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Ben Stein on Christmas and Society

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Forum topic by DrDirt posted 995 days ago 1472 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DrDirt

2398 posts in 2366 days


995 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: philosophy

Remarks from CBS Sunday Morning….(I confirmed on Snopes)
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, 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 crčche (representation of the Nativity scene), 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 as we understand Him? 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.
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 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 okay..

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.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison


17 replies so far

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1317 days


#1 posted 995 days ago

Awesome!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

944 posts in 2431 days


#2 posted 995 days ago

Fantastic post! Ben Stein is/has always been spot on! Sadly, you may get the standard negative reply to wit: ”... I thought this was a woodworker’s venue yadda yadda yadda…” I say ignore those comments and continue as before. The fact is, we need to take every opportunity to push facts into the public arena and the forum does not matter. The global left has infiltrated every forum that promotes a message. If we want to keep our republic we must commit to do the same regardless of the push back! Keep chargin! CDR Maxwell, USN (ret)

-- Max the "night janitor" at www.hardwoodclocks.com

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1317 days


#3 posted 995 days ago

^Tell em Stein uses a SawStop. That should give him adequate clout.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View KnickKnack's profile

KnickKnack

971 posts in 2190 days


#4 posted 995 days ago

Interesting.

Snopes describe themselves as “the definitive Internet reference source for urban legends, folklore, myths, rumors, and misinformation”.

According to Snopes, Dr Spock’s son did not commit suicide – link – other sources seem to confirm this.

According to Snopes, the last half of this wasn’t written by Stein at all – link – the consensus seems to be that it was said by Anne Graham, Billy Graham’s daughter, about 10 years ago.

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
From what I’ve read, that’s somewhat misleading – the landmark court case, Murray v. Curlett, declared school-sponsored Bible reading in public schools in the United States to be unconstitutional.

There are some interesting, possibly even thought-provoking, ideas in there – it’s a shame that it’s significantly devalued by not being written by whom it purports to be written by, and that it contains things that are simply not true.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2398 posts in 2366 days


#5 posted 995 days ago

KnickKnack – - -Sometimes you need to look at the forest rather than cataloging individual trees….

Goodness Ben shortend School Sponsored Bible reading and referred to it as prayer in school…. is not misleading…certainly not in a meaningful way –
And good lord he missed that it was Dr Spocks Grandson not son that jumped off a building.

Must mean the whole point about religeous offense from displays during the holidays is incorrect?

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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ShaneA

5285 posts in 1222 days


#6 posted 995 days ago

Al, you are just spreading rumors now. Everyone knows he is a PM guy!

Ben is a bright man, no doubt about it. However, it is not like religion (of all types) is without their own issues and histories of war, abuse, and terror. I am sure he means well, and I know what he is saying, but the answer is deeper and more complex. For example, the people who flew planes into the WTC probably thought they were doing god’s work. I dont mean to offend, but religion can/has been twisted thru history, with often tragic results. Evil people will seek out whatever excuses or justifications they can to help them accomplish their goals.

I typically would not participate in religious type discussions. I think everyone should be free to worship as they may please. If everyone followed and practiced the ideals that are put forth in the bible or other relgious books, the world would probably be a better place. However, those messages, in the wrong hands can be disasterous. I dont mean to touch off a religious debate, because I think Ben makes some good points. I would just say there are so many complex issues at work today in the world today, that there will be no simple or easy solutions. Which is sad.

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KnickKnack

971 posts in 2190 days


#7 posted 995 days ago

Must mean the whole point about religeous offense from displays during the holidays is incorrect?
I didn’t think it was about that, I thought it was a much deeper thing about what may have “gone wrong” with society.

And good lord he missed that it was Dr Spocks Grandson not son that jumped off a building.
The whole paragraph was questioning Dr Spock’s ‘teachings” based on the fact that his son committed suicide. Given that his son did not commit suicide the whole paragraph becomes invalid. Has a nice ring to it. Fits in nicely with the general tenet of the piece. Just using “facts” that aren’t true. I deem that important.

Goodness Ben shortend School Sponsored Bible reading and referred to it as prayer in school…. is not misleading…certainly not in a meaningful way –
Firstly, Ben did not say this, he copied it from someone else.
Secondly, I wasn’t picking up on that, but on “And we said OK”. I’ve seen other threads, seen other discussions etc, and Americans are, as far as I can tell (I’m not an American) really strong on “The Constitution” – that’s the backstop. Whenever guns are discussed – “The Constitution” comes up. Whenever free speech is discussed “The Constitution” comes up. Just to say “And we said OK” makes it seem like people just let it slide when, in fact, it was deemed that “The Constitution” said it was not allowed. The Founding Fathers didn’t want it.

As I said, there are some interesting points in there, but I personally think it would have been more powerful without the errors, inaccuracies and fact changes to make the case.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

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Viktor

447 posts in 2043 days


#8 posted 995 days ago

The world has been steady going to hell for the last 13 billion years (oops, I am questioning the Bible), and yet I would not trade living today for any time in our God-fearing past (and I suspect neither would you).

KnickKnack, it is hopeless. In the United States facts are the subjects of faith or public debate at best. Who cares about your facts. Dr. Spock’s grandson was schizophrenic, who cares, must have been caused by his grandpa not excepting the Lord (are you getting this nicely inconspicuous message? … eyeroll).

View Viktor's profile

Viktor

447 posts in 2043 days


#9 posted 995 days ago

“Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.”
Now, this fallacy is just plane ridiculous. The obscene etc. AND the discussion of God pass freely through cyberspace, while both are suppressed in the PUBLIC school (as it should be).

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2398 posts in 2366 days


#10 posted 995 days ago

The challenge is that the “freedom of Religion”cited for the first amendment – “the establishment clause” deemed that there should not be an official Government Religion.

This has been picked at and twisted by groups to be Freedom FROM religion.

Pushes:
The ban on school led prayer/bible reading in the above case I was fine with – it was stated in the article as being a “Turning point” where the author felt a part of morality had gotten derailed, as the cases meaning gets stretched and twisted.

now it is ordered to Remove the 10 commandments from government buildings

No Christmas trees on public property

the World War 1 memorial in the Desert in california – erected a cross in 1936 – but the ACLU fought to have it removed. Ultimately in 2006 the Supreme Court ruled that the presence of the cross didn’t endorse a religion so the lefties went out and stole and presumably destroyed the cross.

No Christmas parties in school – only “Winter Holiday”

Kids writing christmas cards from the school to soldiers fighting in the middle east – not allowed to write Merry Christmas – because it is offensive.

We roll down this PC pathway and wonder why things seem so much like american Idol

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

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Brad_Nailor

2531 posts in 2581 days


#11 posted 995 days ago

Ya and I guess that forcing YOUR religious beliefs down peoples throats will make everything all better..

“For this newly formed nation to succeed, we must build a wall between church and state” Thomas Jefferson

-- http://www.facebook.com/pages/DSO-Designs/297237806954248

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Viktor

447 posts in 2043 days


#12 posted 995 days ago

“No Christmas trees on public property”

That’s right. Every year they ban that huge Christmas Tree near the Capitol. LOL.

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KnickKnack

971 posts in 2190 days


#13 posted 995 days ago

Ah – interesting. I love these threads that make you go off, research, and learn stuff.

I’d agree with the 10 commandments rulings.

I’m iffy on the “Christmas trees on public property”. What of the “National Christmas tree”?
I think that in this day and age “Christmas” has lost most of its religious significance, and I’d judge the tree mainly decorative and cheery.

Kids writing christmas cards from the school to soldiers fighting in the middle east – aren’t there “Freedom of speech” implications in that? Isn’t the next step to stop “Merry Christmas” phone calls? If my kid had been told he couldn’t write “Merry Christmas” on a card to a soldier I’d be taking issue.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

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Viktor

447 posts in 2043 days


#14 posted 995 days ago

“Kids writing Christmas cards from the school to soldiers fighting in the middle east – aren’t there “Freedom of speech” implications in that? Isn’t the next step to stop “Merry Christmas” phone calls? If my kid had been told he couldn’t write “Merry Christmas” on a card to a soldier I’d be taking issue.”

Here you go again with your facts, KnockKnack. Yes, the court ruled on that particular case and things where straitened up. But that’s because you live in a reality-based community, where your views are shaped by judicious analysis of discernible reality. In a faith-based community the lefties banned Christmas.

View Eric_S's profile

Eric_S

1521 posts in 1819 days


#15 posted 995 days ago

When I see a chain email with “confirmed on snopes” I immediately disregard it. The text DrDirt posted isn’t all factual. Only a small portion of it was actually said by Ben Stein, the rest was from other anonymous sources spliced throughout.

Here is the real text that Ben Stein said, the rest mentioned above was not from him… http://www.benstein.com/121805xmas.html

-- - Eric Indianapolis, IN

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