Home
In this issue
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

Does Supreme Court case have a prayer?

By Michael Doyle





Wednesday's potential 'First Amendment thunderbolt' could impact how America defines its public persona


JewishWorldReview.com |

W ASHINGTON— (MCT) Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida wants the Senate to keep praying before lawmakers get down to business. Texas legislators, too, want their daily prayers.

And in an unexpected pew-sharing, the Obama administration has joined conservative state and federal lawmakers in urging the Supreme Court to tolerate prayers during government meetings.

"For a few minutes each morning, politics and party are set aside," Rubio and 33 other senators advised the Supreme Court in a legal brief. "Instead of debate, senators reflect on their duty mindful of the nation's core values and their need for divine assistance in carrying out their responsibilities."

In truth, few senators are usually present during their chaplain's daily prayer. But on Wednesday, they'll be paying heed as the future of such legislative prayers comes before the Supreme Court. Starting in a modest-sized city in upstate New York, the case has grown into a potential First Amendment thunderbolt.

"I think that this is such an important and interesting case; really, really important," said Pamela Harris, a visiting professor at Georgetown University Law Center. "This is a court that's been very receptive to the claim that there needs to be more room for religion in the public square."

The case called Town of Greece v. Galloway, though, almost certainly won't be a simple referendum on whether legislative prayers violate the First Amendment's prohibition against the government establishing a religion. Prayers by political bodies, which in the United States date several centuries, seem safe.



"The reason legislative prayer is constitutional is because it's been done since the (nation's) founding, including by the Congress that promulgated the First Amendment," former Solicitor General Paul Clement noted.

At the same time, the case gives the closely divided court its first opportunity in three decades to clarify the rules governing legislative prayers, potentially in a way that affects other public religious expressions, as well. Justices might resolve when public religious expressions become coercive or construed as an endorsement. They also might decide whether coercion or endorsement provides the right test for evaluating public religious expressions.

The vexing constitutional questions, as well as some decidedly one-sided politics, are underscored in the pre-argument lineups.

Eighty-five members of the House of Representatives — including six from Florida, 11 from Texas and six from North Carolina — have signed on to a brief akin to the Senate's that endorses legislative prayers. Only 12 House members joined an opposing brief that urges tighter scrutiny, and no senators did.

Attorneys general from Texas, Idaho and 21 other states also have urged the court to support the town of Greece's legislative prayer program. No states have taken the opposing position. Eight elected county commissions from states that include Georgia and North Carolina are on the pro-prayer side. Law professors and political scientists present, in part, the opposing view.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". In addition to INSPIRING stories, HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


Greece, a town of 96,000 near Rochester, N.Y., has opened its monthly town board meetings since 1999 with prayers delivered by local clergy and volunteers. During the first nine years, every public prayer was led by a Christian.

Two residents — one a Jew, the other an atheist — sued in 2008. The two women, Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, noted that town residents attending the board meetings for awards ceremonies, zoning actions or other reasons must sit through the prayers.

"Citizens face undeniable pressure to participate in these prayers, presenting religious minorities with the untenable choice of betraying their conscience or visibly dissenting from (the majority's) religious norms," attorneys for Galloway and Stephens advised the court.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is representing the two women. The town of Greece has been assisted by Alliance Defending Freedom, which describes itself as "a servant ministry building an alliance to keep the door open for the spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system."

Since Galloway and Stephens sued, the town has expanded the religions represented. Nonetheless, an appellate court ruled last year that the town's prayer program, in the eyes of a "reasonable observer," would be "viewed as an endorsement of a particular religious viewpoint."

Much debate will revolve around a 1983 Nebraska case in which the Supreme Court decided that opening legislative sessions with prayers didn't violate the First Amendment. Under the ruling, called Marsh v. Chambers, legislative prayer is blocked only if the government acts with "impermissible motive" in selecting prayer-givers or if it uses the prayers to advance a particular religion or denigrate another.

The Supreme Court now might second-guess the 1983 decision, as some advocacy groups urge, such as the American Civil Liberties Union. More likely, the justices might retain at least the basics of the Marsh standard, determine whether the town of Greece met it and use the new decision to clarify how future public prayer challenges will be evaluated.

The Obama administration, for one, suggests an essentially tolerant standard that would, in the words of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr., keep courts out of "the business of parsing the theological content or meaning of particular prayers."

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

Comment by clicking here.











© 2013, McClatchy Washington Bureau Distributed by MCT Information Services

Quantcast