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A Jew complains on behalf of Christians

(102 Posts)
Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:10:41

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as “Holiday Trees” for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America . . .

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, “Merry Christmas” to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a crib, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.

Are you laughing yet?

Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.

Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

Pass it on if you think it has merit.

If not, then just discard it.... no one will know you did. But if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 20-Nov-12 19:13:17

Eh? confused

What is this meant to be about?

Christmas trees are pagan originally. I can't imagine God really cares what we call them.

kenanddreary Tue 20-Nov-12 19:14:58

Which bit do you think is BU then OP?

InNeedOfBrandy Tue 20-Nov-12 19:15:59

Started with Yule logs, and then Albert brought Christmas trees over from Germany I think.

B1ueberryS0rbet Tue 20-Nov-12 19:18:39

So ....... is he in favour of them being called holiday trees then?

I see lots of stuff on cbeebies about devali so as long as we all know about and respect each others' traditions then why is it offensive. Are jews and christians enemies? i didn't think so confused so I don't know if Christmas tree would upset anybody jewish or otherwise.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:18:57

The right-on 'concern' and 'protection' of 'the feelings' of 'other faiths' to 'justify' the stopping of cultural/religious things is what he has identified as U, everyone.

Do you or do you not agree? Is U or not?

TheLightPassenger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:20:58

the first half of the quoted e-mail is accurate, up to "where the America we knew went to". After that is misattributed.

B1ueberryS0rbet Tue 20-Nov-12 19:21:16

oh right, i think i get what he's saying. that we shouldn't be so determined to remove any evidence of our own god to avoid causing offence to another person's god that we delete God altogether.......

LRDtheFeministDragon Tue 20-Nov-12 19:21:20

Is what U or not?

Christmas trees?

I think it's reasonable to have trees and call them what you like. If Obama calls them holiday trees, fair enough. If someone else wishes he didn't call them that, that's their business. It's not IMO an issue anyone should be taking up on behalf of anyone else, and it's got bugger all to do with faith so far as I can see.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 19:23:23

> ...but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school ...

not here in the UK it isn't.

I don't know why they'd refer to Christmas trees as 'Holiday trees' any more than we think twice about saying that it falls on a Tuesday this year, that being named after a god.

But, doing so is not 'pushing Christians around' hmm. Get a grip Mr Stein. Using a different word is not persecution. If you want to defend Christians who are being persecuted, go to various Islamic states in Africa, or Pakistan...theistic countries.

TheLightPassenger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:25:03

I think it's a far enough point for a non-Christian to make, that they aren't at all bothered by Xmas trees being called Xmas trees, rather than holiday trees.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 20-Nov-12 19:26:12

Er, Um...

Nancy66 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:26:32

it's less of a big deal in the US though - it's been 'the holidays' for a long time and people say 'happy holidays' all the time rather than 'merry christmas'

Louboo2245 Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:13

Just looked this up as I liked the spirit of it, turns out it's been doing the rounds for a while, but is one of them there urban myths.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:32

Snopes also says that the White House has never declared that Christmas Trees will be called holiday trees.

So the OP is just bollocks, and misattributed bollocks.

kenanddreary Tue 20-Nov-12 19:28:21

Well what do you think OP? You started the thread so would be good to hear your opinion.

For what it's worth I think it is BU to stop faiths being open about their celebrations so if this is accurate and he did actually say this then I wholeheartedly agree with him. Every faith should be able to refer to their celebrations/festivals accurately. If I wish to use the word 'Christmas' then I should bloody well be allowed to! Since when has the use of the word 'Christmas' or the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ been offensive? This guy is simply saying that although he isn't Christian himself it doesn't bother him in the slightest if others wish to openly celebrate the Christmas season. And rightly so.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 19:28:50

Its a red herring. I don't know anyone who cares about traditional religious labels being attached to festivities.

> I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.

It didn't come from anywhere because its patently untrue. Writing 'Honestly' at the end doesn't make it so. This is a thoroughly disingenuous piece.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 19:32:18 its another 'winterval' style myth? hmm

It makes me quite cross that these sort of faked-up whinges get currency when people actually are being persecuted and discriminated for their faith or for their lack of it.

I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

No-one claims that it's an atheist country, NO-ONE. They do claim it's a secular country, which it is and which is mentioned in the FIRST AMENDMENT.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof


Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

hmm Doesn't even deserve a response.

What a load of bullshit.

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 19:39:05

Stephen Fry's advice to be deeply sceptical of any anecdote/factoid that starts with "Apparently..." seems apposite.

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 19:39:55

Grimma, disingenuous how? what about the actions of our local county councils then? No bf in public, 'winterval', no christmas notices allowed on the notice board, BA not allowing crosses...

what part of this is disingenuous? I think aggressive secularism DOES push Christians around in the name of 'not offending anyone'.

I think you are the one who is being disingenuous here, to deny the above. And don't twist this into being aggressively Christian, remember the original point:

[as a member of a religious minority] I am NOT offended by the Christian symbols of Christmas.

Which agenda the progressive secular branches of the state (such as 'holiday trees'), push.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Nov-12 19:42:23

Post defending Christians and Jews and trashing atheists, nice.

FWIW, I am one of those Godless heathens and I celebrate Christmas (or whatever mishmash of traditions we are doing now, it's not really a Christian holiday). I also variously do Hanukkah, Eid, Diwali depending on which of my religious friends wants to feed me.

I really don't understand why people fall for the line that atheists either object to Christmas or that they have no values or morals. Prejudiced, badly researched, mean, unChristmassy shite.

Secularism has nothing to do with what British Airways, a private company, does or does not allow its employees to do, since secularism is the separation of church and state.

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Nov-12 19:43:51

Your local CC is probably full of idiots not atheists. Just saying.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 19:43:54

No one has banned bf in public, I've never heard winterval used seriously, and see tonnes of christmas stuff wherever I go. BA's uniform code is their own business.

Don't talk such shite.

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