Today’s chapel talk featured Dr. Wetzel asking just this question. The title of his talk,”Disturbance and the Wabash Ecosystem” has little to do with biology and more to do with becoming disturbed over our years as a Wabash student. Dr. Wetzel points to the challenges facing some of the numerous countries that he has visited. For example, the Peruvian city Pamplona Alta has little clean water and running electricity which would make for a “disturbing” place to live. Yet Dr. Wetzel emphasizes the importance of disturbance.He incorporates it into the mission statement at Wabash college by describing it as “part of what it means to lead effectively.” Dr. Wetzel challenges us to disturb ourselves this week by attending the movie showing tonight at 7 entitled, “A Burning Question: Propaganda & the Denial of Climate Change.” He also suggested to attend the presentations in the “Annual Celebration of Student Research” tomorrow.
I will be giving an oral presentation entitled “Religion and the Founding Fathers.” This class was taught by my fantastic tutorial teacher, Professor Himsel in his course “Founding Brothers and Revolutionary Characters.” If you are interested, you can read my abstract below.
“Click! Whirr! Zoom! Snap! Imagine someone taking a picture of you in one moment, then advertising that picture as defining your entire life. Unfair? Perhaps. But this is what the Supreme Court must do when it attempts to determine the intent of the founding fathers. Madison, Jefferson, and Adams all held different beliefs in the course of their lifetime on whether religion and government are compatible. Should the intent of the Constitution be viewed as promoting religion beliefs, or simply as a tool for structuring government? The Supreme Court faces a difficult project determining what the founders really thought about this question. The high court’s task is made even more difficult by the fact that these three founders all held contradictory stances over the course of their lifetimes. How the founders’ beliefs changed influences how the founders viewed the combination of church and state. This is why when determining what the founders believed, it is important not to view just a snapshot of their lives, but the entire motion picture.”
So to the question of whether I am disturbed or not, I can definitely say that Wabash has got me off to a great start by challenging me to define something the religious beliefs of the founding fathers! I look forward to seeing you at the presentations tomorrow!