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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

This Presidential election really matters.  It sounds so trite to say this. We have weathered a year of Republican primaries with every candidate putting forth their vision for “saving” America. Over the next six months, the country will witness the most costly campaigns ever waged in each party’s efforts to control the Congress and White House. But what really is at stake in this election is the US Supreme Court. (more…)

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According to a recent Gallup poll, Americans today are evenly divided between the “pro-life” and “pro-choice” camps. Last week’s rollercoaster fiasco involving the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood has reignited the abortion debate, at the same time that insurance covering contraception is being blasted by the Catholic Church as an infringement on “religious freedom.” (more…)

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Esraa Abdel Fattah (photo credit: Vital Voices)

I had the honor of introducing Esraa Abdel Fattah at the Middle East Institute’s 65th annual banquet dinner this week.  Esraa, 33, now famous as Egypt’s “Facebook Girl,” helped mobilize the January 25th demonstration in Cairo which sparked the Egyptian revolution that brought down President Mubarak.  In recognition of her efforts, Esraa was considered for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
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 I was about 6 years old when I learned the 10 Commandments for the first time in Sunday school. These moral teachings, delivered by Moses at Mt. Sinai as directives from God, have become accepted as the moral underpinnings of our modern society. Although Judeo-Christian teachings from the Bible, the 10 Commandments include such universal strictures as “Thou shalt not kill, commit adultery or steal” and “Thou shall honor thy father and mother”, such that people of all religions basically subscribe to them.

These moral teachings, and the modern laws which have evolved from them, have governed my life for 59 years. Laws are basically the rules which enable our society to maintain order and protect the rights of all. Thus, laws which achieve these objectives endure to protect our freedoms and enable us to grow individually and as a society.

Despite my life-long acceptance of these rules, the 10th Commandment has struck me as unacceptably demeaning from the first time I heard it. This is the one which reads: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”
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