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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 July 4, 2011 / 2 Tamuz, 5771

If the Almighty Made the Sky, Can Atheists Fly It?

By Mitch Albom






http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When some Americans look to the skies this Fourth of July, they may see more than fireworks.

In 26 states -- including Michigan -- small planes will be carrying banners that read "God-LESS America" or "Atheism is Patriotic."

It is an attempt by a group called American Atheists to show that atheists, too, have a place on the day that celebrates our nation's independence. The group is encouraging people to spread photos of these planes when they see them and to call their local TV news channels to increase coverage.

This is a classic example of an OK concept meeting a terrible idea. The group insists, on its Web site, that this "is not about … shoving our views down people's throats."

Really? Then why rent airplanes?

As the joke goes, G0d knows atheists are entitled to their opinions. But when you fill the sky with banners to spread a message on a holiday weekend, unless that message is "Fourth of July Sale at Lenny's Auto Showcase!" you're asking for trouble.

I do understand why atheists want to make a statement on July 4. From expressions like "there are no atheists in foxholes" to the words on our money "in G0d we trust," there has long been a subtle suggestion that atheists are somehow lacking as citizens, outside of the American circle -- an odd notion since, truth be told, many of us who identify with religion behave more like atheists every day.

"I'm a patriotic American. I served my country. I get out there and celebrate the Fourth, too," Blair Scott, the communications director for American Atheists, told CNN. "This America belongs to everyone."

My sense is that most Americans are pretty tolerant of other faiths or even those who celebrate no faith -- they just don't want things shoved in their faces.

Or their skies.

No one should dismiss atheism as some quick or unintelligent view on the world. The history of atheism is deep with academia, thoughtful texts, respected scholars and reasoned arguments. Despite that, some recent studies suggest only 4 percent of Americans identify as atheists, as opposed to 17 percent in Great Britain or 32 percent in France.

This may explain why there are not more planes flying the "God-LESS America" message today. Despite attempts to get banners up in all 50 states, American Atheists found many companies refused to fly them. According to the organization, one North Carolina firm said: "I'm not going to Hell flying that sign."

"The reality is that there is still a lot of bigotry out there," the AA Web site said.

Is it bigotry if you don't want to zoom someone's message through the clouds? Or is par for the course when it come to religious -- or decidedly non-religious -- statements that in the end, still send the same grating message: "What I believe is so important it needs to tower over you."

Some would ask why a group united in what it doesn't believe in even bothers to make a statement. But I'm sure atheists would counter that in a country where "G0d Bless America" is sung at events and hands are put on Bibles during courtroom procedures, that they are only fighting fire with fire.

The problem of fire with fire is that it produces a lot of smoke, and smoke gets it in your eyes and you can't see straight. Maybe, on Fourth of July weekend, we should leave the skies to bursts of red, white and blue and save our messages for another backdrop.

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