the next three hours I would be spending outside. Not ten minutes after I‟d sat down to enjoy my stale ham and cheese loaf sandwich with a side of soggy cucumber slices was I walking back up to the -7-
building with the screaming child who was just brutally assaulted by the dragonfly of doom. I was to retrieve medical help for him quickly, as his leg was soon to fall off. Upon returning to the waterfront, I had just enough time to spray my pasty arms and legs down with sun screen and grab my chair, ready to sit on the hot metal pier for two hours of swim time. Swim time was undoubtedly the favorite activity among all campers because nothing is more appealing than a murky lake full of grimy moss, or “seaweed,” as the children liked to call it. Most days it went without a hitch, but at least once a week someone would slip and hobble over to us with a “broken leg.” The powers of the ice pack worked their magic, though, and by the next buddy check, the child was running again. Miracles really do happen! After swim time, we faced the battle of the missing underoos. “Miss Becky, Miss Becky!” I‟d hear, as the children wrapped in towels came running out of the changing room with no regard to who might see. And so we began the search for Barbie, Spiderman, Hannah Montana, and Optimus Prime, who were almost always found hanging out in the bags of the quiet kids in the front of the line. Of course, there were occasionally unsolved mysteries that left some children flying commando for the remainder of the day, but generally the cases of the runaway panties were solved. By the time we were walking up to the main building, the humidity had all but dissipated, leaving behind the harsh, heavy heat that seemed to hit us from all sides—boring down from the sun, steaming off of the asphalt, and teasing with just a touch of breeze. Never was there a greater feeling than opening the doors and feeling the cool air of the building rushing into our faces. We traveled back to the gym to play Ghost in the Graveyard, a game in which the children had to lie as still and quiet as possible. Essentially, it was nap time for the campers and quiet time for the counselors. On Thursday, the last day of the camp week, everyone was buzzing with excitement. The last event of day camp was awards day, where kids got ribbons for their triumphs in sidewalk chalk contests, free throw competitions, and the unanimous favorite, Dangling Donuts. But the most prized award was one that every camper secretly wanted but few liked to admit they coveted. No matter how they tried to deny it, all the campers wanted to be the COW—Camper of the Week. Campers of the Week were two kids from each group who were “the most helpful and showed the most enthusiasm.” Roughly translated, they were the two kids who got in trouble the least. Most kids shrugged it off when they didn‟t get it, but we always had one or two who turned on the water works as soon as they realized their name was not going to be called. Finally, the week was coming to an end. Slowly, parents, grandparents, and siblings trickled in to retrieve their children while I tried valiantly to hand over the paperweights, only to be rewarded with glares as they realized that they had more crap to display in their houses. I just smiled as I remembered making the very same paperweight years ago, which is still sitting on my father‟s desk today. It was a fun, albeit exhausting, summer, and one in which I got to explore my creativity with glitter, be a medic to several casualties, and generally have fun with a bunch of kids who, thankfully, I wouldn‟t have to deal with again until the next year. And after five years of working as a camp counselor, I can assure my parents with absolute certainty that I will never, ever give birth to an eight year old. -8-
This Monster Called Humanity Haley Wilson
If standing face to face with the monster of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, we would all say to ourselves, and possibly out loud, “Dear God, what is that inhuman thing?” However, this poor creature started out as any human would: pure of heart and filled with good intentions. Sadly, the monster is forced to live in the negative extremities of society: hated by his creator, denied by societal norms, and denied acceptance in this world. If we as humans were to go through these same dilemmas all at once, we surely would not seem as human in the end. Upon this monster's first movements, his creator begins to regret making him and runs from him in fright. Thus, the monster is left alone in the world with no feeling of soul or purpose. Many people have experienced such spiritual lows in their lives, but imagine feeling no purpose for one's entire existence. From the Judeo-Christian perspective, all of humanity is loved by God, the ultimate Creator. The monster, however, is not created by an ever-constant God but by a fickle man whose love for his creation is weak, if not non-existent. With no notion of why he was created or who he is, the monster seeks refuge in a forest where he begins observing a family who live within those woods. He longs to have such a connection with someone of his own kind, but he is utterly alone. His outward appearance does not allow for interaction with society, taking away any possibility of friendship with human beings as well. This isolation is a common feeling associated with depression, though never quite so literally. Shelley conveyed the emotion through action, making it impact the reader's empathy even more. At last, the monster reunites with his creator and demands a companion. Frankenstein reluctantly agrees, but he abandons making her for fear of a horrific new race. The monster rampages in his anger, killing all who are dear to Frankenstein. Vengeance then becomes his virtue. These rash actions caused by anger and exasperation show the pain humanity feels when someone denies a promise made. That hurt then leads to greater guilt, for though the rampage ends, the results hauntingly remain. The murders haunt the monster's conscience in a similar way. He begins to regret ever educating himself through literature, best defined in the monster‟s words: “Oh, that I had forever remained in my native wood, nor known nor felt beyond the sensations of hunger, thirst, and heat!” This wish for a lack of emotions is often made in different ways by humans, but it is not truly possible, for our experiences drive emotion into our hearts and expand our minds, and we are unable to avoid experiences if we live on this earth. Thus, the monster embodies the extremities of human existence and experience, and he is perhaps more human than first thought. Like the monster, we begin with pure hearts and intentions; it is the sorrows and grievances of life that drive us to do wrong. At our core, we simply want what the monster desired in every fiber of his being: acceptance and love. If we all were to offer each other this acceptance and love, the monstrous negative extremities would fade from our society, for our inner monsters are our own creations, nourished by the apathy of our society.
Agnostic Exploration in Cormac McCarthy‟s Blood Meridian Joshua Watt
American author Barry Lopez once wrote, “No culture has yet solved the dilemma each has faced with the growth of a conscious mind: how to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in all life, when one finds darkness not only in one‟s own culture but within oneself” (413). Cormac McCarthy recurrently explores the same theme as he writes novels in which characters are forced to make sense of violent events. Throughout many of his works, McCarthy utilizes the compelling notion that the visible world is representative of a spiritual world to present innate qualities of the human condition. In The Road, he tells the story of a father and a son who struggle to maintain morality in a post apocalyptic world where murder and cannibalism have become survival. In other novels, such as The Crossing, Suttree, and No Country for Old Men, McCarthy offers alternative answers to conventional religious inquiries. However, Cormac McCarthy‟s frequent use of agnostic and religious elements is most evident in Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West. The Road follows the story of a father and a son travelling across a landscape devoid of both a biosphere and any human morality. Literary critic Thomas Schaub characterizes the plot progression as an allegorical spiritual journey (2). The Road begins after the world has suffered some unspecified catastrophe that has stripped away the planet‟s biosphere and natural resources. McCarthy establishes a strong connection to the Biblical account of the apocalypse by referring to the earth‟s burning surface and falling ash (Schaub 1). The two main characters face the torments of survival throughout the novel, yet they are able to maintain a sense of morality that is nonexistent in the hearts of the survivors they encounter. The boy seems to have prioritized a sense of order above their basic needs for survival (Schaub 7). The father acknowledges this fact quietly throughout the novel and expresses the idea that his son has become a symbol for the remaining values of a post apocalyptic world (Schaub 5). Throughout The Road, the father and the son refer to their moral standing as “carrying the fire.” Schaub writes, “The image of „fire‟ is less abstract than the word „light‟ and may convey the concept of spirit in a way the boy can grasp, but in the context of the still burning holocaust of the world it represents at least the sacred fire of human spirit, in opposition to the demonic fires of apocalypse” (7). The Road consistently explores the powerful spiritual overtone that is present within many of McCarthy‟s novels. In many other works, McCarthy challenges traditional notions about religion while he simultaneously supports the existence of a mystical component to life. In The Crossing, McCarthy asserts that humans have lost the ability to observe the supernatural realm that bridges the gap between the visible world and God. In this respect, he expresses that animals have maintained the ability to see an underlying truth that is innately hidden from mankind (Arnold 2). Suttree challenges several common notions about the connection that men share with God. Literary critic Edwin Arnold writes, “Suttree is a brilliant book by many measures, a hugely comic, extravagantly written, richly told epic of bedraggled humanity” (3). Moreover, McCarthy frequently uses violent and powerful antagonists in his works to illustrate the overwhelming -10-
power of evil. In No Country for Old Men, he creates a cold, mechanical killer named Anton Chigurh who is capable of eluding the forces that attempt to subdue him. Anton Chigurh eventually overpowers the protagonist, Llewellyn Moss, and escapes the investigation led by a local sheriff, Ed Tom (Cremean 1). McCarthy delivers his most compelling work when he introduces unthinkable violence and madness through characters that, like Anton Chigurh, are capable of achieving evil ends through the darkest means of imagination. Judge Holden, the prime antagonist in Blood Meridian, is one of the most infamous villains conceived by Cormac McCarthy. Throughout the novel, Judge Holden seems to exert a significant amount of control over the events that make up the plot of the book. Moreover, he assumes a quality that expressly labels him as untouchable and immortal. For example, a bath scene in the novel describes the rest of the Glanton Gang in a summary of scars and imprints left on their bodies by their dangerous endeavors. However, the judge is completely devoid of scars and deformities. Literary critic Joshua Masters writes, “The immensity of the judge's hairless, scarless, tattooless body indicates the unidirectionality of his constructive and interpretive power; he remains an ahistorical figure seemingly untouched by events in the world” (4). The judge seems to have bypassed the natural mechanisms that have otherwise branded the members of the Glanton Gang for their sins. Judge Holden‟s obsession with categorizing the various objects and life forms that he encounters is reminiscent of the Biblical character Adam (Masters 4). He recurrently sketches the form of a leaf or wilderness litter so that he may alter the world‟s understanding of that object. In one passage of the novel, Judge Holden says, “This is my claim. And yet everywhere upon it are pockets of autonomous life. Autonomous. In order for it to be mine nothing must be permitted to occur upon it save by my dispensation” (McCarthy 199). One of the more disquieting elements about the judge is the assertion at the novel‟s conclusion that he is immortal. McCarthy writes, “He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die” ( 335). This passage is a blatant statement of the judge‟s supernatural quality, which is merely implied throughout the novel, and it serves as an affirmation of his sinister essence. The judge‟s potential to be characterized as a demonic figure is fully realized through an analysis of his persuasive demeanor and employment of temptation. Masters writes, “The judge's entrance into the novel in Reverend Green's revival tent immediately establishes him as a trickster--as a figure who turns the world upsidedown, who spits at convention and embraces taboos, who essentially transgresses any and all boundaries that establish order” (2). During this scene, the judge is able to convince the congregation that the priest is guilty of several sordid sins; the mob subsequently kills the priest before learning that the judge lied about the allegations (McCarthy 6-8). Judge Holden‟s insertion into the Glanton Gang is also recounted in a disturbing tale issued by Tobin, the former priest. Tobin discusses the various odd circumstances surrounding the gang‟s discovery of the judge and a deal made between the judge and Glanton. Tobin says, “They‟ve a secret commerce. Some terrible covenant.” He goes on to say, “he looked about him with the greatest satisfaction in the world, as if everything had turned out just as he planned and the day could not have been finer” (126). These occurrences are strangely parallel with conventional notions concerning pacts made between Satan and mankind. -11-
Although Tobin‟s speculations about the demonic nature of the judge appear to be the narrations of a failed clergyman, his predictions about the fate of the gang are validated later in the novel. Furthermore, McCarthy implies that the members of the Glanton Gang are the demonic servants employed by Judge Holden. After the judge is added to the gang, Glanton is clearly swayed by the judge‟s temptation to provide a means of glory and a passage into history for the egocentric leader (Twomey 7). Holden‟s only condition is that the gang compensates with unquestioned commitment to the judge‟s whims (Masters 9). McCarthy uses imagery to explain the nature of the gang‟s connection to Holden. He writes, “At dusk of the third day they rode into the town of Corralitos, the horses shuffling through the caked ash and the sun glaring redly through the smoke. The smelter chimneys were ranged against an ashen sky and the globy lights of the furnaces glowered under the dark of the hills” (McCarthy 88). This passage clearly suggests that the men appear to be demons emerging from a dark corner of hell or some deep abyss. The descriptions of fire and ash contrasted with the darkness of the ground are analogous to typical renderings of the underworld. McCarthy implies that the collective fate and soul of the gang is under the authority of Judge Holden. Much of Blood Meridian‟s plot revolves around the judge‟s struggle to win the kid‟s soul. When the novel begins, the kid is a wild and blank being who is neither innately benevolent nor fully evil. He merely reacts to the environment with a pathology similar to a wild animal. The kid joins the Glanton Gang early in the novel, but he is hesitant to commit the crimes that he is contracted to execute. However, he quickly overcomes his pause of morality and joins the gang as they massacre hundreds of innocent people (Masters 9). Although the kid commits the same crimes as the other members, he differs in a couple of important ways. Masters writes, “he remains aloof while his companions often reaffirm verbally their faith in the judge's order. Even more importantly, however, he remains self-conscious and aware of the criminality of his actions” (9-10). These subtle characteristics are the basis for the judge‟s feelings of resentment; the judge not only wishes to influence the deeds of the kid but also to be in control of the kid‟s desire to act. Holden believes that the kid‟s sense of moral judgment is detrimental to the gang‟s objective. Following the destruction of the gang and the confrontation with the judge, the kid‟s journey in the novel resembles commonly accepted phases in the afterlife. The kid is placed in a jail cell where he is visited by the judge who speaks through the iron bars to express a verdict concerning the kid‟s actions (McCarthy 306-307). This passage is similar to the notion that one will be debriefed of the consequences of one‟s actions upon entering death. The kid proceeds to try to live a relatively normal existence. However, McCarthy makes several allusions to purgatory during these passages. For example, the kid wanders the country holding a Bible, yet the novel affirms his illiteracy early in the plot. Also, the kid admits his past losses and current guilt to an old woman before he realizes that she is only a dry corpse that is unable to alleviate his feelings (Twomey 9). These passages suggest that the kid is moving in a repetitious world that is both dependent on the past and unalterable by his attempts at reconciliation. The kid encounters the judge again in a strange bar at the novel‟s conclusion. The judge tries to persuade the kid to accept his nihilistic beliefs and to join a ritual dance in the bar. -12-
The kid is now capable of ignoring the judge‟s influence, but McCarthy reveals that the kid‟s fate is already in motion. Later in the night, the kid is brutally murdered by the judge in an outhouse. McCarthy writes, “The judge was seated upon the closet. He was naked and he rose up smiling and gathered him in his arms against his immense and terrible flesh and shot the wooden barlatch home behind him” (333). McCarthy creates the scene using grim descriptions of darkness and brutal violence to allude to the ultimate judgment that the kid faces. McCarthy uses the kid‟s character to produce an allegorical warning about the consequences that result from the tolerated presence of evil. In his novels, McCarthy consistently questions the mystical bridge that separates man from God. In The Road, he strips away the world‟s material constructions and leaves spiritual existence to dominate the setting. In other novels, he challenges the traditions that mankind has created to make sense of underlying spiritual implications. Blood Meridian focuses on the spiritual degradation of the kid as he falls under the influence of Judge Holden. Cormac McCarthy passionately explores the agnostic gray area that surrounds the subject of God‟s existence through compelling characters and suspenseful stories.
Works Cited Arnold, Edwin T. "Blood and Grace: The Fiction of Cormac McCarthy." Commonweal (4 Nov. 1994): 11-16. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Deborah A. Schmitt. Vol. 101. Detroit: Gale Research, 1997. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 2 Apr. 2010. Cremean, David. "No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy." Southwestern American Literature 31.1 (2005): 82+. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 12 Apr. 2010. Lopez, Barry. Arctic Dreams. New York: Scribner, 1986. Print. Masters, Joshua J. "'Witness to the Uttermost Edge of the World': Judge Holden's Textual Enterprise in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian." Critique 40.1 (Fall 1998): 25-37. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 204. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 2 Apr. 2010. McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West. New York: Random House, 1985. Print. Schaub, Thomas H. "Secular Scripture and Cormac McCarthy's The Road." Renascence: Essays on Values in Literature 61.3 (2009): 153+. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 2 Apr. 2010. Twomey, Jay. "Tempting the Child: The Lyrical Madness of Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian." Southern Quarterly 37.3-4 (Spring-Summer 1999): 255-265. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 204. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 2 Apr. 2010.
Dessie Dean Pitts Award Winner
Should Stupak-Pitts Have Been Included? Jeremy Babb
On September 9, 2009, President Barack Obama laid out his health care agenda to a joint session of Congress. Immediately following, health care reform became a hotly debated topic in Congress. While the Democrats and Republicans clashed over the idea of a public option in the health care bill, Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Rep. Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA) were hard at work developing the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962). The Stupak-Pitts Amendment “ensures that funds authorized and appropriated through the bill will not pay for abortions or subsidized insurance plans that cover abortions” (Harned 2009). This amendment was highly criticized by pro-choice groups which protested vigorously to ensure that it did not get included in the Affordable Health Care for America Act. However, pro-life activists and organizations embraced this amendment and felt its inclusion was necessary. Abortion is a controversial issue, but that should not stop us from examining this piece of legislation on its legal merits. This paper argues that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment should have been included in the final version of the Affordable Health Care for America Act because it does not violate Roe v. Wade. The amendment instead maintains the status quo on federal funding regulations set by the Hyde Amendment. This paper also argues that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, as dictated by previous Supreme Court rulings, does not violate the Equal Protection clause or impose an undue burden on any woman‟s ability to obtain an abortion. To begin this examination, it is important to review the history behind this controversial amendment. Abortion was made legal in the United States on January 22, 1973, after the Supreme Court overturned a Texas interpretation of abortion law in the infamous Roe v. Wade case. At the time under Texas law, a woman could not receive an abortion unless the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. However, the Supreme Court overturned this by ruling that a woman, along with her doctor, could choose to carry out an abortion in the earlier months of her pregnancy without any restrictions, and with restrictions in later months of her pregnancy. This decision was and is controversial. With all of the mixed feelings regarding this decision, it is not surprising that three years later, in 1976, an amendment was introduced to place restrictions on abortion funding in the United States. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), introduced that amendment to place restrictions on federally funded abortions. The Hyde Amendment is voted on annually and is attached to the annual appropriations bill that funds the Department of Health and Human Services. However, there are limitations included in this amendment that would allow an abortion in the case that the mother‟s life is endangered by the pregnancy, or if the pregnancy was a result of incest or rape. Over the years, when Congress would review this amendment to vote on its reauthorization, the limitations have been scrutinized as to whether or not to include rape and incest under the limitations section. However, the limitations of rape and incest were included in the 2009 reauthorization of the Hyde Amendment. It is important to understand the Hyde amendment, because the main justification that Bart Stupak gave for pushing to include the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the health care bill was to maintain the status quo of regulations on the federal funding of abortion.
The regulations that the Stupak-Pitts amendment would enforce only applies to federal funds issued through the final health care bill. The Stupak-Pitts amendment states that: No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman who suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest. (Stupak 2009) Ultimately, the Stupak-Pitts amendment would ensure that no federal funds issued through the final health care bill would be applicable towards abortion funding. After this amendment was introduced, controversy quickly arose. Pro-choice organizations, such as Planned Parenthood, accused the Stupak-Pitts amendment of “reaching farther than the Hyde Amendment” (“Planned Parenthood” 2009). However, pro-life organizations such as the Family Research Council issued a statement of support for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which they feel “prohibits the abortion industry from further profiting from taxpayers by using government funds to pay for the gruesome act of abortion” (Zimmermann 2009). This controversy also brewed in the House of Representatives as House members debated the inclusion of this amendment to their proposed version of the health care bill. Then Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio, House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, and House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence of Indiana jointly released a statement that said, “To be clear, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment's passage is the right thing to do. We believe you just don‟t play politics with life” (“House Republican Leader John Boehner” 2009). However, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) echoed the views of Planned Parenthood with her statement that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment “is an unprecedented overreach of women‟s basic rights and freedoms” (Polak 2009). After many weeks of debate, the House ultimately voted to include the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in their version of the health care bill by a vote of a 240 to 194 vote, with one member voting present. There was “A combination of 176 Republicans joined with 64 Democrats to support the pro-life Stupak Amendment while 194 Democrats voted against the measure” (Ertelt 2009). Although the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was included in the House version of the health care bill, HR 3962, it was not included in the Senate version, HR 3590. This is significant, considering the Senate version of the health care bill was the version that President Barack Obama signed into law after its passage of the House on March 21, 2010. Had the Stupak-Pitts Amendment been included in the final version of the health care bill, those opposed to it would have challenged it. Over the course of research, three main arguments that the amendment would have likely faced kept arising. One of the arguments suggests that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment violates the Equal Protection Clause and imposes an undue burden on a woman‟s ability to obtain an abortion. Another reoccurring argument suggests that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment reaches farther than the Hyde Amendment and violates the Roe v. Wade decision by restricting the access of an abortion. The final argument re-addressed the idea of imposing an undue burden, however this time the focus was on indigent women. All of these arguments are valid concerns, but if an appeals process was conducted on the basis of these arguments, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment would not be overturned because it does not impose or violate any of the rights that these arguments suggest.
The first opposition suggests that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment imposes an undue burden on a woman‟s ability to terminate her pregnancy and violates the Equal Protection Clause. The undue burden standard was adopted from an earlier Supreme Court case, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services. However, it is most notable from its usage in the Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992, where the court defined the phrase “undue burden.” This particular case regarded a Pennsylvania law that imposed regulations on the process of obtaining an abortion. Pennsylvania issued a law that required women to wait at least twenty-four hours before obtaining an abortion, after their doctor provides them with specific information about the nature of the procedure. Some of the specific information included explaining the development of a fetus and making the patient aware of all alternative possibilities that the patient could seek instead of abortion. This law also required parental consent for all minors wanting to obtain an abortion. Married women were required to notify their husbands that they planned to have an abortion, and if they failed to do so, the women was subject to up to a year in jail. After the court heard the arguments, the justices felt it was necessary to define an undue burden. The Supreme Court ruled, “An undue burden exists, and therefore a provision of law is invalid, if its purpose or effect is to place substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability” (“Cornell University Law School” 1992). The court ultimately ruled that the only one of the above provisions that imposed an undue burden on a woman‟s ability to obtain an abortion was the requirement for a married woman to notify their husband that she planned to have an abortion or be subject to a jail sentence. The Supreme Court also emphasized “The fact that a law which serves a valid purpose, one not designed to strike at the right itself, has the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate it” ("Abortion and the House” 2010). Since the Stupak-Pitts Amendment does not aim to ban abortions, even if it may make them more expensive or more difficult to obtain, the court would rule that this amendment does not impose an undue burden on a woman‟s ability to obtain an abortion and ultimately rule to uphold the amendment. The accusation that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment would violate the Equal Protection Clause is also invalid. The Equal Protection Clause is a part of the fourteenth amendment that ensures no state can deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment would violate the Equal Protection Clause if the amendment affected availability of abortions to woman seeking them. However, this amendment does not. It will only affect the use of federal funds from the health care bill towards obtaining an abortion. It does not seek to ban the availability of abortions, which is granted to women under the Roe v. Wade ruling. The third opposition comes from a statement made by Planned Parenthood accusing the Stupak-Pitts Amendment of “reaching farther than the Hyde Amendment” (“Planned Parenthood” 2009). A statement released by Planned Parenthood accuses the Stupak-Pitts Amendment of restricting women‟s access to abortion coverage in the private health insurance market, and undermining the ability of a woman to purchase private health plans that cover abortions. It is difficult to locate validity in this accusation since the only thing the Stupak-Pitts Amendment does is ensure that no federal money issued by the health care bill goes towards coverage of abortion or a plan that offers coverage of abortion. Under the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, the ability for individuals
and state or local governments to purchase coverage for abortion would not be affected. According to a Congressional Research Service report, “The Stupak-Pitts Amendment would permit nonfederal entities, including individuals and state or local governments, to purchase separate supplemental coverage for elective abortions or a plan that includes coverage of such abortions” (Chaikind 2010). The only stipulation is that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment would require that the coverage for elective abortions or the insurance plan that provides abortion coverage would have to be paid for entirely with funds not issued by the health care bill. Therefore, the above accusation made by Planned Parenthood is not valid because, under the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, the access to abortion coverage for women would not be changed nor would a woman‟s ability to purchase private health insurance plans that provide abortion coverage be affected. Women and with nonfederal entities could still purchase abortion coverage or a plan that includes abortion coverage as made available under current abortion regulations in place by the Hyde Amendment. The final opposition re-focuses on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment imposing an undue burden. However, this time it specifically addresses the amendment imposing an undue burden on indigent women. Under the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, as was the case under the Hyde Amendment, state funds are not affected. States have the ability to use their funds as they choose. The state will still hold the ability to fund or not fund abortions. A prime example of this can be seen in the use of Medicaid for abortion funding. The cost of Medicaid is divided between the state and federal government. Essentially, the state contributes half of its Medicaid budget, and the federal government contributes the remaining half of a state‟s Medicaid budget. Under the Hyde Amendment, states could only use their half of the contributed funds to provide abortion coverage for Medicaid recipients. This practice would still be maintained under the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. In a previous court case, Maher v. Roe 1977, the court examined regulations that Connecticut placed on the use of Medicaid funds for abortions. In this case, an indigent woman challenged the Connecticut regulation that prohibited the funding of abortions that were non-medical in reason. The fact that Connecticut chose to fund childbirth over abortions was also brought into question during this case. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell stated, “The equal protection clause did not require a state participating in the Medicaid program to pay the expenses incident to nontherapeutic abortions for indigent women simply because it had made a policy choice to pay expenses incident to childbirth” (“Supreme Court of the United States” 2010). The court maintained that Connecticut‟s policy, which favored childbirth over abortion, did not violate the right of privacy recognized in the Roe v. Wade decision that protects a woman from undue interference in her decision to obtain an abortion. The court also ruled, “The Connecticut regulation places no obstacles absolute or otherwise in the pregnant woman‟s path to an abortion. An indigent woman who desires an abortion suffers no disadvantage as a consequence of Connecticut‟s decision to fund childbirth; she continues as before to be dependent on private sources for the service she desires” ("Abortion and the House” 2010). Considering the court upheld Connecticut‟s decision to stop funding abortions that were not medically necessary and ruled that this decision did not create a disadvantage for an indigent woman, I feel certain that the court would rule in favor of the StupakPitts Amendment. There is also the question of why the Hyde Amendment cannot be voted on and reauthorized to apply to the new health care bill as it did the Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations act for the past thirty-three years. The Hyde Amendment prohibits funds -17-
in the annual federal Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations act from being used to fund abortions, but it must be reauthorized every year during the passage of this appropriations act. Since the Hyde Amendment is not permanent and only applies to the funds allocated in this specific appropriations act, it would not have any overriding power in the new health care reform legislation. The Hyde Amendment focuses on restricting abortion funding through the Medicare and Medicaid programs and does not address any other areas of abortion funding. Therefore, if the Hyde Amendment was applied to the new health care bill, it would only affect the funding of abortions through the Medicare and Medicaid programs and would not address the new provisions for abortion funding as laid out in the new health care bill. This is why the Stupak-Pitts Amendment is essential in maintaining the restrictions on federally funding abortions. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment is act specific, just like the Hyde Amendment, but it takes into account and prevents the new provisions from funding abortions. While conducting research on the various opinions regarding the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, it is important to pay attention to what the American people want. After all, this country is a representative democracy and the government is supposed to be acting in the interests of the people. Therefore, the question is whether the American people want federal funds to go towards funding abortion. According to a poll released in November 2009 (the time the Stupak-Pitts Amendment was being debated by Congress) the answer is no. The Pew Research Service reported, “A 55% majority of Americans say that abortion should not be included as a guaranteed medical benefit if the government health care reform plan passes” (Abortion Plays Small Role 2009). Only “28% say it should be included” (Abortion Plays Small Role 2009). This should come as no surprise since the American people‟s views on abortion have not fluctuated much since 1975. A Gallup poll reports that 53% of Americans in 1975 and 55% of Americans in 2009 felt that abortion should only be legal under certain circumstances (Saad 2010). The Pew Research Service also reports that “Seven in ten (72%) of those who oppose the legislation say coverage of abortion should not be included in government benefits” (Abortion Plays Small Role 2009). However, “Even among Americans who favor health care reform, a 46% plurality says abortion should not be included in government benefits, while 35% say it should be”(Abortion Plays Small Role 2009). In fact, when the poll released by Pew Research Services addressed the main reason for being in opposition to the health care reform bill, 56% reported that their main concern was that the health care bill might pay for abortion (Abortion Plays Small Role 2009). These results give a sense of where the American people stand when it comes to using federal money to pay for abortions. Sadly, the American people‟s interests were not accurately represented in the final version of the health care bill because the final version did not include the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. However, President Barack Obama made a compromise with Congressman Bart Stupak, which left some people feeling more confident that the final version of the health care bill would not fund abortions. On Sunday March 21, 2010, President Barack Obama announced that he would issue an executive order to reaffirm the longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion as set by the Hyde Amendment. As a result Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) changed his vote from being opposed to the bill to being in favor of, and ultimately voting for, the health care bill. Congressman Stupak‟s decision to change his vote solely on the issuance of an executive order is questionable.
The reason for this is that an executive order is not enough to ensure that the Hyde language will apply to the new bill and restrict federal funding of abortion. The problem with an executive order is that it can be rescinded at anytime, and does not overrule federal legislation. Whenever the Supreme Court has been forced to address the issue of conflicting federal legislation and an executive order in the past, it has always ruled that the legislation takes precedence. According to Rep. Gresham Barrett‟s (R-SC) Legislative Correspondent who covers abortion and health care, Tara O‟Neil, “An executive order can only issue guidance where federal legislation is silent. Since the executive order only has power where legislation is silent, it would not overrule the provisions in the health care bill that provides funding for abortions” (Personal Interview 2010). In the final version of the health care bill, there are three main provisions that would allow for federal funding of abortion. The first provision would allow federal funding of abortion by providing subsidies for health care plans that cover abortions. The second provision would allow federal funding of abortion by funding health centers that provide abortions. Finally, the third provision would allow federal funding of abortion by mandating that individuals with certain health care plans make separate payments for abortion coverage, even if they are morally opposed. The Americans who view abortion as wrong should not have to see their tax dollars being used to fund what they deem immoral. The question as to whether women have a right to an abortion is currently irrelevant, since the Roe v. Wade ruling is still law and guarantees a woman the right to obtain an abortion. However, Roe v. Wade did not include in its ruling that a woman is guaranteed to receive federal or state funding to cover elective abortions. In fact, there are currently “five states - Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri, North Dakota and Oklahoma - who currently ban abortion coverage, with limited exceptions, in insurance plans” (“Oppose Nelson-Hatch” 2009). Here in the United States, if one wants something, one will spend money in order to fulfill those wants. This should be no different when it comes to a woman wanting an abortion. It is understandable for the government to have in place programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to help provide necessities for the less fortunate. However, unless it is medically necessary or a result of incest or rape, an abortion is not a necessity. Therefore, the government should not be using taxpayer money to fund the operations. There are other options available, such as adoption, which a woman can seek if she does not wish to maintain and provide for the child. It is essential to ensure that the status quo on federal funding of abortion, as set by the enactment of the Hyde Amendment, is maintained and the Stupak-Pitts Amendment accomplishes this goal. It is important to note that the Hyde Amendment is voted on every year, and for the past thirty-three years, Congress has reauthorized it. Amidst all of the controversy that surrounded the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, due to it addressing the already divisive issue of abortion, it is easy to lose sight of the primary goal of the amendment and sort out the truth from the rumors about what it is actually going to do. The primary goal of this amendment was simply to keep restrictions on federal funding of abortion the same as they have been for the previous thirty-three years. It would not expand beyond the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment, nor would it cause a decrease in the availability of an abortion. The amendment would not stop a woman from being able to use her own money to purchase an abortion or an insurance plan that provides coverage for an abortion. It simply would ensure that no money issued by the new health care bill would be able to be used to
purchase an abortion or an insurance plan that covers abortion. This ultimately means that taxpayers who are opposed to abortion, for moral reasons or not, would not have to worry about the uses of their money. Works Cited "Abortion Funding in Existing Law and Health Care Reform Legislation." Americans United for Life. N.p., 06 Jan 2010. Web. 23 Mar 2010. Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition. Chart. Pew Research Center Publications, 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 17 Apr. 2010. Chaikind, Hinda, Bernadette Fernandez, Chris Peterson, Paulette Morgan, and Mark Newsom. "Private Health Insurance Provisions of H.R. 3962." Congressional Research Service. 2010. Print. Ertelt, Steven. "House Passes Stupak Amendment to Remove Abortion Funding From Health Care." LifeNews.com. N.p., 06 Nov 2009. Web. 02 Apr 2010. Harned, Mary. "The Stupak Amendment to H.R.3962 â€” Maintaining Existing Law." Americans United for Life. N.p., 11 Nov 2009. Web. 20 Mar 2010. Johnson, Douglas, and Susan Muskett. "Why the Hyde Amendment Will Not Prevent Government Funding of Abortion under H.R. 3200, The House Democratic Leadership Health Care Bill." National Right to Life Committee. N.p., 03 Sep 2009. Web. 20 Mar 2010. O'Neill, Tara. "Importance of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment." E-mail interview. 09 Apr. 2010. "Oppose Nelson-Hatch Abortion Coverage Ban Amendment." Letter to Senator. 07 Dec. 2009. American Civil Liberties Union. Web. 11 Apr. 2010. "Planned Parenthood Statement Opposing Stupak/Pittsâ€? Amendment ."Planned Parenthood. N.p., 07 Nov 2009. Web. 22 Mar 2010. "Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey (91-744), 505 U.S. 833 (1992)." Cornell University Law School. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar 2010. Polak, Anne. "Quick Summary of Stupak-Pitts Amendment Debate on the House Floor." Americans United for Life. N.p., 07 Nov 2009. Web. 25 Mar 2010. Saad, Lydia. Republicans', Dems' Abortion Views Grow More Polarized. Chart. Gallup, 08 Mar. 2010. Web. 17 Apr. 2010. Shimabukuro, Jon. "Abortion and the House- and Senate-Passed Health Reform Measures." Congressional Research Service. 2010. Print. Shimabukuro, Jon. "Abortion: Legislative Response." Congressional Research Service. 2010. Print. "Statement by House GOP Leaders Boehner, Cantor, & Pence on Stupak-Pitts Amendment ." House Republican Leader John Boehner. N.p., 07 Nov 2009. Web. 21 Mar 2010. Stupak, Bart. National Right to Life Committee, 04 Nov 2009. Web. 23 Mar 2010. "The Senate Health Care Reform Bill: Funding Abortions at Community Health Centers." Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr 2010. Supreme Court of the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Apr 2010. Zimmermann, Eric. "Pro-Lifers Praise, Pro-Choicers Condemn Stupak Amendment." The Hill. N.p., 08 Nov 2009. Web. 22 Mar 2010. -20-
The Importance of Roots Lauren Johnson
There are many times in a person‟s life when he or she begins to question his or her roots or heritage. Perhaps the person believes that he or she does not belong to the family in which he or she was born into. This can lead to stress and anxiety because, if people feel that they do not belong anywhere, it gives them a sense of worthlessness. The idea is that people with wholesome, functional, picture-perfect families tend to lead happier lives. However, sooner or later, these people end up realizing that they need to appreciate where they came from, whether it was a functional background or not. The importance of having sturdy family roots is shown in two contemporary works of fiction, A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. A Thousand Splendid Suns delivers a prime example of heritage and background helping to shape one‟s spirit, while The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian exhibits how easy it is to become resentful towards one‟s heritage. The novel A Thousand Splendid Suns is a perfect display of the importance of appreciating one‟s heritage. The book instantly pulls the reader into this issue by introducing the story with Mariam‟s childhood. By reading the first few chapters, one immediately realizes that Mariam had an especially rough background, particularly just by being a harami, or a child born out of wedlock. There are not only the pressures of being a harami, but also Mariam‟s realization that her father, Jalil, is not the wonderful, God-sent human being he presents himself to be, as well as her mother‟s suicide. Despite all of her hardships concerning her family, in the end, this just made Mariam stronger. Mariam‟s entire life was full of people disappointing her and mistreating her, but that did not stop her from being a decent human being. These hardships dealt by the people in her life taught Mariam to help the people she did love: Laila, Aziza, and Zalmai. This growth is proven in the passage where Laila imagines Mariam‟s past: Laila watches Mariam glue strands of yarn onto her doll‟s head. In a few years, this little girl will be a woman who will make small demands on life, who will never burden others, who will never let on that she too has had sorrows, disappointments, dreams that have been ridiculed. A woman who will be like a rock in a riverbed, enduring without complaint, her grace not sullied but shaped by the turbulence that washes over her. Already Laila sees something behind this young girl‟s eyes, something deep in her core, that neither Rasheed nor the Taliban will be able to break. Something as hard and unyielding as a block of limestone. Something that, in the end, will be her undoing and Laila‟s salvation. (401, ch. 50) Although Mariam managed to rise above her family‟s hardships, the journey she traveled to get to that point was long and difficult. Junior, from The Absolutely True Diary of a PartTime Indian, can definitely relate to this. Junior, also known as Arnold, has to deal with many tough issues throughout his first year of high school. Not only did he have to deal with the consequences of sacrificing the tiny bit of status that he had in his tribe when he transferred to Reardan, a better, more promising school, but he also had to deal with the issue of living in a society of alcoholism that invaded his own household. -21-
Especially as an adolescent, a time which makes challenges even more difficult to go through, and especially with the reputation that his people managed to make for themselves, how could he not be expected to be resentful towards his own race? According to this passage, Junior‟s family within the reservation has turned out to be exactly what their white enemies wanted them to be, which is hopeless: But we reservation Indians don‟t get to realize our dreams. We don‟t get those chances. Or choices. We‟re just poor. That‟s all we are. It sucks to be poor, and it sucks to feel that you somehow deserve to be poor. You start believing that you‟re poor because you‟re stupid and ugly. And then you start believing you‟re stupid and ugly because you‟re Indian. And because you‟re Indian you start believing you‟re destined to be poor. It‟s an ugly circle and there‟s nothing you can do about it. (13) Despite all of these harsh feelings and difficulties, Junior also eventually fought through his obstacles. He realized that just because his family is a little bit dysfunctional does not mean it isn‟t a good one to have. Really, although on a much larger scale, the things Junior went through were no different than the things he found his white peers at Reardan were going through. Being a little less fortunate and having an alcoholic father aren‟t all that uncommon. Seeing this and also seeing the support he had from his family despite everyone else in the tribe calling him a traitor, Junior finally develops confidence in himself and his background. He sees that he could be who he was as a Native American and appreciate it while still making something out of himself, as long as he still had the support of his own family. Hardships with families and heritage can be a source of intense stress. A person like Mariam can go through her whole life never being appreciated and never being able to see where exactly she fit into her family tree, while someone like Junior has to give up what little place he did have in the family tree just to live a decent life. However, while a person may be seen as the “black sheep” of the family, no matter the circumstance of how he or she got into that position, that person still has a place on his or her family tree and identifying that place can be a source of empowerment. One should always appreciate roots; a person‟s background helps an individual to evolve into the person he or she wants to be and helps the person remember who exactly he or she can truly count on. Works Cited Alexie, Sherman. The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007. Print. Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Riverhead Books, 2007. Print.
Intervention in Libya: Why Is It the Right Decision? Courtney Priester
This essay was written in order to urge the U.S. and others to protect the rights of Libyans through humanitarian intervention in the days before such UN or NATO action had taken place. Thus, it gives us insight into the reasons for these actions and the sentiments of many Americans prior to any U.S. involvement. Witnessing completely unexpected insurrections throughout the Middle East has truly been one of the many significant occurrences that may possibly change the region‟s future irrevocably. Revolutionary uprisings have occurred in several states: Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Yemen, and Libya. The revolts in these countries have surprised the world and captured the attention of millions across the globe. The state of Libya now dominates the world‟s media and political outlets. Citizens of the world, especially Libyans, are seemingly concerned with one question and one question alone: Will Australia, Britain, France, Japan and the United States intervene on the behalf of the Libyan people by ousting Muammar Al-Qadhafi? In the media, several foreign policy experts have criticized the Obama Administration‟s response to what is happening in Libya and throughout the rest of the Middle East. There are valid reasons that serve either to support or reject his administration‟s handling of the situation throughout the region so far. Undoubtedly, the President and his cabinet are concerned with the several approaches they can take to restore some stability to Libya first and foremost. President Obama clearly does not favor unilateral intervention. A more attractive alternative that the Obama administration favors is acting multilaterally with other nation-states. A third route the President and other world leaders could employ is military non-intervention. Actions that the President has taken are (1) Stationing US fleets off the coast of Libya, (2) Consulting the UN Secretary-General about establishing a no-fly zone over Libya, and (3) Requesting that Qadhafi remove himself from power in Libya. These acts of the United States do not appear to have significantly affected the behavior of Qadhafi, who continues to wage civil war against his people. Qadhafi has commissioned mercenaries to fire upon peaceful protestors, and he has also had thousands of Libyans killed. His son, Saif alIslam Qadhafi, has pledged that the situation in Libya will become like Somalia if the rebels continue to resist his father‟s regime. Clearly, Muammar Qadhafi and his sons will continue to brutally beat and murder Libyans if they continue their revolt against this so-called government. The International Federation for Human Rights estimates that close to 3,000 Libyans have been murdered and that the conflict itself has forced 200,000 Libyans across the borders into Egypt and Tunisia. Internally displaced persons [IDPs] from Libya may result in other more costly humanitarian issues for the UN, if immediate action is not taken soon (“Massacres”). Aspects like these have captured the attention of the American public who urge President Obama and leaders of other nation-states to formulate some policy that will serve to lessen the loss of human life in Libya. To be fair to President Obama and other world leaders, there are no simple solutions to solving the situation in Libya. It would require investments of substantial financial and military resources to restore some sense of stability in Libya. The US would possibly have to risk American lives to make the region more secure again, along with the lives of other state actors assisting the US
with this dilemma. Intervention could possibly mean a long-term commitment on the behalf of Australia, Britain, France, Japan, and the US to maintain Libya‟s stability. Sanctioning Muammar AlQadhafi could prove to be somewhat effective; indicting him in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity could make Qadhafi more carefully weigh his actions before he acts (“Ban”). However, measures such as sanctions and charges usually take time and deliberation, especially if nation-states expect for such measures to be somewhat successful. During that time, Qadhafi and his sons would continue to wage civil war against their people. More innocent Libyans would have to witness the slaughter of their wives, their sons, their daughters, their mothers, and their fathers. President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon cannot guarantee that these means will even be mildly successful over time. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated: “Any no-fly zone over Libya must have international backing and not be a US-led effort” (Reuters). Again, President Obama and Mr. Ban Ki-moon both support a no-fly zone over Libya. Yet, who is to say that even this multilateral approach to reigning in Qadhafi will work? A no-fly zone would not be a completely effective way to protect a majority of Libyan civilians on the ground below the aircraft carriers. Therefore, while a nofly zone is simply good for starters, this particular action on the behalf of the United States and other nation-states would not go far enough on the behalf of the Libyan people. Many foreign policy experts could make an excellent argument for why the US and other state actors should stay out of Libyan affairs. The situation in Libya has often been characterized by the media and political officials as a civil war. For years, this term has been used as a means not to interfere in the domestic affairs of other states. We have seen this particular tactic employed by the US and the UN, especially by those on the Security Council, as a means to avoid military intervention in the matters of a state. Some reasons for non-intervention are understandable; nevertheless, how many civilians globally have been murdered because of the world‟s refusal to intervene in certain domestic affairs? If we were to add up the loss of life from Rwanda, Kosovo, and Sudan, we would come up with a total of about 1,113,472 lives (“World”). This does not include the lives of civilians from other nations such as Uganda, Somalia, the Congo, and Zimbabwe. People‟s human rights have continuously been violated, yet no significant actions or serious prosecutions have been levied against governmental officials who have violated international laws by acting out such heinous crimes against humanity. One of the initial purposes of the United Nations was to bring some sense of peace to the world; however, when a serious conflict of some atrocious nature occurs, the institution never fully lives up to its vast potential in the security sense. In this millennium, the UN should more seriously commit itself to strengthening and properly utilizing its peace-keeping forces to lessen the atrocious crimes occurring within states. Basically, the world should not have to rely completely on the US for more efficient military assistance. The world‟s citizens should feel confident knowing that the UN and the US will work together with other nation-states to provide security and justice within their countries. Also, the world and the Middle East must recognize that U.S. intervention in Libya would not be done out of an attempt to bolster its hegemony. The US cannot handle Libya alone. The international community must step up and cooperate with President Obama to restore some security in Libya. The world, specifically the Middle East, should not view intervention as a means used to
propagate the supremacy of Western ideals. Globally, multilateral action in Libya should be perceived as a method to successfully expedite stability in a country that desperately needs help. Lessening the chaos in Libya would decrease the risk of a power vacuum occurring there, which would ultimately result in more security for Libyans and their neighbors. This, however, can only be achieved through multilateral cooperation. Acting collectively against Muammar Al-Qadhafi would be an example to all tyrannical dictators who serve to oppress the autonomy of their people. Muammar Al-Qadhafi officially came into power on September 8, 1969 (Simon 179). The insurrections in Libya prove that Libyans desire security and autonomy like all rational beings on Earth. With the assistance of the UN and the US, it is highly probable that the dreams of the Libyan people will morph into a more democratic civil society. However, intergovernmental organizations, like the UN, must not remain idle this time. This is an opportunity for the United Nations and the US to show the world that they will no longer accept the status quo. The killing of innocent men and women, and the slaughtering of helpless children, will not be ignored. This is an opportunity for world leaders, not just the US, to show that morality will champion over so-called crucial interests. If being human is to possess a life and life itself is inherently priceless, then the costs associated with significant intervention are minimal in comparison to a human life. Political leaders need to gain the political will to commit seriously to ending the suppression of people‟s civil liberties worldwide. Through cooperation, the United Nations and the United States will not abandon Libya and other nation-states who seek their assistance; rather, they both will be welcoming new, autonomous states as their friends. Works Cited “Ban Discusses Libya with Obama; Urges Punishment of Those Responsible for Violence.” UN News Centre. The U.N. 2011. Web. 10 Mar 2011. “Massacres in Libya: The International Community Must Respond Urgently.” International Federation for Human Rights 21 Feb 2011. Web. 11 Mar 2011. Reuters, Thomas. “Hillary Clinton: Libya No-Fly Zone Must Have International Support, Not Be U.S. Led.” Huffington Post 9 March 2011. Web. 10 Mar 2011. Simon, Geoffrey. Libya: The Struggle for Power. New York: St. Martin's P, 1993. Print. “World Factbook.” Central Intelligence Agency. 2011. Web. 11 Mar 2011.
Current Challenges for the Teaching of Science Taylor Trevathan
Science has proven to be both a difficult and useful skill to teach, learn, and utilize in classrooms and professional settings, as well as to apply in the study of the world around us. Science is difficult in these aspects because it is constantly undergoing changes with shifts in current paradigms as well as the piling on of new information to be taught and learned each time these shifts happen. Science is also useful because it is a formal and standardized way to observe and explain almost anything subjected to it, yielding results such as modern medicines, explanations of various complexities, and new technologies. It was told to the incoming freshman class of 2013 that a major in the sciences is most likely the hardest four-year study a student can undertake at Lander and possibly anywhere else. This sort of inadvertent discouragement may be one of the major flaws that plague science education. I remember that, in high school, most students revered any type of science with fear. After gaining a basic understanding of science, some of those very same fearful students, including myself, gained a newfound appreciation for the subject. Svein Sjøberg, a retired University of Oslo professor, wrote an article on how science is more necessary than ever. Sjøberg stressed that building a strong basic understanding of science is the key to becoming a master of it, done easily by “turning these kids on [to science]” (“Temple ”). From an early age continuing through high school, a fascination for science should be harbored and instilled into those eager to learn it. The same can be said about any other curriculum or subject, but many difficulties in science lie within the classroom. So how does one go about teaching science with these core goals in mind? The answer can be found within the instructor‟s own understanding of science. There is a current shift in the type of instructors wanted and needed that is gaining momentum in South Carolina. It is becoming imperative that the instructor have greater-than-general qualifications in the particular subject he/she wishes to teach in lower-level schools, especially when it comes to science. It has come to a point where either some instructors have been teaching so long that their own knowledge and methods are archaic and outdated, or someone with qualifications in another subject is asked to teach courses such as math, chemistry, and/or biology. In my experience as a student, the best people to teach science are those who have a deep appreciation and understanding for the subject, people who are not afraid to question the current paradigm by citing specific “dead-ends” or shortcomings of science, as did Bill Bryson in A Short History of Nearly Everything. It seems that the current trend when teaching the sciences is to imbue them with prestige and awe without including the questions science has yet to answer. Another challenge that may be the hardest to resolve when teaching science and its applicable methods is that its practices are entirely different from its conjugate curriculum on theory. The current status quo is that a course in almost any science has a lecture on theory that is very nearly amputated from its “real-world” application, which is taught in an accompanied lab period. Dr. David Gardner, a professor of chemistry at Lander University, stated that modern
chemists hardly ever use most of the material taught in the introduction to chemistry classes, but the laboratory practices are used to some degree by modern chemists. This harkens back to the previously stated issue: the amount of material science carries with it will eventually become too much if still taught with the old way of thinking. Another conundrum is that a typical course of science in universities consists of nearly three times more theoretical-based lecture than practical application in the laboratory. This most assuredly needs to be balanced if science is to progress in the future generations‟ minds. If these simple cleaning-of-house actions were to take place, science may not be as difficult and hard to use, teach, and learn as it is valued as being. Science is all we have that can, has, and will produce useful explanations as to why certain phenomena occur. Without that, we may have never been able to utilize fire, invent the wheel, or even seen the rings and moons of Saturn at a feasible distance. If the way science is taught changes to accommodate its pupils, the challenges of teaching and learning it may diminish altogether. Science may be complex to teach and learn, but it is far from impossible or even difficult to do so. Works Cited Bryson, Bill. A Short History of Nearly Everything. New York: Broadway Books, 2003. Print. Sjølberg, Svein. “Science and Technology Education Current Challenges and Possible Solutions.” Innovations in Science and Technology Education 8.1 (2003) : 14-16. Print. “Temple Grandin: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.” TED: Ideas Worth Spreading. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.
New Voices Biographies Meet our writersâ€Ś Jeremy Babb is a senior political science major from North Augusta, South Carolina. He looks forward to marrying his high school sweetheart, Ashley Kaney, in June. He will be attending law school at the University of South Carolina in the fall. Lauren Johnson is a junior English major, with an emphasis in professional writing, from Gilbert, South Carolina. She would like to either go into advertising or editing as a career path, and she enjoys both writing and reading poetry and listening to music. Conner Lewis is a sophomore political science major from Greenwood, South Carolina. He enjoys reading about current politics and will be spending next semester interning in Washington, D.C.. He hopes to one day graduate from law school and start a career in public service. Rebecca McKay is a senior English major from Wuthering Heights, Yorkshire. She plans to pursue a career in editing and publishing. Her ultimate goal is to become an author of fiction. Andi Mills is a junior majoring in English with an emphasis in professional writing. She looks forward to graduating and continuing a writing career working from home. She is an animal lover and shares her life with her guide dog, Mr. Tibbs, her long time canine companion, Amos Moses, and her cat, Sandy. Courtney Priester is a sophomore political science major and a pre-law minor from Saluda, South Carolina. She looks forward to her career as a prosecuting attorney for the state of South Carolina, and she also enjoys writing. Taylor Trevathan is a sophomore pursuing a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. He intends to attend medical school in the future to obtain a dual MD/PhD degree in a Medical Scientist Training Program for medical research of brain disorders. Taylor also enjoys his hobbies of ceramics, photography, and writing. Josh Watt is a psychology major from Piedmont, South Carolina. He enjoys writing and would love to complete at least one novel in his life. Furthermore, he aspires to be a successful counselor and researcher in psychology. Haley Wilson is a sophomore English and Spanish double major from Liberty, South Carolina. She plans on joining the Peace Corps post-graduation and hopes to one day teach languages in a learning daycare. -28-
New Voices Biographies Meet our staffâ€Ś Editor Paula Birch Billingsley is a graduating English major with an emphasis in professional writing. She looks forward to starting law school in the fall.
Editor Lindsey Copeland is a senior English major. She plans on joining the US Navy after her graduation in December. She is planning to be a helicopter pilot.
Editor Aerin Phillips is a senior English major. She loves the outdoors, mountains, and creating poetic writings about her many adventures!
Editor Amy Strickland is a sophomore English major with an emphasis in professional writing. She is an avid PokĂŠmon player and hopes one day to travel in Europe.
Editorial Assistant Brittany Chapman is a freshman English major with an emphasis in professional writing from Simpsonville, South Carolina. She hopes to pursue a career as an editor in either the newspaper, magazine, or book industry.
Art Director Jared Simmons is a senior majoring in political science and has a minor in English with an emphasis in professional writing. He not only expresses himself through writing; he expresses himself through his camera.
New Voices is published with the financial support of the Lander University College of Arts and Humanities and The Department of English and Foreign Languages
The Editors would particularly like to thank Dean Alice Taylor-Colbert and Dr. Jeffery Baggett for their continued encouragement and assistance.
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New Voices Student Journal of Nonfiction
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Lander's journal of nonfiction, New Voices publishes both academic essays and personal reflection written by Lander students from all discip...