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Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager speaking at the California Capitol Building, 2008
Born August 2, 1948 (1948-08-02) (age 61)
USA
Occupation Radio host, political commentator, author, and television personality

Dennis Prager (born August 2, 1948) is an American syndicated radio talk show host, columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for conservative political views frequently based in religious faith and for his critique of secularism in the 20th century.

Contents

Early life

Raised as an Orthodox Jew, Prager attended Yeshiva Rambam from kindergarten through 8th grade and Yeshivah of Flatbush for high school, where he met his future coauthor Joseph Telushkin in the 10th grade. Prager attended Brooklyn College, majoring in Anthropology and History; he graduated in 1970.[1]

Political views

In his articles, broadcasts, and lectures, Prager has declared that the U.S. is engaged in a "second civil war" "culture war" over the fundamental moral values on which American society was built. Prager argues that many influential American institutions (including universities, trial lawyers, labor unions, the ACLU, civil rights groups, and most large newspapers and television networks) are dominated by "secular leftists," who, he says, attack and misrepresent the uniqueness of Judeo-Christian values and their positive historical effect upon America and the world.[2] In 2005, 24 of his columns were devoted to explaining those values and how he believes they make the United States special.[3] Prager also appeared on Penn & Teller: Bullshit! to discuss his views on PETA's campaign comparing livestock farms to the Holocaust.[4]

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Controversy involving Muslim Congressman taking oath on the Quran

Prager in early 2009 opposed Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, of taking the oath of office in a photo-op reenactement of the actual oath, with the Islamic Quran. Prager stated that America was "imperiled" by Ellison taking the oath on the Quran in substitution of the Christian bible. Even conservative commentators, such as Tucker Carlson were critical of this position, pointing out that the US Constitution requires no religious test. [5] Earlier in a column he had written about Ellison taking the congressional oath on the Quran, "He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization." [6] This writing generated controversy such as the statement from the NWProgressive blog, "Undermines American civilization?" He can't be serious. America is a nation that was founded on principles such as freedom of religion, not Christianity or any particular Christian denomination." [7]

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council's Resolution

In 2006, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (which, among other projects, governs the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Due to Prager's involvement in the Quran Oath Controversy the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for Prager to be removed from the council overseeing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial. Some members of the Memorial Council such as former NYC mayor Ed Koch were vocal in advocating his removal.[8]

In the end, the executive committee of the council issued a resolution that has been seen as "distancing" the council from Prager's remarks.[9] In an interview with the Associated Press, Prager stated "he was honored to 'continue serving' on the board, and that he understands the pressures that caused it to issue a statement."[10]

Bibliography

Prager wrote for several years for the Sunday Los Angeles Times "Current" section, and writes a weekly column published in newspapers and online at Townhall.com and elsewhere.

He is also the author of four books:

  • Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism (with Joseph Telushkin) (1986) ISBN 0-6716-2261-7
  • Think a Second Time (1996) ISBN 0-0609-8709-X
  • Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual (1999) ISBN 0-0609-8735-9
  • Why the Jews? The Reason for Antisemitism (with Joseph Telushkin) (2003) ISBN 0-7432-4620-9

References

External links


Dennis Prager
File:Dennis
Dennis Prager speaking at the California Capitol Building, 2008
Born August 2, 1948 (1948-08-02) (age 62)
USA
Occupation Radio host, political commentator, author, and television personality
Children 1 Grandchild (announced 9/15/2010)

Dennis Prager (born August 2, 1948) is an American syndicated radio talk show host, syndicated columnist, author, and public speaker. He is noted for conservative political and social views emanating from Judeo-Christian, Jewish, and American values. He defines the latter as E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty (which includes small government). He is a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He taught Jewish and Russian History at Brooklyn College, and was a Fellow at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, where he did his graduate work at the Russian Institute (now the Harriman Institute) and Middle East Institute from 1970-1972. He has lectured in 46 states and on six continents and traveled in 98 countries and the 50 U.S. states. He speaks French, Russian, and Hebrew, and has lectured in Russian in Russia and in Hebrew in Israel. An avid classical music lover, he periodically conducts orchestras in Southern California.

Contents

Early life

Raised in Brooklyn, New York as an Orthodox Jew, Prager attended Yeshiva Rambam from kindergarten through 8th grade and Yeshivah of Flatbush for high school, where he met his future co-author Joseph Telushkin in the 10th grade. Prager attended Brooklyn College majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and History; he graduated in 1970. He went on to study at the Russian Institute at Columbia University.[1]

Political views

In his articles, broadcasts, and lectures, Prager has declared that the U.S. is engaged in a "second non-violent civil war" "culture war" over the fundamental moral values on which American society was built. Prager argues that many influential American institutions (including universities, trial lawyers, labor unions, the ACLU, civil rights groups, and most large newspapers and television networks) are dominated by "secular leftists," who, he says, attack and misrepresent the uniqueness of Judeo-Christian values and their positive historical effect upon America and the world.[2] In 2005, 24 of his columns were devoted to explaining those values and how he believes they make the United States special.[3] Prager also appeared on Penn & Teller: Bullshit! to discuss his views on PETA's campaign comparing livestock farms to the Holocaust.[4]

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council's Resolution

In 2006, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council (which, among other projects, governs the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Due to Prager's involvement in the Quran Oath Controversy the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for Prager to be removed from the council overseeing the U.S. Holocaust Memorial. One member of the Memorial Council, former NYC mayor Ed Koch was vocal in advocating his removal.[5] Koch, however, was a lone voice on the Council. No other member spoke up in favor of Prager resigning. In the end, the executive committee of the council issued a resolution that has been seen as "distancing" the council from Prager's remarks.[6] In an interview with the Associated Press, Prager stated "he was honored to 'continue serving' on the board, and that he understands the pressures that caused it to issue a statement."[7]

Controversy involving Keith Ellison

Prager in early 2009 opposed Congressman Keith Ellison, a Muslim, of taking the oath of office in a photo-op reenactment of the actual oath, with the Islamic Quran. Prager stated that America was "imperiled" by Ellison taking the oath on the Quran in substitution of the Bible, as the Bible, "the moral basis of American civilization" in Prager's view, had never before been replaced by another religious work. Some conservative commentators, such as Tucker Carlson were critical of this position, pointing out that the US Constitution requires no religious test. Tucker stated: "I'm no great defender of the Koran, but I'm not sure why America is imperiled by Keith Ellison's taking the oath on it. …it's hard for me to believe I'm defending the Koran here. But that document [the Constitution] says very clearly no religious test will ever be required for holding office and you're implying holding up a religious test. …If you don't believe in the God at the very center [of] that document [the Christian Bible], you still have to acknowledge the centrality of the document? With respect, that doesn't make sense. …Here we have a Jew pushing a Muslim to use the Christian Bible. This is - that's America."[8]

Bibliography

Prager wrote for the Sunday Los Angeles Times "Current" section, and writes a weekly column published in newspapers such as the Washington Examiner and online at Townhall.com[9], National Review Online, Jewish World Review and elsewhere. He also writes a bi-weekly column for the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.

He is also the author of four books:

References

External links


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