Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Ponderings (by a Jew)

Me: Dara has put up her Christmas Tree; Ben brought up the Holidays and is dreaming of Christmas (or at least Thanksgiving). I guess I started it by talking about "Presents or NOT" a few Blogs ago. So, continuing in that same vein, I thought you might enjoy the following video of Ben Stein, who is Jewish, talking about Christmas.

Sorry you have to endure the 30-second advertisement before you can view the video.

[Now turn off (pause) the video's next ad, so you can read on: ]

More of Ben Stein's Ponderings on Christmas:
Herewith at this happy time of year, a few confessions from my beating heart:

I have no freaking clue who Nick and Jessica are. I see them on the cover of People and Us constantly when I am buying my dog biscuits and kitty litter. I often ask the checkers at the grocery stores. They never know who Nick and Jessica are either. Who are they? Will it change my life if I know who they are and why they have broken up? Why are they so important? I don't know who Lindsay Lohan is, either, and I do not care at all about Tom Cruise's wife.

Am I going to be called before a Senate committee and asked if I am a subversive? Maybe, but I just have no clue who Nick and Jessica are. Is this what it means to be no longer young. It's not so bad.

Next 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 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 Nick and Jessica 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 Nick and Jessica came from and where the America we knew went to.

Me: It's refreshing to get a Jewish perspective on Christmas as it's celebrated in the US, isn't it?


Katscratchme said...

I adore Ben Stein and have for a long time. He is insightful and wonderfully accepting of all types of people.
I think that the people that I truly respect are the ones that don't demand it, but clearly and gently remind us all that someone other than ourselves deserves it just as much.

Rebecca said...

I agree with Ben Stein. We should be accepting and respectful towards others; their beliefs and their religions. I don't think we have the right or authority to condemn or judge others.

In the payroll department, we have a jew; a catholic; a mormon and I am not sure what my Indian friend is or my Japanese friend - we have a respect for one another and we celebrate with each other during the various religious events. One year I made my boss a blue and silver wreath for her to hang on her door during hannakuh and I gave her blue and white candle sticks.

We gain a better appreciation for others when we respect their relgious observances.

DebbieLou said...

Nicely put!