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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

Hobby Lobby case creates unexpected allies in Dershowitz and Starr

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker


JewishWorldReview.com | When it comes to tackling complicated legal issues, one would be hard-pressed to conjure a less likely partnership than Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Baylor University President Ken Starr.

Well, okay, there was the David Boies and Ted Olson confederacy fighting for gay marriage rights after they took opposite sides during the 2000 Bush-Gore election dispute. Still, witnessing Dershowitz and Starr discuss and largely agree on religious liberty issues raised by the case popularly known as Hobby Lobby was pleasantly jarring.

The two convened at the Willard Hotel on Monday, the day before oral arguments in the case were presented to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a delightful back-and-forth punctuated by yarns and anecdotes, the two legal luminaries affirmed at least two points of agreement: (1) separation of church and state is good for religion; (2) corporations are people and people are corporations (echo Mitt Romney?) and, therefore, Hobby Lobby should be permitted an exemption from the contraceptive mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

To back and fill a bit: Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., a family-owned arts and crafts chain of more than 500 stores and 13,000 employees, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the federal government. Hobby Lobby President Steve Green, who told a dinner crowd Monday night that he has distributed Bibles to a billion people worldwide through his personal ministry, claims that he shouldn’t be forced to participate in what he views as life-terminating contraception, including IUDs and the so-called morning-after pill.


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The core of the argument is that Green’s business is protected by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The RFRA basically requires that the government prove “compelling interest” when someone’s religious rights are “substantially burdened” by what the state wishes to do. Although individuals and religious groups are clearly covered by the RFRA, it isn’t clear whether the act’s protections also extend to companies.

Dershowitz and Starr kicked off an afternoon of discussions as part of a symposium co-sponsored by Baylor University and Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Starr, a former U.S. solicitor general, described the lawsuit as a “conflict of vision” — big government vs. a family that has devoted itself to Christian mission work. While Starr’s stewardship of a Baptist university might make his favorable view of the plaintiffs’ position unsurprising, Dershowitz’s sympathy for Hobby Lobby may come as a surprise to many.

Proclaiming his love both for religion and the separation of church and state, he called the government’s brief “silly and trivial.” And though he thinks birth control is good for society — and he approves of the ACA — neither of those considerations matter.

It’s the principle.

Contrary to protestations from certain entities that subvert all issues for political gain, the Hobby Lobby case is not about birth control or women’s rights or even universal health care. It is, in Dershowitz’s summation, about “whether or not the statutes in the penumbra of the Constitution require a religious exemption.”

Period.

As a final note of clarification, the Green family did not pick this battle. The federal government did when it imposed what could be considered a secular belief system on people who happen to be business owners with strong religious convictions about abortion and abortifacients.

In a brief sidebar: Don’t you find it curious that the biological fact of life at conception is characterized as an article of faith (religious), while denial of that life vis-a-vis its involuntary termination is viewed as ultimately sacred? One of life’s little mysteries.


Whatever one’s views on these matters, they are of no consequence. The fact that I personally favor birth control doesn’t alter the logic of what I’ve just written. It merely suits me to believe as I do in order to get through life as I find most convenient. It doesn’t make me right, except under secular law, which a great many people find less compelling than the higher laws of nature — or of G0D. Your choice.

In any case, the first principle of religious freedom should be treated as paramount, as often and at every stage possible, agreed both Starr and Dershowitz. And both hope that the Supreme Court will find a way to accommodate Hobby Lobby.

The court’s ruling is expected sometime in June. In the meantime, one wishes only to bottle the gracious, erudite and humorous civility of Dershowitz and Starr and infuse the water supply of the nation’s capital. Perhaps a dash or two of their significant brain power might also filter through.

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.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

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