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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 Oct. 29, 2007 17 Mar-Cheshvan 5768

The Values Voter is us

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The conventional wisdom says the religious right has a monopoly on the "values voters," but that's too simple. We're all values voters. We just define our values differently. In a democracy, politics is the art of capturing the passions of the people, and in the heat of the race, intelligent argument usually drives most of us toward the middle.


"The fact that we cannot escape moral conflicts in politics does not doom American democracy to endless political warfare," writes Jon A. Shields, a professor of political science at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, in the Wilson Quarterly. Shields shows how ideologues appeal to the emotions of specific constituencies, but they have to persuade others with reason. "Even the most religiously inspired social movements learn to moderate their appeals in order to win over middle-of-the road citizens."


A slight shift of opinion transforms the red states and the blue states into various shades of purple. Frances Willard, the zealous president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union at the end of the 19th century, understood the importance of reaching out to the opposition. "Be of teachable spirit," she told her followers, "and [be] tolerant of those opinions which differ from ours while we strive to show the reasonableness of ours." An organization called Stand to Reason trains religious activists today to avoid religious language and encourage lively debate on the moral issues of cultural significance.


Religious arguments arm the dedicated ideologue, but a broader argument is necessary to get the less spiritually minded to listen. In the early 20th century there was strong support for sterilization of the psychologically impaired, based on the "science" of eugenics. The Roman Catholic Church naturally crusaded against eugenics, but not by emphasizing religious doctrine. The crusaders brought legal, scientific and moral arguments to bear showing how eugenics contradict our most cherished notions of social justice.


Appeals to compromise or moderation drive the fanatics in any social movement to the sidelines of cultural struggle. Fires destroy everything when zealots get too fired up. It's not hard to find numerous examples. The impatient and irrational flee from appeals to reason to marginalization and then sometimes to violence. The no-compromisers in the civil rights movement begat the Black Panthers, the environmentalists begat eco-terrorists, the New Left begat the Weathermen, pro-lifers begat abortion clinic bombers.


Those who advocate moderation, however unsatisfying moderation can be, are more likely to succeed in getting their views across. Rudy Giuliani seemed to be acting on that notion when he spoke last week to religious conservatives at the Values Voters Summit in Washington. "Christianity is all about inclusiveness," he said, and he quoted Ronald Reagan, the hero hovering over the summit: "My 80 percent friend is not my 100 percent enemy." The former mayor of New York didn't win many votes in the summit straw poll, but he was talking to the larger audience that will determine the winner next year.


Ironically, the politics of the New Left of the 1960s crusaded for "values voters" before the conservatives did. But they failed to build a winning consensus and Richard Nixon won the election. The New Left lost its appetite for values voters when it turned out that they had the wrong values. The right succeeded in organizing the grassroots, creating a broad conservative movement of civic engagement that liberals satirized with the bumper sticker, "Nuke the gay whales for Jesus."


"One of the great political ironies of the past few decades is that the Christian Right has been much more successful than its political rivals at fulfilling liberal thinkers' hopes for American democracy," writes Prof. Shields.


But the future of the religious right is less clear. The presidential contenders asking for their votes are more mixed in their appeal than George W. Bush was seven years ago. It's harder now to excite passion with reason when the arguments aren't 100 percent ideologically pure. But Americans remain a practical people, and nobody likes a losing strategy for long, no matter how dear the single issue.


The separation of church and state remains the great triumph of our democracy, enabling lively and often contentious argument that leads to workable, if not always wholly satisfying, compromise. The tensions between enlightenment and evangelism have been with us throughout our history, a struggle between reason and emotion. It's a tension that at its best provokes informed debate on moral and intellectual issues. To paraphrase Pogo, the philosopher of the comics pages, "We have seen the values voter, and he is us."

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields

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