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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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 March 3, 2014 / 1 Adar II, 5774

The bigotry that killed Arizona's 'conscience law'

By Christine M. Flowers




JewishWorldReview.com | When advocates of same-sex marriage pushed their case in the courts of both public opinion and law, they made sure to read the following language from that little card provided to them by the tolerance police: “No one will be forced to violate their religious beliefs if Adam can marry Steve and Madame can marry Eve.”

Much like the Miranda warnings that became famous after the Supremes decided that magic words were all that were needed to protect the right against self-incrimination, this nuptial disclaimer was supposed to make us all breathe easier about that pesky First Amendment right to free exercise.

Well, you can start choking.

Yielding to pressures reminiscent of Tony Soprano, Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed Arizona’s new conscience law, the one that protected people of faith from having to provide services to gay and lesbian couples who wanted a wedding cake, a commemorative photo album, a gossamer bridal gown or a jazzy band. The violent pushback against the law shows just how hollow that “your religious beliefs are safe” promise really is. A law that would have simply permitted private business owners to refuse to provide services that violated deeply held religious principles was called a subversive attempt to codify bigotry.

And where, pray tell, was the bigot hiding?

Why, in the kitchen, where the baked goods are kept.

And in the darkroom, where the photos are developed.

And in the basement, where the musical instruments are stored.

And in the dressing room, where the measurements are taken.


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These are the safe houses of hate and prejudice, places where evil believers take refuge from the same-sex juggernaut.

This reasoning was both predictable and troubling. You just knew that when the Supreme Court dismantled part of the Defense of Marriage Act last year, and some states took up the crusade by passing laws to legalize gay nuptials, any hint of opposition would be labeled bigotry. In fact, this isn’t news. From the time that the first man took his boyfriend’s hand and said “I do ... want a domestic partnership,” opposition to same-sex unions (whether based on the law or in faith) was considered tantamount to Bull Connor hosing someone down.

It’s not that I don’t get the anger from the LGBT community at the idea of some judgmental bakers, photographers and wedding planners. My ancestors were treated like trash because they fingered rosaries and believed that a virgin appeared in grottos. (She did, by the way.) Anytime we are discriminated against because of something we hold dear, it rankles the soul.

But discrimination, hurtful as it can often be, is not necessarily illegal. It is also not necessarily bigotry. We make exceptions all the time for those who have certain spiritual “do not cross” lines, like the Quakers who were excused from combat duty because of their pacifism.


This was not about legal bars to same-sex marriage. This was about protecting someone against a lawsuit if he refused to bake a wedding cake. Telling people that they can’t get married is very different from telling them that you won’t celebrate their union. Not everyone has to like you, not everyone has to agree with you and not everyone has to serve you.

But, you will say, this was just like those segregated lunch counters in the South, when those racist crackers refused to break bread with black folk. Appealing as that analogy might be to the lazy mind, it’s not the same thing. Racial discrimination was never officially motivated by religious principle. Yes, there were some miscreants who tried to use the Bible to say that a black man and a white woman couldn’t eat soup and touch elbows, but the racism that motivated the “segregation now, segregation forever” movement was very different from the faith-based belief that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman.

Why? Because some people who don’t have a bigoted bone in their bodies believe that marriage is a sacred union designed for procreation and the glorification of the Divine. You can disagree with that, you can even find it laughable and antiquated. But it is a legitimate belief. Congress passed the Restoration of Religious Freedom Act to protect that belief, and others like it.

On the other hand, there’s nothing legitimate in pointing to the Bible to refuse dinner to an African-American. Similarly, laws that protect religious freedom can’t be expanded to allow a business to exclude any person for any flimsy reason just because he can point to a Bible verse. The belief must be fundamental, and the requested service must directly violate that belief. There’s no reason to believe that this law wouldn’t have been narrowly applied.

We cannot legislate against hurt feelings. We can only hope that people learn to accept one another. Until then, no one should be compelled to choose between a courthouse bench and a wooden pew.

It’s a shame that Gov. Brewer let the noise distract her from that truth.

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.

Christine M. Flowers Archives

Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer and columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

© 2014, Philadelphia Daily News. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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