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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 August 26, 2009 / 6 Elul 5769

Obama and Faith

By Jonah Goldberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The fight over health care took the most interesting turn last week. President Obama briefly switched from wonkish frippery about bending cost curves to speaking of faith. Reaching out to progressive faith leaders in two massive conference calls, Obama insisted that G-d was on his side. Expanding health care fulfills a "core moral and ethical obligation that we look out for one another … that I am my brother's keeper, my sister's keeper."


This would be an easy opportunity to call attention, once again, to the double standards applied to Obama. When President George W. Bush invoked G-d as his inspiration, many liberals saw our theocrat-in-chief taking a sledgehammer to the wall between church and state. When Obama does likewise, it's inspiring, spiritual leadership.


But, frankly, I find it refreshing.


Of all the silly arguments that have been passed off as deeply profound in American politics, the notion that politicians can't "impose" their personal morality on others tops the list.


We have abortion politics in general, and former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo in particular, to thank for that. In 1984, Cuomo gave his famous address at Notre Dame in which he laid out the notion that a politician can be "personally opposed" to abortion but should refuse to translate that conviction into public policy. As political rhetoric, the speech was compelling. As a serious philosophical, theological or moral argument, it was a mess. For instance, Cuomo found inspiration in the Catholic Church's relative silence on American slavery as justification for keeping religion out of the abortion debate. Never mind that abolition was the most religious of political movements.


"It is a mark of contemporary liberalism's commitment to abortion," Ramesh Ponnuru writes in "The Party of Death," "that one of its leading lights should have been willing to support temporizing on slavery in order to defend it."


The main problem with Cuomo's sophistry is that, once watered down into political talking points, it's simply ludicrous.


In 2004, another Catholic Democrat captured the inherent contradictions of Cuomo-ism nicely in a presidential debate. John Kerry insisted that his faith was "why I fight against poverty. That's why I fight to clean up the environment and protect this Earth. That's why I fight for equality and justice. All of those things come out of that fundamental teaching and belief of faith."


But he also said that, when it came to abortion, "What is an article of faith for me is not something that I can legislate on somebody who doesn't share that article of faith."


The statements cannot be reconciled. By Kerry's own admission, he seeks to legislate his articles of faith on people on nearly every issue under the sun — except abortion. Suddenly, on that issue alone, he is an adamantine secularist.


But in recent years, Democratic rhetoric has been changing, for several reasons. One, many voters are put off by such double-talk. Another reason is that many smart liberals have noticed that some religious Americans are more activist on economic and environmental issues but are turned off by what they perceive as pugnacious secularism.


During the last presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton was comfortable speaking the language of the social gospel movement, historically the religious wing of American progressivism. But Obama was even better. Speaking during the campaign at an evangelical church in South Carolina, he said, "I am confident that we can create a kingdom right here on Earth." He supported Bush's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives and kept the agency when he took over, albeit with a slight name change. He courted evangelical pastor Rick Warren. His social agenda, went a constant refrain, was deeply informed by the injunction that we "are our brother's keeper, our sister's keeper."


Leaving aside the fact that the Bible nowhere says we should be our brother's keeper (the phrase appears once — when Cain is trying to dodge a murder rap from G-d) or my own view that the government should never see itself as a keeper of anyone but incarcerated criminals (my dictionary says keepers are prison guards and zoo wardens), I think Obama's approach is a welcome change of pace.


Politics has always been a contest of values, and religion remains the chief source of those values. Our political discourse has long been cheapened by the canard that only conservatives try to use the state to impose a religiously informed moral vision, while liberals are guided by science, reason and logic as well as some secular conception of decency and compassion. No party has a monopoly on such resources, and it's about time we all recognized that.

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