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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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, 2011 / 2 Elul, 5771

How to be anti-religious

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In 2007, a prominent Florida televangelist named Bill Keller condemned Mitt Romney's religion in a "daily devotional" to his 2.4 million e-mail subscribers.

"If you vote for Mitt Romney, you are voting for Satan!" Keller raged. "There is no excuse, no justification for supporting and voting for a man who will be used by Satan to lead the souls of millions into the eternal flames of hell!".

That was ugly, offensive, and intolerant. So was another diatribe about religion, published by a different Bill Keller last week.

"I honestly don't care if Mitt Romney wears Mormon undergarments beneath his Gap skinny jeans," the executive editor of The New York Times wrote in a smug essay for the Sunday magazine, "or if he believes that the stories of ancient American prophets were engraved on gold tablets and buried in upstate New York, or that Mormonism's founding prophet practiced polygamy. . . . Every faith has its baggage, and every faith holds beliefs that will seem bizarre to outsiders."

Keller the televangelist abominates Mormonism on explicitly theological grounds. His language in 2007 was far harsher than most of us would ever think of using when discussing the religion of other Americans.

Yet demeaning someone else's faith can take forms other than calling it satanic. Keller the Times editor argues that presidential hopefuls should be asked "tougher questions about faith," since their religious views may be relevant to how they would perform in office. Yet from his mocking opening line -- "If a candidate for president said he believed that space aliens dwell among us, would that affect your willingness to vote for him?" -- to his sniggering reference to "Mormon undergarments," Keller suggests that he is less interested in seriously understanding how religion influences the candidates' political views than in caricaturing and sneering at the faith of the conservatives in the 2012 field.


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It is time to stop being so "squeamish" about "aggressively" digging into politicians' religious convictions, Keller writes. He advises journalists to "get over" any "scruples" they may have "about the privacy of faith in public life." Republican public life, that is -- specifically the "large number" of GOP candidates who belong to churches that many Americans find "mysterious or suspect."

It isn't only Romney's Mormonism that makes Keller twitchy. He frets that Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann are "affiliated with fervid subsets of evangelical Christianity" and that Rick Santorum "comes out of the most conservative wing of Catholicism." He has "concerns about their respect for the separation of church and state, not to mention the separation of fact and fiction." Above all, he wants to know "if a candidate places fealty to the Bible, the Book of Mormon . . . or some other authority higher than the Constitution and laws of this country."

Liberal elites like Keller are haunted by the specter of right-wing theocracy. When they see Christian conservatives on the campaign trail, they envision inquisitions and witch hunts and the suppression of liberty. They dread the prospect of a president respecting any "authority higher than the Constitution," and regard ardent religious faith as the equivalent of belief in space aliens. "I do care," says Keller, "if religious doctrine becomes an excuse to exclude my fellow citizens from the rights and protections our country promises."

Of course religion can be abused and religious belief turned to evil purposes. Yet far from threatening "the rights and protections" of America's people, religious faith has been among their greatest safeguard. Far from disavowing any book or authority "higher than the Constitution," our presidents place their hand on a Bible and swear to uphold that Constitution -- "so help me G0d." We have had our religious villains. But vastly more influential have been the American champions of liberty and equality -- from Adams to Lincoln to King -- who appealed to G0d and the Judeo-Christian moral tradition for the rightness of their cause.

For good reason, the Constitution bans any religious test to hold public office in the United States. No one need be Christian to run for president. But neither should being Christian -- even an enthusiastic Christian -- be treated as a kind of presidential disqualification. "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity," George Washington avowed in his Farewell Address, "religion and morality are indispensable supports." The sweep of American history bears out the wisdom in his words.

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.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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