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September 2017
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Aerden [userpic]
Wisdom from Ben Stein

I like Ben Stein.

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every sing! le 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 crche, 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 f rom 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.

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 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 w! hen Mad eleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found recently) 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 OK.

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 RE AP 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?

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 bel ieve, 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,

Ben Stein

Current Location: Home
Comments

He completely forgot to include one fundamental fact in this entire article: the reason it's necessary to keep God out of schools, the workplace, and government is that human beings cannot respect each other and their differences - not in religion, not in politics, not in anything. So, no, the world isn't going to hell because people have stopped praying in school. The world is going to hell because people have no respect for each other, even those who profess to strongly believe in God. I SO do not agree with this guy, not even a little bit.

I'm with the first comment on this one. It isn't an issue of lack of bibles and prayers in school, it is a lack of being able to effectively communicate and teach respect and tolerance, with or without recourse to the Bible.

I don't know where he gets the idea that there is this huge idea that America is an "explicitly atheist country" - from a secular perspective America is, well, not secular in Government nor generally atheist in attitude in the slightest. While that is a generalisation its worth saying that you seem somewhat dictated to by your the religious conservatives.

I so do not agree with him, either. Beyond that, I'm extremely offended by the notion that God is purposefully not protecting an entire country (or planet) from tragedies, due to the effects of the separation of Church and State in the U.S. I think it's a vast oversimplification to blame the decay of American/Western society and even natural disasters on removing prayer from schools.

As much as I do believe in God, I do not believe that the Bible and its commandments or the promise of reward or fear of punishment are necessary for human beings to treat each other well. I don't believe a lack of religiosity necessarily means a lack of conscience. In fact, people have long used religion/scripture as a basis and justification for all kinds of unconscionable acts.

I concede the point that the worship of celebrity culture is ridiculous. However, there is a huge difference between not being allowed to worship God and the separation of Church and State (and I disagree with this separation meaning that the U.S. is an atheist country) in a country where Christians are NOT being persecuted or punished (as they are in other countries), as much as the likes of Bill O'Reilly would like to insist as much every year around this time.

It does bother me when people wish me a "Merry Christmas!" It's not because I begrudge anyone their faith or their holidays, but because I resent the assumption that everyone is Christian. I don't go around wishing Christians a "Happy Hanukkah!" - and the truth is that it wouldn't have the same meaning if I did, because mine is not the dominant and pervasive culture.

Respecting religious differences isn't necessarily "trashing God," as he is suggesting.

And lewd, obscene emails were considered absolutely inappropriate (and grounds for censure) in my workplace, while a colleague of mine began praying over me in Jesus' name without asking. Personally, I wouldn't send unsolicited religious emails not because I'm afraid of what people will think of me, but because I have a huge issue with religious proselytizing. I have no problem discussing religious beliefs when all parties are genuinely curious about each others' faith/beliefs and respectful of each others' spiritual and personal integrity. I think that is often not the case.

Finally, it's mindboggling that Ben Stein suggests that one doesn't have a right to take issue with what's going on in the world just because one discards his theories of God and/or karma.

With all due respect, children taking guns to school and murdering their classmates has more to do with a lack of parents doing the parenting than a lack of schools doing the parenting.

As for the world going to "hell" - the world has always been a tragic place filled with doom-sayers. Look at any era in history, and there's always someone claiming that because of sin or because of religious neglect, God (or whatever deity they happened to worship) is punishing them. Just because the latest tragedy happened to affect us more close to home does not mean that the severity in violence and terror has escalated; it just means we can't pretend that it's not happening by playing our head-in-the-dirt isolationist card.

I'm finding myself attracted to Buddhism for its appreciation of suffering and these types of tragedy about being part of incarnation than playing the blame game.

Stein isn't reaching me either. It's all very simplistic to place the blame for the problems in society upon issues like making sure the separation of Church and State is just that. Or saying Doc Spock is to blame for kids shooting up schools.

To say Katrina was God's turning his back on the USA, what about the tnusnami in the Pacific? What had they done? I find it primitive thinking to start asking 'how can God allow this to happen?' and then try to find reasons.

Sorry Chantal but this guy just didn't impress me at all.

Okay, upon further thought, I was a little suspicious and looked this up. Ben Stein did NOT write this whole thing (particularly the parts that I found most offensive!). See here:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/benstein2.asp

Iswari--Oh, now that's interesting! Thank you for looking that up. I will read it when I get home from work.

Chantal