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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

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

This fall, get ready for more atheist clubs at high schools

By Kimberly Winston




'Nones' -- as they call themselves -- are increasing on campuses on the East Coast, but also in the buckle of the Bible Belt



JewishWorldReview.com | (RNS) High school kids can join the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Jewish Student Union, the Muslim Students Association and, in some schools, a Hindu or a Buddhist club.

Now they can join the young atheists club, too.

In another sign of the emergence of nonbelievers in American society, the Secular Student Alliance, a national organization of more than 300 college-based clubs for atheists, humanists, agnostics and other "freethinkers," is helping to establish clubs for high school students to hang out with other teens who share their skepticism about the supernatural.

"I am hoping that atheist students having their clubs and religious students having their clubs will promote dialogue," said JT Eberhard, director of SSA's high school program. "I also hope it will let the atheist students know that you can be an atheist and its okay. You are still a good person. We want to say: Here is a place where you can feel that."

There were about a dozen such clubs at the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic school year, a figure that rose to 39 in 17 states by summer break. The clubs are student-led, with SSA providing information and guidance only upon a student's request.

Some clubs are in states with high levels of "nones" -- people who claim no religious affiliation -- such as New York, Washington and California. But some are in the buckle of the Bible Belt: North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas all have at least one high school with a club for atheists.

And more are forming. Students at 73 different high schools have requested "starter kits" since January of this year, according to SSA.

Eberhard attributes the growing interest in atheism among high school students to several factors, including disenchantment with organized religion amid recent scandals and the rise of the Internet, which gives young doubters a safe forum to ask questions.


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Two recent studies show religious doubt rising among "Millennials," those Americans born after 1980. In April, the Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life reported 68 percent of Millennials "never doubt the existence of G0d," down 15 points since 2007. And in June, the Public Religion Research Institute found that one in four Millennials report no religious affiliation.

Still, launching an atheist club is not always a smooth process. Some sail through a school's approval process once they have met the school's criteria, which usually means obtaining a faculty sponsor and demonstrating student interest.

Trevor Lynn, 17, said he faced no administrative resistance when he started an atheist club at his Eureka, Calif., high school in 2010.

"The administration of our school really prides itself on being able to have a club for everybody," Lynn said. "They saw no reason to stop us."

Now, his group -- about seven members -- meets to discuss philosophy and ethics and stage special events. In September, the club will host joint lectures on evolution and creationism by a prominent freethought author and a local pastor.

"I think it is important, especially in high school where people are coming into their own beliefs, that we have a space where people can feel kind of secure in their nonbelief and have a meeting where they know there are other people like them," Lynn said. "That is the big reason I started the club."

Others have a harder time.

Administrators at Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Fla. rejected an atheist club twice on the grounds it was "too controversial." Students at another Florida high school were told by administrators that no religious clubs were permitted -- despite the existence of a school Christian club. And at Houston's La Porte High School, the principal denied students the use of the word "atheist" because "it could disrupt the educational process."

In these cases, Eberhard usually calls administrators and reminds them that the Equal Access Act gives the the students the right to form a club.

That law says if a federally funded secondary school permits even one extracurricular club, it must permit them all, providing "equal access" to school property. It was passed in 1984 with the support of religious groups who wanted to establish after-school Bible clubs.

"The irony is that same act allows secular students a place in the classroom for their club," Eberhard said.

Others are more measured in their support. Dave Rahn, chief ministry officer for Youth For Christ/USA, said a pluralistic society means his group, which oversees 1,100 middle and high school clubs, "will often co-exist on campus with groups promoting worldviews with which we simply disagree."

"When we faithfully communicate the truth of the gospel we expect it will be fruitful among young people, no matter what other ideas compete for their allegiance," he said.

Steve Gerali, dean of the theology department at Grand Canyon University and an expert on ministry to youth, said he is concerned that some administrators favor nonreligious clubs over religious ones.

"My perception is that an atheistic club is a little bit more welcomed than a Christian club," he said. "I think administrators need to understand that to speak about no G0d is similar to speaking about a G0d. So it is, in fact, a religion even though it is anti-religion."

Not so, said Robert-Cole Evans, 16, who started an atheist club at his Spring Branch, Texas, high school. His group includes Christians, who, like many members of his club, are interested in discussing matters of belief.

At a recent fundraiser, Evans said, a woman approached him and asked if he was a Christian. When he said no, he was an atheist, she said that was "OK" because "it was good to see kids with energy and passion for what they care about."

"You can't say anyone is amoral or evil until you have talked with them," Evans said.

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