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Religious Leader Says Terrorism Is an Equalizer

By Nancy Bargar

Chautauqua Institution, NY – With last week’s heat, most Chautauquans were moving a little slower. You can usually count on Chautauqua being 10 degrees cooler than any place else in the county. But when a cold front moved through on Friday people fled to the Bookstore for fleece and actually wanted to be in the sun.

Last week featured writers, poets and other speakers, who had not cooled to using 911 as a reference. The reader at morning worship, a Lebanese student, spoke in Arabic as well as English. And there was The Very Rev. Nathan Baxter, Dean of Washington’s National Cathedral.

"We now realize more poignantly than ever that we are not dominating the world and there’s a lot of pain in that for Americans. We are now the super power, the only super power," Baxter said. "There’s some sour grapes in that because we are a super power now in a world that is more balanced and interdependent among nations than ever before. Terrorism has become the equalizer of countries that do not have power."

One of the other well-received speakers last week was Poet Joan Murray. "She sang with her body," said Chautauqua President Scott McVay in thanking Murray for her animated delivery.

This week, Chautauqua’s senior staff could not have predicted the timeliness of their theme when they began planning two years ago. Lecturers will explore the effects of mega mergers and giant corporations.