Tag Archives: Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager: which sin is the worst sin?

My friend Drew suggested this post to me to blog about, and I was able to find the Prager University video that goes with it. Drew really liked the video, as well.

Excerpt:

The worst sin is committing evil in God’s name.

How do we know?

From the third of the Ten Commandments. This is the only one of the ten that states that God will not forgive a person who violates the commandment.

What does this commandment say?

It is most commonly translated as, “Do not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. For the Lord will not hold guiltless” — meaning “will not forgive” — whoever takes His name in vain.”

Because of this translation, most people understandably think that the commandment forbids saying God’s name for no good reason. So, something like, “God, did I have a rough day at work today!” violates the third commandment.

But that interpretation presents a real problem. It would mean that whereas God could forgive the violation of any of the other commandments — dishonoring one’s parents, stealing, adultery or even committing murder — He would never forgive someone who said, “God, did I have a rough day at work today!”

Let’s be honest: That would render God and the Ten Commandments morally incomprehensible.

As it happens, however, the commandment is not the problem. The problem is the translation. The Hebrew original doesn’t say “Do not take;” it says “Do not carry.” The Hebrew literally reads, “Do not carry the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

This is reflected in one of the most widely used new translations of the Bible, the New International Version, or NIV, which uses the word “misuse” rather than the word “take:”

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.”

This is much closer to the original’s intent.

What does it mean to “carry” or to “misuse” God’s name? It means committing evil in God’s name.

And that God will not forgive.

Why not?

When an irreligious person commits evil, it doesn’t bring God and religion into disrepute. But when a religious person commits evil in God’s name he destroys the greatest hope for goodness on earth — belief in a God who demands goodness, and who morally judges people.

The Nazis and Communists were horrifically cruel mass murderers. But their evils only sullied their own names, not the name of God. But when religious people commit evil, especially in God’s name, they are not only committing evil, they are doing terrible damage to the name of God.

Now, I don’t agree with Dennis on his ranking this sin as the worst. I would put this one lower, and say that rebellion against God is the worst sin. That’s what I would say intellectually speaking. Emotionally speaking, I think that attacking people for their allegiance to God is the worst sin, like when people go after Christians for trying to take the Bible seriously in sexual matters, for example.

Dennis is Jewish, so he believes that religions should be judged based on whether they produce good or not, rather than whether they are true or not. I try to listen to Dennis’ radio show as often as I can, and although he does like to discuss what we can know about God from science and history, he doesn’t think that getting the right answers to theological questions is as important as doing the right actions. I think that might be why he chose this one as the worst, because actions are more important to him. I agree with him that it is certainly very bad to invoke God in a way that makes God look bad.

Dennis Prager explains what feminism has achieved for women

Dennis Prager has summarized many of my viewpoints on this blog in a tiny, tiny little article. He calls it “Four Legacies of Feminism“.

Read the whole glorious thing and bask in its wisdom!

Full text:

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s feminist magnum opus, The Feminine Mystique, we can have a perspective on feminism that was largely unavailable heretofore.

And that perspective doesn’t make feminism look good. Yes, women have more opportunities to achieve career success; they are now members of most Jewish and Christian clergy; women’s college sports teams are given huge amounts of money; and there are far more women in political positions of power. But the prices paid for these changes — four in particular — have been great, and outweigh the gains for women, let alone for men and for society.

1) The first was the feminist message to young women to have sex just as men do. There is no reason for them to lead a different sexual life than men, they were told. Just as men can have sex with any woman solely for the sake of physical pleasure, so, too, women ought to enjoy sex with any man just for the fun of it. The notion that the nature of women is to hope for at least the possibility of a long-term commitment from a man they sleep with has been dismissed as sexist nonsense.

As a result, vast numbers of young American women had, and continue to have, what are called “hookups”; and for some of them it is quite possible that no psychological or emotional price has been paid. But the majority of women who are promiscuous do pay prices. One is depression. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently summarized an academic study on the subject: “A young woman’s likelihood of depression rose steadily as her number of partners climbed and the present stability of her sex life diminished.”

Long before this study, I had learned from women callers to my radio show (an hour each week — the “Male-Female Hour” — is devoted to very honest discussion of sexual and other man-woman issues) that not only did female promiscuity coincide with depression, it also often had lasting effects on women’s ability to enjoy sex. Many married women told me that in order to have a normal sexual relationship with their husband, they had to work through the negative aftereffects of early promiscuity — not trusting men, feeling used, seeing sex as unrelated to love, and disdaining their husband’s sexual overtures. And many said they still couldn’t have a normal sex life with their husband.

2) The second awful legacy of feminism has been the belief among women that they could and should postpone marriage until they developed their careers. Only then should they seriously consider looking for a husband. Thus, the decade or more during which women have the best chance to attract men is spent being preoccupied with developing a career. Again, I cite woman callers to my radio show over the past 20 years who have sadly looked back at what they now, at age 40, regard as 20 wasted years. Sure, these frequently bright and talented women have a fine career. But most women are not programmed to prefer a great career to a great man and a family. They feel they were sold a bill of goods at college and by the media. And they were. It turns out that most women without a man do worse in life than fish without bicycles.

3) The third sad feminist legacy is that so many women — and men — have bought the notion that women should work outside the home that for the first time in American history, and perhaps world history, vast numbers of children are not primarily raised by their mothers or even by an extended family member. Instead they are raised for a significant part of their childhood by nannies and by workers at daycare centers. Whatever feminists may say about their only advocating choices, everyone knows the truth: Feminism regards work outside the home as more elevating, honorable, and personally productive than full-time mothering and making a home.

4) And the fourth awful legacy of feminism has been the demasculinization of men. For all of higher civilization’s recorded history, becoming a man was defined overwhelmingly as taking responsibility for a family. That notion — indeed the notion of masculinity itself — is regarded by feminism as the worst of sins: patriarchy.

Men need a role, or they become, as the title of George Gilder’s classic book on single men describes them: Naked Nomads. In little more than a generation, feminism has obliterated roles. If you wonder why so many men choose not to get married, the answer lies in large part in the contemporary devaluation of the husband and of the father — of men as men, in other words. Most men want to be honored in some way — as a husband, a father, a provider, as an accomplished something; they don’t want merely to be “equal partners” with a wife.

In sum, thanks to feminism, very many women slept with too many men for their own happiness; postponed marriage too long to find the right man to marry; are having hired hands do much of the raising of their children; and find they are dating boy-men because manly men are so rare.

Feminism exemplifies the truth of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for — you may get it.”

I wish I could add something to this, but I can’t because every time I think of something to add, he says it in the next sentence.

If you like this short essay, then this medium essay arguing against feminism authored by Barbara Kay would be nice follow-up.

It might be worth forwarding these articles along to your friends. And I highly recommend books on male-female relationships and roles by George Gilder, especially “Men and Marriage“.

Dennis Prager explains what feminism has achieved for women

Dennis Prager has summarized many of my viewpoints on this blog in a tiny, tiny little article. He calls it “Four Legacies of Feminism“.

Read the whole glorious thing and bask in its wisdom!

Full text:

As we approach the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan’s feminist magnum opus, The Feminine Mystique, we can have a perspective on feminism that was largely unavailable heretofore.

And that perspective doesn’t make feminism look good. Yes, women have more opportunities to achieve career success; they are now members of most Jewish and Christian clergy; women’s college sports teams are given huge amounts of money; and there are far more women in political positions of power. But the prices paid for these changes — four in particular — have been great, and outweigh the gains for women, let alone for men and for society.

1) The first was the feminist message to young women to have sex just as men do. There is no reason for them to lead a different sexual life than men, they were told. Just as men can have sex with any woman solely for the sake of physical pleasure, so, too, women ought to enjoy sex with any man just for the fun of it. The notion that the nature of women is to hope for at least the possibility of a long-term commitment from a man they sleep with has been dismissed as sexist nonsense.

As a result, vast numbers of young American women had, and continue to have, what are called “hookups”; and for some of them it is quite possible that no psychological or emotional price has been paid. But the majority of women who are promiscuous do pay prices. One is depression. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently summarized an academic study on the subject: “A young woman’s likelihood of depression rose steadily as her number of partners climbed and the present stability of her sex life diminished.”

Long before this study, I had learned from women callers to my radio show (an hour each week — the “Male-Female Hour” — is devoted to very honest discussion of sexual and other man-woman issues) that not only did female promiscuity coincide with depression, it also often had lasting effects on women’s ability to enjoy sex. Many married women told me that in order to have a normal sexual relationship with their husband, they had to work through the negative aftereffects of early promiscuity — not trusting men, feeling used, seeing sex as unrelated to love, and disdaining their husband’s sexual overtures. And many said they still couldn’t have a normal sex life with their husband.

2) The second awful legacy of feminism has been the belief among women that they could and should postpone marriage until they developed their careers. Only then should they seriously consider looking for a husband. Thus, the decade or more during which women have the best chance to attract men is spent being preoccupied with developing a career. Again, I cite woman callers to my radio show over the past 20 years who have sadly looked back at what they now, at age 40, regard as 20 wasted years. Sure, these frequently bright and talented women have a fine career. But most women are not programmed to prefer a great career to a great man and a family. They feel they were sold a bill of goods at college and by the media. And they were. It turns out that most women without a man do worse in life than fish without bicycles.

3) The third sad feminist legacy is that so many women — and men — have bought the notion that women should work outside the home that for the first time in American history, and perhaps world history, vast numbers of children are not primarily raised by their mothers or even by an extended family member. Instead they are raised for a significant part of their childhood by nannies and by workers at daycare centers. Whatever feminists may say about their only advocating choices, everyone knows the truth: Feminism regards work outside the home as more elevating, honorable, and personally productive than full-time mothering and making a home.

4) And the fourth awful legacy of feminism has been the demasculinization of men. For all of higher civilization’s recorded history, becoming a man was defined overwhelmingly as taking responsibility for a family. That notion — indeed the notion of masculinity itself — is regarded by feminism as the worst of sins: patriarchy.

Men need a role, or they become, as the title of George Gilder’s classic book on single men describes them: Naked Nomads. In little more than a generation, feminism has obliterated roles. If you wonder why so many men choose not to get married, the answer lies in large part in the contemporary devaluation of the husband and of the father — of men as men, in other words. Most men want to be honored in some way — as a husband, a father, a provider, as an accomplished something; they don’t want merely to be “equal partners” with a wife.

In sum, thanks to feminism, very many women slept with too many men for their own happiness; postponed marriage too long to find the right man to marry; are having hired hands do much of the raising of their children; and find they are dating boy-men because manly men are so rare.

Feminism exemplifies the truth of the saying, “Be careful what you wish for — you may get it.”

I wish I could add something to this, but I can’t because every time I think of something to add, he says it in the next sentence.

If you like this short essay, then this medium essay arguing against feminism authored by Barbara Kay would be nice follow-up.

It might be worth forwarding these articles along to your friends. And I highly recommend books on male-female relationships and roles by George Gilder, especially “Men and Marriage“.

Should college students be allowed to opt out of graphic sex education?

Life News reports.

Excerpt:

When 18-year-old twins Bella and Angelica Ayala found out that the sexual harassment session in their freshman orientation program included a graphic sex-ed presentation, they decided to opt out. The pro-life Catholic students respectfully voiced their desire to not partake in the program prior to its start.

Bella told the pro-life group Survivors, “My sister actually contacted the orientation program beforehand to request that we be exempt from attending this part of orientation, but was given an ambiguous answer.”

A week after Angelica called the orientation program, a mass e-mail was sent out from the New Student & Transition Programs citing UCLA’s policy codes and federal/state laws saying the presentation was mandated. Regardless, the Ayalas later received permission from their counselors to leave the program. The option to not partake in the sex-ed part of the program was not given to any other students.

Angelica was told she wouldn’t have to be present during the sex ed portion, but after she walked out, she was later reprimanded and told she’d have to make up the session. If she refused to make up the session, she was informed that the university would put a hold on her academic records.

Before the session, the twins distributed literature to their peers that discussed STDs and risks of having sex prior to marriage. A counselor seeing the students reading the literature said, “This is not the message we want to communicate.” The counselor told Angelica she knew she was responsible for passing out the literature and it wasn’t allowed because the talk was a private event and she’d need permission from the dean’s office to hand out information. A counselor took the pamphlets from the students by demanding they pass back the materials.

Jewish radio show host Dennis Prager often calls universities and colleges “left-wing seminaries”, and stories like this help us to see why. More examples can be found in Prager’s story on Florida Atlantic University and Prager’s story on the University of Southern California.

If you are going to college, I really recommend that you try to focus on STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). You do not want left-wing radicals taking your money and using the power of grading to indoctrinate you in false views. University is not the place for you to critically examine the views of leftists. There is no critical thinking in a left-wing seminary. It’s better to get your degree in computer science, get a job, and then work on the big questions on your own without having to face coercion and narrow-mindedness.

Dennis Prager: Does a full-time homemaker swap her mind for a mop?

On National Review, Dennis Prager argues that going to work full-time is not as intellectually fulfilling as being a stay-at-home mother – if it’s done right.

Excerpt:

I seek to refute the idea that full-time home making is intellectually vapid and a waste of a college education.

Let me first state that I have no argument with those mothers who need or even just wish to work outside the home. My argument is with those who believe that staying at home is necessarily mind-numbing.

Nor do I wish to romanticize child rearing. As a rule, little children don’t contribute much to the intellectual life of a parent (although older children who are intellectually curious can spur a parent to seek answers to challenging questions they may not have considered before). Any intellectually alive woman who is a full-time mother must therefore find intellectual stimulation elsewhere.

The point is that she can find such stimulation without leaving her house. Furthermore, the intellectual input she can find is likely to be greater than most women (or men) find working outside the home. There is a reason that about half the audience of my national radio show is female — they listen to talk radio for hours a day and broaden their knowledge considerably. To the Left, the notion that talk radio enhances intellectual development is akin to fish needing bicycles. But that is because the Left’s greatest achievement is demonizing the Right, and because they never actually listen to the best of us.

I am syndicated by the Salem Radio Network. My colleagues are Bill Bennett, Mike Gallagher, Michael Medved, and Hugh Hewitt. Two of us attended Harvard, one Yale, and one Columbia; one of us taught at Harvard, another at the City University of New York, and a third teaches constitutional law at a law school. In addition to reviewing the news and discussing our own views, we all routinely interview authors and experts — left and right — in almost every field. The woman who listens to us regularly will know more about economics, politics, current events, world affairs, American history, and religion than the great majority of men and women who work full-time outside of the home.

Lest the latter seem a self-serving suggestion, there are many other opportunities for full-time homemakers to broaden their intellectual horizons: recorded books and a few television networks, for example. And if a woman can get help from grandparents, neighbors, older children, or a baby sitter, there are also myriad opportunities for study outside the house — such as community-college classes, book clubs, etc. — and for volunteer work in intellectually more stimulating areas than most paid work.

Let me give an example of the woman I know best, my wife. She is a non-practicing lawyer with a particular interest in, and knowledge of, taxation and the economy. She decided to stay home to be a full-time mother to her two boys (one of whom is autistic) and her two nieces (who lost their mother, my wife’s sister, to cancer when they were very young). Between talk radio, History Channel documentaries, BookTV on C-SPAN2, recorded lectures from The Teaching Company/The Great Courses, and constant reading, she has led a first class intellectual life while shuttling kids, folding laundry, and making family dinners.

I guess by now everyone knows my view on this. I expect a good wife to have a college degree, and preferably a graduate degree, and then a couple of  years experience before the children start to arrive. At that point, her job becomes the most important job in the world: making sure that the children that the husband entrusts her with are able to have more of an impact for Christian than either the wife or the husband. That is one of the major reasons why Christians get married in the first place, in my view.

The husband’s job is to go to work and do mindless, useless drudgery in exchange for money. This is the more self-sacrificial role in marriage. He does this so that he can afford to keep a professional teacher in the house to bond with the young children, make sure that they learn empathy and relational skills, and then go on to get bachelor and graduate degrees and influential jobs. She has to plan all of this out and then navigate their path to success – which means she has to know how to follow the path, and how to neutralize any obstacles that may appear. The woman’s role in the home is a massive undertaking, and more significant (ultimately) than the man’s role outside the home.

It’s very important for a woman to choose a man to marry who has this vision for what a woman does in the home. He has to have set the pattern in courtship that it is his responsibility to help her to know as much as possible about all kinds of different subjects. She has to study more than the man, and then impart the knowledge the children. The man only has to have an overall big picture, but the woman has to know the details. In order for the woman to get the details of math, science, foreign policy, economics, etc., she needs to have a constant feed of intellectually challenging materials, and quiet time for study. And it’s the man’s job to provide these materials and that time, so that she can produce influential children.

Please note that I do not endorse any of the other hosts on the Salem Radio Network. In particular, Medved, Bennett and Hewitt are center-left and support Mitt Romney, with all that that entails.