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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 Dec. 9, 2008 / 12 Kislev 5769

Setting the facts straight on those who oppose homosexuality

By Dennis Prager


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Marc Shaiman, the Tony Award-winning composer of the film and stage musical "Hairspray," has done the country a major, if inadvertent, service. He has composed a brief musical piece against California Proposition 8 that takes only three minutes to reveal the ignorance and hate that pervades so much anti-Proposition 8 activism.


This short musical, viewed more than 2 million times on the Internet, features major Hollywood talents playing (through song) two groups on a beach — gay men and women in beach clothes and a stuffy formally dressed church group composed of whites and blacks.


Its message begins with a religious man and woman reacting to the cheerful gay group (celebrating the Barack Obama victory) by singing these words:


"Look! Nobody's watching
It's time to spread some hate
And put it in the constitution
Now, how? Proposition Hate!
Great!"


Shaiman puts hateful words in the mouths of the religious proponents of the man-woman definition of marriage: "It's time to spread some hate and put it in the constitution." But no one put hate in the constitution. The only words Proposition 8 added to the California Constitution were: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." What is hateful about that? It may be wrong, but why is it hateful?


All the hate publicly expressed in the Prop. 8 battle has come from activists like Shaiman. For the record, most gays have not joined these radical activists. It is radical gays and radical straights who have led the movement to smear the Mormon Church and to compile blacklists of those who gave money to the Proposition 8 campaign. As one of many examples of their vindictiveness, Shaiman himself is directly responsible for forcing Scott Eckern, the Mormon artistic director of the California Musical Theater, to resign because he made a personal contribution to Prop 8.


As for ignorance, the first distortion follows immediately, explaining the way religious people will succeed in putting their hatred into the Constitution.


"People, listen to our plea
They'll teach kids about sodomy!"
And then the gay group responds:
"That wasn't right, that's a lie!"
And the church group counters:
"But it worked, so we don't care!"


No one ever mentioned sodomy being taught in schools. But it is in no way a "lie" to argue that when marriage discussions arise in school classes, children will be taught about princes marrying princes and princesses marrying princesses. It has already begun.


To cite one of many examples, in Massachusetts, whose Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage, second graders at the Joseph Estabrook Elementary School in Lexington "used the children's book, 'King & King' as part of a lesson about different types of weddings Lexington Superintendent of Schools Paul Ash said Estabrook ... has no legal obligation to notify parents about the book ... 'Lexington is committed to teaching children about the world they live in, and in Massachusetts same-sex marriage is legal'" (Boston Globe, April 20, 2006).


Likewise, shortly after the California Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, overturned an earlier California proposition defining marriage as man-woman, students in a Northern California elementary school were taken to their female teacher's wedding to her female partner.


The next distortion Shaiman puts into the mouth of a religious man comes when Jesus shows up between the two groups, and the religious man says to Jesus:


"Jesus, doesn't the Bible say these people are an abomination?"


And Jesus responds, "Yeah."


It is quite audacious, to put it mildly, to have Jesus tell a falsehood in a musical seen by millions. Yet, no one seems to care about Mr. Shaiman's distorted depiction of Jesus and of the Bible.


The fact is that nowhere in the Bible are homosexuals called "an abomination." And no one, beyond one sick fringe family that has no standing in any religious community, refers to gays as "abominations." On the contrary, religious opponents of same-sex marriage always speak of "hating the sin, not the sinner." They speak of love for gays; it is the activists for same-sex marriage who express hate — for the Mormons, the Orthodox Jews, the evangelical Christians, the traditional Catholics, the African-Americans (whose lopsided vote in favor Prop 8 is widely credited with passing the Proposition) and for all the others who seek to keep marriage defined as man-woman.


This is followed by another distortion of the Bible, again from the mouth of Jesus:


"... but you know it says exact the same thing ("abomination") about this shrimp cocktail!"



Shaiman, one suspects, has not carefully studied Leviticus. As fate would have it, I am currently teaching the Book of Leviticus at the American Jewish University, the West Coast seminary of Conservative Judaism. And Shaiman tells a half-truth. Yes, Leviticus calls shellfish "an abomination" and uses the same word for sexual acts between men. However, the text states that shellfish is an abomination "for you," i.e., for Jews alone (Leviticus 11.12). The act of a man "lying with a man as with a woman" is labeled "an abomination" without the qualifying words "for you." And Jews who do eat shellfish are never called or considered "abominations" any more than men who engage in homosexual acts are.


Jews alone are prohibited from killing and eating pork, shellfish, and the other non-Kosher creatures. These Kosher laws of the Torah prohibited Jews from killing and eating most species of animals thousands of years ago. The reasons for why certain species are permitted and why some are not are far too complex for a column. But Professor Jacob Milgrom, author of the three-volume Anchor Bible commentary on Leviticus, convincingly demonstrates that the Torah's dietary laws are overwhelmingly concerned with ethics and holiness.


But none of that matters. In an age when most college graduates know little or nothing about the Bible — which, until the baby boomer generation, was the most widely read, most widely studied, and most widely revered book in America — they will learn all they think they need to know about the Bible and homosexuality from a three-minute musical on the Internet.


Hatred based on ignorance is known as bigotry. Making the bigotry of much of the anti-Proposition 8 activism apparent is Marc Shaiman's significant, if inadvertent, contribution.


Why can't Shaiman and his fellow activists acknowledge that there are good people on both sides of this issue? Those of us who supported Proposition 8 readily acknowledge that many good people differ with us. Neither position is inherently hateful, but this little musical is.

JWR contributor Dennis Prager hosts a national daily radio show based in Los Angeles. He the author of, most recently, "Happiness is a Serious Problem". Click here to comment on this column.


Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Dennis' Archives 8, Creators Syndicate

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