Friday, December 22, 2006

Why It Shouldn't Matter About Christmas Trees

This is a copy of an article from Ben Stein. I admire him greatly for his thoughtful and wise observations on what the media tells us is our "culture". From my perspective, if you look to the likes of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan or even Miss America, there is more bacteria than art to our current state of affairs. I have found that kids and their parents are woefully ignorant of literature, art, music and theater that used to be part of our collective make-up. Instead we fill our lives with shallow diversions, meaningless endeavors and overpriced objects that the prevailing and popular stars of the limelight tell us we MUST have. But I have said too much and I don't want to spoil the punch of Mr. Stein's piece.

The following is Ben Stein's commentary on CBS Sunday News from December of last year. -------------------------------------------------------------- "Herewith 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 baby. 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 is what it means to be no longer young? Hmm.. 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 crèche, 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." --------------------------------------------------------------

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