The political-moral spin from online bloggers and television opinion-makers is enough to make citizens dizzy, if not profoundly unsure of where U.S. public opinion is headed. The controversies relating to religious views have put the nonpartisan Pew polls in the spotlight.
Conservative Christian groups won a major victory recently when a Washington judge halted federal funding of embryonic stem cell research to allow a suit challenging the practice as illegal to go forward.
Could President Obama have avoided incurring the mistaken views of a surprising number of Americans who say in surveys that they think he is a Muslim? How to account for others polled saying they do not know what faith he follows?
The scenario might have seemed unlikely: prominent Muslims and Jews from the United States trekking across the Atlantic in mournful, spiritual solidarity to visit two Nazi concentration camps—and doing it together.
White privilege is knowing that when you are shopping alone you won’t be followed or harassed, says columnist Christine Emba. It means that when you buy a house in a nice neighborhood, you can expect your neighbors to be nice or neutral, not hostile toward you. “It’s the level of societal advantage that comes with being seen as the norm in America, automatically conferred irrespective of wealth, gender, or other factors,” says Emba. “It makes life smoother, but it’s something you would barely notice unless it were suddenly taken away—or unless it had never applied to you in the first place” (Washington Post, January 16).