In this issue
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 April 22, 2010 / 8 Iyar 5770

Prayer and State

By Cal Thomas

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If one tries hard enough and is clever enough, one can find a federal judge to rule on just about anything.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group of atheists and agnostics based in Madison, Wis., filed a lawsuit asking Judge Barbara Crabb to order the government to cease from its annual National Day of Prayer proclamation. Last week, Judge Crabb ruled in the group's favor.

Congress established the day of prayer in 1952 and reaffirmed it in 1988. It occurs on the first Thursday of May.

Presidents have exhorted the nation to pray since George Washington. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation at the request of Congress for "a day of humiliation, fasting and prayer." On the evening of D-Day, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt led a prayer on the radio, asking all Americans to join him to petition G0d for the success of Allied troops. Following the assassination of President Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson asked the nation to pray. When he assumed the presidency following Richard Nixon's resignation, Gerald Ford asked Americans to "confirm me as your president with your prayers." Did all of these — and other — prayer-requesting presidents engage in an unconstitutional act?

Atheists and agnostics have sought to erase "In G0d We Trust" from our money and eliminate the chaplain offices in the House and Senate. So far they have been unsuccessful, but give them time. As American secularists challenge our declining religious sense they can expect greater success. Are these court rulings the result of our moral decline, or its cause?

Politically, presidential prayer proclamations are no more significant than those for national pickle week. While Judge Crabb suspended enforcement of the ruling until all appeals are exhausted, and President Obama says he plans to issue a prayer proclamation this year, Republicans and conservatives might make an issue of Crabb's ruling as they denounce "Godless liberals" and seek votes, presumably from the "Godly."


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The larger question is: What difference does a national day of prayer make? Does every American pray on that day? If so, to which G0d? There are many faiths in America, including non-theistic ones. Does a presidential proclamation aim to ask such people to pray to those G0ds? And if it does, then the entire exercise is meaningless. Sending letters to the same person at different addresses would mean that most aren't delivered.

Each faith has a different view of G0d and prays in a different way. The Jewish G0d is one whose initial covenant with the Jewish people remains in place. The Christian G0d sees that old covenant as having been replaced by a new covenant in Christ, who they believe is G0d's son. The Islamic G0d, Allah, believes Jesus was a great prophet, but not G0d's son, and that Ishmael, not Isaac, is the child of Abraham whose line (the Muslims) G0d chose to bless.

Theologically this matters. Politically it shouldn't. It is of no concern to me if this president, or any president, issues prayer proclamations. I can pray, or not, without government encouragement.

Does it matter to G0d? Only if our prayers result in changed behavior. Should G0d be expected to bless a nation that tolerates, even promotes, so much evil?

Perhaps instead of a proclamation for a day of prayer, the president should consider reverting to Lincoln and the part of his proclamation that concerned "humiliation," repentance and a plea for forgiveness. According to Scripture, that is a prayer G0d always hears.

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Cal Thomas Archives

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.

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