Religion and Civic Life

Treat Illness With a Dose of Thoughtfulness

Barack Obama is the latest Democratic candidate to offer a plan that would bring us closer to universal health care coverage, along socialized British or Canadian lines. Almost all the developed nations have turned to such models of government-directed medicine, while the United States has thus far resisted. Could this be because our country remains the most Bible-believing in the Read More ›

Be Faithful and Multiply

When our twin boys were born last week here in Seattle, it struck me that my wife and I were implicitly registering a dissent from the secular liberal value system of most Seattleites, as from that of the residents of America’s other biggest left-leaning cities. Jacob and Saul are our fourth and fifth babies. This damp, tree-loving city is lushly Read More ›

Defend Your Faith When It Is Blasphemed

While the Jewish community is energetic about replying to perceived slurs against Jews or the State of Israel, we are remarkably passive when it comes to answering insults against our religion or our God. For example, best-selling atheist author Richard Dawkins mocks the God of the Hebrew Bible as “arguably the most unpleasant character in fiction: jealous and proud of Read More ›

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Actor preparing lines
Actor preparing lines

Prophets of the New Atheism

While the American cultural landscape includes many religions, it’s still fascinating to watch closely when we have the chance to observe a new faith being born. Consider, for example, a religious phenomenon that has been dubbed the “new atheism,” prominently represented by some bestselling books. Can disbelief in God be considered “religious”? Sure. Just ask Zen Buddhists, who worship no Read More ›

Faith & Terror

THE ENEMY AT HOME: THE CULTURAL LEFT AND ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR 9/11BY DINESH D’SOUZADOUBLEDAY, 333 PAGES, $26.95 CONSERVATIVES are as deeply factionalized as any other domestic ideological group. But it’s still surprising when one of our own writes a book that manages to make him not only the scourge of the Left but hardly more popular on the Right. Such Read More ›

We Have Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

Addictions come in numerous varieties: drugs, alcohol, food, sex. How about fear? Many Americans seem almost addicted to the feeling of being afraid, whether of the apocalypse or the common cold. You see evidence of this in the way the news media serve up terrors to their customers. In comments trumpeted around the world, astrophysicist Stephen Hawking recently warned, “Life Read More ›

Prager Shouldn’t Lose His Museum Post

For decrying a Muslim congressman who wished to take a ceremonial oath of office on a Quran instead of a Bible, should KRLA-AM radio host Dennis Prager be punished? Specifically, should he be kicked off the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council? That is what a diverse range of Prager critics — from the Council on American-Islamic Relations to former New York Read More ›

The Limitations of Liberal Pluralism

I had an opportunity last weekend to take a mental snapshot of the Jewish liberal species at Limmud New York, a learning conference held at the Friar Tuck Convention Center in Catskill, N.Y. Of some 900 people present for the beautifully organized smorgasbord of presentations on religious, political and other topics, I was probably one of about five Republicans. I Read More ›

Why Black Theology Makes Sense

Obama’s pastor’s ideas sound racist, but the Bible emphasizes that each ethnic group has a special mission to the world. As Sen. Barack Obama’s chances of being chosen as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee rise, the more likely it is he will have to answer tough questions about his religious beliefs, especially as they pertain to race. Obama’s pastor, Rev. Read More ›

Get Rich And Prosper

The old antisemitic stereotype of Jews obsessing about money has been re-energized of late in several pop-culture venues. But is this image — dare I voice a heresy — really all that antisemitic? When celebrity book editor Judith Regan was fired by her boss, Rupert Murdoch, the story went around that it was because Regan had voiced antisemitic sentiments. The Read More ›