Home
In this issue
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 Feb 14, 2012/ 21 Shevat, 5772

Over the top to the guillotine

By Wesley Pruden




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "Over the top" is the preferred destination of all politicians, and nothing inspires candidates to go over the top like a presidential primary season.

Newt Gingrich goes over the top to fly off to the moon. Herman Cain goes over the top to buy a pizza for all the lovely ladies. Mitt Romney goes over the top to destroy his opponents, piece by piece. Ron Paul has gone far over the top to live on a distant star in splendid isolation.

Rick Santorum is breaking out of the trenches for a leap at the top, emboldened by winning semi-important caucuses in Colorado and Minnesota and a more or less meaningless primary in Missouri. He recognizes how President Obama put the First Amendment in mortal peril with his order to religious institutions to put conscience aside and obey secular gospel under pain of law, like it or not. Then it was "over the top" in pursuit of principle.

"When you marginalize faith in America," he told a rally in Plano, Texas, just outside Dallas, "when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what's left is the French revolution. What's left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you'll do, and when you'll do it. What's left in France became the guillotine."

You don't have to be haunted by the shadow of Dr. Guillotine's deadly blade falling across the back of your neck to recognize Mr. Obama's unholy scripture as chipping away at religious freedom. But what is needed here is a lesson in American history, not overheated hyperbole about the French revolution. Some of the president's minions in the White House no doubt want to erase all influence of faith and belief in American life -- the evangelical atheists make no attempt to hide their theological agenda -- but the president himself may be acting, as usual, more in ignorance than malice.

Mr. Obama, like the rest of us, is a man formed by the earliest influences in his life. He spent his most formative years in Indonesia, about as far from America as a man can go before he meets himself coming back. He grew to manhood in Hawaii, and finally ended up at Harvard for a little book learning and a lot of attitude adjustment. All worthy places in their own way, to be sure, but hardly places to absorb the faith, practice, culture and lore of America. He learned to talk the talk, most of the time, but it's the walk that betrays the origins of the political man he became.

The president has eloquently testified to his faith in Christ, and his fond Muslim remembrances of growing up in Jakarta. But something is missing. "He doesn't have a natural feel for the depth of emotion of how some [Americans] hold their religious views," observes Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. He speculates that the president's wise men looked at polls and consulted their own prejudices and thought, "there might be a bit of a flap 'but we're good here.' They missed the fact that the Catholic hierarchies had the emotion on their side."

Rick Santorum and the president's critics, so far mostly Catholics, miss the fact that the protest of the bishops would have been more effective if they had focused it on cause rather than effect. This enabled the president and his friends to make it a controversy about condoms and IUDs, not about fracturing the Constitutional guarantees of religious freedom. Protestant worthies who might have stepped up to join the controversy held back, wary of joining a theological dispute.

Two who didn't hold back were prominent officials of the Southern Baptist Convention, who rightly see the Obama health-care edict as chipping away the First Amendment's guarantees. Not one Baptist in a hundred, nay, a thousand, differs with the conventional tolerance (and appreciation) of birth control devices, but Baptists in America from Roger Williams to the present day have traditionally been alert to intrusions of church and state on each other's turf. The First Amendment guarantees -- for religious faith, for free speech, for a free press, for the right to peaceably assemble -- are indivisible. When one goes, all are at risk.

Only the terminally na´ve expect politicians to act on principle, but enough noise can make a politician, even a president, discover a "principle" he didn't know he had. It's up to the religious folk to make the noise, and make it noise about principle, not theology. And avoid a trip over the top doing it.

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

JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.

Wesley Pruden Archives

© 2007 Wesley Pruden

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles