Apr 28, 2000
Luke: I was listening to Dennis Prager this morning who interviewed UCLA psychiatrist Steven Marmer about finding the right mate. Dr Marmer said that he learned from his teacher Robert Stoller that we are drawn to people who can hurt us. Those who can't hurt us, don't attract us. We are excited by those who can hurt us.
We unconsciously scan the universe for people who can threaten or endanger us in the same ways we were threatened as kids. We're trying to undo the hurts we received from our parents, typically our opposite sex parent.
Rumdar: Luke, Dr. Marmur is way off base. Most guys I know are not looking to meet anyone as fucked up as their mother. It is just the opposite. For the most part single guys are scouring the universe looking to boff the best looking girl possible while spending the least amount of cash, time and effort. After we get it we then want someone who is not going to kvetch when we have to leave her to go spend time with our friends. Is Dr. Marmer Jewish? If so that is why his theory is so bogus. His scrotum sack was removed at birth by a domineering yenta mother. Hey Marmer....speak for yourself, your theory stinks.
Luke: Dr. Marmer used the example of a male patient who had a controlling mother. Thus he was always on alert when she was around, and pumping with adrenalin. Now he's attracted to a highly controlling woman. She makes life exciting for him. But she can also devastate him. He wants to recreate many of the dynamics of his childhood, but have it turn out good.
Excitement is the simultaneous rush of pleasure and danger, through replaying the key emotional events of childhood. If somebody is too easy, then they are boring and you're not excited by them.
Guys should look for women who had good relations with their father. They are less likely to hate men.
Good excitement is having to growing up. Having good sex. Learning. Bad excitement is love of possible harm. Going to the edge. Healthy excitement is learning new things and the thrill of intimacy. Boys fear intimacy while men do not.
Caller: I love my wife and we have a good relationship but I still lust for other women.
Dr Marmer: That's just part of male biological nature. Many men find it helpful to rechannel their sexual energy into variety of other pursuits - such as cars, work, sports... That's why many men work so hard.
Dennis: In latin America and parts of Europe, it is common for married men to get mistresses. But that is not permitted in the US.
Dr Marmer: That is why our economy is better. We work harder. Theirs is the more ancient way of dealing with things.
Recommended books: Sex Smart. How to be Your Own Dating Service.
Caller: Is porn an acceptable outlet for male sexual energy?
Dr Marmer: Depends on how it is used. Can be good or bad. Good if used to enhance the relationship.
Prager: Porn use is bad if used as a substitute for wife, good if used for desire for variety.
Hi. I'm Aline Zoldbrod, Ph.D., the author of Sex Smart, a licensed psychologist, and a sex therapist certified by the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. I'm happy to tell you more about my book. If you are mystified about why you turned out the way you did sexually, or how to solve your sexual problems, Sex Smart is for you. Sex Smart is also for you if you are a person who is simply intrigued by sexuality and wants to understand it more deeply. Sex Smart talks about sex in a way that is unlike most other self help books, because it discusses many of the non-sexual aspects of family life which contribute to adult sexuality. How your family touches, and whether or not your parents listened to you and your emotional needs. Whether or not you learned trust. What kind of message your parents gave you about your body. How your parents handled power. What you learned from your parents' relationship to you. Whether there was emotional neglect, alcoholism, or physical violence. What your parents taught you about friendship. Whether you felt you owned your own self or not. These probably aren't aspects of your family life that you think of as being tied to how you feel about yourself as a sexual person now.
I have always loved being a sex therapist. Each person's sexual development is so completely unique that figuring out the puzzle of each patient's (or a couple's) sexual problem is always interesting. For many years, I have been thinking about why people turn out so different sexually, why there are so many variations in sexual preferences and sexual pleasures and sexual problems. I did a lot of reading, trying to see if anyone had written a theory of sexual development that explained this phenomenon for me. I couldn't find one.
Many of my patients had erotic blocks which completely puzzled them. The other "how-to" books and articles they had read had not explained to them why they had the issues they had and hadn't helped to fix them. The problems themselves weren't unusual--things like lack of desire, difficulty getting aroused, orgasm problems, erection difficulties, premature ejaculation, sexual addictions and compulsions, sexual pain. These are garden variety issues for a sexual therapist to treat. But when I unraveled a number of these people's questions, it turned out that the answer lay in their family experience. And until they were able to understand the deeper events, the behavioral exercises suggested in the other articles and the books they had been reading didn't work. (For instance, a man with erection problems had been negatively affected by seeing his father beat his mother. A woman with sexual pain came from a family where no one ever touched each other affectionately.)
My patients thought my explanations made a lot of sense. But people lose a lot of what happens during the therapy siession within a few hours, let alone from one week to the next. They wanted a book to read that would reinforce and amplify what I was saying to them in their sex therapy sessions. But there was no book available I could recommend to them that explained what had happened to them the way I was describing it in the sex therapy sessions. As I treated more and more patients and looked carefully at why people had the sexual difficulties they had, I came up with my own integrated theory of what each of us needs to get in our family-of-origin to be able to enjoy being sexual as an adult. So I wrote Sex Smart, to help people understand that a lot of non-sexual events in family life turn out to profoundly affect how we feel about letting go sexually with another person. Understanding the basis of our sexual difficulties lays the groundwork emotionally. At the end of each chapter, Sex Smart goes on to give exercises to do.
Darva Conger and Pamela Lee Anderson
From today's Wall Street Journal:
"Darva Conger, the woman who wed Rick Rockwell on Fox TV's "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?" then promptly dumped him, has "agreed in principle" to pose naked for Playboy, according to a representative for the magazine, the New York Post reported yesterday. She is to receive a six-figure fee for the photo shoot."
Dennis Prager on his radio show today said: It is hard to argue that you were humiliated by the TV show, and then pose naked for Playboy.
Darva will get six figures, about $120,000. What percentage of American women would pose naked for Playboy for that money? Prager said two-thirds.
Why will so many people want to buy the issue of Playboy featuring Darva? I think because they want to see her totally exposed and humiliated.
Will it change your view of Darva once she has appeared nude? I think yes. It means she's chosen to humiliate herself.
Prager and callers said that Darva was in a downward spiral. She's lost her job as an emergency room nurse. She'd humiliated herself on national TV. She's been caught lying about her past (she did not serve in the Persian Gulf conflict). She has fewer options.
In his first half hour, Prager talked with columnist and psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer. They thought little of the government psychiatrists who defended the government's intervention.
Then, in his second hour, Prager decried the Ohio Supreme Court ruling that said that the state motto "With God, all things are possible."
Dennis Prager said this morning that he loathed Clinton and Reno. It's the first time he's used such language. Prager said he did not loathe Clinton for Monicagate or any other scandal. But the raid on Elian Gonzales was outrageously wrong.
P: "The more I think about it, the more I read about it, the more angry I get... I do not trust my government anymore. I expect gun sales to go way up after this... This is seared in my mind like the taking of Baby Richard in Illinois (in May 1994)."
Boteach vs Flynt
Lots of media at the debate and it played to a full house of about 600 persons.
Rabbi Boteach delivered about 25 words for everyone from Flynt. Roseanne Barr was also on the platform and gave her views. Despite his outrageous schtick, Rabbi Boteach still endorses and lives within Jewish Law. He doesn't make up his Judaism. He's not like the Kabbalah Center on Robertston Blvd in LA.
Scheduled for 7:30PM, the program began at about 8:15PM. Robert Scheer, Los Angeles Times columnist and USC journalism professor Robert Scheer, served as moderator.
Rabbi Boteach gave a 30-minute opening sermon of his usual schtick - repeating jokes that I've now heard him tell five times in the past six weeks. He closed by asking Larry Flynt to publish a magazine with him called "Soulmates," about how people can improve their marriages.
Larry looks and sounds like the stereotypical pornographer. He's grossly fat, with jowls of fat riding over his shirt collar. His speech is painfully slow and slurred and barely understandable. Flynt claimed that 25% of Hustler's readership is women, a ludicrous claim.
Scheer said that Flynt was a First Amendment hero which gained loud applause.
Roseanne, a fat 48-year old TV star who's been married several times, said that with Larry's money, she's going to make the first feminist porn movie, using men who don't look like drug addicts. She's obviously way behind the times, and has never heard of Candida Royalle.
Rabbi Boteach's career got a large boost about a year ago when he appeared on Roseanne's TV show with three men from Oxford University who he was setting up with Roseanne's daughters.
Rabbi Boteach said that if he thought Larry Flynt was a bad person, he wouldn't be on the platform with him. I wonder how much Rabbi Boteach knows about Flynt? Rabbi Boteach must be willfully naive.
Rabbi says he's appalled how religious people have treated Flynt. Calling him a sinner and a wretch headed for hell.
Roseanne: "I am a fat woman and I look fabulous naked."
Rabbi: "I remember when Hustler first came out and everyone passed it around my day school."
In its April issue, Moment magazine reviews Rabbi Boteach's latest book 'Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments.' "The author of Kosher Sex is at it again, this time with a grab-bag of dating tips. At times, Shmuley Boteach's attempt to impart serious dating advice based on the Ten Commandments is a stretch. ("Thou shalt not murder" is an imperative not to judge your date ---- "Judging someone is killing them.") But you'll also find some bold suggestions. For starters, couples should not rush into sex before marriage. They don't need to test sexual compatibility: If they care deeply enough, the sex will be great. And women shouldn't indulge the "male fantasy" that he's "not ready" for marriage. "If a man is ready to have sex, to allow a woman to become emotionally dependent on him, and if he is financially stable and not criminally insane, then he is ready to get married." I'm not sure how many of my dating peers, male or female, would take that advice to heart."
Chaim Amalek writes: Two articles in the day's papers have caught my eye. Are we headed back to the bad old days of the 80's, when our cities were turned into shooting galleries? The first story is the headline in today's Daily News: "8th Driver Murdered: Livery cabbie shot dead in Bronx". Remember all the media noise and national attention that followed the failure of one Danny Glover, a millionaire black actor, to hail a cab in Manhattan? That got a lot more national attention than the current slaughter of black cabbies by black thugs here in New York. Just another sign of how disconnected the national media is from life as most people live it.
The second story, which I include, is about a shooting at the National Zoo in Washington, DC (no racial jokes please). Read it carefully. And finally, just to show that not all is grim in the world, scroll past the story about the stolen corpse and check out the story in the Daily News about porn queen Marylin Star: "70G for 'Independent' thinking'". Pretty funny.
From the April 26 Washington Post: The shootings marred a tradition that has lasted more than a century, the celebration of Easter Monday by African American families at the National Zoo. This year's event began with promise, sunshine and moderate temperatures. Squealing children searched for eggs hidden under straw, families cheered storytellers and animal trainers, and visitors swayed to jazz and gospel tunes in a light spring breeze.
But hours before dusk, the scene at the zoo had darkened. Police helicopters hovered in the sky as teenagers searched the crowd below for missing younger siblings. Detectives collected shell casings from the sidewalk, and the D.C. police chief spoke of possible gang activity. Across the street, little children sat crying in the Animal Crackers Cafe.
Shmuley vs Flynt on Dennis Prager
Shmuley Boteach debated Larry Flynt Monday morning on the nationally syndicated Dennis Prager show on KABC, 790 AM in Los Angeles. Flynt listens often to Prager. And he even autographed Prager a copy of his autobiography. "Think pink."
Shannon made the following post to alt.radio.talk. "I heard a highly reliable insider rumor a couple of days ago that struggling rant radio stalwarts KABC have been studiously discussing a multi-lingual format mixing Spanish and English programming with the addition of several hours of Mexican music. Apparently some of the boardroom types at the station uncomfortably aware of their job insecurity have been seriously assesing the idea of replacing 2 hours worth of the plumeting John & Ken Show and all of in-the-doldrums Dennis Prager with a Spanish speaking DJ spinning traditional Mexican folk tunes. Larry Elder's show meanwhile will undergo a revamp in which he will be joined by an ideologically disimilar Latino co-host who will take calls in Spanish from listeners alternating with Larry's English speaking callers. Good news for Al Rantel fans: His show remains unchanged by the new Spanglish format, though oddly Al would seem well suited to the new style due to his speaking Spanish fluently. Anyway, sounds like the guys at KABC are becoming imaginative and inovative in the quest to boost ratings. I'm sure Drew and the crew will point this wayward ship in the right direction in no time flat with these new changes."
Rabbi Boteach: "Dennis you are one of the main influences on my life... You subscribe to Playboy. How does your wife feel?"
Prager: "My wife bought me the Sports Illustrated bathing suit issue. My wife loves me for being a man as I love her for being a woman... My woman is not in competition for Miss February. That's preposterous."
Rabbi Boteach claimed that a study showed that 84% of American men fantasize about other women while having sex with their wife.
Prager responded that if the statistic is true, that it also holds for Iran, where women go around in chadors.
Prager to Larry: "Are you a pornographer?"
Larry: "Yes, unlike my competitors, I don't claim my product is art."
Prager and the rabbi commended Larry for his honesty.
Prager said to Flynt that he suspected that many of the women who pose for him and other pornographers come from troubled backgrounds.
Larry: "I remember when I first started Hustler in the mid '70s. This 18-year old model came in from Toledo, as cute as she could be. And every girl, I ask 'Why do you want to pose for us?' She said 'I come from a very religious background. My father is a pastor and he's kept me extremely repressed all my life and I want out.' So the person is not necessarily coming from a dysfunctional background."
Rabbi: "She did come from a dysfunctional background. Repression is a dysfunction. Kosher Sex is not about dysfunction."
Prager called Flynt and Boteach eloquent spokesmen for their positions. I find Flynt painful to listen to and difficult to understand. He slurs his words.
Dennis: "What is happening on the internet because of the ease of access. I have my laptop with me and I was just checking on my mail. 90% of the mail I got on one account is spam...and much of it is for sexually explicit material. You can click on the link and see images that when I was growing up you could only get in a brown paper bag."
Larry: "There are a dozen browers out there, like Net Nanny, that will block access to children to these websites... We can't limit material to what is appropriate to children... I think the government should take action on this, there is material on the internet that is not acceptable."
Shmuley: "The problem is not just children, it is adults getting access to this... We are creating a nation of voyeurs, who prefer to download porn than make love to their wives."
Rabbi Boteach speaks about twice as much as Flynt, and because he speaks three times as fast, he's getting in about six times as many comments.
Larry: "I don't want to idealize the pre-porn past... Some of my relatives did not sleep together in 30 years..."
Rabbi: "I want to quote from Larry's autobiography... I want to out him tonight as a closet romantic..."
Larry: "I was able to discover early in life the difference between sex and love. When you're a young man, it's easy to get taken in... Love is built on a solid foundation...
"There are two types of people regarding pornography. Those who don't know what they're talking about and those who don't know what they're missing."
Rabbi: "I guess I would fall into both camps."
Larry: "Nobody in America will disagree that sex is unbelievably great if you happen to be in love with the person... But it is not an ideal world."
Caller: "I want more sex than my wife. She's just not interested."
Rabbi: "You have to learn how to light her fire. Masturbation is an empty experience."
Caller: "I have. I've read Mars and Venus and all that... She's just not interested."
Larry: "You can't argue that a woman's appetite is going to be like a man..."
Rabbi: "I think men and women are sexually compatible. Women love sex. The Bible says that women have a stronger drive than men. Look at women's magazines, they are obsessed with sex."
In his show's first two hours, Dennis Prager roundly condemned the raid to take Elian Gonzales. Prager has long supported reuniting the child with his Cuban father, but in conjunction with the relatives and taking place in the US, though Prager supports allowing the dad to take Elian back to Cuba.
Prager thought the raid however was overkill, and done for political purposes. Why burst into a home with masked gunmen armed with automatic weapons and wearing masks to tear away the kid?
Prager condemned the Georgetown University psychology professor who thought it would be harmless to take the kid from his relatives, with whom he's lived for five months. On Friday on his radio show, Prager had Dr. Steve Marmer, UCLA psychiatrist, who said the Georgetown professor was foolish in his remarks.
Chaim Amalek writes: Luke, I understand that you are going to that punch and judy show between Boteach and Flynt this evening. (Damn I wish I could go! Too bad my cardiologist won't let me take such long trips.) IF you get to ask either of them any questions, please pop them with these:
For Boteach: Ads have been appearing in the New York Times asserting that the dead Menachem Schneerson of Lubavitch is the Melech Moshiach, merely waiting for the people to accept his reign to make that all important public appearance on Letterman to give us all the good news. Tell me Reb Boteach, you were Lubavitch yourself - IS The Rebbe the Moshiach? (Note - such an ad appears in today's New York edition, placed by a group calling itself "YeChi Ha Melech.)
For Flynt: Why do your daughters say you had incest with them? Are they telling the truth? Also, is it not true that you have written hateful letters to your underlings in porn regarding the power of jewish homosexuals in Hollywood?
Finally, here is an idea for winning more acceptance from Jews. Have your name legally changed to Levi Praeger. After all, is not Dennis your spiritual father?
Larry Flynt vs Shmuley Boteach
NEW YORK, April 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Beliefnet.com, the premiere online destination for spirituality, morality and religion, will broadcast the full audio and text of the first-ever public debate, between Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt and Beliefnet contributor Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of the popular book, "Kosher Sex."
These two highly opinionated thinkers will square off in a no-holds-barred showdown, dubbed "Pornography, Sexuality and the Internet" before a live audience at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles at 7:30 p.m. on Monday April 24, 2000. For those who cannot attend what is sure to be a clash between Flynt and Boteach, audio and text transcripts of the debate will be accessible exclusively at http://www.beliefnet.com on Wednesday, May 3rd.
"Many Americans are profoundly concerned about the easy accessibility of pornography on the Internet," says Beliefnet.com co-founder Steve Waldman." This debate seemed like a natural way of exploring, in an in-depth manner, the ethical and spiritual dimension of the controversy."
Los Angeles Times columnist Robert Scheer will moderate the event. Scheer is best known for his famous interview with Jimmy Carter in which the former President admitted to having "lust in his heart." Scheer also teaches Media and Society at the University of Southern California and is editor of the On- Line Journalism Review for USC.
During and immediately following the broadcast of this important debate, visitors to http://www.beliefnet.com will be able to offer their personal views on pornography, join chat room discussions and cast their votes in an online poll on the issue.
One of the nation's foremost spiritual voices, Rabbi Boteach has penned 10 books, including the highly acclaimed "Kosher Sex" and "Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments." He is also a frequent guest on such programs as the Today Show, Politically Incorrect, and The View. Unlike most religious leaders, Rabbi Boteach doesn't make a case against pornography based primarily on the moral argument that it is sinful, "evil," or degrading to women. Rather, he lays out a practical, cogent and well-reasoned analysis as to pornography's ill effects.
Larry Flynt is perhaps the country's best-known advocate for pornography, which he forcefully argues is protected under the First Amendment. He has been at the center of several legal skirmishes and other battles over pornography as a form of free speech. Flynt's life, as well as his career as publisher of Hustler since 1974, was dramatized in the Oliver Stone movie The People vs. Larry Flynt.
Luke Spends Sunday in Study of Torah
I spent Sunday at UCLA's "Yom Limud: A Festival of Jewish Learning," for ages 18-35. Most of the 100 plus attendees were UCLA students.
The program was held at Bunche Hall, the home to UCLA Economics faculty. I studied economics at UCLA in the late 1980s and at one time thought I'd become an economist.
The speakers included Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of "Kosher Sex," Rabbi Harold Schulweis of Valley Beth Shalom and talkshow host Dennis Prager.
The main meeting place was the same room I took a class in the economics of public finance from an Orthodox Jewish economist, Russell Roberts. Before and after class we'd get into long discussions about God, sex and morality, often drawing on points we'd heard Dennis Prager discuss recently on the radio.
Rabbi Boteach began the day with an hour long talk on his new book "The Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments." He asked the women in the 100 person audience if any of them needed a man. About five raised their hands. Then he asked if any of them needed a phone? About 30 raised their hands.
Monday night Rabbi Boteach debates Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt at the Wilshire Theater at 8440 Wilshire Blvd in Beverly Hills. At 7:30 PM. Tickets are $15, and are available at the door.
Sunday morning, Rabbi Boteach kept the audience in stitches with his outrageous humor, particularly when coming from a bearded Hasidic rabbi.
He dressed elegantly and carried himself with great confidence.
Just before he began to speak, a tall man sat down beside me. It was Rabbi Schulweis. I told him that he'd been quoted in an article on me in the Forward (www.forward.com), a national Jewish newspaper out of New York.
Here's the quote: "Perhaps Mr. Ford's two-track life-style isn't as unusual as it seems. "Human beings are compartmentalized as it is, and we see a lot of strange behavior in people who are not of one material," says Rabbi Harold Schulweis of the Conservative Valley Beth Shalom in Encino, Calif. "David, the author of the Psalms, was also known as an adulterer and murderer," Rabbi Schulweis says."
Rabbi Schulweis had never seen the article. I promised to fax it to him.
After Rabbi Boteach, I and about 60 other people piled into a classroom to hear Rabbi -- speak on "Mysticism and Spiritual Ecstasy Through Hassidic Thought." But he never showed up. So instead we went to hear "The Kabbalah of Happiness."
Then we enjoyed a picnic Kosher-for-Passover lunch in the Sculpture Garden while listening to "Shir Bruin," UCLA's only Jewish A cappella ensemble.
Rabbi Schulweis spoke for 40 minutes on "The Morality of Passover." He based his talk on the some of thoughts of the 19th Century German philosopher Nietzche who said that the Jews have promoted the morality of underdog and the weak. As opposed to noble morality, which came from the nobles aka the ruling class.
For the second workshop, I skipped "Family Purity: Women's Oppression or Spirituality?" and selected instead Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller, of the UCLA Hillel [Jewish student organization] speaking on "Most Delightful of Days: Shabbat as the Inner Section of Spirituality and Sexuality."
Dennis Prager provided the day's climax, giving "A Talk to Students About Real Life."
Prager emphasized that college is not real life. It is a kindergarten. He deconstructed the word, explaining that university is literally a garden for children.
His first main point was that nobody cares where you go to college. It means nothing. Prager claimed that in his 18 years hosting talkshows on KABC radio in Los Angeles, nobody had ever asked him where he went to college.
This is not true. I've heard someone ask him that on the air. Also, when's he's talking about communism, Prager often makes the point that he studied communism at the Russian Institute at Columbia University.
Prager did his undergraduate work at Brooklyn College, spent a year studying comparative religion at the University of Leeds in England, then did a couple years of graduate school at Columbia. He eventually dropped out to write his first book - The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism.
Prager said: When you go on a date, does anyone ask you where you went to college? Does anybody care? No.
The students buzzed among themselves disagreeing.
I've found that it is one of the first ten questions you usually ask about a person, along with:
Where did you grow up?
What do you do?
Knowing where someone attended college can give you some insight into the person's academic abilities, intelligence and social class. Only highly intelligent people get into the elite schools like UC Berkeley, Stanford, Harvard and Yale. UCLA would rank among America's top 25 universities, perhaps among its top ten when you rank graduate programs.
Prager second main point: Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Sprinters burn out early.
I thought about how I tried to sprint through college, taking an overload of classes while holding down a job. I ended up breaking down physically into endless years of illness.
Point three. We need a worldview. College, and secular thought generally, cannot bestow this. What would happen if we lost a loved one or fell into some other severe form of misfortune? Do we have the worldview to handle such tragedy?
Four. Actions count more than theories and motives. In the real world, people care far far more about what you do, than about what motivates you. Or what the theory is.
Example. Prager belives that children should grow up with a mother and father. But when he says that on the radio he's deluged with calls from people who say that it is just as good for a single mother to raise a kid, than a father and a mother. Or two fathers or two mothers are just as good. Callers demand of Prager which academic studies back up his claim that children need a mother and a father.
Prager says we need to use common sense and respect the wisdom of the ages. He says he's never seen a study that contradicted common sense.
Yet I recall Prager on various times on his radio show, rejecting certain studies as ludicrous because they defy his common sense.
Prager talked about the Jewish proclivity to name things after people, to spur them to make donations. Such as the Chaim Ginzberg toilet or the Ethel Rosenbaum rose garden.
Prager: "The Ginzberg toilet. Why would I want to dump on someone..."
The room erupted in laughter.
Prager asked to rephrase his thoughts. His point - that people give money to charity to memorialize their name is not wrong. Their motives do not discredit the good that has been done by their charity. And a person doing bad things for good motives, like many communists, is still doing bad.
Then Prager took many challenging questions. Rabbi Chaim Seidler Feller said there was far more diversity of thought on college campuses then Prager claimed. And the rabbi said that universities teach students to question and to challenge authority.
Prager rejected this. Prager said that the social sciences in western universities are dominated by leftists. He looks through the assigned readings of feminist study classes at college bookstores across America and the writings selected are always leftist feminist propaganda, with nary a shred of science.
Prager was hissed when he said this. He responded that American universities breed hissing. He's never hissed a caller in all his years on the radio. But when conservatives speak on US campuses, they are commonly shouted down.
Dennis Prager in Moment Magazine
Dennis Prager wrote an essay in the February, 2000 issue of Moment magazine. Here's an excerpt:
Why, then, are so many Jews antireligious? Why are so many Jews convinced that religion is an intellectual fraud and the world's major source of evil?
One reason is that Jews are proportionally the most highly educated group and there is a direct correlation between higher education and antipathy to religion. Most Jews go from kindergarten through graduate school undergoing what can legitimately be described as a secular brainwash. Moreover, for many Jews the university serves as a substitute temple.
Secondly, most Jews walk around with an anger against religion-specifically over the nearly 20 centuries of Christian antiSemitism which they believe was the cause of the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, and the Holocaust. For every Christian raised with the belief that Jews are Christkillers, there is a Jew raised with the belief that Christians are potential Jew-killers. And while few Christians are still raised with the former belief, most Jews are still raised with the latter.
Finally, among many Jews hostility to religion is itself a form of religion. Many Jews hold an antipathy to religion that is as strongly held and as impervious to change as the beliefs held by religious people.
One consequence of this is that there are many unhappy and even angry Jews. It is difficult to find peace and happiness in life without God and religion, and it is difficult not to be angry if you believe that most of the world around you (that is, religious people) are likely to commit evil against you. The disproportionate numbers of Jews who commit much of their lives to various secular "isms" (Marxism, socialism, feminism, liberalism, humanism) is testimony to the need so many Jews feel for substitute secular faiths and sources of meaning.
In his first hour, Prager condemned Antioch College in Philadelphia for using convicted cop killer Mumia as its keynote speaker (in a prerecorded address, from jail).
In his second hour, Prager talked Passover and freedom. Prager said that God was necessary for freedom.
P talked about a cabdriver he met in the South who said that he was a drug addict before finding Jesus. P totally believed that by finding the Lord through Jesus, this man was able to extricate himself from drugs. The most successful programs to get people out of addictions depend on God - a Higher Power.
Prager says you need access to a higher power to break powerful addictions.
What are you enslaved to? TV, emotional dependences, workaholicism?
Prager spent the first two hours discussing the six year-old Elian Gonzales case. Prager wondered why it took the dad four months to come to the US.
Prager castigated Dan Rather for his softball interview of Elian's father. Prager says the media fawns over communists.
Prager, in his third hour, said society should prefer heterosexual marital sex as the ideal form of sexual expression. Callers said any sex was fine so long as noone was hurt. Prager preferred the Judeo-Christian sex guidelines. The humanist option was too elastic. What's wrong with brother - sister sex then? Or bestiality?
Prager discussed Brooke Shield's interview in the homosexual magazine 'The Advocate.' Brooke said she wanted to get married to a man and have kids, even though she found women sexually attractive. But because society frowned on lesbianism, she would prefer to settle down with a man.
Callers said it makes no difference to them if their child has sex with a member of the same sex or the other sex.
Shannon writes on the Prager List: One of my favorite Pragerisms was his remark that there would be a lot of "wisdom" in randomly assigning parents to newborn babies. I phoned in imediately after this sagely nugget was proposed and pointed out what I felt was the idiocy of such thinking... I was cut off promptly (I never cut off callers unless they ask not to be cut off DP) when I began a sentence "Now let me get this straight. In the world according to Dennis Prager, biological incest will become meaningless..." Prager pressed his c-ya button and launched into a diatribe saying my call was one of the "wierdest" that he had received in the last ten years. I basically tuned the man out after that and have not called his show since. Evidently his show is suffering from declining ratings these days according to a recent OC Register article. Look for shows on race sex and religion in an attempt to perk things up. Meanwhile I'll keep informed and entertained by listening to Michael Jackson.
Eltonfan: This is because Prager lost a lot of credibility after the Uri Geller episode. Everyone I know started referring to him as Art Bell number 2 and stopped listening to him.
Joseph Telushkin's New Book
Dennis Prager's friend Joseph Telushkin appeared on CNNfn April 7, 2000:
KITTY PILGRIM, CNNfn ANCHOR, BUSINESS UNUSUAL: Among the columnists who write for the beliefnet site is Rabbi Joseph Telushkin , but that isn`t all he writes for. Now aside from preparing sermons, he`s applied his writing powers to scripts, creating episodes for "Touched by an Angel" and "The Practice." Earlier this week, Beverly Schuch asked the rabbi about his move into prime time.
RABBI JOSEPH TELUSHKIN : It`s an interesting thing. I`m a rabbi. I don`t affiliate with any one denomination. I`m a traditional Jew, but I had a congregation which, I have a congregation which is sort of a guild synagogue made up of people in the entertainment industry. One of my members was Jeff Sagansky (ph) who at the time was president of CBS Entertainment and I had given him a murder mystery I had written that had a rabbinic hero called "An Eye for an Eye" and I said, does this have potential as a movie? And he read it and he said I like the way you write. I think it`s great, but it`s probably too Jewish for a general release film with a rabbi being a hero. He said, but I`m going to send it over to David Kelley (ph) who I consider to be the best writer in television and David called me about a year later and said I love it and I`d like to make a movie out of it and it ended up, he wrote scripts based on it and but he ended up incorporating it basing four elements of the "The Practice" on it. And then I came to him and turned with a friend of mine, with an idea for a script and he commissioned it and I went on to write three more.
SCHUCH: So your first television show was "The Practice" then.
SCHUCH: Which is, it`s not exactly starting at the bottom. But what did somebody say to you when they say, we want to do an episode on whatever the subject is. Write a script for it.
TELUSHKIN: That really hasn`t happened. I`ve actually been in the fortunate situation. I`ve been able to go both in several instances to "The Practice" and also to "Touched by an Angel" with an idea for an episode and they liked the idea. In the case of "Touched by an Angel," it was an episode that aired just a few weeks ago with Kirk Douglas and I`m somewhat friendly with Mr. Douglas and I had it worked out again with my writing partner, we had worked out an idea for a script and we went to the "Touched by an Angel" people and they really like it. It`s about an 83-year old man as is Mr. Douglas, who has struggled, who has had a stroke and who has struggled his whole life with his God and his Judaism and finally at the age of 83, really through a series of crises and other things, finds a way back to faith.
SCHUCH: So is being Jewish and being a rabbi always is at the epicenter of your writing then?
TELUSHKIN: No, I`m writing an other episode for "Touched by an Angel" with Alan Estrin (ph) and we wanted to have nothing to do with anything Jewish because - and by the way, all the episodes I wrote for David Kelly (ph) had no Jewish content because I also want to show that I can write about other things as well. My nonfiction books are about Judaism.
SCHUCH: And you have written a number of non-fiction books including your latest one, the "Book of Jewish Values" which we`ll get to in a second. But what`s the biggest difference between writing a book where you have few restrictions in terms of time and censorship and all and writing a, something for television. What was the biggest...
TELUSHKIN: Well, when you write for television, one of the things you really have to do is to find a way to take what might be an abstract idea you`d speak about in a speech and really give it a powerful punch. You have to find the story to accompany it. I had written a book on speaking fairly called "Words that Hurt; Words that Heal" and I gave an instance there of how important it is not to humiliate people with words. But then when, it was adapted for an episode of "The Practice," we had to give an expression, what it means to humiliate somebody and we showed an instance where a lawyer representing a man accused of rape, humiliated the woman who had complained of being raped and made it seem as if this was an act of willing sex when he knew there was no reason to believe that to be the case, got his client off and then a few days later, he runs into that woman at her place of employment. She works in a department store. He`s buying a suit. And when she sees him, she becomes hysterical and he finally has to confront what he has done. So you have to make the abstract very tangible.
SCHUCH: And we often think of lawyers as being less than scrupulous in these matters.
TELUSHKIN: In fact David Kelly told me that after that show ran, he got calls from three of his friends who were defense lawyers, who were impressed, they said, because it confronted them with the dilemma they depersonalized. Before a criminal case, they view the opposition witness as an enemy. They don`t think of it as a human being. And so they will do anything to destroy that person.
SCHUCH: Interesting. Your book now on Jewish values. What is the essence of this, the essence of Jewish values?
TELUSHKIN: OK, the essence of the values I`m trying to communicate in the book is, it`s a day by day guide to ethical living and it`s for non-Jews as well as Jews. I called it the "Book of Jewish Values" because they`re rooted in Jewish text, but for example, I try and give people an ethical teaching for every day of the year and for example I`ll share one. Here`s a plan which if parents would do, I think could transform the quality of life in America in a very few years and that is if parents reserve the highest praise of their children for when their children did ethical kind deeds. As it is, most kids get their highest praise for being very bright, for their athletic achievements, their cultural achievements and in the cases of girls, for their physical attractiveness.
First of all, those children tend therefore to see parental love as having a somewhat conditional element. You produce pleasure for us, you`ll get more love. But it`s really awful for the child who`s not particularly bright or not particularly attractive or not particularly athletically gifted. When does he or she get their biggest compliment. They`ll get it most, so and so is a nice person. It`s a throwback. If we raise children, they got their highest praise when they did kind deeds, we`d raise a generation of people who, when they were doing kind acts, most love themselves. And that could transform our world.
SCHUCH: And just to make sure we`re leaving nothing in the abstract here, if your child comes home and says that they rescued a kitten, then you praise them highly for that.
TELUSHKIN: Yeah, you really, right, exactly. You really, when they act nicer to another kid, when they go to an event and they take care of a kid who might not be as popular. You make them feel that doing the right thing is the right thing to do and that that really is what evokes your greatest warmth.
From Brian Lowry's column in the March 21, 2000, Los Angeles Times:
Most of the time, talk-radio hosts read a story out of some ink-stained bastion of the "liberal media," then spend the next hour (minus 27 minutes of commercials, news and traffic reports) weighing in on it. Granted, this isn't journalism, but a well-informed radio talent is the rare bird who bothers to read two articles on a subject before launching into that day's diatribe.
At times hosts can't even remember which pipes they are plumbing. Last week, KABC-AM's Dennis Prager criticized the media for their silence regarding professional athletes fathering children out of wedlock, which is ironic, since Prager wouldn't have known about the issue if there hadn't been a major Sports Illustrated piece to bring it into the national spotlight.
From the April 4, 2000 Austin American Statesman.
As part of the KLRU Distinguished Speaker Series, Rabbi Telushkin comes to Austin on Thursday.
Here he fields questions about that appearance, his new book and some ethical dilemmas:
Q: Why do we see so many books on values nowadays?A: The world has become increasingly complicated, and people want more guidance. The extraordinary technological advances we see are due to people's being willing to use their scientific imagination. What I'm pushing for is for them to use their moral imagination -- to find moral solutions.
Q: The solutions you offer seem simple.
A: Maybe they seem simple after the fact . . . what I try to show people is that doing the right thing often turns out to be the right thing to do. For example, one of the issues I address in the book is I've found over the years many adults experienced as children that their parents never apologized to them. Once you explain to people that if a parent doesn't apologize to a child, the lesson you send is that you only have to apologize when you're weak; when you're strong you don't apologize. Now once people understand that, it becomes obvious. Of course, when you hurt a child you should apologize. Yet an enormous number of parents never do.
Q: Why don't they?
A: Pride. . . . You know the most likely reason, though? Their parents didn't apologize to them.
Q: You're good at solving ethical dilemmas. Let me give you some sample questions people suggested. Say a Jewish man and a Christian woman marry. Both are very religious and want to raise their children in a religious way. How do they resolve that?
A: My general sense is it's probably better for a child to be reared in one religion . . . It can be confusing if the parents are exposing the child to both Christianity and to Judaism. It's a hard burden on a child, because there's a feeling that if a child chooses to identify with one religion rather than the other, that he's also identifying with one parent rather than the other. So, ideally it's best if they rear the child in one religion.
Q: I have a friend who just got back from traveling abroad who encountered beggars all the time. Should she try to give to them all? Or just walk away?
A: I live in New York City, where there are an enormous number of beggars. I've never met anyone who has a totally consistent policy. I often give to beggars. I'd rather be tricked than not give to someone who really needs it.
Q: What is a parent's responsibility to a child vs.versus some responsibility to a higher ethic? Say, what if somebody supports capital punishment and his child commits a murder?
A: I'd say if it's my son, I wouldn't want it. The truth is, if my son committed a robbery, I'd try to find ways of getting him out of serving in prison. You'll do what you can. I don't know that parents should be the touchstone. The fact that a parent would do something doesn't always mean that's the wisest thing for a society to follow. I'll take you to a much more minor case -- and I deal with this in my book. It's not always best when a father, let's say, is coach of a Little League team and his kid is on it. Because the obligations of a father and the obligations of a coach are not exactly the same. A coach is supposed to have totally equal and neutral feelings to everybody on the team. And a parent is supposed to have special feelings for their child. So, you're going to have conflict. Some things have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. In areas of ethics, you can't legislate in advance. Often you just have to lay down principles.
Q: What are you going to talk about here?
A: I'll develop the concept of moral imagination and give people 15 examples of very specific activities they can incorporate into their lives that will develop their skills of communication and make them happier as people and that will enable them to deepen the love they feel for others and evoke more love from others.
From Tomm Looney's Feb 21, 2000 column on radio:
* Middays KFI's Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura Schlessinger are still the King and Queen of Midday Mean, dominating the ratings once again from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. KABC's Dennis Prager and Al Rantel were way behind, as was 97.1 FMTalk's Jonathon Brandmeier.
* Afternoon Drive In talk radio afternoon drive ratings with listeners in the key money demographic, Tom Leykis continued to potty talk his way to the top of the ratings pile with a 3.1 AQH. Trailing Leykis in the number two slot was KFI's unam biguously gay duo of Karel & Andrew with a 2.3 AQH. KABC's Larry Elder was the third place talker with a 2.0 AQH.
* Night Numbers Mr. KABC had sweet revenge at night. Three years back, KFI replaced the then Mr. KFI with radio harlequin Phil Hendrie. Mr. KFI left in a huff to crosstown KABC and became Mr. KABC, where he continues to trounce Hendrie in the ratings.