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In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania it is:


 March 2002



Pitt cheerleaders and dance team rock the Fitzerald Fieldhouse

Panthers celebrate Big East West Championship at the Fieldhouse

Controversy arises for SGB, Delta Tau Delta, and Rainbow Alliance

Students participated in different activities near the cafeterias

Bread for the world promotes hunger awareness

Habitat for humanity fundraises with creativity


Editorial: SGB's board appointment raises questions

Letters to the Editor:

The sinfulness of homosexuality is up for debate!

Principles of oppression hurt society

Israel: Whose land is it anyway?

"Mi casa es su casa": My home is your home

One man's sorrow should not be another's joy.

Bensylvania by Ben Goldblatt

Play the NCAA Tournament contest to win money


Review of Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand

Hip-hopper KRS-One once again comes to Pitt


Pitt finishes at the Fieldhouse with firepower

Knight and Howland receive Big East honors


Jubilee Afrikana rocks the Hilton Hotel in Downtown

Only the right antidote can protect your life

There is evidence to support Christ's resurrection

Mannafest conference helps rock the Holiday Inn in Ohio

Some of God's Children choir rocks the William Pitt Union


Gospel revealed through semantics and word play

In remembrance of 'Good Friday', the top 25 student responses to 'Loving the world God...'

God's love is alphabetically revealed in random languages

Students reflect on the cross through poetry



Israel: Whose land is it anyway?

Mark McHutchson

Staff Writer

I feel quite fortunate to have actually visited Israel with my family. While I was only six at the time, and therefore was left with memories that will have to be supplemented at some later point, the things I do remember stick out. The most vivid memory is that of sitting with my younger sister and being told by my parents that if we see a toy or some strange object lying around, we were not to touch it.  They did not hype it up, but even as a child you often knew – it could be a bomb.

Israel is a fascinating place, regardless of any religious value you attach to it.  History does not force itself on you; it is just there – the feeling of age.  Curious places like the Dead Sea and the old city of Jerusalem are examples.

News items flourish, in a country 54 years young, with the focus of attention being on a fight that has been raging for well over two millennia. 

What is the cause people continue to fight for?  Land.

Journalistic establishments are always talking of “revenge”, or “action taken in response to attacks on…”, or “retribution”. As is often pointed out, there is no innocent party here.  Yes, there are blameless victims on the ground, but the governments and leaders directly involved, and those supporting them, cannot claim to be without some blood on their hands.

As a lowly student a long way from home, and further from the Middle East, I do not intend to point fingers. Instead, I would like to offer up some insights and possible beginnings of solutions.

A recent article by BBC News reported the refusal of over 100 Israeli reservists to serve on the West Bank or Gaza Strip, territory, occupied by Israel since the war of 1967, which contains many Palestinian settlements.  Soldiers claimed that they had “received orders and instructions that had nothing to do with the security of the state and whose sole purpose is the perpetuation of our domination of the Palestinian people.”

Letters posted to The Times last August highlight some different thinking.  One letter suggests that the Israeli government and Palestinian officials offer an invitation to the United Nations to move their headquarters from New York to Jerusalem.  Needless to say, that would bring a good deal more attention to the situation by widening the circle of world leaders with a real concern for the region. 

Another letter draws comparisons with the creation of Pakistan, which also occurred shortly after World War II.  Both countries were formed in areas where the indigenous population had to be displaced to make way for the immigrants. 

While India was very accommodating to the influx of Sikhs and Hindus, the Arab states ignored the evicted Palestinians so they could use them against Israel. 

Finally, one diplomatic serviceman notes the unfortunate change in Israeli policy that led to the approval of colonization plans for the Golan Heights, and later, other areas.  This colonial action certainly lies at the heart of the present conflict.

 The irony is, of course, the current US support of such action considering that the US has made the disassembly of colonial empires a foreign policy priority for nearly 60 years.

Whatever steps are taken in the future, it is clear that something decisive needs to be done.  Like the conflicts in Northern Ireland and what used to be Yugoslavia, self-perpetuating hate attacks have roots going back further in history than most people realize.  The Israeli conflict has its roots well planted in the time before the great kings of Israel: Saul, David and Solomon.  Whilst the present situation – daily reports of the latest element of another Intifada – saddens me; the situation could be a lot worse.

 I truly believe that there can be a lasting peace in the region.  This can be achieved not by some mass coalition of parties with mutually exclusive beliefs, but with a lot of patience, generosity, and forgiveness from all parties.



“Mi casa es su casa”: My home is your home

Nanette Daniels

Pittsburgh Standard

On returning for a second semester at the University of Pittsburgh, I was embraced by a gust of chilled air, a blanket of snow and towered upon by the grand and dominating skyscrapers of downtown Pittsburgh. The striking serenity that snow brings to a landscape filled my senses while traveling along the 28X route back to my dorm on campus; but was a world away from the sun filled desert and mountainous regions of Mexico, where I had been incredibly fortunate to pass my winter break.

 Having been back in Pittsburgh for just over a week, I have once again become accustomed to the sandy colored brick buildings of Oakland, the lush green hills of Pennsylvania, orderly driving, and an American twang. Everything feels so far away from the arid and dry landscape of the north of Mexico, desert palms and small desolate trees struggling to survive under an oppressive sun.

No longer surrounded by the excessive beeping and skidding of cars in Monterrey, Spanish speaking tongues, bold and brilliantly colored housing, an excess of Coca Cola advertisement, cactuses, rodeos, the Volkswagen Beetle car, and of course, the picturesque mountainscape; one thing still sticks out in my mind. Despite having visited many wonderful sites, such as the Teotihuacan Pyramids, to the north of Mexico City, I always believe it is people who make a place.

And in Mexico, this sentiment is particularly striking. The importance of family and maintaining strong relationships between family and friends is overriding. Speaking as an English foreign exchange student in Pittsburgh, the strength of the family stands out as a major difference between Mexican society and Western societies such as the UK. Coming from a person who dislikes generalizations, this is still one factor that can be distinguished. In a country where the term “dysfunctional family “ is prolific to the point of being celebrated, and Jerry Springer type shows are epidemic the strength of the family unit is very touching.

Family is the fundamental entity around which everything is centered. Unlike in the UK and US where family disputes can be allowed to override and allow for the breakdown of families, and in which siblings strive to find and socialize with friends outside of the family in a search for individuality and distinction; in Mexico, a friend of one of the family is very much a part of the whole family.

Relations are much warmer, and there isn’t so much of a distancing between strangers, often associated with British reserve. The celebrations during the Christmas period were emblematic of such associations. I attended numerous family parties – posadas – where all family, extended family and friends gather to celebrate the Christmas festivities, sing, drink, eat and be merry. And, of course, engage in the piñata tradition, where I too, was blindfolded and made to beat a candy filled vessel all in the name of…obtaining candy! It is true that such gatherings continue in the US and UK, but it seems we are more concerned with “keeping up with appearances” and putting on a show for extended family and friends rather than truly enjoying our company. And even though these are merely surface observations made in the space of three weeks, speaking to friends has confirmed such convictions.

While the election of the new President of Mexico, the divorced Vicente Fox is possibly a symbol of a departure away from the strong tradition of marriage and family, this convention runs right down into the ranks of the younger generation. While teenagers of the US and the UK revel in adopting temporary superficial relationships with one another, (another generalization I know), or celebrate their individuality, it appears that “the couple” is still an important unit for Mexicans, young and old.

However, what I found to be most striking was the open and genuine generosity of people, with friends treating each other’s homes as their own, and addressing each others’ parents as aunts and uncles; and this hospitality was extended warmly and sincerely to strangers and foreigners alike (like myself). Being unable to speak much Spanish was no bar to being warmly welcomed into the family, and this sentiment was not limited to my friend’s family with whom I resided.

Friends repeatedly told me I made “Mi casa es su casa”. Often when phrases are continually and commonly said, whether out of politeness or routine they begin to lose their true meaning. No greater example is there than the “Have a nice day” phrase. Yet coming from Mexicans, this was a truly genuine invitation.