On Tuesday, Wisconsin handed Barack Obama his ninth consecutive victory in the race for the Democratic nomination. In state after state, Obama’s speeches have drawn together thousands of people from all backgrounds to stand up and shout “Yes we can.” But, as Obama-mania fades in the coming months, the focus will turn to where each candidate stands on the issues. Political pundits have repeatedly argued that although Obama is inspirational, he doesn’t address the “meat-and-potatoes problems.” David Brooks of the New York Times calls Obama’s message of hope “vaporous.” So what are his policies? This question is being echoed more loudly with Obama’s increasing success in the primaries. While I agree that Obama should provide a more concrete outline of the policies he wants to enact and how, it is my opinion that his message of hope represents a world-view that will have a real impact on questions of policy.
Last week, MIT hosted the Veritas Forum on Science, Faith, and Technology, purportedly to address whether religious belief can be effectively reconciled with scientific pursuit. Veritas began with a Harvard group on a "quest for a life with hope, meaning, and purpose." The event's speakers (and its parent Web site) argued that the individual can and should believe in Christ, and did their best to convince non-religious but "meaning-seeking" members of the scientific community (and to reassure the religious) that belief in Jesus Christ and Christianity can satisfy both the need for a meaningful life and a career in science.