Ben Stien’s statement on Good Morning America

To quote Leigh Anne Tuohy in “The Blind Side” – Who died and made you Bear Bryant?  (I loved that movie, btw)
While gays have suffered immeasurably under almost ALL forms of organized religion, I still identify myself as a Christian and I agree with many of Ben Stein’s points.  At Christmas, I say “Merry Christmas” to my co-workers, the cashier at the supermarket, the parking lot attendant, etc.  I don’t care if they’re wearing a sari, a hajib, a thobe, a chador, an abaya, Chanel, or Levis.  I offer it in the spirit of the season and the spirit of inclusion.  And if I’m offered “Happy Hannukah”, “Blessed Ramadan”, or any other religious or cultural greeting from a culture other than my own, I’m enough of a Christian to accept and appreciate their greeting in the spirit in which it was offered. 

When I was on temporary duty in Saudi Arabia during Ramadan one year, these piss-poor 3rd country nationals who worked in our warehouse would come and get us in the late afternoon and INSIST we join them for the evening meal at sunset to break the fast for the day.  None of us was Muslim, but to them it didn’t matter.  We were Chrisian infidels in the Holy Land during their most sacred time of the year, if you listened to the zealots.  To me, their gesture to include us was REAL unadulterated religion, and we accepted their gracious offer in the spirit in which it was given.

And just because I’m Christian, I don’t expect atheists to work at Christmas so can have it off duty.  But by the same token, my Christianity shouldn’t be shoved off the table by anyone’s atheism.

And frankly, as a gay man who is over 40 and packed on the middleage pounds, I CERTAINLY do not care to be limited (emphasize: LIMITED) to a “gay agenda”, since I consider myself no more a member of the “gay community” than a member of some “white community”, “blond community”, or “left-handed klutz community.”

For a bunch of people who proclaim to promote “tolerance” and “acceptance”, it seems to me a lot of gay people are every bit as intolerant and unaccepting as any ultra right-wing bible thumper.  One need look no further than Whoopi Goldberg’s and Joy Behar’s recent behavior on “The View”.  Whoopi and Joy pass themselves off as all “tolerant”and “accepting” – and then they have a meltdown with Bill O’Reilly on the set?  That showed them for the hypocrites they are.

Doesn’t it seem that whenever ANY group of people gets together in numbers they believe forms a critical mass that they begin to push their own agenda on anyone they can?

Mr Stein never got chased around a school playground or called names because he he was a nonbeliever, a pagan, a Jehovah’s Witness, a Moslem/Sikh/Hindu or whoever else wouldn’t take part in  a “nondenominational” Judeo’Christian monotheistic prayer. Nobody is being persecuted for being a Christian. Many people have been and often still are mistreated because they are not Christians or believing Jews.

I was in public school in Florida when the words “under God” were ADDED to the Pledge of Allegiance. That’s right, God wasn’t pushed onto the 20th century political scene and equated  with country until the forced conformity of the 1950s. If you don’t believe me, see the PBS special “God in America”, currently playing, which documents the persecution suffered by folks who didn’t want prayer for their kids.

Jesus, Jehovah and Allah don’t have any place in government.  And the fundamentalist Christians and super-orthodox Jews who want to push their own versions of Sharia law on us while badmouthing their Moslem equivalents are not our friends. When they had the power, they made us illegal.

I certainly would never have brought anything up if someone had not pushed his personal agenda (NOT a gay agenda) on us.

Having the freedom to worship your own fantasy is one thing, and is guaranteed by our constitution. Having it shoved down your unwilling throat is quite another. I’ve heard the Good News more than once, thank you. I invoke the very same constitution and freely reject it and don’t appreciate it brought up again and again.

Take responsibility for your own spawn, America! Educate them about your mythology yourselves at home. But don’t expect me to pay for it through my taxes. And don’t expect me to stand by and let my own kids be brainwashed by your own perverted fantasies.
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 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 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 Hrricane 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.  We said an expert should know what he’s talking about.  And we said ‘okay’.  (Dr. Spock’s son committed suicide.)

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.

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


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