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Author Topic: Merry Christmas from Ben Stein
tdn
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, this past Sunday, 12/18.

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.

[ 20. December 2005, 10:20 PM:   snopes ]

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Arriah
The First USA Noel


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I highly doubt this was actually written by Ben Stein. A quick search reveals his holiday column focused on his dog. Any cite for this?

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Conforming meant that everyone liked you except yourself
Rebecca

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Spam & Cookies-mmm
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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benstein.com.

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Did you see the Announcement?
There's a new snopes message board!

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Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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According to Ben Stein's web site, "true." Read the Dec. 18 commentary. Stuff Ben Wrote

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The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."

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tdn
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm:
benstein.com.

How official is that site?
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Arriah
The First USA Noel


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Interesting. I retract my disbelief.

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Conforming meant that everyone liked you except yourself
Rebecca

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Lainie
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians.
At least he didn't say "persecuted."

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How homophobic do you have to be to have penguin gaydar? - Lewis Black

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Methuselah
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by tdn:
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.

See, it's easy to not be offended when no one is being offensive. Just like when I say 'happy holidays' I'm not being offensive to christians, and am not making a declaration about how I want Christmas to be cancelled permanently. [Wink]

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"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." - G.K. Chesterton

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Simply Madeline
The First USA Noel


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And the question still remains... where are these marauding hordes that are preventing Christians from celebrating Christmas.

I've been hearing non-stop how offensive it is to Christians when department store workers say "Happy Holidays", and I have yet to hear a single person say they are offended by "Merry Christmas".

So, where is this persecution coming from?

Last night I was watching the O'Reilly factor on Foxnews and Newt Gingrich (I think) was on (I was actually listening, not watching -- I was in the other room putting up CHRISTMAS lights). Newt was saying how 'brave' O'Reilly was for standing up to the anti-Christmas crowd. I laughed out loud. Imagine the courage required to stand up for the celebration of a day that is already a federal holiday!

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moonfall86
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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I thought Stein's speech was a good one. Maybe the pCms will shut up and realize nobody is out to get Christmas?
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moonfall86
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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waffles and candy canes
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tdn
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by moonfall86:
I thought Stein's speech was a good one. Maybe the pCms will shut up and realize nobody is out to get Christmas?

Yep. And Santa Claus is coming to your house in four days. [Wink]
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AliBaba
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
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?

Ben Stein is a conservative who worked for Nixon before becoming one of Ferris Bueller's teachers.

Who, exactly, is saying that "America is an explicity atheist country"? I don't remember hearing anyone say that. What I have heard people say is that we are a nation of many faiths and beliefs, and while I'm free to worship anyway I choose, so are you, and my freedom of worship does not extend so far as to allow me to beat you to death with mine.

I have no problems whatsoever with Christmas trees and wreaths, but that's only because they have nothing to do with Christianity and everything to do with my Pagan ancestry. (Sorry kids. There's also no Santa Claus.)

Do I get pissy with people for calling it "Christmas"? Nah. They could call it Googlymoggly Day for all I care. I know what it means to me.

Do I get churlish when people co-opt my Pagan holiday and make it about the birthday of baby Jesus? A bit, yeah. But then I go slurp some non-alcholic eggnog and get over it.

But do I think it's fair that someone who is Jewish, or Buddhist, or Pagan, or Muslim, or Atheist gets this Retail-induced hsyteria shoved down their throat, and then some conservative blow-hole wants to come along and get all pissy about how "it's about the birth of Jeeeeeeeesus"?

Spare me.

It takes a lot of nerve to steal someone else's holiday, and then have a conniption about the fact that someone else is stealing it from you. Especially when the stores, radio stations, and television programmers are pretty much jamming it down our throats starting about the day after Halloween.

Ali "bitter, party of one" Baba

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Mickey Blue
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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It was nice how they had that brief bit about Nick and Jessica to mask the same old "stop attacking the poor christians!" stuff..

quote:
It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, "Merry Christmas" to me.
Me neither, in fact I don't believe I've ever met or heard of anybody who did get bothered by it (they are no doubt out there, but miniscule in number).

But it seems every pCm out there is thrown into a cataclysmic hissy fit upon the utterance of 'happy holidays'.

I've grown tired of writing out my whole tirade to each of these ridiculous things (if it really is written by Stein it saddens me, while he is no doubt conservitive he always seemed very intelligent), suffice to say:

Dear pCms,

You do not 'own' the month of december (and novermber these days, for that matter), not everybody is a bible bashing Jesus toting god-thanking idiot like yourselves, some actually have respect for other cultures and ideas and heck, some aren't even christian (I know, perish the thought).

You are part of one of the largest most powerful groups in America, its time to get over this whole persecution thing, its been years since anybody fed you to a lion, stop the whining.

Honestly, it saddens me that such a large group of people can be lead around by babbling idiots so easily.. In fact it frightens me since thats basically been the recepie for most horrible things in the past.

Merry Christmas!

Mickey Blue (the self-appointed King of France)

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"All people are responsible for the good that they didn't do"

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Dogwater
Happy Holly Days


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I do try to reconcile my " principal of the thing"-feelings against having federal institutions displaying religious icons with the fact that, as a practical matter, I really don't care.

In the grand scheme of things, however, the Menorah that Chicago places near its Christmas tree is arguably much more a religious symbol than the tree to its left (which, I guess, goes to my point in the first paragraph).

That all said, I think it's GREAT that there are displays of peaceful celebrations. By wishing this Jew a Merry Christmas you are only wishing joy and happiness to me, not taking a ball bat to my knees until I renounce. I mean, there are countries that...oh, I don't know...for example...kill each other over whose belief in G-d is more righter than the others'.

I think all the 'attack on Christmas' people should get together with the Kabbalah string- wearing celebs and come to some agreement on what the religious-based fad of the moment is going to be. Having both at the same time simply dilutes the marketing strength of each one. SMARTEN UP people!!

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As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

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KentuckyGhostHunter
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by AliBaba:

Do I get pissy with people for calling it "Christmas"? Nah. They could call it Googlymoggly Day for all I care. I know what it means to me.

That's a GREAT idea....then we can wish everyone a Great Googlymoggly. [Smile]

sorry...made me think of that snickers commercial with the guy painting the endzone of the football field.

/hijack

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"People demand freedom of speech to make up for freedom of thought, which they avoid."
--Kierkegaard

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Kendra
Let It Wasabi


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Just tossing 2 cents in there but I watched him saying the piece on Sunday Morning so it is his.

Merry Christmas

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I have a hair trigger cynicism and I'm not afraid to use it.

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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quote:
Originally posted by AliBaba:
Who, exactly, is saying that "America is an explicity atheist country"? I don't remember hearing anyone say that.

The U.S. government is officially and Constitutionally secular. Not Christian. Not Jewish. Not Atheist. It is neither for or against religion.

The people, on the other hand, are atheist. Or Christian. Or Jewish. Or Islamic, Buddhist, Pagan, etc. etc. etc.

That's what the First Amendment is all about.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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FC
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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quote:
Originally posted by tdn:
at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu.

Slightly o/t, but it seems to me that by including this gratuitous remark about his wealth, BS has told us what he truly worships above all else.
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