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, the Jewish kosher laws governing which foods are proper to eat and how to prepare them. "

The Maker's Diet

," "What Would Jesus Eat?" and other Christian flirtations with keeping kosher tend to stress the health benefits of the God-given dietary conventions, but other Christians

contemplate going kosher

as a matter of faith. But how to begin? "

Spice and Spirit

," a cookbook compiled the Lubavich Women's Organization, is the "Joy of Cooking" for kosher eating and a common present for newlyweds in the Orthodox Jewish community. One caution: though the text and recipes are for beginners, most will want to scale down the proportions, which tend to be for tables of six or more.

Sects of the Stars


You read the People magazine cover on Hollywood's faith fixations. Now for the quiz. NewYorkish, a blog of "humor, news and other useless information," provides a list of 19 movie stars and asks you to

match each

with his or her religious affiliation. Answers are provided.

The Secularist Gap


The May issue of First Things contains a

convincing piece

from Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio, two City University of New York political scientists who have argued



that the media is quick to identify religious influence in the Republican Party, while remaining mum about the influence of secularists in the Democratic Party. According to Bolce and De Maio, traditional believers--white evangelicals and Catholics--migrated to the GOP after secularists took over the 1972 Democratic convention that nominated George McGovern, resulting in what the press calls the "religion gap," but which the profs say could as easily be called the "secularist gap."

DeMaio and Bolce slip, however, in looking only at white Democrats, dismissing the party's evangelical wing, which happens to be largely African-American. In the watershed year in the professors' research, 1992, Clinton carried thee quarters of the secularist vote. In that same year, Clinton won 83 percent of the African-American vote. Two-thirds of African-Americans call themselves evangelical or born again, according to a recent ABC poll.

Next for Mel: Assisi?
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