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Sunday, December 18, 2005

This is where my gratefulness ends

....there can be surprises like the one that happened in Manhasset on Dec. 2, when the Rev. Nick Zientarski invoked "Jesus Christ, our Lord" in blessing the Christmas tree at a public ceremony....

That is where I draw the line.

Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, who had presided at the ceremony, was heard muttering angrily during the blessing. After Father Zientarski finished, Mr. Kaiman stood up and addressed the crowd of about 200.

"This is inappropriate," the supervisor said of the invocation. "I just want to make it clear that this is in no way a religious ceremony."

Mr. Kaiman's response was considered rude by an overwhelming majority of several hundred people who e-mailed or phoned his office afterward to complain.

Manhasset is a village in the town of North Hempstead in Nassau County, Long Island.  While Manhasset might be "overwhelmingly" Christian; North Hempstead isn't.  But that's beside the point.  A display is one thing; reciting The Lords Prayer is something else.  That is pointed and exclusionary. I expect better from Long Island where I was raised thinking all religions were equal.

A prominent local citizen, the Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly, who has made what he calls the "war on Christmas" a regular feature of "The O'Reilly Factor," scolded Mr. Kaiman on the air.

Mr. Kaiman received several hundred emails and phone calls in protest.

"We have a national holiday called Christmas and the central meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus."

That person is right.  Maybe Christmas shouldn't be a national holiday.  While I personally enjoy Christmas and the holiday season--properly called holiday as it goes from Thanksgiving to New Years, often I had to work much overtime to make up for the two days I would take off during the year for the Jewish Holidays.  It did annoy me especially when Good Friday was also a recognized holiday.

This past week I wrote about Christmas and being grateful.  On a comment in another blog my post was in, somebody couldn't understand how I could be grateful to the founding fathers as they are no longer alive.  Hello.  I'm grateful for their foresight.  I am grateful to the huge majority of Christians in this country who recognize that legally America is a secular country.

When I read something like the quote above, and when I read about The Lords Prayer being recited in a public place without other religions being represented, my respect for the Founding Fathers, for the Constitution, for The First Amendment deepens.

We have a president who believes that he is above the law as evidenced by his radio address yesterday, which I'm not going to get into.  He consulted with a "Christian" leader before announcing a Supreme Court nominee.  Again I'm grateful to all the wiser heads who prevailed.

Get it through your heads.  This is my country also; as it is every Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, etc., who are citizens. 

Don't like the changing demographics? 

Leave.

Leave it to us who really love and feel grateful for America and the promises it holds.  Again in that thread on another blog, I was told that every person who is a citizen of a free country should just accept it, and not think about it.

I don't wake up every morning and say:

"Thank G-d, I'm an American."

But I'm glad that my ancestors settled here.  My family has done well here.  We have prospered in ways that might have been impossible anywhere else.  My father probably wouldn't have been able to go to college in another country.  That he was able to was considered to be a miracle by his parents.

I'm glad that I live in a country where I can feel free to protest what I see as wrong.  The reason I wrote the post the other day was that I went to several blogs to comment.  They talked about minority groups coming here and protesting traditional values and ways; they ended with The Lord's Prayer.  What could I say?

As a Jew I did feel insulted.  I could easily blend into the fiber of the country and the blog world.  I don't even believe in G-d.  But I respect how much people have gone through the centuries to remain Jewish. I'm proud to be Jewish; I'm proud to be American, and I'm proud that I have been able to navigate through many cultures and religions.

This is from another article on the same subject.

The Christmas"defense" movement is starting to be openly anti-Semitic. The two people Mr. O'Reilly has demonized the most frequently on the issue are Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," and George Soros, the billionaire financier whom O'Reilly has called the "moneyman" behind the anti-Christmas movement. The New York Post, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation — the same company that owns Fox News — recently put a story on its front page under the headline "Treeson" about a Jewish town supervisor from Long Island who tried to keep Christian prayers out of a government-sponsored tree-lighting ceremony.

Charges that Jews are behind the "War on Christmas" are beginning to be made directly. The president of Liberty Counsel, a conservative religious group, stated on Fox last year that a Florida mayor was conducting a vendetta against a nativity scene at least partly because he "apparently is Jewish." When a Jewish caller to Mr. O'Reilly's radio show objected to Christmas in the schools, and said that he "grew up with a resentment because I felt that people were trying to convert me to Christianity," Mr. O'Reilly responded. "If you are really offended, you gotta go to Israel."

No, Mr. O'Reilly, this is my country. Israel is not the point here. I neither speak the language nor feel at home there.  Again, this is my country. Three generations of my family lived here before me; another generation is growing up now.

The nation is rapidly becoming more religiously diverse. The percentage of the population that describes itself as Christian has declined to 77 percent in 2000, from 86 percent in 1990. The biggest increase has been in people who do not identify themselves with any religion, a group that has more than doubled since 1990.

America is still very much a country of Christians, these numbers show. But nearly a quarter of the country, representing as many as 70 million people, is not Christian. It stands to reason that stores and politicians would try to take into account the inclinations of such a large part of the population.

So Mr. O'Reilly if anybody leaves I suggest that you do. If you had a parent or grandparent born in Ireland you can become a citizen.

See how stupid this debate can become?  I tried suggesting that people enjoy the secular aspects of Chistmas.  John Gibson works with Bill O'Reilly.

Mr. Gibson takes up the cause of Sherrie Versher, the mother of a 10 1/2-year-old public school student in Plano, Texas. For her daughter Stephanie's birthday, Ms. Versher brought 24 brownies to school, to which she wanted to attach pencils that contained the message: "Jesus Loves Me This I Know Because the Bible Tells Me So." When the principal asked her not to distribute the pencils, she walked through the school building saying, "Satan is in the building."

And what were the kids who aren't Christian supposed to feel?  That they are followers of Satan should be the literal translation.  That is unacceptable.  I will always love Christmas displays.

I will always work to make sure that G-d doesn't become an issue in public schools.  I will always feel uncomfortable when I hear The Lords Prayer in a public place and it's not followed by prayers of other faiths.

Yes, damn it, I do feel grateful to the ACLU for making sure that Bill O'Reilly, John Gibson, Dobson, Frist and more are thwarted in their attempts to make people believe that America isn't a legally Christian country.

To all of who you, Christian, Jew, Muslim, Festivus celebrants, who believe that I'm wrong in being grateful to the founding fathers for their foresight, and for the First Amendment; to forget history and to just live in the moment when it comes to this subject is akin to walking around with blinders on. 

Don't ask me for your help later on.  Now is when we must stand together.  Enjoy the Christmas lights; enjoy the menorah.  But realize that what you might think is an absurd stance by Fox News is growing.  If you can live with a growing anti-Semitic movement, don't take the ACLU for granted now.  You just might need them later. 

Enjoy the holidays.  Just remember that not everybody thinks like you do.  And that is what has made America such a great country; the infusion of minds from different cultures coming together to form a polyglot of ideas and communities.

Posted by Pia Savage at 02:58 PM in Current Affairs, Religion | Permalink

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Comments

7 days 'til Holiday! Merry Holiday everyone!

Pia, well said and rightly so! I'm Catholic (non-practicing and don't believe in God) but my family insists on saying I will always be Catholic, fine, have it your way! Than I'll strive to be the worst Catholic imaginable.

It is all about tolerance! I tolerate my family and their views because I love them but most of all because I have no right to thrust my views on their asses!

I have "Christmas" lights up and I put them up every year because I love "Christmas" lights.

The muslims across the street have "Christmas" lights up and they out do themselves every year! They even open up gifts on the morning of the 25th. Hello, their Muslim! But they love the holiday of "sharing and giving". Plus they want to identify and be apart of America! It's their right!

Any who, Merry Holiday everyone, Thor bless you and I hope everyone (and I mean everyone) has a great holiday season!

Posted by: The Bastard | Dec 18, 2005 5:20:23 PM

Pia give me a break. Why the hell not? What the hell are you people trying to create?
The government isnt forcing christmas upon you. It is simply recognizing the religion of its founding fathers and the extreme majority of the United States. If you and other people are offended by it then leave.Merry Holiday! December is the birth of Jesus and that is what we are celebrating. Bastard, faith and hope are two very poweful things. You should not just throw them out the window in exchange for nothing.

Posted by: bushleaguer | Dec 18, 2005 10:53:28 PM

TB thanks
Bushleaguer do you understand the concept of seperation of church and state?

Remember learning about William Penn?

Seperation of church and state is a guiding principle of our country. Or was

Don't care about the damn creche or manger in the courthouse.

Do care when The Lord's Prayer is the official prayer at a public meeting

Why should I leave? Where do you suggest that I go?

I have always gone out of my way to respect Christmas and Easter. I will not accomadate Bill O'Reilly who in no way fits the definition of "Christian" as I know it. True Christians don't tell Jews to move to Israel

That was a fighting phrase.

Hope and faith are indeed powerful. I have always placed my faith in the USA being a country for all its citizens.

I have always hoped that people would accept Jews as not having horns, drinking the blood of Christians etc.

You think that paragraph is fiction? In my dreams. My mother spent her childhood and teenage years being accused of drinking the blood of Christians, killing Christ and much more simply because she lived in an area where there were few Jews.

I have tried more than most people to be understanding. In order to honor my mom's memory I no longer can be.

Symbols are one thing; words are something else. There is no room for only The Lords Prayer in a public gathering; there is no room for Christ in a public school. It's that simple.

Don't like it? leave

Posted by: pia | Dec 18, 2005 11:13:55 PM

Pia...chill! You say you are Jewish but don't believe in God. Ok, thats not unusual. But you are VERY ethnocentric. The point is the Christmas Tree and the Christmas holiday is Christian, it's not pagan. We Christians do not complain when you Jews celebrate Chanukah. We leave you alone. I, as well as many other Christians have read the Soncino translation of the Talmud's Tractate Sanhedrin(available at amazon.com) . It was an eye opening experience. Me and many other Christians are quite sensitive about Jewist criticism of our religious holidays. We know that Jewish doctrines demand "idol-worshippers" (Christians) be put to death and that a set of 30 Noahide laws specify that we be put to death by decapitation simply for practicing out faith. The fact is that the Jewish religion, unlike Islam or Buddism is quite intolerant of Christianity as your letter clearly demonstates. Of course, Thank God there are Jews who can live and let live. These are the few Jews I am proud to call my friends. But sadly, I fear that a large pecentage of Jews are simply Jewish Supremicists who consider non-Jews to be of another--lesser and inferior--species.

Posted by: Hans | Dec 19, 2005 12:05:24 AM

When there's a publicly funded event, and it ends in a Christian prayer, that's favoring one religion over others.

Nobody is stopping any INDIVIDUALS from saying Merry Christmas in their own personal day-to-day lives, or in, say, church. Now personally, as a New York City resident I say "Happy Holidays" unless I specifically know that the person celebrates Christmas 'cause I'd look like an idiot if I didn't. But if you want to go around wishing "Merry Christmas" to everyone you run into, that's your business.

But as far as government sanctioning one form of religion over another - there, I'm with Pia. That shouldn't happen. We have the first amendment; Thomas Jefferson was the one who first used the phrase "separation of church and state" (see: http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html ). This is what Pia keeps bringing up again and again and again - and people keep coming back at her with this ridiculousness of this being a Christian nation.

We're NOT. We are a secular nation. Yes, the majority are Christians (or say they are, although I don't see a lot of "love thy neighbor" in the modern crop of fundamentalists) - but we're also Jewish, and Muslim, and Buddhist, and secular-humanist, and...oh heck, you name it, we got it and it's BEAUTIFUL and I love it that way!

When I go to church (which I'm not going to pretend is that often, I got spooked after finding myself trapped listening to a raving Pentecostalist minister on Christmas Eve two years ago, and the ravings of O'Reilly and Falwell and the like have just added to that aversion - might possibly check out the local Unitarians one of these days, think they'd be less likely to be hateful), and put money in the collection plate - I expect that money to be used as the church sees fit. But when I pay my taxes - I do not want one dime of that money to go to something that favors my religion to the exclusion of Pia's - or anyone else's.

This trend away from "Merry Christmas" in the secular world is not a war on Christmas - it's an increasing recognition that not all of us DO celebrate Christmas. That's all, and I think that's good. Why be so threatened by that?

And in closing - Happy Merry Whatever, everybody!

Posted by: bonnie | Dec 19, 2005 12:09:37 AM

Hans,

The point is the Christmas Tree and the Christmas holiday is Christian, it's not pagan.

You lost me on that one. The Christmas tree is a huge pagan symbol. Trees and all sorts of stuuf were brought into houses for luck that they would survive the winter. Actually there was not a Christmas tree in America until the Germans and Irish brought the tradition over in the early twentieth century.

The tree is absolutely a pagan or non-wrshipping God idea. Now go take all the lights off your house put away the gifts, take down the mistle toe, return all your holiday cards to their rightful owners, stop singing the holiday songs and celebrate the Christ of birth like a true Christian.

He was born and you should recognize that with self sacrafice and caring for others!

Hypocrite!

Posted by: The Bastard | Dec 19, 2005 12:35:11 AM

pia... I agree with a lot of your post. However, Bill O'Reilly has nothing to do with anything. Sure he poisons a few minds but so did Green Day on their last tour or like Britney Spears has done to a bunch of teenage girls or just like Bill Maher does on HBO. Point being thank GOD we have them. For example, you know, I am turning 32 next Sunday, I was in the front row at a Green Day concert fighting the whole bunch of 30 somethings who came out to rock in September. And... Billie Joe the singer goes off on this whole anti-Bush rant. Sure fine what ever, I gave him the finger and he gave it right back. Point being, we can choose and we mold our country. We make America great, not some politicians, some over the top tv personality or some jack ass with a guitar.

By the way, I enjoy your posts about being Jewish. I always want to know about different people. I maybe a insensitive Republican prick sometimes but I branch out, I always want to learn.

There were a couple of Jewish kids I grew up with. It's pretty sparce in California unless you live in LA. One of my friends was, whoI played basketball and baseball with. His dad was our coach. We always ended up on the same teams. I never really got to know what his religion was about. I wish I had the foresight back then.

There was one time though at a third grade "Christmas" Choral concert. You know, how they drug you all on stage to sing with your class. Our program was a bit different than the typical one. My elementary school was extremely diverse. We had every race and were predominentally Southeast Asian. Lots of Filipinos and Samoans. I stuck out like a sore thumb with my fair skin and blue eyes. Our concert was different however. We did the typical songs like Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. But what we did was do little vignettes to show how every nationality celebrated the "holidays". We had a Filipino Christmas, a Norwegian Christmas, a Spanish Christmas, German, Samoan, Mexican... and so on. We also did a Hannukah celebration and songs. We did each celebration in groups of 3 or 4. And with 80 something kids, it was a lot. My close friends and the kid I played basketball with were in the Jewish group. I was jealous, they got to hold real candles!

But I later found out in 8th grade, where I was banned from playing the "First Noel" at a Winter Concert, that we did what we did in 3rd grade so the teachers could show us diversity; so we did it all!. I had been to church maybe 10 times or so in my entire life. I had no care in the world back then as kid, blowing a trumpet, what the "First Noel" was really about. But the principal sure did!!! We did a concert off campus at the town hall a week later. I played my trumpet and well... we got a way with it.

This is America though... we should have the right, even if at our public schools even though we have an anti-establishment rule. We gotta know where we came from and we've got to know more about each other. We have to raise the debate and have to piss off a few people. It's the only way we'll tolerate everyone. If you are asking someone to speak, like a Father Zientarski, you SHOULD expect something like the Lord's Prayer to come out even if it's a public event on public property. It's what he is and it is his job as a Priest or Reverend. It's what they do! It's ok to be upset too. But don't let it ruin a holiday you've participated in for a few decades! The concept of America could truly be a great thing, if only we could all get along... if only! Speaking of "if onlys", read my blog's latest post.

Thanks for a good read pia!

Posted by: steve | Dec 19, 2005 12:55:49 AM

Christmas trees historically have nothing to do with the birth of Christ. The prayer at a public event was wrong and that is that. I always say to each his own, on his own and with his own if that is what it takes.

Posted by: cooper | Dec 19, 2005 1:20:19 AM

Oh I get it. You want to take away my rights so yours arent offended. Gotcha.

Posted by: bushleaguer | Dec 19, 2005 7:26:17 AM

First, Jesus was NOT born in the month of December!

Next, even if 100% of all Americans were Christian, it would still be problematic for the government to promote one religion over another.

Say no one complained, and our government adopted Christianity as the official religion. How long would it be before the issue became the Catholic Church versus Christianity. Our political parties would morph into the Christian Party versus the Catholic Party; And, we would no longer enjoy freedom from religion. Imagine religious control of our military. Religious control of our foreign policy. Our children being forced to study the Cathecism in schools supported by the Catholic Church.

http://www.hri.ca/fortherecord2002/documentation/commission/e-cn4-2002-73-add1.htm

Where does any of this leave room for the free expression of ideas that do not conform to Christian belief? How many future Copernicus', Platos and Aristotles will we suppress in the interest of religious belief?

The beautiful thing is that our constitution, thanks to the founding fathers' foresight, forbids our government from involving itself in the promotion of any religion over another.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilence" and we cannot afford to let any encroachment on our liberties go unchallenged. Today, it is only the reading of the Lord's Prayer at a government-sponsored gathering. That if left unchecked, will become tomorrow's full Mass.

Posted by: Elascu | Dec 19, 2005 8:17:55 AM

First of all, please show me where in the Constitutionit clearly states; Separation of Church and State". The area that is often misconstrued to "say" that is "Freedom of Religion". Note; it says "OF", not "FROM". Furthermore, I am more concerned with the "Freedom of Speech" issue, which all of us enjoy as Americans. All of us that is except Christians who are repeatedly censured and silenced. Christmas IS a Federal Holiday. We do not celebrate, as a nation, the Winter Solstice. This school recess is not "winter holiday break", it is Christmas break. 85% of American celebrate Christmas. Why should we be silenced for the slim majority?

Posted by: bushleaguer | Dec 19, 2005 8:57:25 AM

Re: correction last sentence. Why should Christians be silenced for the SLIM MINORITY? Its worth repeating.

Posted by: bushleaguer | Dec 19, 2005 9:01:19 AM

"In 1802, President Jefferson wrote a letter to a group of Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, in which he declared that it was the purpose of the First Amendment to build ''a wall of separation between Church and State.'' 15 In Reynolds v. United States, 16 Chief Justice Waite for the Court characterized the phrase as ''almost an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the amendment.'' In its first encounters with religion-based challenges to state programs, the Court looked to Jefferson's metaphor for substantial guidance. 17 But a metaphor may obscure as well as illuminate, and the Court soon began to emphasize neutrality and voluntarism as the standard of restraint on governmental action. 18 The concept of neutrality itself is ''a coat of many colors,'' 19 and three standards that could be stated in objective fashion emerged as tests of Establishment Clause validity. The first two standards were part of the same formulation. ''The test may be stated as follows: what are the purpose and the primary effect of the enactment? If either is the advancement or inhibition of religion then the enactment exceeds the scope of legislative power as circumscribed by the Constitution. That is to say that to withstand the strictures of the Establishment Clause there must be a secular legislative purpose and a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion.'' 20 The third test is whether the governmental program results in ''an excessive government entanglement with religion. The test is inescapably one of degree . . . [T]he questions are whether the involvement is excessive, and whether it is a continuing one calling for official and continuing surveillance leading to an impermissible degree of entanglement.'' 21 In 1971 these three tests were combined and restated in Chief Justice Burger's opinion for the Court in Lemon v. Kurtzman, 22 and are frequently referred to by reference to that case name."

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment01/

Christians are NOT being silenced! They can pass out literature, rent halls and preach to their hearts' content. They can own radio and TV stations and exercise their right to free speech.

The issue is that they are NOT allowed to involve the government in their religious practices. The government is NOT allowed to support any religious organization at taxpayer expense to the exclusion of any other religions.

Posted by: Elascu | Dec 19, 2005 10:25:22 AM

Hans
Under Hitler's law if you were one fourth Jewish, you were Jewish.

I have already explained why many Jews who don't believe in G-d will identify themselves as Jewish; I won't go into again. I write G-d that way to hedge my bets; it's about the only thing I do that's guaranteed not to offend G-d

I found your comment to be personally insulting, ignorant, and anti-Semitic.

I have never heard of whatever you're saying. It's the modern equivalent of "drinking blood of Christians," and you should be ashamed of yourself for buying into that crap for one second

But you do bolster my argument that anti-Semitism is on the rise.

Yes I do feel inherently superior to everybody around me. Ask anybody at Bring it on! or any of the many non-Jews who know me and they will tell you that I have a secret plot to take over the world so that only Jews can live.

I'm intolerant of Christianity? My "letter" clearly demonstrates that? Why? Because I believe in separation of church and state?

Because I don't think that The Lords Prayer is a fitting end to a PUBLIC event

Bushleaguer--The First Amendment clearly delineates it. I have shown The First Amendment and the supporting documents several times on Bring it on! Everybody calls this Christmas break--winter break comes later. I'm not asking you to silence yourself but to be inclusive.

Steve--I only brought O'Reilly into this because he placed himself in it. He lives in Manhasset where that incident happened; he publicized it

I can speak about Long Island like The Bastard can speak about New Jersey

Yeah my next door neighbors, growing up, moved from Manhasset because they felt there was too much drinking and divorce etc etc

Always found that funny as they could drink people under the table

I'm not confusing issues here. I had hoped that that dichotomy and mind set of Jew v Christian, Christian V Jew could end with my parents generation

Apparently it just ferments and gets worse.

I would find it offensive if a public display ended with only a Jewish prayer, a Muslim one, or even a Buddhist--my aunt is but she will always identify herself as a Jewish Buddhist because of the cultural thing.

Personally I used to hate all organized religion. But as an old (Jewish) friend says: "I can sit in temple all day if they never mentioned G-d"

I worked in a Catholic nursing home; I have been to more Masses than many Catholics.

I do believe that "religion is the opiate of the masses." I do understand peoples needs to make order out of a very unordered world

If I have been focusing on "Jewish" issues it's only because for the second holiday season in a row, I have read too many blogs that misunderstand the language and the intent of The First Amendment; who believe that because Christians are the majority in this country, this is officially a Christian country

The USA has traditionally been a country of hope, last hope, and I will always argue for the most persecuted groups.

What I find to be really ironic is that in my prior post on Christmas which was crossposted at Pandagon, I'm considered to be an apologist for Christians

Yet some Christians found that post to be so offensive they deblogrolled me. As a writer I like links; as a person I don't care. This is more important

As usual Cooper has it right; I was willing to go further and grant the damn Manger in the courthouse scenario but I'm beginning to see that there's no room in public for any religious symbols of any kind


Posted by: pia | Dec 19, 2005 10:28:38 AM

In case anyone would like to read about where the phrase "separation of church & state" came from, here's just one place that talks about it:

http://www.usconstitution.net/jeffwall.html

Personally I find that the Falwell/O'Reilly Christmas Mafia's "if you're not with us you're against us" approach does more quench my Christmas spirit than anything. Sort of like that Pentecostalist minister I mentioned making me want to flee his church on Chrismas eve.


Posted by: bonnie | Dec 19, 2005 10:46:16 AM

oops. I see I'm not the only one on this comment thingy who offered the history of the actual phrase "separation of church and state".

Way to say it, Elascu.

Posted by: bonnie | Dec 19, 2005 11:03:34 AM

Regardless of what Jefferson said... It's still NOT in the Constitution. It's anti-establishment. The government can't say if ya want to be an American, you must be a Protestant, etc.

pia,

Thanks for shedding light on O'Reilly. Bill is still an ass for being a TV personality.

It still goes that if you are asking a priest to talk then you must be ready for the consequences.

Posted by: Steve | Dec 19, 2005 11:24:53 AM

Thanks Bonnie, Elascu. I have found that no matter how many times you show people the supporting documents for The First Amendment, the original draft, anything and everything, they will still misinterept it.

Hans--the more I think about your statement the sicker I get. You told me to chill?

Then you wrote an inflamatory sick statement stating that Judiasm demands Christians to be put to death.

See the thing is I didn't want to write this. I wanted my original post to be my Christmas post, but...I'm glad I did.

I know that your thinking doesn't reflect the majority thinking of Christians in America

Just want you to know that I might take your comment and put it on the sidebar

Posted by: pia | Dec 19, 2005 11:36:35 AM

Steve's right. They probably shouldn't have asked a priest to talk.

Posted by: bonnie | Dec 19, 2005 12:38:06 PM

And Hans - it sounds like you've been listening to some bad people. I'm not in any way qualified to address your beliefs about the Talmud but there are plenty of sites out there that address those - it's all about taking things out completely out of context. A simple search under something like "Talmud Anti-Semitism" should lead you to some of them. Whoever you're listening to now - that's pure poison they're feeding you - with that kind of hatred, you should run away from them as fast as you can.

Posted by: bonnie | Dec 19, 2005 1:06:22 PM

The Talmud takes many years to study. here are some sources:
http://globalyeshiva.com/
http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm
http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/talmud_&_mishna.html

There are many others under a simple google search "talmud"

There are also organizations listed that seem as if they are "Jewish" at first glance but are determined to debunk and expose the Talmud for the reasons Hans said and many others

I have never criticised any celebrating of Christian holidays: I merely said that religion doesn't belong in public places.

Before World War Two there was a large anti-Semitic movement in this country. Get rid of the Jews, get rid of all the problems. That is one reason that Jews who don't believe in God will always identify themselves as Jews.

There was a man, a priest, called Father Coughlin who had I believe the highest rated radio show. He was virulently anti-Semitic

I really hate people who make the sort of accusations Hans did.

It's so tied together: Bush and his illegal war; O'Reilly and his war on Christmas

I have never ever attacked Christianity. I have said that prayers don't belong in public places. I like your holidays; why should I want to attack them

To be accused of attacking a religion is much worse than to be accused of attacking an administration--because I do, metaphorically Steve

But never religion, and I don't and won't allow Judiasm to be attacked like that. I have always said "I will die for the right not to practice my religion."

And yes for the zillionth time you are Jewish if your mother is--you could be a Priest in the Catholic Church--and Hitler would still have killed you

Posted by: pia | Dec 19, 2005 1:47:52 PM

Pia,

You call me anti-Semitic because I have mentioned Jewish religious works and the Talmud. Would it be anti-Christian to read and discuss the Gospels?

Jewish doctrin demands that idol worshipers be put to death. Christianity is considered idol worship in the Talmud. Talmud law specifies that idol worshipers be put to death by decapitation.

What is anti-Semitic about reading classical Jewish religious literature and protesting plans for my own decapitation?

There is a "movement" within Judaism know as the Lubavitch movement. This is not merely a "sect" any more than the Jesuits are a sect within Christianity. It is a prominant movement. There are people in high places within the Bush administration and the Israeli government who participate.

The Lubavitchers despise Christians and Muslims(this explains the the war crimes commited by Israel against the Palestinians). One of their goals is to abolish Christmas. They have other goals that turn my stomach. To learn more go to: http://www.Public-Action.com/christmas.html

Posted by: Hans | Dec 19, 2005 2:34:29 PM

Man Bushleaguer you kill me. You don't get it. Freedom OF Religion means the Freedom to Worship HOWEVER you feel so inclined without government interference. That means that the Government can't be having the good reverend invoking God at their little shindigs because that is called givernment endorsement. It fails the Lemon law.

I'll throw your little jab back at you thogh. Show me one place in sht Constitution that mentions god, Jesus, Christianity, religion or any other word that gives evidence that this is not meant to be a secular government. Do not quote from individual members, quote the document. That is the only law that counts. Freedom OF Religion. Your allowed to worhip and so am I. The government is not allowed to establish religion. Having Jesus bless a government ceremony sure as hell counts as establishing to me. If that offends you, oh well, blame the Founding Fathers.

and Hans - your getting all consipracy theory on us here. Next you'll be saying that there is a cabal of Jewish bankers that secretly control the world.

Posted by: The Cranky Liberal | Dec 19, 2005 3:08:14 PM

You mean Jewish bankers don't control the world? Oh, shit! I'm pulling my money out now. After all, we all know that Jews make the best bankers, and the best dentists, and the best doctors...

I'm sure the Saudi, Iraqi, Afgani and Irani governments would heartly agree with the scripture readings in public places as a right. After all they have been sucessfully running their countries for quite some time now doing the same kind of readings and legislation in their country.

Maybe that's where Bush got the idea that a secular country would work...heaven knows, the man is incabable of an original thought.

Well, Pia, someone has to fight the good fight. Keep up the good work!

Oh the hypocracy!


Posted by: Lucia | Dec 19, 2005 3:48:49 PM

Thanks Cranky
Hans you are one sick person. I hear that the Aryan nation is recruiting

The Lubavitchers are a subsect of the Hasidic movement. They don't represent me or most Jews; they don't consider themselves to be American, I think, but are waiting for The Second Coming

Classical Jewish literature? No Hans you were reading interpretations of the Talmud by people who believe that Jesus is the son of G-d.

No let me tell you the truth. We're all planning to converge on your house and decapitate you.

And then we're planning on appointing Bush king.

I called you anti-Semitic because as evidenced by your comments you are.

How is a discussion of interpretations of the Talmud similar to discussing the real thing?

Your thought process is very similiar to Father Coughlin's and all the other anti-Semites who thought that they were going to get rid of "the Jewish problem" before World War Two

Posted by: pia | Dec 19, 2005 3:53:15 PM

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