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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 Nov. 4, 2005 / 2 Mar-Cheshvan, 5766

Parents take another hit in the culture wars

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Parents increasingly at war against a culture they find aggressively sexualized just lost another battle. This time against the local school board.

In a recent ruling, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (that be the Left Coast) determined that parents do not have a fundamental right to control when, where and how their children are taught about sex.

Rather the state — in its far greater wisdom about what's right and wrong — has ultimate power over your kids.

This is not a new battle, of course. Parents and school boards have argued for years about sex education. But this decision is especially offensive because the children involved are so young.

The ruling stems from a case filed by a group of California parents whose elementary school children were given a questionnaire of dubious content. In their complaint, the parents said they would not have allowed their children to participate in the survey had they known of the sexual nature of some of the questions.

Kids ages 7 through 10 were asked, for example, to rate the following activities according to how often they experienced the thought or emotion:

  • "Touching my private parts too much."

  • "Thinking about having sex"

  • "Thinking about touching other people's private parts."

  • "Thinking about sex when I don't want to."

  • "Washing myself because I feel dirty on the inside."

  • "Not trusting people because they might want sex."

  • "Getting scared or upset when I think about sex."

  • "Having sex feelings in my body."

  • "Can't stop thinking about sex."

  • "Getting upset when people talk about sex."

Obviously, not every 7-year-old is ready to contemplate those kinds of questions. If you're a parent, there's no contest as to who should determine when such subjects are raised. Parents should.

Not so fast, and not according to the 9th Circuit.

The court made clear that it was not passing judgment on the appropriateness of the questions themselves, but only on the constitutional questions raised in the case. Herewith, plaintiff's evidence as to why the law is, indeed, an ass and why what is "legal" is not always right.

Chief among the parents' arguments was that they were deprived of their fundamental right to "control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs."

Sounds reasonable to any attentive parent. Who else should decide when a child learns about something so intimately bound to moral values? Apparently, the state should.

Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that parents have a constitutional right to make decisions about the care, custody and control of their children, the judges in this case ruled that parents do not have an "exclusive" right.

(Not to worry. Those hot flashes you're feeling are perfectly normal. Anger is an appropriate emotion under the circumstances, even if it's not constitutionally protected.)

In other words, the state can determine what's appropriate for your children based on what the state decides is good for society. Given that we're all concerned about sexual abuse and domestic violence, we should be permitted to ask children questions that might shed light on such problems, right? So goes the thinking.

But as parents know, children are notoriously unreliable little scamps when it comes to answering questions honestly — especially questions they're not emotionally or intellectually equipped to understand.

The most chilling piece of the ruling was this assertion: "We further hold that a psychological survey is a reasonable state action pursuant to legitimate educational as well as health and welfare interests of the state."

Really. So now the state is in the business of psychoanalysis. Never mind that posing phase-inappropriate questions to children might create psychological complications that didn't exist before the helpful questionnaire was administered.

While legal experts argue about whether the ruling is constitutionally correct, common sense tells us that the superior right of parents to instruct their children about sex is among the most fundamental of parenting concerns.

The idea that the state knows best is not only ludicrous, but also dangerous. Bit by bit, with rulings like this, the state gains greater power over family autonomy and, inevitably, over personal freedom.

As the implicit message sinks in that the state knows best and parents aren't to be trusted, advocates for private schools and voucher programs should have no trouble finding new recruits.

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 Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

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