A Christmas Message from our Jewish Friend, Ben Stein

A BIT MORE TOLERANCE ON ALL SIDES WOULDN’T HURT ANYONE

I’ve written recently of the intolerance of atheists during the Christmas season. We hear it from public officials as well – as more and more of the symbols of Christmas seem to disappear from public view every year: We musn’t offend atheists. We musn’t offend Muslims. We musn’t offend those who believe in other gods – or no god at all. We simply “musn’t offend.”

Unless we offend Christians, that is.

While I have written several articles over this past year critical of atheists, those who read me understand that it has not been the non-beliefs of atheists with which I have repeatedly taken issue; it is their intolerance, lack of respect, ridicule, and often – outright hatred of Christianity that I have attacked. It is the hypocrisy of their religion that I have disdained.

Why do we not hear more of tolerance and respect? Tolerance and respect for those who believe in God – even if we don’t? Tolerance for those who believe in gods other than ours? Tolerance for those who believe in no God at all?

I came across this message from Ben Stein today. I can’t think of a more fitting message for the Christmas Season – written by a proud, tolerant, Jewish American:

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, bejeweled 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 creche, 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 laughs, this one is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it’s not funny, it’s intended to get you thinking.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her “How could God let something like this happen?” (regarding Hurricane Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, “I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?”

In light of recent events – terrorist attacks, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (She was murdered;, her body was found a few years ago.) complained she didn’t want prayer in our schools, and we said “OK.” Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said “OK.”

Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn’t spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide.) We said an expert should know what he’s talking about. And we said “OK.”

Now we’re asking ourselves why our children have no consciences, 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?

My Best Regards, Honestly and Respectfully,

Ben Stein

We need more Ben Steins in the world – on all sides of the political and religious spectra.

Merry Christmas, Ben.

^

Happy Hanukkah, as well.

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Categories: Christianity, Religion

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15 replies

  1. Christians were persecuted until they were in charge; then they did the persecuting. As they lost political power later, they became tolerant. More or less, anyway. That’s history. Now, Christians (and Jews, who are strangely slow to realize it) are becoming weak; the non-believers are becoming stronger and dropping their erstwhile tolerance. That seems to reflect human nature overcoming sooner or later, everything. Not pretty.

    But that seems to be the pattern we’re seeing. And it’s just starting, it will, unless there is a religious resurgence, accelerate…

    But it won’t be carried on burning people alive at the stake; that would be polluting…

    • Christianity weakens with regularity, actually. Roughly every 400 years. We’ve bottomed out in the latest cycle and are on the upswing right now. It usually happens in a defensive posture, though, and is derided, maligned and passed down historically inaccurately. It’s a sad reality.

  2. Truth be told, I don’t know any Jews – and believe me, I know a lot – who have much of an issue with Christmas as a religious holiday. The commercialism is a different story, but a good many I know, particularly from Eastern Europe, will attend parties and celebrate along with us.

  3. Is it, or is it not, hypocritical for those (atheists) who rail against “Christmas” trees and “Merry Christmas” – yet have “Christmas” trees in their homes – and give “Christmas” presents to one another?

    What the hell?

  4. To answer his question “where did the America we knew go?”, this is all a result of a marxist infiltration into our society. They debase our morals, especially Christianity because it enforces strong moral values, because that makes us as a society more vulnerable to ridiculous ideas like socialism, which gives them power.

  5. BTW, my good, conservative, observant, religious, modest Jewish friend wished me Merry Christmas last night.

  6. The reverse discrimination is so blatant. It amazes me that these people actually don’t see it. Jackson, I believe that marxism, socialism & communism are mere tools used to get people to away from all things religious- especially Christianity. This allows the centralized power of these systems to have total control of the people through fear & force. Religion gives people hope beyond this world and its travails. It motivates people to fight for what is right. (ironically, it is this aspect to religion that gets exploited by many politicians as well- think: Muslim suicide bombers). But none of the systems are important in and of themselves. They are just the chosen vehicle to obtain power for those at the center. As long as God remains as supreme- as long as the people believe that, their control remains tenuous.

    Jack, I can’t equate Christians to atheists as you do. But I understand your point.

  7. Just found this blog today. I am a Christian and I agree with what was written, but be careful to check your sources! My Mother-in-law sent me the same thing via facebook today (in November of 2012) – ben is a big supporter of Christmas and if you google it you will find many video clips of him speaking on the subject, BUT quite a bit of what is written in toward the end of that post has been embelished. (Just an FYI…)

  8. Yeah, a quick google search will turn up the fact that it has been in circulation fo about 10 years and it is only partly atributable to Ben Stein the rest is glurge and viral “feel good about yourself” garbage.

    As a christian I remind myself that it was Hanukkah LONG before it was Christmas. We (christians) corrupted Hanukkah and made it something it was not and now we (“christians”) get upset when someone decides they want to make our made up “holy day” something else. Now that’s ironic!

  9. Something tells me you’re a liberal.

  10. Snopes will give you the transcript of what was said by Mr Stein, most of the intolerant “morality is purely the domain of true believers” blarney was added. Christmas date, Saturnalia amongst others, Christmas trees, pagan, holly celtic, mistletoe the same. Personally I am sick of being told that as an atheist I can’t celebrated Christmas while the christians took almost all the elements of christmas form non christian sources.

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