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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 March 19, 2013/ 8 Nissan, 5773

Even If Your Child is a Homosexual . . .

By Dennis Prager





http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio announced that he had reversed his position on same-sex marriage. The reason was that his son had come out to him and his wife as gay.

This is not the first such instance. Periodically, we hear about Republican politicians whose child announces that he or she is gay, prompting the parent to change his mind about the man-woman definition of marriage.

As a parent, I understand these parents. We love our children, and we want them to love us.

Nevertheless I differ with their decisions to support the redefinition of marriage.

In order to explain why, let's analyze some of Senator Portman's words:

"I'm announcing today a change of heart ... "

These words are well chosen. Senator Portman's position is indeed "a change of heart." That's why he didn't say "change of mind." His change comes from his heart.

In this regard, Portman speaks for virtually every progressive/left/liberal position on virtually every subject. To understand leftism -- not that the senator has become a leftist, but he has taken the left-wing position on redefining marriage -- one must understand that above all else leftism is rooted in emotion, not reason. That is why left-wing social positions always refer to compassion and fairness -- for blacks, for illegal immigrants, for poorer people and, of course, for gays. Whether a progressive position will improve or harm society is not a progressive question. That is a conservative question. What matters to progressives is whether a position emanates from compassion.


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Progressives do not seem to recognize that in life there is always tension between standards and compassion. Standards, by definition, cannot allow for compassion for every individual. If society were to show compassion to every individual, it would have no standards. Speeding laws are not waived for the unfortunate soul who has to catch an important flight. Orchestral standards are not waived for the musician who has devoted his or her life to studying an instrument, is a wonderful person and needs the job to support a family.

It is either right to maintain the man-woman definition of our most important social institution, or is it not. We cannot base our decision on compassion for gays, whether the gay is our child, our sibling, our friend or anyone else.

Yes, societies have changed qualifications for marriage regarding age and number, but no society before the 21st century ever considered redefining the fundamental nature of marriage by changing the sexes. That is why it is not honest to argue that same-sex marriage is just another redefinition. It is the most radical change to the definition of marriage in the history of civilization.

How then should people of compassion deal with this, or any other, issue? By asking whether we maintain standards or whether we change them because of compassion. Do we change universities' academic standards out of compassion for blacks and their history of persecution, or do we maintain college admission standards? Do we change military standards in order to enable women to enter fighting units or do we ask only what is the best policy to maintain military excellence?

The only answer that works -- and no answer is perfect in this imperfect world -- is to maintain standards in the macro and show compassion in the micro.

Every parent owes the same love and support to a gay child as to a straight child. In fact, all of us, parents or not, owe the same respect to gays as individuals as to heterosexual individuals. That does not mean, however, that marriage needs to be redefined. It does not mean that, all things being equal, it is not best for a child to have a male and female parent.

Compassion was the reason Senator Portman raised another issue: "My son," he said, "told us he was gay, and that it was not a choice."

This raises an obvious question. Prior to his son telling him that he did not choose to find men sexually attractive, did Senator Portman believe that gay men did choose to find men rather than women sexually attractive? Unlikely.

So why did he raise this? Because the "gays have no choice" issue tugs at people's hearts. Once again, compassion individual is supposed to trump all other considerations.

Finally, the senator also said:

"During my career in the House and the last couple of years in the Senate, I've taken a position against gay marriage rooted in part in my faith and my faith tradition." But he has been "rethinking my position, talking to my pastor and other religious leaders."

It would be interesting to find out what exactly his Christian pastor said to him. Did the pastor tell him that Christianity looks favorably on man-man marriage? Or that God made men and women essentially interchangeable? If so, why didn't this pastor tell this to the senator the whole time the senator opposed same-sex marriage?

A final note to parents of gays: Parents who believe in the man-woman definition of marriage do not owe it to their gay child to support the same-sex redefinition of marriage -- any more than gay children owe it to these parents to oppose same-sex marriage. Parents and children owe each other love and respect, not abandonment of convictions.


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JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. Click here to comment on this column.


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