Home
In this issue
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 Feb 8, 2012/ 15 Shevat, 5772

Lessons in heresy

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | George W. Bush had one small office devoted to faith-based initiatives, and was savaged for it. Barack Obama, on the other hand, says faith drives much of his domestic agenda — and no one even blinks.

We are in "the fourth year of the ministry of George W. Bush," cracked novelist Philip Roth in 2004. By then, several million gallons of ink already had been spilled warning that Bush's "faith-based presidency" was "nudging the church-state line" (The New York Times ) and was "turning the U.S. into a religious state" (Village Voice ) and was "arrogant" and "troubling" (St. Petersburg Times ) and was "pandering to Christian zealots" (Salon ) and "imposing its values on the rest of us" (too many to name).

Obama has been just as overtly religious as Bush — "We worship an awesome God in the blue states," he said in his 2004 keynoter at the Democratic National Convention — and even more aggressive about injecting faith into politics. In 2006, he praised a religious "Covenant for a New America." In a 2008 speech in Ohio, he said religious faith could be "the foundation of a new project of American renewal" and insisted that "secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square." He has kept Bush's office of faith-based initiatives. In fact, "Obama's faith-based office has given religious figures a bigger role in influencing White House decisions," reported USNews in 2009.

At the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday, the president began by noting that he prays every morning, and then devoted the rest of his speech to explaining the manifold ways in which his faith guides his policies. "I am my brother's keeper and I am my sister's keeper," he said. That somnolent silence you hear is the guardians of church-state separation taking a nap.

No big surprise. For many liberals, it is perfectly fine — desirable, in fact — for religious people to impose their values on the rest of us, so long as those values produce policies of which liberals approve: higher taxes, more stringent regulation, more government spending. On Thursday, for instance, Obama said there is a "biblical call to care for the least of these — for the poor; for those at the margins of our society," which justifies not just voluntary private charity but enforced public charity.

Yet woe betide any believers whose values stray from the leftist catechism. Who says so? The Obama administration, for starters. It has decreed that Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities must provide birth control through their employee health plans, even though Catholic doctrine considers birth control a violation of the faith. The administration claimed to provide a conscience exception by allowing a narrow exception for churches. This is like ordering Jewish schools to buy pork for their cafeterias and then claiming to respect Judaism because synagogues are exempt.

The New York Times , of course, was pleased as punch, though it denounced Mitt Romney for criticizing the mandate and promising to defend the Catholic Church's "religious liberty" — a term The Times put in quotes, to signify its disdain for the concept. This all comes shortly after the Supreme Court ruled, 9-0, that religious institutions have a right to abide by their religious beliefs (a decision The Times also criticized).

Or take the temper tantrum that erupted last week when the Susan G. Komen Foundation for the Cure, a women's-health organization, decided — briefly — to stop giving its own money to Planned Parenthood. Let's suppose Komen's 27.3 million critics were correct in thinking the move was motivated by anti-abortion sentiments, which are essentially religious sentiments. So? Isn't Obama right to say secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door?

Some claimed the issue was women's health. Not so. The Komen foundation would not have shoved the money formerly earmarked for Planned Parenthood under a mattress. It would have spent the money on women's-health initiatives elsewhere. Leftists were not upset because Komen's decision shrank the pool of funding for cancer screenings and so forth; it would not have. They were fuming because Komen no longer wanted to tithe one of the holy trinity of liberal politics: abortion. So apoplexy ensued, and Komen climbed down.

The lesson from all of this? Liberals should be able to impose their faith-based values on the rest of us, but any heretics who deviate from liberal dogma may not even observe their faith-based values by themselves. It's right there in the Apocrypha — you can look it up.

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.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:



02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips? 01/11/12: Shut up, they explained 12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports! 12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas 02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books

01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles