In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2007 / 4 Shevat, 5767

Is Barack Obama the new father of our country?

By Kathryn Lopez

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Senator Barack Obama has said that too many fathers "engage in childish things. (They) are more concerned about what they want than what's good for other people." Sound familiar? Seems that the Illinois Democrat — who is today's cultural and political phenomenon — has taken a cue from Saint Paul.

Obama, as the first major black presidential candidate in recent history, has an unprecedented opportunity: To lead a fatherhood revolution. And he knows it. Speaking at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago on Father's Day 2005, he preached the Word and channeled Bill Cosby, known these days less for his comedy than for his lectures to black men about taking responsibility as fathers and husbands. Obama said, "There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking around, and they look like men. And they're tall, and they've got whiskers — might even have sired a child. But it's not clear to me that they're full-grown men."

It's not shocking that Obama would latch onto such a message — and leadership role. Now that he's launched a presidential exploratory committee he knows it's smart politics. But it's also a natural for him. In recent weeks the press spent a few days talking about Obama's "coke problem." In his 1995 book, "Dreams from My Father," he wrote, as if preparing an opponent's attack ad: "Junkie. Pothead. That's where I'd been headed." That part was heavily quoted in the media. But he added a less-quoted part: "the final, fatal role of the young would-be black man."

Read on. In that book and in his recent bestseller, "The Audacity of Hope," you will learn about his father, whom young Obama knew only from mothball-covered photos, stories, and letters from Kenya, his father's native land. (His parents divorced when he was two.)

Without complaining, Obama relays that "as I got older I came to recognize how hard it had been for my mother and grandmother to raise us without a strong male presence in the house. I felt as well the mark that a father's absence can leave on a child. I determined that my father's irresponsibility toward his children, my stepfather's remoteness, and my grandfather's failures would all become object lessons for me, and that my own children would have a father they can count on."

Now the father of two daughters, Obama's focusing on more than his familial responsibilities. Sounding more like a social conservative than a liberal Democrat — he lauds welfare reform, teen-pregnancy prevention, and just stops short of speaking the right-wing language of personal responsibility and abstinence. ("I want to encourage young people to show more reverence toward sex and intimacy, and I applaud parents, congregations, and community programs that transmit that message," he writes.) He says that "policies that strengthen marriage for those who choose it and that discourage unintended births outside of marriage are sensible goals to pursue."

He knows the facts of life in America. And, especially, life for too many black people in America: "In the African-American community ... it's fair to say that the nuclear family is on the verge of collapse ... Between 1960 and 1995, the number of African-American children living with two married parents dropped by more than half; today 54 percent of all African-American children live in single-parent households, compared to about 23 percent of all white children."

Of course, Obama is no social conservative — and he makes that clear. But he sorts out his differences with us with a skilled gloss. He makes clear that he values the so-called right to privacy but that reasonable people can argue about abortion. He's not going to rant against Planned Parenthood — and he's going to vote with them — but knows they don't have all the answers.


at a discount by clicking HERE.

His voice is important. Even if, as Kay Hymowitz writes in her new book, "Marriage and Caste in America," "bringing a reliable dad into the home of the 80 percent or so of inner city children growing up with a single mother is a task of such psychological and sociological complexity as to rival democracy-building in Iraq."

During the 2006 elections, campaign staffers would frequently relate to me how Maryland parents would bring their children to events for Senate candidate Michael Steele. They would say that they simply wanted their kids to see and hear Steele, a black Republican, a husband and father, who leads by example. Steele lost the race, but he's also a winner — a straight-talking role model. As with fatherhood, absence is the only sure-fire way to lose — a message surely not lost on Barack Obama.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.


© 2007, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.