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December 2, 2014

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

Are prayers before public meetings OK? Supreme Court to decide

By Warren Richey




Legal challenge wants state officers acting as official censors of prayers delivered voluntarily by private citizens --- and even paid chaplains


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (TCSM) The US Supreme Court agreed to examine whether offering a prayer before a town meeting violates the First Amendment's separation of church and state.

The issue in Town of Greece v. Galloway (12-696) is whether city officials violated the First Amendment's ban on government endorsement of a particular religion when it set up a system that allowed local volunteers to offer a prayer prior to the town's monthly meetings.

Although non-Christians delivered a few of the prayers, the vast majority of volunteers offered — and delivered — pre-meeting prayers that featured Christian religious references.

At least two regulars at town meetings objected to being forced repeatedly to listen to Christian prayers. They complained to town officials that they felt marginalized by the town's prayer policy.

After the town refused to change its prayer policy, the two filed suit in federal court. They said that by consistently presenting Christian prayers prior to its meetings, the town was intentionally discriminating against non-Christians. They also argued that the pre-meeting prayers were advancing a single faith over other religions or nonreligion.

A federal judge disagreed and dismissed the case. On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. The Town of Greece, the appeals court ruled, had aligned itself with a single religion in violation of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause.

"Christian clergy delivered each and every one of the prayers for the first nine years of the town's prayer practice, and nearly all of the prayers thereafter," the appeals court said.

It added that "the rare handful of cases, over the course of a decade, in which individuals from other faiths delivered the invocation, cannot overcome the impression, created by the steady drumbeat of often specifically sectarian Christian prayers, that the town's prayer practice associated the town with the Christian religion."

This put audience members at town meetings who are nonreligious or non-Christian in an awkward position, the court said.


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The town defended its prayer policy, saying it was neutral and nondiscriminatory. The town created a list of anyone who might be willing to present a prayer prior to the town meeting. An official went through the list until someone agreed to deliver a prayer.

"Members of many different religious traditions accepted the opportunity to offer a prayer, including Catholics, Protestants from several denominations, a Wiccan priestess, the chairman of a local Bahai congregation, and a lay Jewish man," Washington lawyer Thomas Hungar wrote in his brief on behalf of the town, urging the high court to take up the case.

"Under the town's policy, atheists and non-believers were equally welcome to volunteer to give an invocation," Mr. Hungar said. Anyone could deliver a prayer, and town officials refused to police the content of a prayer or attempt to gauge its religiosity.

Ayesha Khan, a lawyer with Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said in her brief to the court that the town board "exploited its prayer opportunity to advance one faith to the exclusion of others."

Ms. Khan, who is representing the two complaining residents of Greece, said the town's prayer practice violates the constitutional command that government remain neutral in matters of faith.

"With the exception of a four-meeting hiatus around the time of the filing of this lawsuit in 2008, the Town has relied exclusively on Christian clergy, who have persistently delivered overtly Christian prayers," she wrote.

"Clergy request that attendees join in the prayers. Town Board members participate by bowing their heads, standing, responding 'Amen,' or making the sign of the cross," she said. "Members of the audience do the same."

In asking the high court to hear the case, Hungar said there was a split within the federal appeals courts concerning the correct test judges must apply to determine if a legislative prayer crosses the line.

He said the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., and the Second Circuit in New York had both embraced an approach that requires courts to determine if a pre-meeting prayer has an impermissible effect on a reasonable observer.

In contrast, he said, a 1983 Supreme Court decision requires judges to determine only whether a pre-meeting prayer was being used to proselytize, advance, or disparage a particular faith. Under that case, there is no requirement to examine the content of the prayer and its possible effect on a listener, he said.

This more permissive approach, Hungar said, had been embraced by appeals courts in the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta and the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.

Hungar said the case is of importance nationwide. The Second Circuit decision, he said, would require public officials to engage in pre-meeting critiques of future invocations.

"The frightening prospect of state officers acting as official censors of prayers delivered voluntarily by private citizens (or even paid chaplains) has no basis in this Nation's tradition or this Court's jurisprudence," he wrote.

Khan disputed the existence of a significant split among the appeals courts. Differences in appellate court decisions, she said, were due to factual differences in each case.

She rejected the charge that the Second Circuit decision would lead to more litigation and confusion.

In a friend-of-the-court brief, 18 states encouraged the court to hear the case and overturn the Second Circuit decision. "It is important that the Court address the growing split over this issue before it becomes yet another irredeemably muddled sector of Establishment Clause doctrine," Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher wrote.

"The lack of clarity in this area is especially troubling to the extent it leaves courts to delve into questions best left to theologians, not courts of law," he said.

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