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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

Frontpaw Mon 26-Nov-12 15:10:02

I love christmas trees.

gotthemoononastick Mon 26-Nov-12 15:07:57

Why are people so unnecessarily chippy and rude on here?

BigBirdisSaved Mon 26-Nov-12 14:59:21

They didn't work for me sad

MorrisZapp Mon 26-Nov-12 12:13:12

Oliver Burkeman, the very cove. Will read and enjoy both, tvm.

Merry Debunking, to one and all!

CaseyShraeger Mon 26-Nov-12 10:46:38

There's this one from Kevin Arscott and communities this from Oliver Burkeman (the Burkeman piece is probably the one you're thinking of, but the Arscott is worth reading)


We could add a new festive date in the calendar. Debunk day? Once a year all these myths are put into a virtual pile and we can all dance around the cyber bonfire.

MorrisZapp Mon 26-Nov-12 10:31:38

I absolutely love the annual Winterval ruckus! It's as traditional for me now as flirting with Tall Steve at the office party.

Shame it seems to have died down a bit in recent years. I do enjoy a thorough debunk of errant nonsense, complete with endless linkable, verifiable facts thrown in for fun.

A guy in the guardian did a brilliant and hilarious winterval myth piece a few years ago. Worth linking here, if anybody's on a proper computer?

I think I have posted before that my muslim husband was so offended by the roast (halal) chicken with roasties, veg we had last year on 25th Dec he had to have seconds so he could be offended some more wink.

There is one great leveller, it doesn't matter what religion you are the paper crowns out of the crackers never quite fit properly.

hackmum Mon 26-Nov-12 09:54:57

I agree, Grimma. It's funny how we put children in reins but cats are allowed to walk free. It's funny how Jews aren't allowed to eat pork but the internet is full of pictures of pigs. And so on...

GrimmaTheNome Mon 26-Nov-12 09:44:57

That's interesting, cory. Its like 'easter' here - other europeans have names which allude to Christianity/Judaism I think but the British retained the pagan name for the springtime festival.

That guy stein is a master of false logic, isn't he? 'Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.'
Er, but discussion of God also passes freely in cyberspace, while lewd etc articles are also suppressed in the school and workplace. hmm

Anyone who can read that piece and take it in the least seriously could do with honing their critical faculties.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 16:46:25

Well as a Swede I get to call it Yule (or jul, to be exact) even though I am a Christian: we just don't have the word Christmas. And we celebrate on the 24th.

BigBirdisSaved Sat 24-Nov-12 16:30:40

That whole thing is a bunch of twaddle. American hand-wringing fox-news style twaddle.

Take this for instance...

"Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell."

If you "trash God" then you wouldn't believe in hell.

"Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says."

1) Many skeptics are equal opportunity skeptics and don't take much verbatim.
2) The author is supposedly Jewish so the NT would be questionable to them. Frankly I doubt that the author of the note is anything other than loud American conservative Christian that has C&Pd someone else's words and added to them. If they are common or garden American Christian then they don't question the bible.

"Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace."

Cyberspace, workplace, school. Three different things and not directly comparable. Arguing apples and oranges.

I like "Happy Holidays" because it includes me and my family, but I don't curl up and die if I hear "Happy Christmas" either.

cory Sat 24-Nov-12 09:40:00

not wishing to sound like a grinch, but the yearly Winterwaal thread is really one Christmas tradition I could do without.

bah humbug, to coin a phrase

charitygirl Sat 24-Nov-12 06:56:12

OP - why haven't you acknowledged all the links posted to Snopes? Do you know what Snopes is?

ErikNorseman Sat 24-Nov-12 06:42:32

OP I think you are just a teeny bit racist

Tanith Sat 24-Nov-12 03:08:17

Keema, Yule is a Pagan festival, celebrated at Winter Solstice on or around 21st December.
Christmas is a Christian festival, celebrated on 25th December.

Separate festivals, separate religions. You can actually celebrate both if you feel like it.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Sat 24-Nov-12 01:56:30

Lovely Catkins. I know the White House often does a menorah separately (even during the Bush years) but they always have done a Christmas tree. It's a major thing.

OP - Firstly, as everyone else has said the whole thing is rubbish. Even if it wasn't, it's quote cited from Ben Stein who, while a Jewish man (a Jewish man/woman/group is preferred to "A Jew" which can come across as aggressive) is not affiliated or speaks for any Jewish organization and is known these days for weird trivia knowledge and not being all there in the head.

Christianity has a high place of status in this country and while it is losing some of it and becoming more like the rest of us groups, the "discrimination" against them is nothing compared to regular discrimination, silencing, abuse and violence (including murder, particularly in the States) of those from other groups.

MrsTerryPratchett Sat 24-Nov-12 01:24:44

How satisfying, Catkins.

Catkinsthecatinthehat Fri 23-Nov-12 23:23:46

And with absolutely perfect timing Michelle Obama and her daughters were today filmed receiving the White House Christmas Tree. Carried to the White House by Shire horses pulling a cart with the words 'Christmas Tree' in large letters on the side.

YellowTulips Tue 20-Nov-12 21:02:17

Given the probability of a supernatural omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God actually existing is about as likely as finding a fat man, in a red suit with a white beard* in your fireplace on Christmas morning who cares what the trees are called?

* caveat my late Grandfather in jim jams still pissed from Christmas Eve grin

MrsTerryPratchett Tue 20-Nov-12 20:55:04

Or fish complaining about water.

MissCellania Tue 20-Nov-12 20:44:40

Christians complaining about religious intolerance is like middle class white men complaining about racism and sexism.

gordyslovesheep Tue 20-Nov-12 20:38:29

you missed out Sikhs with their turbans and bangles to quote the very odd OP'er

GrimmaTheNome Tue 20-Nov-12 20:37:38

Abit... can I just ask if you've got any school age children, and if so have they ever been discriminated against when applying for state school places?

Because a lot of children in the UK have been in exactly that position.

Lets of thousands of children versus whether a piece of jewellery is being displayed or someone spreads a rumour about the name of a festivity.

Kalisi Tue 20-Nov-12 20:37:08

Sigh, ok I'll join in the game shakes head in disbelief Who has offended you OP? Atheists? Muslims? Jews? Christians who are not 'hardcore' enough? Your original post has been revealed as bollocks, your subsequent examples have been found as bollocks and......
Dammit, I went and posted didn't I? Why why why must you entertain it Kalisi??

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