Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ben Stein's Thoughts on Christmas

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. 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, 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 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 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 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.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,

Ben Stein


  1. Anonymous5:53 AM

    Thank you Ben Stein. I wish there were more people in the world like you!! May God bless you and our decaying world.Sandy Nytko

  2. Ben Stein, how dare you make the assumption that anyone who does not believe in what you or Christians define as God is a lawless reprobate with no moral or ethical standards. I am damn sick and tired of hearing this and I am sick and tired of being told that I will go to hell for my beliefs. I am also insulted that you imply that Madeline Murray O'Hare deserved to die for her beliefs, or that immorality causes someone to commit suicide. Ms. Murray-O'Hare was MURDERED. No man has the right to steal the life of another no matter what the reason. People commit suicide because they are sick--usually with depression and they have lost their hope. Suicide is a sign of very deep mental illness NOT SIN.
    I do not classify myself as an atheist because I believe that all of us are a part of a divine spirit. According to some that means we are all gods. I can accept that. I have a very strong moral and ethical belief system. I also rarely share my beliefs with anyone outside my immediate core of close friends and family because I know my beliefs are not popular in this country and there is a real possibility I could be punished for what I believe if it were widely known. I also aspire to the beliefs of Wiccan or popularly called Witchcraft. Did you know that the #1 precept of Wiccan is "HARM NO ONE"? If you do not believe me, look it up.
    The Christian bible says something about not judging others--how dare you judge me. Even in my own family, there are people who profess to Christianity and make a big point of it. These people walk out of church and treat their mother as if she is not even worthy of consideration or respect as a human being--their own dogs and cats get more respect. What happened to the commandment, "Love thy father and mother?"
    Last of all, there are many people like me who quietly hide their beliefs for fear of reprisal from Christians, Jews, Muslims and other organized beliefs. You are the sinners by your own commendation. I am simply a spiritual being who has come to this place to learn the lessons for the growth and betterment of my spirit. Finally, the truth will not change no matter what you or I believe it to be.

  3. The above comment was from Mrellan Harahan

  4. Bruce Anderson4:21 PM

    Last time I checked you can pray in school as much as you want. You can say Merry Christmas to anyone you want. You can have a Cristmas Tree, a Holiday Tree, a Soltice Tree, Pagan Tree, fake tree or no tree at all.

    We remain Americans, with full Liberty to worship our god, celebrate our festivals, and to ignore those that seek to divide us by inventing controversy where none exist.

    Do I want a school teacher to lead my Children in prayer, no thank you. A politician to declare what a tree is for, who cares? No thank you.

    Lots of smoke here, but no fire.

  5. Anonymous7:50 PM

    Pretty good editorial . One thing I notice much is from the people who defend PC because it is respectful . Then totally dis repect the person and beliefs of anyone that differs with their PC view . Respect what? When people only agree with you ?

    I am sure most people will say Merry Christmas to someone because they are sharing joy of the celebration , want to share that with another . Even different beliefs as Ben adheres to don't mind , it a compliment that someone wants you to be happy .

    If it bothers you , I think perhaps it says more about the fact that your not a happy person and nothing will make you happy .


  6. Anonymous3:30 PM

    Does no one check ?

    White House Christmas Trees are still Christmas Trees: