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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 December 27, 2013/ 24 Teves, 5774

The war on common sense

By Jay Ambrose




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After complaints about some nativity scenes in military dining halls at Guantanamo Bay, they were hauled away. Their presence was an unconstitutional governmental promotion of a religion, supposedly, and I can't help wondering how much longer we are going to put up with Thursday.

Does no one know this day of the week was named after Thor, a Norwegian god? Does the word never appear on government calendars? Is there no one fanatical enough to take on this promotion outrage, too?

My suggestion is that what happened at the Guantanamo base was as much a war on common sense as it was a war on Christmas. Nothing, it sometimes seems, is any longer too tiny, too innocent, too ordinary to prevent a ringing of alarms that ought to be reserved for threats like burglars and hurricanes. While a trifle can do the trick, though, it does have to be the kind of trifle that foreshadows Armageddon to a certain kind of super-sensitized, politically correct temperament.

Earlier this year, as one chilling example, a 7-year-old boy chewed a strawberry pastry to look like a mountain, found it looked like a gun, said "bang, bang" and was suspended. The only injured party, of course, was the emotionally abused boy, and you can see what is happening here. It's gun-control gone berserk. Any harm to others is justified in pursuit of an extremity that finally has absolutely nothing to do with the safety of children at the school.



Back in September, at a junior college in Modesto, Calif., a student was handing out copies of the Constitution until a campus police officer showed up and put a stop to this unheard of exercise in rabble rousing. He could hand out such material only in a designated zone and was supposed to sign up and wait, he was soon informed. Again we can imagine where such policies came from. To some ways of thinking, an uninhibited exchange of ideas can offend someone, and they are right. It can. But that's not worry enough to deny free speech.

Let's return to Christmas, starting with one of my favorite descriptions of it as "a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time." That's Fred speaking in Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." Fred is the nephew of Ebenezer Scrooge, whose reaction was "bah, humbug," and that brings us to the American Civil Liberties Union. It looks at a faith that is foundationally embedded in our civilization and ridiculously sees simple reflections of that fact as theocracy on the rise, or if not quite that, as religious proselytizing. It then threatens lawsuits that can cost victims millions and sometimes cower institutions into grotesque stupidities.

The litany is a long one, from banning carols and pageants in schools to removing creches from city hall lawns. Here is a particular one that sums it up pretty well. In Covington, Ga., the ACLU stomped its indignant foot at the school board for using the word "Christmas" on its calendar instead of just saying "winter break." For a period, anyway, the school board obliged, and I think that is as nutty as my complaint about Thursday on official calendars.

Fanaticism is fanaticism, no matter what its source, and it is a societal danger that deserves opposition. What finally saved Scrooge? Reminders of mistakes in the past and what awaits in the future. The more we remind ourselves of what fanaticism has rendered in other lands and could render in ours, the more we will push back, but in a way, I hope, that keeps forgiveness and charity in mind.


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Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado.



© 2013, SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE

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