A terrific rain of fire and brimstone might be a scene symbolic of doom unmatched in the Judeo-Christian narrative. Close enough to the reality of volcanic eruptions, yet also the peak of supernatural firepower, it's the ultimate moralizer that evokes ideas of eternal damnation. The biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah sees an entire society of sinners vaporize, disintegrating into smoke and cinders. Professor Martyn Smith of the Religious Studies department gave an interesting analysis of this portion of the Book of Genesis, saying that one way it can be read is as a commentary on the differences between rural and urban societies.
Distress erupted this past week in our community at Lawrence. Our Associate Dean and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Kimberly Barrett, sent an email titled "Radical Respect" that has many in our student body (myself included) frustrated. The point of contention in the email refers to the candidacy for a class representative of one of our peers, specifically the discourse and reactions surrounding it in the student-run Facebook group called The Shoutbox, a group with over 950 members that consists entirely of Lawrentians.