November 21st, 2012
So it seemed that Ben Stein is at it again. If you haven’t seen it, he’s rehashing an old spiel he’s had about our country going the wayside due to the athiest agenda and lack of belief in God (be it Christian or Jewish – or the same). I had addressed part of this speech, years ago when it kept going around in viral email fashion. You can check out that response at my old blog, Reap What We Sow, Blah blah blah
However, after a bit of research, one sees that it is not Ben, but someone who is hiding behind his name. Taking his original essay and changing it to fit their own agenda…as usual. The real deal is here. I still feel the need to address what was said though, so here it is (my responses are in bold):
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. Actually, the ‘Christmas’ tree has its origins in a very Pagan setting. Pagans used boughs cut from evergreen trees to decorate and celebrate the winter solstice as a symbol that not all things would die.
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. Those of us who are not Christian do not try to make the USA an atheist country, but it is also NOT a Christian country. Our founders said it repeatedly, yet the Christians use their money to influence our politicians to make policies that are based on what Christians believe. As a Pagan I have never once told a Christian they couldn’t worship as they chose, I’ve never tried to have their children taken away because of their religious beliefs (even though you’d think the ones that don’t believe in doctors would connect that if their GOD could heal someone, he might do it by giving the knowledge to another human), I’ve never tried to raise money so I could lobby a politician to pass any law restricting a Christian’s right to do anything that doesn’t infringe on someone else’s. Many Pagans believe that as long as you don’t harm someone, you are free to do what you will. So if two men would like to marry, let them. It does nothing to hurt my relationship to allow them to do so.
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. The idea to worship celebrities kind of sits right there alongside the worship of money…which many of your cohorts, whoever you are, do on a regular basis, hence the high population of poor people in this country.
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. All this gets me thinking is that those of you who believe in ‘God’ whether he be a Christian one or Jewish one, also think that those of us who don’t are stupid, immoral and unethical. This is simply not true. Many of us who do not believe in your ‘god’ are very moral, ethical and intelligent. We understand that to be a good person means to help others because they need it, not because we are being judged by some anthropomorphic being that will decide our fate once we are dead.
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?” ‘God’ doesn’t control the weather, because he’s an idea. Some people need that idea in order to live a fulfilling life. Others need that idea to gain power and money. Weather happens because that’s how our planet works. That’s how it has always worked. It’s called SCIENCE.
In light of recent events… terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O’Hare (she was murdered, her body 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 neighbour as yourself. And we said OK. And all the while the majority of people who do not adhere to the Bible’s ‘rules’ claim to be Christian. Religion is NOT necessary for ethical behavior as is proven by the MANY ‘Christian’ people who do terrible bad things.
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 okay. I don’t see where Dr. Spock said we should spoil our children to the point they have no sense of responsibility. Not beating our children isn’t what makes them little monsters…buying them everything they want because we didn’t have it growing up or making sure every kid on the team gets a trophy even if they don’t win is what makes them not have a conscience or understand that the world isn’t fair, you must work and many times work together to make it good for everyone.