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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 Oct. 3, 2006 / 11 Tishrei, 5766

SCANDAL? WHAT SCANDAL?

By Cal Thomas


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the media accounts of Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley's resignation from the House over allegations of sexually explicit e-mails between himself and House pages, one frequently encounters the word "disgraced" modifying Foley's name and "scandal" to describe his behavior.


These are moral words, created for the purpose of labeling aberrant (and abhorrent) behavior. To show how far we have drifted from any sociological, not to mention theological moorings, consider these definitions from dictionary.com: "aberrant: departing from the right, normal, or usual course"; abhorrent: "causing repugnance; detestable; loathsome."


Right? Normal? Detestable? People who mock such notions ask, "According to whom?" Public schools, popular culture and editorialists at major newspapers have hammered into us this aversion to trans-generational morality. They proclaim that one person's concept and definition of "right" is as valid as another person's and to assert that there is only one right, one normal and one course is to be "judgmental" or "bigoted," attitudes modernity considers a worse "sin" than the behavior that used to be called sinful.


Our sophisticated age demands we not recoil at aberrant behavior, or call it abhorrent. The anti-moral wrecking ball has caused enough damage to our foundations that what remains of a structure is no longer recognizable. NBC edits positive references to G-d before broadcasting "Veggie Tales," but refuses to edit Madonna's blasphemous depiction of herself on a cross. These decisions are made by the network's "standards and practices" office, which mocks the words because clearly there remain few standards to which practices may be conformed.


Behavior once thought shameful is now paraded openly and promoted proudly to sell books. Former New Jersey Democratic Governor James McGreevey tours the talk show circuit. His presence dares anyone to question the legitimacy of his dumping two wives and having sex with men. He apologizes for his extramarital sexual relations and for putting people on the state payroll that didn't belong there, but he has no intention of changing his behavior.


Bill Clinton has recovered from sex with an intern in the White House and impeachment. He doesn't suffer for having practiced aberrant behavior. Few see him as having disgraced himself. Clinton takes in six figures on the lecture circuit and enjoys rock star status wherever he goes.


Former Congressman Gerry Studds (D-MA) may have started this decline (or did he merely reflect declining morality?). Studds had an affair in the early '70s with a 17-year-old male page. Studds was censured by the House in 1983, but famously turned his back to the Speaker in an act of disrespect and rejection of the judgment by his colleagues. He refused to resign and was re-elected to several more terms. A homosexual organization donated $10,000 to his campaign.


Rep. Daniel B. Crane, (R-Ill) had an affair more than two decades ago with a 17-year-old female page. After apologizing, he said he hadn't violated his oath of office, hoped his wife and children would forgive him and announced plans to run for re-election.


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We all have what theologians call a "fallen" nature and no one should judge himself (or herself) morally superior to others. But that does not mean the standard for "right" behavior should be eliminated simply because many appear unwilling to conform to that standard.


In his classic, "The Abolition of Man," C.S. Lewis observed three generations ago that we are engaged in a type of tragic-comedy: "…we continue to clamour for those very qualities we are rendering impossible. … In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honour and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful."


Scandal? Disgrace? I think not. Foley and others could only be so labeled if popular culture condemned, rather than promoted, immorality. Oh, sorry, there I go again, appealing to a discarded standard.


We do laugh at honor and as a result we do find traitors in our midst. We also mock conventions and then are surprised when some take us seriously and respond as if there are none. Congressman Foley can look forward to talk show fame and a lucrative book deal. Welcome to America, 2006!

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Cal Thomas is the author of, among others, The Wit and Wisdom of Cal Thomas Comment by clicking here.


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