Changes, do we really want them?

Worth a read________________________
Ben Stein

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday
Trees for the first time this year which pro mpted 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 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 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 Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely p
rofound 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 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. 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 is ‘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 God or Jesus, people think twice about
sharing.

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,

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15 thoughts on “Changes, do we really want them?

  1. Unreqwrited

    Our staff Christmas party was recently homogenized. We no longer serve alcohol or have dancing. So that just leaves a meal. I have no qualms about the alcohol or dancing one way or another but it really feels ridiculous that we should cater to the minority to eliminate OUR traditions. I want the choice whether to drink or not or dance or not! If they don’t like it, then don’t come! If they do, don’t drink and don’t dance. It’s that simple. This will pretty much kill the annual party as attendance declined dramatically. If others are offended at our traditions I’m reciprocally offended that their complaints take presedence and take away my freedom of choice. *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. hilarycustancegreen

    Hmm, I too am happy to enjoy with different people, a variety of religious festivals, but I do not think today’s violence has anything to do with atheism or being soft on children. Although we hear much about violence, there is less of it now than at anytime in history. Difficult to believe, but history (and religion and skepticism) go back a long way. Fighting used to be lauded, killing people rewarded, but today, for the vast majority of humanity, peace and toleration are the ideal we all aim for. We are atheists, and so are our children (and our parents); we don’t trash anyones beliefs, we have morals and principles, we are peaceful and happy to tolerate differences.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. bkpyett Post author

      Hilary, glad to receive your comment. I only wish it were so that violence was less. Awareness has certainly improved and things can be brought out in the open, that is the first step! We are still sending men and women off to fight… there’s much room for improvement!! Our Australian of the Year has been amazing with her work bringing about change. I shall attempt to write a post about Rosie Batty today.

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  3. Silver in the Barn

    Differences ARE important, Barbara. And Ben Stein’s piece is excellent. Just want to throw in that the White House has not started referring to Christmas trees as Holiday trees. Thank heavens, they are still Christmas trees and hopefully always will be!! Ben Stein’s piece was generated, I believe, by the whole “Happy Holidays” whitewashing of Christmas in just about every other aspect of American life.
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/christmas/ornaments.asp

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
      1. Silver in the Barn

        Hello Susanne. What a discussion we could have about language. I studied French in school and even after all these years, when I would be struggling to find a word in Mandarin, the French word would pop into my mind first. I so understand the shyness. You are so right, the whole experience is utterly humbling.

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  4. gerard oosterman

    Perhaps it is more the way with people deserting their church and institutions that they entrusted to do the best for the world and its citizens. Not a day goes by and another case of sexual abuse is being investigated. The latest allegations and admittance by the Knox Private school in Sydney. It just goes on. There is now a Royal commission!
    I feel that to be one reason many feel disappointed in their beliefs.
    I am all for differences and opposing positions. But…unquestioning and passive acceptance of what the churches have been telling us seems now very much at a crossroad.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. bkpyett Post author

      Gerard, I can only agree with you. Organised religions have let people down, and for me, I can’t swallow the dogma. But, traditions like Christmas still hold something special, even if it is just the tradition of family gatherings, peace on earth and good will etc. I guess there’s no logic in how I feel, I still like the Christmas carols, even though I’ve rejected the reason behind them… The Royal Commission is uncovering so many frightful circumstances, so often covered up by the religious and pious, it’s enough to turn anyone off.

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