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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

BadgersBottom Tue 20-Nov-12 20:16:19

I don't get your attitude OP. If I'd posted a whole heap of steaming shite on MN which was then proven to be a whole heap of steaming shite I think I'd probably shut the fuck up and slink off.

Have you considered that as an option?

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Nov-12 20:16:22

I had a good giggle last year with a friend of mine who is Jewish about everyone thinking we were out to ban Christmas. She was asked, in hushed tones, by a teacher at her DD's school whether she wanted more 'Jewish' content in the school play. She informed them that she didn't care and thought it was great that she was finally an exotic minority (she is from NY originally).

People also assume that my atheist self wants to ban Christmas. Sorry to disappoint but one of my favorite things is to curl up with some Bailey's, The Muppet Christmas Carol and a turkey sandwich.

Seems to me that you are the joyless, prejudiced one, not us fun-loving, BFing in public. Muppet Christmas Carol fan atheists. I even regularly drop off mince pies on Christmas Day to my local homeless shelter (when I'm not working there that day). I'm a terrible atheist. Richard Dawkins will probably be round to spank me.

MrsDeVere Tue 20-Nov-12 20:16:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fakebook Tue 20-Nov-12 20:16:30

This has just reminded me of something I saw in one of our not so classy shopping centres today. They have UPSIDE DOWN Christmas tree decorations. there's loads of these upside down trees hanging with baubles and the star on the top, except they're hanging upside down. My dad and me were confused and hmm because they look so strange. It's like the star symbol that means the devil upside down, surely an upside down Christmas tree is bad luck too? Very strange.

Softlysoftly Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:08

That bastard MrsTerryPratchett you mean, I just woke the baby snorting.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:21

I'm not sure the BA woman won her case actually if you look into it, again at wikipedia (bearing in mind it's not always an infallible source)

if you look at citation no.9 on the article, it reveals that BA offered the compromise of a crucifix lapel badge. She rejected this, refusing anything other than the right to wear a cross on a visible chain, (in order to proselytize). Now there's a reason why BA don't allow visible chains, and it's to stop the occasional angry/drunk/overtired passenger trying to strangle someone.

It's also worth noting from the article that Ms Eweida indulged in a little religious persecution of her own - of her sinful gay colleagues. Which does beg the question about why someone who isn't keen on the gayers would work for an airline...

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:37

YABU.... Christianity and Christians are not under threat from anyone in the UK. However, they are not doing themselves any favours by adhering to centuries old prejudices and failing to progress. Today's decision by the CofE to reject the idea of women bishops, for example, simply confirms that here is an organisation enshrining values of inequality that are objectionable to society at large. The further religious organisations depart from accepted standards, the less influence they will have and the more challenges to their authority they should expect

Abitwobblynow Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:51

Casey, what part of 'you can't wear a cross, but you can wear a bangle and you can cover your head and you can wear a turban' doesn't sound unfair to you? Maybe BA changed it because they were on a hiding to nothing? I have found that the man on the clapham omnibus to have quite a common sense feeling of fairness. Are you saying that the fuss was about nothing? I think not being allowed to wear a cross is very unfair when your colleague has her red wrist string or hair covered (all of which is lovely)... so if there was a storm, they kind of brought it on themselves.

And where is your meticulously researched proof to say she lost everything? Just asking...
What I reproduced was an abstract of an employment law finding. Or did I make that one up too?

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:17:52

Every example you've given that is checkable is unmitigated twaddle. And generally it's something that's been widely known to be unmitigated twaddle for years. If you are peddling it you are either being wilfully disingenuous or displaying breathhtaking levels of ignorance for someone who claims to be interested in this issue. Neither of those is likely to bring other people round to your way of thinking.

You don't have to painstakingly research the other examples, of course you don't - but when everything else you've said is twaddle no one is going to put much faith in your saying "but this one is TRUE". And just as you don't have t nresearch them we don't have to believe a word of it when you've given us no reason to do so and every reason to be suspicious.

ThatBastardSanta Tue 20-Nov-12 20:18:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gordyslovesheep Tue 20-Nov-12 20:19:50

Bangles, Turbans and Daggers are religious requirements - CROSSES ARE NOT

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Nov-12 20:20:18

Sorry Softlysoftly, shhhhh littlesoftly shhhh.

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

Cog... you might not have noticed, but in the big scheme of things Britain Europe and US is in decline. Africa and Asia is in resurgance. Now, who in your calculations, do the CoE have to keep their eye on? The 1 in 10 old dear in Britain, or the vibrant congregants of another continent?

I am also a bit sad about this, but it doesn't prove what you think it does.

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:22:36

The European Court of Human Rights' press briefing on the Eweida case outlines the case's previous history.

Softlysoftly Tue 20-Nov-12 20:23:21

Nothelping MrsTP.

I didn't understand a word of that last post opconfused

BadgersBottom Tue 20-Nov-12 20:23:40

So it this an anti-Muslim rant or not? If so just speak up and say so and quit with the thinly veiled allusions.

ratspeaker Tue 20-Nov-12 20:24:27

YABU for posting an incorrectly attributed piece from the internet that's been around for years.

noblegiraffe Tue 20-Nov-12 20:25:57

I'm an atheist. In the last fortnight my 3 year old DS has learned about Divali at pre-school, about Noah's Ark with his childminder and started to learn Christmas songs as a nativity performance preparation with his music group. We're looking at primary schools and two out of the four in our area are explicitly CofE, the others have to do collective Christian worship. If there's aggressive secularisation taking over the UK, I'm not sure where.

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:26:51

Abit...BA had a ban on jewellery. Not on items of religious significance per se. Some religions require the wearing of certain items, these were allowed (we're a secular country which doesn't discriminate against any religion, see) ; christianity does not require the wearing of a cross. She didn't take the option of a lapel badge which should surely have been enough if she'd felt that she really had to wear a cross. She was not discriminated against.

Anyhow.. so far the aggressive secularism seems to amount to a lady being told to take off a piece of jewellery and then being allowed to put it on again.

Oh gawd, I've only just realized who Ben Stein is! No wonder this post was a load of unmitigated shit, since apparently it came from the man responsible for [[ this!]

Dammit! Stupid fuggin link

CaseyShraeger Tue 20-Nov-12 20:28:24

BA allowed uniformed staff to wear items that were required by their religion (not just things that were "lovely"). And where possible the policy was that they should be hidden. Ms Eweida's religion doesn't require her to wear a cross, and if it did she could easily wear it under her clothes (which BA were perfectly happy for her to do).

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Nov-12 20:30:17

You aren't currently BFing are you Softlysoftly? I may have to get offended and report you <stern glare>. I'll stop now. Just trying to use humour to unite all us not prejudiced and scary Muslims, Jews, atheists, Christians, not listed, pagans etc. Let's all join hands and sing KeemaNaans song on the last page.


GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:31:07

> Now, who in your calculations, do the CoE have to keep their eye on?
Er, the English (and possibly welsh?) - That's who the vote on women bishops in the Church of England affected. Not the wider Anglican Communion - some regions of which already have women bishops (including Swaziland, which was in Africa last time I looked).

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 20-Nov-12 20:32:54

The CofE (the clue is in the name) may be far more interested in reinforcing sexual and other prejudice by preaching to the converted of Africa but that doesn't make your point which seems to be that you think Christians are being deliberately singled out for ill-treatment in the UK. hmm

Time was when CofE was a by-word for inoffensive... tea, cakes, weddings and funerals. Some high profile cases - the homophobic B&B owners, silly women with necklace obsessions, nurses forcing prayers on patients - often backed by fundamentalist lobby groups mean Christianity is bizarrely managing to make itself pretty offensive at the moment. I think the rest of us are actually being pretty tolerant.

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