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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 Sept. 1, 2009 / 12 Elul 5769

Judgment vs. Judgmentalism

By Cal Thomas




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Opinion columnists, like the rest of humanity, walk a fine line between judgment (holding people accountable to a standard we did not create) and judgmentalness (thinking ourselves morally superior because we haven't committed the acts of others).


Since writing of my friendship with the late Senator Edward Kennedy, I have been flooded with responses. Some have been kind, but many — perhaps a majority — have heaped on me the revulsion these writers also heaped on him. Perhaps the unkindest cut of all was the writer who accused me of "going wobbly."


That many on the Left continue to dance on the grave of Richard Nixon and revile George W. Bush does not give the Right permission to engage in eye for an eye behavior. Many on the Right invoke the name of Jesus on Sunday and tear down a politician whose policies they don't like the rest of the week. Tearing down policy is fine, but diminishing the value of a fellow human simply because you don't like his politics (or his personal behavior) is not a good strategy for persuading him to change either. It also raises the level of invective, which is injurious not only to our politics but to the one contributing the invective.


What am I trying to accomplish when I engage in criticism? Do I want to present superior arguments I hope my political opponent will at least consider, if not adopt, or is my objective simply to make me feel better by engaging in moral superiority? If it's the latter, I am committing the sin of pride, which goes before all the others.


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Senator Kennedy's list of sins are well known, from sexual promiscuity, to offering help to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov in exchange for his assistance in defeating Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. The latter act is properly criticized, even denounced. The former can easily fall into the judgmental category.


Public exposure of private sins reminds us of our own cover-ups. Each of us is capable of doing what Senator Kennedy did, given the right circumstances and opportunity. This doesn't excuse them. It does explain them.


This was the great offense laid on Jesus of Nazareth, whose name was invoked on several occasions at the Kennedy funeral and burial. Those who hated and rejected Jesus did so because He exposed what was in them and no one likes his dark soul exposed to the light. It is one reason some of us wear makeup and nice clothes, blow-dry our hair and why others consider plastic surgery as they age. If we seek to cover external flaws in these ways, how much more would we undertake to hide the internal ones? Vanity, vanity; all is vanity.


This is not to absolve Senator Kennedy of his sins, only to say that we are neither the judge, nor the one who can absolve. We can't forgive ourselves, or as I put it to a TV interviewer who asked me "bottom line: Senator Kennedy, a good man?"


"Only G0d is good," I responded. "The rest of us are sinners."


It is not hypocritical to care for someone who behaves badly. In fact, it is the height of love to do so because you want him to have a changed life and attitude that will help him behave better for his own sake and that of his family. Denouncing that person and condemning him to Hell is not likely to make him more open to things that will lead him in the other direction. Who among us has lived a perfect life that would be acceptable to G0d?


Twila Paris wrote a song that might speak even to hard hearts when they think of the One who forgave their own sins and who was never accused of going wobbly: "How beautiful the tender eyes that choose to forgive and never despise."


I strongly opposed much of what Senator Kennedy proposed, but I cared for him as a person. Those without sin, send your condemnation stones to this newspaper, or to the other address provided.


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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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