Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus

Ira Chernus is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and author of"American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea."

Articles by this author

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Thursday, October 18, 2012
The Debate: 'So Good Being at Each Other’s Face'
Did you think the second presidential debate was too nasty, that it was sad to see the two lead actors portray such a polarized image of American politics? The third performer up on the stage, moderator Candy Crowley, didn’t think so.
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Friday, September 28, 2012
Israel Versus Iran: Netanyahu’s Cartoon Version
I was driving home listening to NPR when the top-of-the-hour headlines came on. First item: Just moments earlier, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the UN General Assembly, “warned that by next summer Iran could have weapons-grade nuclear material.” Then a clip of Netanyahu, trying to sound chilling: “At stake is the future of the world.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Why Are Americans So Confused?
When I was back there in junior high school, there was a civics teacher who put forth the proposition that democracy depends on one simple principle: People are rational. Give them free access to information, and they’ll think things through logically to figure out what policies are best not just for themselves but for the whole nation.
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Thursday, August 09, 2012
Myth Versus Myth: Remembering Nagasaki
The 67 th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki prompts me to indulge in a bit of autobiography. Long ago I was young historian of religion, writing highly specialized studies of rabbinic Judaism, and in my spare time an antinuclear activist, protesting the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant near Boulder, Colorado, where I lived and worked.
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Friday, July 13, 2012
Slavery and "Big Government": the Emancipation Proclamation’s Lesson 150 Years Later
150 years ago today, on July 13, 1862, Abraham Lincoln first told someone that he was going to emancipate the slaves. Chatting with two Cabinet members, he revealed that he had “about come to the conclusion that it was a military necessity, absolutely essential for the salvation of the Union, that we must free the slaves.”
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Thursday, February 09, 2012
Israel vs. Iran: The Truth Slips Out
Just days after the New York Times Magazine’s lurid cover story, “Israel Vs. Iran,” the Washington Post struck back with a two-fisted effort to win the “most dire prediction” contest. The Post ’s foreign policy pundit David Ignatius wrote a widely-circulated column claiming inside information: U.S.
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Monday, January 30, 2012
NYT Hypes Israeli Attack on Iran
It’s an impressive piece of art: the cover of this week’s New York Times Magazine. “ISRAEL VS.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Occupy the Heart of Nonviolence
On Martin Luther King Day I had a dream. I dreamt that the man himself returned and crisscrossed the nation, visiting Occupied spaces and Occupy meet-ups everywhere in a single day. At each stop he began the conversation with the same question: “Does God love the one percent?”
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Monday, December 12, 2011
Gingrich on Palestine: Small Truths In A Big Lie
If Newt had really said what the headlines claimed: “Gingrich Calls Palestinians an ‘Invented’ People,” I would have shrugged and said, So what? Americans are an invented people too. So are British, Chinese, and every other national group. We’ve been teaching that in our college classrooms for twenty years or more as an obvious no-brainer.
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Friday, November 11, 2011
Israel’s Defense Chief OK’s Hundreds of Israeli Deaths
“If we take out the Iranian nuke facilities, sure, they’ll strike back at us,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said yesterday. “But if every American stays in their home when the Iranian rockets start falling, well, it will be uncomfortable. It won’t be a picnic. But we won’t have 220,000 Americans killed. Not even 22,000. So let’s stop the fear-mongering. We’ve got vital interests to protect.”
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