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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 June 27, 2005 / 20 Sivan, 5765

When intolerance stalks faith

By Suzanne Fields

Anti-religious innuendo from politicians descends in deleterious ways to the larger society, shaping public attitudes and encouraging religious bigotry


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The debate over freedom of religion has turned into a debate over freedom from religion. Religious men and women founded America, and for centuries, religious faith was considered by nearly everyone to be a key to good citizenship. The Founding Fathers would not allow religion to govern the state, but they appreciated the way religion governed the private lives of good citizens.



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I didn't grow up with religious rituals, but my parents, who were proud of being Jewish, taught me to respect those who did. When a mischievous redheaded neighborhood boy went into the priesthood, my mother told him that he was "too good-looking" to be a priest. She felt sorry for the pretty young girls he would never court. But she taught us by example to respect his choice of a "higher calling," even though it wasn't our calling.

We were particularly taught not to express anti-religious sentiments about others. (Jewish humor, after all, mostly makes fun of Jews.) Christianity was the dominant religion in America, and it got a pass from public criticism. Protestants and Catholics occasionally feuded with one another in public. Not until John F. Kennedy convinced voters that he would govern as an American without consulting the Vatican did that begin to diminish.

In the 1960s, American identity was conspicuously tied up with religious faith, but as an impulse to do good rather than propagate dogma. The civil rights movement, midwifed by the black church, was borne on the wings of the religious rhetoric of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist preacher. Rabbis and priests united behind his message. The idea prevailed that politics was separated from religion, but religion and politics nevertheless shaped American social values together, challenging licentiousness dangerous to the state and appealing to a higher ideal to make the country a better place for everyone.

That's why it's particularly alarming that slurs and innuendo are used against religious people today. No matter how Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, tries to wiggle out of the implications of his remark that the Republican Party is made up of "white Christians," he expected his remarks to inspire Democrats to contribute money to a party willing to shun white Christians, though it's odd that any politician would knock whites and Christians, who comprise the majority of voters. Ken Mehlman, the Republican national chairman, hit him where he hurt with his remark that if the Republicans are all white Christians, "a lot of folks who attended my bar mitzvah would be surprised."

Hillary Clinton, the star attraction of a fundraiser in Los Angeles, jeered that Republican leaders are "messianic" in their belief that they enjoy "a direct line to the heavens." She tried to turn it into a joke about her own channeling of Eleanor Roosevelt, but realistic Democrats were not pleased. They understand that she will have to win votes in red states as a Methodist moderate if she expects to get back to the White House in '08.

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Anti-religious innuendo from politicians descends in deleterious ways to the larger society, shaping public attitudes and encouraging religious bigotry. In Knoxville, Tenn., deep in the Bible Belt, a 10-year-old boy took his Bible to school to read together with like-minded classmates at recess. The principal disbanded the group and told the boys never to bring their Bibles to school again, thus relegating what most of us call "the Good Book" to the category of weapons and drugs.

Most of us see the absurdity of the principal's decision, but the debate about vouchers in schools is subtler in its anti-religious fervor. The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments the other day over whether vouchers are constitutional if cashed at religious schools. It's an important case because Florida kids liberated from failing public schools can now take their tuition voucher to any school of their choice. This puts religious schools in the mix. Two years ago, 25 percent of the parents of children with vouchers chose a religious school. Such vouchers especially help minority children. In the most recent school year, 700 vouchers were awarded to minority children, 61 percent of them black and 33 percent Hispanic. Vouchers thus become the civil rights issue of our own time.

How vouchers are used depends on a family's choice, not a bureaucrat's whim, and it's silly to argue that vouchers break down the wall between church and state. Does a state-subsidized senior who chooses a church-affiliated nursing home breach that wall? Vouchers are not about establishing a state-based religion, but empowering parents of moderate means to educate their children as they choose — just like parents who can afford private schools.

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© 2005, Suzanne Fields, Creators Syndicate