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December 2, 2014

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

When prejudices become principles

By Rabbi Yonason Goldson


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Do we really want to live in the kind of lobotomized society where there is no greater sin than judgmentalism?


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "We must be ever on our guard, lest we erect our prejudices into legal principles."


This concise jewel of wisdom, from former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, may eventually take its place as either the standard or the epitaph of Western Civilization. While the evolution of social sensitivity can claim an impressive record of civil rights legislation, we have now to question whether our collective obsession with personal privilege threatens the very foundations of the legal system that protects us.


For his inauguration this Tuesday, soon-to-be President Barak Obama has chosen evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation. Instantaneously, the politically correct Left launched its blitzkrieg, excoriating Reverend Warren for the unpardonable sin of supporting Proposition 8, California's recent gay-marriage ban. Because he used his First Amendment rights to speak his conscience, and because he recognizes his obligation as a representative of religious conviction to defend religious doctrine, Reverend Warren finds himself where almost all defenders of moral integrity now find themselves: under attack by the zealots of moral anarchy.


The offensive against Reverend Warren may not rank among the most disturbing examples in the aftermath of California's Proposition 8 referendum. In Riverside, California, 40 to 50 signs supporting Proposition 8 were found arranged in the form of a swastika on the front lawn of a Roman Catholic church. Mormon temples in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles, along with a Catholic Knights of Columbus printing press in Connecticut, received packages containing white powder presumably intended to imitate the 2001 anthrax scare. Reports from around the country include harassment, vandalism, and disruption of church services.


What would Justice Brandeis say?


He probably would not agree with Justice John Paul Stevens, who quoted him in his dissent against the June 28th, 2000, Supreme Court decision allowing the Boy Scouts of America to dismiss an open homosexual from his position as scoutmaster. Invoking Justice Brandeis as a beacon of light to dispel the darkness of prejudice, Justice Stevens (together with the three justices who voted with him) cast his dissenting vote in an effort to canonize his own prejudices within the body of constitutional law.


But if Justice Stevens argued with the reasoning of colleagues in the majority, presumably he accepted the authority of their decision. Not so the moral and legal vigilantes who have deputized themselves as protectors of the American People against both due process of law and the erroneous decisions of the United States Supreme Court.


Back then, government officials and corporate officers across the country began cutting off financial support to the Boy Scouts and restricting their access to public and private resources. Sounding the charge, predictably, was the New York Times, which asserted that "by allowing a group that bans gays to use public facilities and supporting it, they violate their anti-discrimination statutes." This, of course, was patently false for two reasons. First, BSA never issued any ban against gays, but only refused to allow leaders in its organization who openly advocated behaviors antithetical to BSA's core values. Second, and most important, is that BSA was not violating any anti-discrimination statues, since that was precisely the point on which the highest court in the land has just ruled.


"Lest we erect our prejudices into legal principles." Wasn't this kind of self-righteous legalistic coercion precisely what Justice Brandeis warned against? Nothing about the policies of the Boy Scouts, who then faced accusations of prejudice, could be reasonably considered prejudicial. Quite the contrary: through their choice of leaders they have always endeavored to inculcate traditional morals and values among a generation of young people bombarded by the relentless media messages of self-indulgence and self-absorption. That they were vilified for adhering to a moral code should have raised a cry of outrage from every parent, every teacher, every community leader, and every responsible citizen in the nation. But all we heard instead, from the highest elected offices on down, was mealy-mouthed equivocation about diversity and open-mindedness.


Sometimes, however, we can be so open minded that our brains fall out. Indeed, the larger issue now, as then, is whether our personal-rights mentality has given birth to an amoral culture that is systematically becoming mandated by law. Even now, those activists who have announced their intention to turn their backs on Reverend Warren when he delivers his invocation are within their rights to do so and should not be legislated against. But what they consistently fail to realize is that respect for differing opinions that are reached through reason and integrity is essential to the survival of a free and democratic society.


Do we really want to live in the kind of lobotomized society where there is no greater sin than judgmentalism? By definition, where there is no judgment there is no justice. By intuition, where there is no civil discourse there is no civilization. To bash each other over the head with legalistic bludgeons is to act like cavemen, and it leads down the road to social chaos far more directly than it does toward social utopia. It doesn't allow much room for personal freedom, either.


If there is any change that we should truly hope for, it is that this new administration will lead us into a new era in which we stop demanding that the law protects our every right and start acknowledging our responsibility to uphold the system that makes it possible for us to have any rights at all.

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JWR contributor Rabbi Yonason Goldson teaches at Block Yeshiva High School in St. Louis, MO, where he also writes and lectures. Visit him at http://torahideals.wordpress.com .






© 2009, Rabbi Yonason Goldson