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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

In Windy City, religion confronts a gust of cold air

By Mitch Smith




In season of spirit, Chicago's Daley Plaza display honors atheists, agnostics


JewishWorldReview.com |

C HICAGO— (MCT) Chicago's Daley Plaza, long home to privately maintained Christmas and Hanukkah displays, now has a giant letter "A" representing the atheist and agnostic community.


Nestled between baby Jesus in his manger and a towering menorah with seven candles illuminated, the 8 1/2-foot-tall letter and accompanying signs erected for the first time last week are meant as a counterweight to the religious displays, according to an official with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the organization responsible for the exhibit.


"The month of December does not just belong to religion or Christianity," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the Wisconsin-based foundation. "We're made to feel like outsiders in our own community for at least a month every year when Daley Plaza becomes a nod to a religious holy day."


In a perfect world, Gaylor said, none of the three displays would be in the public space outside the downtown government building.


Atheists and other critics have long opposed the prominent nativity scene along Dearborn Street, arguing that its placement violated the Constitution's separation of church and state. But a federal judge ruled in 1988 that religious exhibits could be erected outside the Daley Center if maintained by private groups, which they are.


During the Wednesday morning commute, passers-by, religious and nonreligious, stated support for having the three exhibits side by side.


"As an atheist myself, I guess it's nice to see a display for us," said Steve Strahm of Chicago.



Bob Smith, an agnostic from southwest suburban Evergreen Park, was downtown on business and paused to take in the new exhibit. He said the nearby religious displays are fine but that it's refreshing to see recognition of the growing number of Americans who don't identify with a faith.


"I think it certainly deserves to be here," Smith said. "We have to have separation of church and state."


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But not everyone was thrilled with the new display. Amanda Sierant, from northwest suburban Crystal Lake, questioned placing the "A," which at night is illuminated with red lights, next to a depiction of Jesus' birth and the holiday shopping market.


"I don't want to be mean, but I don't think it belongs there because Christmas is religious," she said after pausing to snap pictures of the nativity scene. Sierant, a Roman Catholic, said she didn't have a problem with the Hanukkah exhibit.


Next to the large "A," signs explain atheism and agnosticism and wish downtown pedestrians a happy winter solstice. Rather than wise men kneeling beside Jesus' crib, the banner includes a tongue-in-cheek depiction of America's Founding Fathers standing around a crib that contains the Bill of Rights.


"We hope people will walk by, from any point of view, and learn something and smile," Gaylor said.

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© 2013, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services

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