Randall Balmer

Professor Randall Balmer on presidential candidate Mike Huckabee

Dartmouth Now reports that in a Los Angeles Tmes opinion piece, Professor Randall Balmer says that Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is employing rhetoric that casts members of the religious right as victims of intolerance who are scorned for what they believe, and could even be jailed for it. Balmer writes, "Whereas a candidate such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky worries about personal liberties, Huckabee warns about religious persecution. 'I came to New Hampshire to announce that I will fight for your right to be left alone,' Paul declared at the beginning of his campaign." Professor Balmer will be teaching a class in "Religion, Politics, and the Presidency" (REL 62) in the Fall 2015 Term.

Professor Randall Balmer named Faculty Fellow

Professor Randall Balmer (upper left) has been appointed by Dartmouth president Philip Hanlon to serve as a faculty fellow in the new Dartmouth Society of Fellows, an interdisciplinary community that will support the integration of research and teaching excellence. The faculty fellows will mentor a cohort of newly-minted postdoctoral fellows, who will arrive on campus a year from now. Professor Balmer says the Society will play a central role in energizing intellectual life and scholarly productivity at the College. "I'm honored that the president has chosen me to lead this initiative, and I look forward to working with the other faculty fellows during its formative stages," he says.

Professor Randall Balmer on child immigrants

"The masses huddled at our southern border represent a humanitarian crisis as well as a formidable political conundrum, especially during a time of partisan rancor, a hobbled president and a dysfunctional Congress. Should these youthful immigrants be considered intruders or refugees? Will massive deportation solve the crisis and discourage others from attempting such a hazardous and uncertain journey? Is a return to violence and gang-infested nations akin to turning away Jewish refugees from the horrors of Nazi Germany? Finally, and most fundamentally, are Americans prepared to welcome foreigners at our southern borders as the Israelites were enjoined to welcome strangers and as Jesus called on his followers to show hospitality to 'the least of these'?" comments Professor Randall Balmer in his opinion piece in the Sunday, August 3, Valley News.

"Quote of the Day"

Dartmouth Now chose a quote from Professor Randall Balmer's Valley News op-ed article, "Why I Testified for Fred Phelps" as its "Quote of the Day": "I remember Phelps for having confronted me with an ethical dilemma that haunts me to this day," says Professor Randall Balmer about the notorious pastor Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas.

Professor Randall Balmer's new book on President Jimmy Carter

Professor Randall Balmer's new book, Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter, has just been published by Basic Books. The Spring, 2014, issue of "Here in Hanover" magazine featured an article about it, New Hampshire Public Radio interviewed Professor Balmer about it, and it's just been reviewed in the New York Times Book Review.

The March on Washington: Promise and Reality

In an opinion piece published by the Valley News, Professor Randall Balmer says the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington celebrates “the high-water mark of the civil rights movement” while pointing out how much remains to be done to banish discrimination and achieve racial equality.

Balmer, chair of the Department of Religion and the Mandel Family Professor in the Arts & Sciences, says that 50 years later, racial equality remains elusive.

“The March on Washington was a transcendent moment in American history, a day marked by celebration and determination and soaring rhetoric. Fifty years later, however, we still have a long way to go to redeem Martin Luther King’s dream,” he writes.

A subscription is needed to read the full opinion piece, published 8/25/13 by the Valley News.

Professor Calls Pope’s Comments on Gays ‘Significant’

Pope Francis drew huge crowds during his recent visit to Brazil, and then made headlines for saying he had no right to judge homosexuals, a remark he made during an 80-minute press conference aboard the flight back to Rome.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis said, using the English word “gay” though speaking primarily in Italian. Photos taken on the papal airplane showed the pontiff looking relaxed as he added, “the tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem.  . . . They’re our brothers.”

While Vatican experts pointed out that Francis’ comments did not advocate acting on homosexual tendencies, and were not a departure from the church’s official views, Chair of the Department of Religion Randall Balmer says the pontiff’s remarks are noteworthy.

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