Home
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 March 16, 2004 / 23 Adar, 5764

It's the heart versus the Bible

By Dennis prager


Printer Friendly Version

Email this article



The conflict that is at the center of the culture wars


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | I recently interviewed a 26-year-old Swedish student about her views on life. I asked her if she believed in G-d or in any religion.

"No, that's silly," she replied.

"Then how do you know what is right and wrong?" I asked.

"My heart tells me," she responded.

In a nutshell, that's the major reason for the great divide within America and between America and much of Europe. The majority of people use their heart — stirred by their eyes — to determine what is right and wrong. A minority uses their mind and/or the Bible to make that determination.

Pick almost any issue and these opposing ways of determining right and wrong become apparent.

Here are three examples.


Donate to JWR

Same-sex marriage: The heart favors it. You have to have a hard heart not to be moved when you see many of the loving same-sex couples who want to commit their lives to one another in marriage. The eye sees the couples; the heart is moved to redefine marriage.

Animal rights: The heart favors them. It is the rare person, for example, whose heart is not moved by the sight of an animal used for medical research. The eye sees the cuddly animal; the heart then equates animal and human life.

Abortion: How can you look at a sad 18-year-old who had unprotected sex and not be moved? What kind of heartless person is going to tell her she shouldn't have an abortion and should give birth?

The eyes and the heart form an extraordinarily powerful force. They can only be overcome when formulating policies by a mind and a value system that are stronger than the heart-eye duo. With the decline of Judeo-Christian religions, the heart, shaped by what the eye sees (hence the power of television), has become the source of people's moral decisions.

This is a potentially fatal problem for our civilization. As beautiful as the heart might be, it is neither intellectually nor morally profound.

It is therefore frightening that hundreds of millions of people find no problem in acknowledging that their heart is the source of their values. Their heart knows better than thousands of years of accumulated wisdom; better than religions shaped by most of the finest thinkers of our civilization (and, to the believer, by G-d ); and better than the book that has guided our society — from the Founders of our uniquely successful society to the foes of slavery to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and most of the leaders of the struggle for racial equality.

This elevation of one's heart is well beyond self-confidence — it is self-deification.

One of the first things you learn in Judaism and Christianity is that the eyes and heart are usually terrible guides to the good and the holy. " . . . (D)o not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after" (Numbers 15:39); "the heart is deceitful above all things . . . " (Jeremiah 17:9).

Supporters of same-sex marriage see the loving gay couple, and therefore do not interest themselves in the effects of changing marriage and family on the children they do not see. And since they venerate their hearts, the biblical ideal of male-female love, marriage and family is of no significance to them.

Animal rights supporters' hearts are deeply moved by the animals they see experimented on, not by the millions of people they do not see who will suffer and die if we stop such experiments. Likewise, the hearts of the people who support PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) are so moved by the plight of slaughtered chickens that the organization has a campaign titled "Holocaust on your plate," which equates our slaughtering of chickens with the Nazi slaughtering of Jews.

For 25 years I have been asking high school seniors across America if they would save their dog or a stranger first if both were drowning. The majority has nearly always voted against the person. Why? Because, they say with no self-doubt, they love their dog, not the stranger. An entire generation has been raised with no reference to any moral code above their heart's feelings. They do not know, and would not care if they did know, that the Bible teaches that human beings, not animals, are created in G-d 's image.

So, too, those who cannot call any abortion immoral are moved by what they see — the forlorn woman who wants an abortion, not by the human fetus they do not see. That is why abortion rights groups are so opposed to showing photos of fetuses that have been aborted — such pictures might move the eye and the heart of viewers to judge the morality of many abortions differently.

It is undeniable that many people have used their minds and many have used the Bible in ways that have led to evil. And some of these people have been truly heartless. But not one of the great cruelties of the 20th century — the Gulag, Auschwitz, Cambodia, North Korea, Mao's Cultural Revolution — came from those who took their values from the Bible. And the great evil of the 21st century, though religion-based, doesn't come from the Bible either.

Meanwhile, the combination of mind, Judeo-Christian values and heart has produced over centuries the unique success known as America. Reliance on the heart will destroy this painstaking achievement in a generation.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes inspiring articles. Sign up for our daily update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.


© 2004, Creators Syndicate