Washington Week

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 May 8, 2007 / 20 Iyar, 5767

Dem candidates suddenly using religious-speak again

By Mike Dorning

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Faith in politics or political faith?

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) This time it may be the Democrats who are getting religion.

Former Sen. John Edwards invoked "My Lord" when asked about moral influences on his life in the first Democratic presidential debate. At a campaign event on the day of the Virginia Tech massacre, he offered a prayer and — in a pointed break from Democratic candidates' usual wariness of offending religious minorities — closed with the words "in Christ's name."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. comfortably works in references to his faith at public appearances. Even before his presidential candidacy, he gave a well-received speech arguing for a greater role for religion in politics and cultivated relationships with influential church leaders, including mega-church pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., included a paragraph about faith in the official biography on her campaign Web site. And in her Senate re-election campaign last year, she drew notice in the New York press for wearing a cross at some public events.

Reversing recent political history, it's the leading Republican candidates who for various reasons have so far been reluctant to speak too much about matters of faith.

"Give the advantage to the Democrats at this point," said Rich Cizik, vice president for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals. "You would have to conclude that the Democrats have a lot more interest in faith than the Republicans based on what they've had to say."

Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a twice-divorced Catholic, holds liberal views on abortion and gay rights. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a divorced Episcopalian, has a tense relationship with leaders of the Religious Right. And former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is a devout Mormon whose religion arouses suspicion among many evangelicals.

Indeed, Obama and Clinton both have full-time staffers and Edwards an aide working part-time to reach out to religious leaders for political support. The Democrats' 2004 presidential nominee, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., did not start a religious outreach operation until the general election was well under way and did not give a speech on faith until nine days before the election.

"It's almost a 180-degree difference from the Kerry campaign," said Mara Vanderslice, who was director of religious outreach for Kerry and now works as a consultant to Democratic candidates on engaging religious voters. She is not currently working for a presidential campaign, she said.

The focus on faith reflects political realities. Many Democratic political professionals believe the party's candidates need to do a better a job of showing a clear moral vision and connecting with religious voters.

Party leaders were alarmed by the 2004 election returns. The Democrats narrowly lost the presidential election and one big reason was massive support for Republicans among the large portion of voters who regularly attend religious services. In a close election, even a slight gain in support from such a sizable group could swing the outcome.

A series of internal polls conducted by the Democratic National Committee during the following year concluded that about half the electorate places as much or more weight on their own religious faith as they do on conventional issues in casting their votes. The same polling suggested that many of those "faith voters" were not primarily motivated by such hot-button social issues as abortion or gay marriage but primarily were looking for a clear moral vision from candidates.

Since then, Democratic candidates who have made it a priority to engage voters on issues of faith have done well in some high-visibility competitive races. In 2005, Virginia Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, a former Catholic lay missionary, won despite heavy criticism from his opponent for opposing the death penalty, which is popular in Virginia. Kaine explained his position as a matter of religious conviction.

"I think, generically speaking, Democrats were reluctant to speak about their faith," said former Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., now Edwards' campaign manager. "There was a feeling that the separation (between church and state) should be such that you really shouldn't even talk about it. I think we went too far."

Expressions of faith can be more politically tricky for Democrats than Republicans because their party includes more secular voters and more members of religious minorities, such as Jews and Muslims.

In last year's midterm elections, Democrats in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan won competitive elections and did well among churchgoers after waging early and concerted efforts to attract religious voters.

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, an abortion rights supporter and an ordained minister, virtually tied his Republican opponent among white evangelicals. Strickland advertised early on Christian radio, met often during his campaign with faith leaders and used phone banks staffed by Catholic nuns and religious volunteers to explain his positions to swing religious voters.

While social conservatives may be firmly anchored in the Republican Party, there are also signs that religious Americans more broadly are growing increasingly interested in issues that favor Democrats.

Catholic congregations are increasingly discontented with the war in Iraq, which the church's hierarchy has vigorously opposed from the start.

At the same time, many prominent evangelical leaders have sought to broaden the movement's public policy agenda beyond such traditional cultural issues as abortion, gay rights and prayer in the schools, which tend to favor Republicans. Evangelicals are showing interest in AIDS in Africa, the genocide in Darfur and "creation care," their preferred term for environmental protection.

All three of the leading Democratic candidates are scheduled to appear next month at a forum on faith and values sponsored by Sojourners/Call to Renewal, a liberal evangelical group that concentrates on anti-poverty issues. Religious leaders will question the candidates on their moral beliefs and how they shape their public policy views, said Rev. Jim Wallis , the group's president.

Some Democratic political leaders, meanwhile, have sought to adjust their rhetoric on abortion to tamp down hostility toward the party's abortion-rights position.

Many Democratic candidates in recent years have altered the way they speak about their pro-abortion rights stands, stressing their respect for the positions of those who are morally opposed. Clinton called abortion a "sad, even tragic choice" in a 2005 speech, stirring criticism from abortion rights groups. And a number of Democratic lawmakers have gathered behind legislative proposals explicitly aimed at reducing the number of abortions, through aid for contraception and assistance to expectant mothers.

Still, last month's Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on a procedure called "partial-birth" abortion by opponents may stir passions on both sides of the abortion controversy.

"We're very likely to see some increased activism," said John Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Politics. "How it plays out is just so hard to tell right now."

Whatever direction the battles over abortion may take, the leading Democratic presidential candidates appear committed to a more visible role for faith in their campaigns. Obama, for one, argues that the party can only win popular support for progressive goals if it makes the case in the moral terms that religion offers.

And Wallis argues that it is entirely appropriate to look beyond candidates' views on the issues of the moment toward their moral core in order to gain insight in how they might respond to the unanticipated challenges they are sure to face as elected office-holders.

"It's fair for any citizen to evaluate a candidate by their moral compass," Wallis said. "Politics should be about values. That's the right conversation. Your moral compass shapes your values and, for some people, that's their faith."

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© 2007, Chicago Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.