May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Dec. 27, 2007
18 Teves 5768
Huckabee on the Chautauqua
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.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.
Suzanne Fields Archives
© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K