Dennis Prager

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Denis Prager is a minor white conservative radio talk show host.

Religious Bigotry

Prager won a small measure of notoriety when he couldn't make up his mind whether to condemn or tolerate but ignore Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison for deciding to take his ceremonial oath of office on a Quran. Prager resolved his little ideological dilemma in typical conservative fashion, by blaming the victim. He suggested Ellison was somehow responsible for any controversy. According to Prager, "I am for no law to be passed to prevent Keith Ellison or anyone else from bringing any book he wants to his swearing-in, whether actual or ceremonial. But neither I nor tens of millions of other Americans will watch in silence as the Bible is replaced with another religious text for the first time since George Washington brought a Bible to his swearing-in. It is not I, but Keith Ellison, who has engaged in disuniting the country. He can still help reunite it by simply bringing both books to his ceremonial swearing-in. Had he originally announced that he would do that, I would have written a different column--filled with praise of him. And there would be a lot less cursing and anger in America." Source: Mark Memmott. "Prager Says it is Ellison who is 'Disuniting the Country'." USA Today. December 5, 2006. Does Prager have any idea how whiny that reads?

Background

Some lives have a trajectory that encourages a closed mind. They are often revealed by a series of decisions in which the safest possible option is chosen, the one where group identity is not challenged through exposure to the religious or racial Other. Born on August 2, 1948 in Brooklyn, New York, Prager was raised an Orthodox Jew, attended Yeshiva Rambam for kindergarden through 8th grade and then Yeshivah of Flatbush for high school. In 1970 Prager graduated from Brooklyn College with majors in Anthropology and History. Prager attended the Russian and Middle East Institutes at the Columbia University School of International Affairs from 1970-72 but dropped out before receiving his Master's Degree. Instead he co-authored a book with Joseph Telushkin: The Eight Questions People Ask About Judaism (The Nine Questions People Ask About Judaism.

Prager was appointed by President George W. Bush to the taxpayer-funded U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council.

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