Web Exclusives and Editor’s Notes

Web Exclusive: Reese is refreshing

It is refreshing to know that the Jesuits and especially Fr. Reese are willing to maintain an honest and open mind towards the Catholic Church [“After America,” Winter 2005]. His reflection that women run the Church enforces this openness and addresses a reality that often escapes the minds of other church leaders. Thanks for bringing such a compelling discussion into our homes.

Kyle Daniels ’98
sent via www.santaclaramagazine.com

An extraordinary issue

I can’t recall an issue of Santa Clara Magazine that I have enjoyed more thoroughly than Winter 2005. The cover interview was exciting to read with Thomas Reese’s views on the Catholic Church in today’s world. As a non-Catholic, I found it the most encouraging thoughts I have seen. Then Professor Hanson’s “Making Sense of the 21st Century” kept me wanting to know more. Thanks for making me so proud to be a graduate of this University. An extraordinary edition over all.

Bobby Hoover M.A. ’84
Los Altos, Calif.

Web Exclusive: Why not focus on a solution?

Thanks for producing such a fine magazine. I enjoy the stories that remind me of the “good old days” at SCU as well as the thought-provoking articles like William Stover’s piece in the “After Words” section of the Winter 2005 Santa Clara Magazine.

I am disappointed that Stover chooses to theorize about the various ways we can fail in Iraq in order to conclude that we should have avoided a preemptive war there. Unfortunately, we can’t change the past and this kind of thinking does little good while dealing with the critical situation in the present. It’s like an air traffic controller realizing that two planes are on a collision course, but rather than trying to solve the problem by formulating explicit life-saving instructions for the pilots, the controller stares at the screen and reflects on how the situation should not have come about and how the outcome will be tragic when the planes eventually collide. Presently, we need to focus on formulating a viable solution for a decent outcome in the Middle East. Later, we can reflect on the wisdom of preemptive war and what led us there.

Paul Fabre ’95
Van Nuys, CA
sent via www.santaclaramagazine.com

Is SCU anti-social justice?

I read with mock surprise yet another anti-war/anti-Bush article in Santa Clara Magazine[After Words, Winter 2005]. I find it interesting that a university that believes Catholicism begins and ends with social justice never addresses a murderous regime that killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people and tortured countless more.

These respected professors of ethics, religion, and political science easily condemn a war that has given freedom to millions, but I haven’t been able to find condemnation of a murderous tyrant anywhere in their screeds. Any thoughts on that or how we might free millions of others around the world threatened with murder and torture by similar ruthless dictators? I guess obsessive hatred for Bush and the war doesn’t leave time for such reflection.

Jeremy McCarthy ’91
Sent via www.santaclaramagazine.com

Is winning all that matters?

I just read Gerald Uelmen’s comments regarding the O.J. Simpson trial [“Law professor on ‘The O.J. Verdict,’” Winter 2005]. I also read his comments in his “ethics” discussion in an Issues in Ethics article [published in 1996 by the SCU Markkula Center for Applied Ethics].

This made me think way back to my years at Santa Clara. I well remember my ethics classes as a freshman. Even though I was a business major, the lessons learned in those classes continue to have a profound effect on my conduct and decision-making. Among other things, I am guided by the phrase “Don’t just do things right, but make sure you do the right things.”

Reading Uelmen’s thoughts after a 10-year hiatus from the O.J. trial makes me want to suggest all SCU lawyers attend or re-attend freshman ethic and logic classes. It also saddens me to realize how very broken our legal system can be. As we all know, in the case of the O.J. trial, the “dream team” successfully diverted attention from the question of O.J.’s guilt or innocence to black versus white and good cop versus bad cop.

Most of the world, including those who judged the civil trial, saw through the dream team’s smokescreen. For Uelman, and too many others in our legal system, the only real issue that matters is winning. Uelmen says he can sleep at night. I really don’t understand how.

Robert Anderson ’66
Sent via santaclaramagazine.com

Web Exclusive: Is Japan the “world’s most secular nation”?

I wonder if you can pass along a question to Professor Hanson regarding his article in the Winter 2005 Santa Clara Magazine? Perhaps my question will be of interest to your readers too.

Would it be possible to learn the basis for claiming that Japan is the “world’s most secular nation” as written in your recent article for the Santa Clara Magazine? Are Shinto and Buddhism just hobby religions in Japan lacking in “true inspiration?” This seems like an unkind description to me and offers little to enhance the religious literacy of your readers. Curious, most curious.

Dana Freiburger MS 1994
Madison, WI
sent via www.santaclaramagazine.com

Below is an edited version of the response Hanson sent to Freiburger:

Dear Ms. Freiburger, Thank you very much for your email regarding my article in the Winter 2005 Santa Clara Magazine.

Your letter is excellent for focusing theoretically on the nature of secularism and for contrasting social scientific and religious perspectives on religion and politics.

One way of getting at these ideas in this specific case might be to contrast Buddhism in Japan with that in Taiwan. Buddhism in Taiwan is extraordinarily vibrant, daily providing “true inspiration” for social and political life. In Japan, however, during both the Tokugawa and Meiji periods, the neo-Confucian state attacked and in many ways decimated Buddhist influence. As a result, religious thought and religious organization have little societal and political impact in contemporary Japan, at least according to most scholars. For example, Toyota and Tanaka point to survey data that shows that only one-fourth of Japanese consider themselves religious and only four percent regularly visit a shrine, temple, or church.

Thank you again for doing me the honor of reading my article. The Danish cartoon controversy of the last few months reminds us all that these are serious issues well worth our time.


Eric O. Hanson, SCU professor of political science and author of Religion and Politics in the International System Today (Cambridge, 2006)

Web Exclusive: Where are the Gay and Lesbian class notes?

Is it my imagination or has there been pressure to not print class notes that mention gay or lesbian partners? I really haven’t seen any since you printed a note about my wedding in Canada.

Mary DeMange ’77
Submitted via www.santaclaramagazine.com

Editor’s Note: We have no editorial policy against printing gay and lesbian class notes.

Editor’s Note: We received some questions about the Campaign section of the Winter 2005 issue. Readers wanted to know what the connection was between the University’s fund-raising campaign and the Ron Hansen piece [Hotly in Pursuit of the Real: The Catholic Writer]. The introduction to the Hansen essay should have included a sentence stating that the Campaign is raising funds to support endowed professorships like Hansen’s. This sentence is included in the online version but not in the printed copy.

post-image Winter 2005 issue
This Summer Girls Ran the World

Swift Clara, the Bey Hive, honorary mayorships, and more: This summer, fanbases of mainly women helped rebound the U.S. economy.

A Billion for Tomorrow

A billion in support of scholarships, research, and facilities. Find out what it all means

Super Bloom!

What happens after the rains fall can be glorious.


Play—whether via imagination or with perspective—never stops being important to a person’s development.