In this issue

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 Dec. 21, 2006 / 30 Kislev, 5767

Politics: The new religion

By Cal Thomas

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As we approach the day once known as Christmas, before it became "holiday," there is a sense that the Messiah, which the day is supposed to acknowledge, is rapidly being supplanted in the public consciousness by a new American religion called politics.

Consider the number of "messiahs" who present themselves as redeemers and who claim the ability to deliver the masses from their "deplorable" conditions — conditions from which only government can save them.

For faithful Democrats, there is Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who stars not only as a messiah figure, but who could also play the Virgin Mary. There is Sen. Barack Obama, who can also play dual roles of messiah figure and one of the Wise Men (possibly Balthazar. Look him up).

In the Republican "denomination," political messiahs include Sen. John McCain (who believes he can deliver us from Iraq and possibly Iraq from itself) and Rudolph Giuliani (if he can redeem New York City, why not the nation?)

All messiah figures must have at least two other things going for them. One is a book. Hillary Clinton has "It Takes a Village," now out in paperback she wants us to know. That could easily be expanded to "It Takes a Country," which is what revised editions (and revisionist politics) are for. Obama has "The Audacity of Hope," which could easily be re-titled by his opponents, "The Audacity of My Wanting to be President." Giuliani, too, has a book called "Leadership." All messiah figures must be seen as leaders and Giuliani's experience as mayor of New York City during 9/11, and the days following, demonstrated he is one. Anybody who can unite New Yorkers has got leadership qualities.

The second thing a messiah figure must have is a disciple. Lord knows these people (and some of the second-tier potential and actual candidates) have plenty of disciples. Disciples have a worshipful faith in their leader. They unquestionably believe he (or she) can do what they say, even when they don't say much (as Obama doesn't in his book).

What puzzles me is why so many people put their hopes in politicians, when politicians (and politics) repeatedly let them down. Has politics become a God-substitute? Have political "messiah figures" become false gods?


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The media drive much of this messianic complexity. The Christmas season following an election was once a respite from politics and politicians. Members of Congress and presidential wannabes would be at home with those families they all claim to want to spend more time with when they leave office. Not anymore. The 24/7 news cycle and the media's demand for, and incitement of, conflict require that politicians keep their redemption message going year-around. The public never gets a break.

To believe in a political messiah requires one to accept by faith that we have no power of our own. Under this notion, we must believe that our station in life is not as good as it might be if a politician to our liking is in Congress and the White House. Political messiahs love to preach this message because it enhances their power over us. Polarizers on the left and right promote the messiahs of their choice so that disciples of their organizations will bring them "offerings," enhancing the fiction that they, too, have power. Broadcast and cable networks encourage bickering, because conflict brings higher ratings and greater profits.

For a messiah figure to succeed, he must be matched to the real, not perceived, needs of his disciples. Are those needs economic and political, or are they moral and spiritual? If the former, by all means, vote for the best "deliverer." If the latter, I can only give you what the angel Gabriel told Joseph about that Messiah: "He will save his people from their sins."

That's a real need no political messiah can meet. But the authentic Messiah can.

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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