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 June 2, 2010 / 20 Sivan 5770

School year ends as politically as it began

By Marybeth Hicks

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The stack of invitations sits next to my computer, signaling the start of graduation open house season. Across America, high school graduation celebrations seem to vary by region. I happen to live in the Midwest, where no child matriculates without copious casserole dishes filled with cheesy potatoes served under rented tents in the back yard. It's just what we do.

For the two high schools of the Enfield, CT, school district, graduation has taken on an unfortunate political context, thanks to the ACLU (insert expression of mock surprise).

This time, in its effort to assure the civil liberties of high school graduates and their families, the ACLU filed suit to protect folks from seeing religious iconography while attending a graduation ceremony. It argued, and apparently US District Court Judge Janet Hall agrees, that simply walking into a church where Christian iconography is present constitutes a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

As a reminder, the First Amendment's establishment clause says, "Congress shall make no law regarding the establishment of a religion." Holding a high school graduation at a local church involves neither Congress nor a law, but this is the ACLU we're talking about. Their copy of the Constitution is probably stuffed under a table leg to keep it from wobbling.

Some background: Enfield, CT, is a small town of about 44,000 people located just off I-91 in northern Connecticut, closer to Springfield, Mass. than it is to Hartford. It's not a community with many large gathering spaces for such things as high school graduations.

So for the past several years, Enfield High School and Enrico Fermi High School have held their commencement ceremonies at First Cathedral in nearby Bloomfield. First Cathedral is a large Christian church with ample parking, handicap accessibility and other useful amenities. The church's fee to use its facility apparently is more competitive than commercial halls.

This year, the school board researched several alternative sites for graduation ceremonies after learning that the ACLU planned to file a law suite should the district again schedule its commencements at First Cathedral.

Scanning the board minutes for the next six months, it's clear the Enfield Board of Education studied and discussed this subject exhaustively. The Board also considered comments from community members and students who brought forth ideas for alternative venues.

In the end, though, the board decided that First Cathedral was the best use of its funds to rent adequate space that offered what the district needed to hold its two commencement ceremonies.

Not for nothing, there seems to be a sense that they weren't keen on being threatened or pushed around by the ACLU, though some more pragmatic members felt it was a waste to spend money on a lawsuit.

It's just this sort of pragmatism that the ACLU counts on, of course, as it spreads the misguided notion that our Constitution prohibits public entities such as schools from holding non-religious ceremonies in buildings that happens also to house words and pictures associated with Christianity.

It's a twisted end to a school year that began politically, too. On the first day of school, recall that America's uber-dad, President Obama, lectured students on their responsibilities and his own childhood struggles in school. The US Department of Education was ready to disseminate supporting materials on how to help the President achieve his goals (strange, not their goals, but his). Only an outcry from conservatives kept that propaganda from the classrooms.

Of course, kids are easy targets, but crucial ones if you're out to fundamentally change our nation. After all, the best way to implement a secular-progressive, socialist agenda is to breed a generation of secular-progressive socialists, right?

This is why the rights to religious and political expression of America's children are routinely curtailed for "politically correct" reasons. To wit: The rights of Cheerleaders in Georgia to carry banners with biblical verses on them; the rights of high schoolers in California to wear American flag t-shirts; the rights of a boy in New York to wear a rosary around his neck to school - the list goes on and on.

The goal is to indoctrinate kids into the notion that our Constitution prohibits any religious expression or political speech that someone else doesn't happen to like or agree with.

But wait. Won't children learn how wrong this is when studying the Constitution in American history class?

Er…maybe not.

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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of more than 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2009, Marybeth Hicks