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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 Dec. 27, 2007 18 Teves 5768

Huckabee on the Chautauqua

By Suzanne Fields


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In Washington a few years ago, the city was decorated with party animals. In a political town, the animals were elephants and donkeys. Artists, school-children and almost everyone with a talented paintbrush decorated the animals with motifs of their choice, national monuments and heroes, flowers and fauna, or simply swirls of abstract color.


We had donated a sculpture in the front yard to a museum and wanted something to fill the empty space, so when the animals were put up for auction we bid for an elephant. The one we liked was silver with hundreds of nails embedded in its hide, like whiskers, reminiscent of an African custom where guests leave a hammered nail in front of the house they visit as a sign that they were there. We named our elephant Spike.


Today, Spike is decorated with tiny white light bulbs heralding the holiday season. Strollers often stop to photograph it, and some of them think it's a Republican symbol. Others see it as "nailing" the Republican Party. But the reason we bought an elephant instead of a donkey has nothing to do with politics. Dr. Freud would understand that sometimes an elephant is just an elephant.


I was thinking about the meaning of symbols this holiday season when the controversy exploded over Mike Huckabee's Christmas commercial with its "floating cross." While many insisted that the symbol was merely an illusion created by crossed lines of a bookshelf, others said the meaning of the cross was in the eye of the beholder. But nothing is ever coincidental in a candidate's campaign commercial. Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal, writes that it insulted her intelligence: "He thinks I'm dim. He thinks I will associate my Savior with his candidacy. Bleh." For many who aren't Christians, it played as pandering to a constituency and manipulating a religious symbol. Many voters in Iowa are evangelical Christians, the caucuses are only days away and the commercial is regarded as the most memorable so far.


My problem with Mike Huckabee advertising himself as a "Christian leader," making the cross glow as backdrop, is that he's making the religious issue divisive toward all those who are not Christians. It's a division that will linger after the holiday season. The Huckabee rhetoric is especially offensive to Jews, playing to the mentality expressed by Ann Coulter, who describes Jews as needing "to be perfected by becoming Christian." When asked whether "it would be better if we were all Christian," she answered "yes." This is the message of the Gospel — that everyone must be perfected through Christ's sacrifice on the cross — but it's a message for the church, it seems to me, not a political campaign. A campaign is not a revival meeting.


Mike Huckabee says he wants his party to be "inclusive" and he has been compared to William Jennings Bryan, a devout Christian who ran for president against William McKinley in 1896. That year he was more politician than preacher. It wasn't until he lost his second election to William McKinley in 1900 that preaching took precedent over politics. After that he thought politics had hurt his Christian witness and he went on the Chautauqua circuit with thousands of lectures — actually sermons — casting Darwin as the root of all evil. Like Mike Huckabee after him, he wasn't persuaded by the theory of evolution. Christianity, he insisted, was needed to combat the immorality that rose from all that monkey business.


His speeches were so popular that he ran for president again in 1908, this time against William Howard Taft, but his renewed religious fervor didn't help. He lost again. After that he declared himself to be more at home with religion than politics. Bryan's most popular speech was called "The Prince of Peace." Said Bryan: "I offer no apology for speaking upon a religious theme, for it is the most universal of all themes. The science of government is interesting, but I am more interested in religion than in government." No one — well, not everyone — objects to faith informing a candidate's politics. It's impossible to separate faith from intellect in the pursuit of public good.


But there's more than a suggestion that Mike Huckabee's use of religion could unleash intolerance against those who do not share his faith. He has a lot of good things going for him. He's witty and charming. As one of the Iowa locals told the New York Times: "Huckabee's a moral man. He's a preacher. And he lost a hundred pounds. He's going to do all right in Iowa. What I don't know is how he's going to go with the rest of the country."


Maybe he should channel William Jennings Bryan.

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