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 December 23, 2013/ 20 Teves, 5774

Another slip down the slope from gay marriage

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The federaL court decision this month that struck down most of Utah's anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional is a fresh reminder that slippery-slope arguments, so frequently ridiculed, deserve more respect than they get.

Kody Brown, center, poses with his wives (from left) Robyn, Christine, Meri, and Janelle. The Browns star in the TLC series "Sister Wives."

"Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling," a story in the Washington Times was headlined last week. It cited the "we-told-you-so" reactions of several longtime opponents of same-sex marriage, who have long argued that the radical transformation of marriage wouldn't end with gay wedlock.

"Sometimes I hate it when what I predict comes true," former Senator Rick Santorum tweeted after US District Judge Clark Waddoups held in favor of Kody Brown and his four wives, who had challenged Utah's ban on polygamy as a violation of their right to privacy. The judge's ruling still leaves plural marriage technically illegal in Utah, but only "in the literal sense" of having two or more marriage licenses. Otherwise, polygamy has now been effectively decriminalized in Utah - a state admitted to the union on the condition that it forever ban the practice of polygamy.

Not every change in law or policy is the first step down a slippery slope to a more drastic or unwelcome change. No one imagines that requiring a license for a pet dog today means you'll have to get a license for a pet fish tomorrow. But when a longstanding consensus on the meaning of a bedrock societal institution is altered - especially one as entwined with moral values and social attitudes as marriage - it is na´ve or disingenuous to claim that even more extreme changes won't follow.

Yet time and again, advocates of same-sex marriage have pooh-poohed the warning that if marriage is redefined so that the sex of the spouses is irrelevant, it can be further redefined so that the number of spouses, or the family relationship of the spouses, is also irrelevant.

To be sure, many gay-marriage proponents oppose polygamy. Andrew Sullivan has long said society's rule should be: "We won't let you legally marry more than one person, but we encourage you to marry one." But if the essence of marriage is a right to marry whomever you love, what reasonable grounds are left for saying no to polygamists like Kody Brown and his multiple wives? Or to any other union of consenting adults?

When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry, the majority opinion dismissed such concerns. "Plaintiffs seek only to be married, not to undermine the institution of civil marriage," Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote. "They do not attack the binary nature of marriage, the consanguinity provisions, or any of the other gate-keeping provisions of the marriage licensing law."

But ideas have consequences - often, unintended consequences. That is particularly true in a legal system that places so much emphasis on precedent and analogy.

In 1989, as Massachusetts lawmakers were about to enact a law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the Boston Globe assured its readers that the bill wouldn't legalize gay marriage or confer on same-sex couples the right to marriage-like civil unions. "Nor does passage of the bill put Massachusetts on a 'slippery slope' toward such rights," it editorialized. Yet when the SJC ruled that same-sex couples could not be barred from marrying, as UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh has noted, "part of its reasoning rested on the legislature's decision to ban sexual orientation discrimination." That slope was slippery, after all.

This happens frequently in the law. The US Supreme Court ruled in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut that married couples had a constitutional right to privacy that encompassed the freedom to use contraceptives. During oral argument, Justice Hugo Black wondered whether the court's logic could lead to "invalidat[ing] all laws that punish people for bringing about abortions." The suggestion was dismissed, as slippery-slope arguments so often are, as groundless.

"Yet only seven years after Griswold, in Eisenstadt v. Baird, the Court relied on Griswold to hold that unmarried couples have a right to use contraceptives," Volokh points out. "The following year, the Court used Griswold and Baird as the foundations for recognizing a right to abortion" in Roe v. Wade -just as Black had warned.

Supporters of same-sex marriage - or of any other controversial policy - should be honest enough to acknowledge that it may pave the way to future changes that they don't support. What they shouldn't do is sneer that slippery-slope arguments are inherently baseless. As a judge in Utah has just reminded us, X can indeed lead to Y.

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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