Dennis Prager

From Citizendium
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is developing and not approved.
Main Article
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
This editable Main Article is under development and subject to a disclaimer.

Dennis Prager (1948-) is a Jewish American conservative political opinion broadcaster and writer. He is represented by Creators Syndicate; is a columnist for; has written articles in Commentary, The Weekly Standard and Wall Street Journal; and has published several books.[1]

About the Left

Among "contemporary left-wing" commentators, he singles out Frank Rich of the New York Times Magazine, saying "Virtually every piece is filled with anger, filled with ad hominem responses to arguments, filled with insults of opponents and at the same time devoid of intellectual arguments. A Frank Rich column is essentially a weekly tantrum meant to make his readers nod in agreement and reinforce their contempt for those who differ with them. [2] Of Rich's recent column about the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" (DADT) policy, Prager said "Not a single serious argument of proponents of DADT was cited, nor did Rich did offer a single argument on behalf of repealing it. Instead, the article was a smear of all supporters of that policy or of retaining the male-female definition of marriage."


Concentrating on the definition of marriage, Prager rejects the equating of racial and gender-based discrimination, for two reasons. First, he observes that men and women are inherently different while races are essentially a social construct. "...any imposed separation by race can never be moral or even rational; on the other hand, separation by sex can be both morally desirable and rational. Separate bathrooms for men and women is moral and rational; separate bathrooms for blacks and whites is not." For his second argument, he moves from biology to morality: "opposition to marriage between races is a moral aberration while opposition to marrying a person of the same sex is the moral norm... On the other hand, no religious or secular moral system ever advocated same-sex marriage. Whereas advocating interracial marriage was advocating something approved of by every religious and secular moral tradition of America and the West, advocating same-sex marriage does the very opposite -- it advocates something that defies every religious and secular moral tradition. Those who advocate redefining marriage are saying that every religious and secular tradition is immoral. They have no problem doing this because they believe they are wiser and finer people than all the greatest Jewish, Christian and humanist thinkers who ever lived...Those who wish to redefine marriage for the first time in Jewish, Christian or secular humanist history may offer any honest arguments they wish. Comparing the prohibition of same-sex marriage to prohibiting interracial marriage is not one of them. [3]


In 2006, he led a campaign to block Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minnesota), the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress, because Ellison said he would take his oath of office on the Qur'an.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler's Mein Kampf, the Nazis' bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison's right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office? [4]

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned this statement.

Prager is flat-out wrong when he asserts that Representative Ellison’s use of a Koran would be “damaging to the fabric of American civilization.” To the contrary, the U.S. Constitution guarantees that, “no religious test shall ever be required” to hold public office in America. Members of Congress, like all Americans, should be free to observe their own religious practices without government interference or coercion.

Prager’s patriotic prattling is misinformed on the facts, too. No Member of Congress is officially sworn in with a Bible. Under House rules, the official swearing-in ceremony is done in the House chambers, with the Speaker of the House administering the oath of office en masse. No Bibles or other holy books are used at all. Members may, if they choose, also have a private ceremony with family and friends. At these unofficial ceremonies, Members frequently solemnize the event by taking an oath while holding a personal family Bible. ...

Prager presents intolerant, ugly views. His comparison of Ellison’s desire to “choose his favorite book” to that of the right of a racist elected to public office to use Hitler's Mein Kampf is outrageous. If Prager were merely a blogger and radio talk-show host trying to be relevant and provocative, these views might not merit a response. But as a newly-appointed member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, Prager and his views must be held to a higher standard.[5]

On December 4, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to remove Prager from its board. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, however, defended Prager. Catholic League President Bill Donohue, with Don Feder, president of Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, said

“We, too, will contact the Holocaust Memorial Council. What we will say is that Dennis Prager is an outstanding American who was wisely chosen to serve on the museum’s advisory council. We will further note that he is the subject of a patently unfair and defamatory attack by the ADL and CAIR. Our nation’s motto, E Pluribus Unum, is not Out of One, Many, rather it reads Out of Many, One.

The Bible is the constitutive source of the Judeo-Christian ethos upon which the U.S. was founded. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are products of Judeo-Christian civilization. As Prager said, Jews take their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament. It’s a matter of respect: it’s a symbolic statement that pays due homage to our common heritage. Ergo, the same rule applies to everyone.

We proudly stand by Dennis Prager. What he said was accurate and what has been said against him is scurrilous.[6]

Unifying threats

He unified the multiculturalist and gender threats into a common existential threat to the United States, writing, in 2004, "America is engaged in two wars for the survival of its civilization. The war over same-sex marriage and the war against Islamic totalitarianism are actually two fronts in the same war – a war for the preservation of the unique American creation known as Judeo-Christian civilization.

One enemy is religious extremism. The other is secular extremism."[7]