The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning
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 croeche, 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.
Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding 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… 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 OK.
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.”
In my life I am not threatened by people worshipping what ever God they please. I find it interesting that you feel atheism is being forced down your throat, because when I say the pledge of allegiance I say the words “Under God.” Does that not force religion down our throats? Does that not generalize all religions other than those that believe in God? As I say this I am not against people that believe in God or believe in multiple Gods, I say this meaning that atheism is not forced down our throats and any person should be free to worship or not worship whomever or whatever they please.
When people say that “How could God let this happen?” they are asking the difficult questions of religion, which is similar to the questions asked of atheists. Truly there is no fair answer to that question and people should answer that question based on their own personal ideals.
I also believe that spanking our children is a bad idea and there are other ways to raise a childe. By saying that Dr. Spocks children’s suicide is his fault is unacceptable. Saying that is making too many assumptions on his life and my heart goes out to Dr. Spock and his family, and by blaming the non-spanking attitude caused his child to kill himself is an outlandish claim. I also can say that I was never spanked as a child and I don’t feel that I am in danger of killing myself or hurting others.
I would like to say that while I do not feel that atheism is forced down my throat however at points religion is. I have woken up in the morning to find notes taped to my door that say to believe in God. Others telling me to believe in God have approached me. I have been shown pictures of dead children bearing the words that say believe in God, do not have abortions. Funny how I have never found a note taped to my door saying do not believe in God. Funny how an atheist has never approached me and told me to not believe in God. Funny how an atheist has never told me that God is wrong.