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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 May 16, 2012/ 24 Iyar, 5772

Gay 'marriage' and all that...

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let us now praise Barack Obama. The president has finally come out and said what everyone -- except maybe himself -- knew he believed all along: He's for allowing homosexual couples to marry. That's nice. Now he can tick off another item on the list of must-dos for an orthodox liberal/progressive/libertarian.

It would be even nicer if he would just give it a rest, though of course he won't. It's a presidential election year and there's fund-raising to do -- especially in Hollywood.

But let us be thankful for any moment of clarity in politics even if it's only a moment. Ever since the love that dare not speak its name became the love that just won't shut up, what used to be a taboo has become a real yawner.

Thank you also, Mr. President, for inserting that key word, personally, into your statement of belief (or maybe non-belief) and making it clear you were going to leave this issue where it rightly belongs -- to the judgment of the people of the several states, where such questions of family law, and not just family law, belong.

. . .

Sir, if you'd only left health care there, too, you might have saved the country, its doctors and nurses and insurers and patients and employers -- and just those of us who'd like to keep our old insurance, thank you -- a lot of confusion and anxiety. Not to mention the Supreme Court of the United States, for its justices are about to weigh in on this convoluted issue, too.

If the court had just left the abortion issue up to the states, the country might have been spared all these past, divisive decades of agonizing over a great moral issue, maybe the moral issue, of our times.

This country has 50 different laboratories of democracy; why not let them work out this innovation in the law for themselves -- instead of imposing a new definition of marriage on the whole, varied country like a one-size-fits-all straitjacket?

The president is to be thanked for not adding still another layer of obfuscation to this debate -- the way that clintonesque Don't Ask, Don't Tell formulation did for our armed services, which have quite enough to engage their attention these days without having to enforce a nebulous gag order.

You have to feel much better, Mr. President, now that you've finally stopped "evolving" (polspeak for changing your mind) on this issue every few years. It helps to get some things clear in your own mind, at least for now; it certainly helps those who have to keep up with what presidents -- and commanders-in-chief -- have to say.

Keeping up with this president and C-in-C requires a certain patience, for in his case "the fierce urgency of now" keeps giving way to the political prudence of later. First he was fir Gay Marriage, then he was agin it, and now he's fir it again -- but only personally. It seems that, whenever he comes to a fork in the road, he takes it. (Berra, Y.)

No wonder the country loses interest in just what he'll say next, since he's bound to take a different tack soon enough.

The president's meandering course on this issue, and not just on this issue, reflects how American society in general has dealt with moral issues in what Walker Percy called this post-Christian era: vaguely. Which was to be expected in the absence of the sacred in a society. Belief, like nature, abhors a vacuum. For man is the animal that worships; it's the nature of the species. As the old faith dwindled, it was bound to be succeeded not by emptiness but by a prolixity of new faiths -- faith in politics, in ideology, in science or art or revolution, pick your own favorite, inadequate substitute.

It happens when people begin to think of faith as something for other, lesser breeds who, as our president once put it so elegantly in an unguarded moment, "cling to their guns or religion." Mr. Obama's telling comment seemed to come naturally. It would for someone who long ago began to look on faith as only another factor to be taken into consideration in his political plans.

When it comes to faith, our president -- except on the ceremonial occasions that civil religion is so full of -- tends to speak from the outside looking in. As he did even as he attempted to explain his earlier position(s): ". . . I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot people the word 'marriage' was something that invokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs, and so forth." (I especially liked the "so forth." As if one were to refer to G0d, country, "and all that other stuff.")

Those benighted souls the president mentioned may think of marriage not primarily as a civil contract or something the state invented but, well, holy matrimony, to use a dated phrase. Yes, some of us still think of marriage as "an honorable estate, instituted of God." And have yet to come up with a better delineation of it than the one in the Book of Common Prayer. The state, like the president himself, might do well to stop fiddling with it.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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