Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ben Stein likes Christmas Trees! Tree Killer!

The following was sent to me by an old friend. Though I won't be forwarding this to anyone I thought I'd put it here, I'm leaving in the typos but sadly you can't see the marvelous rainbow text and huge fonts this was originally formatted in so just imagine in your mind what ever colors the words indicate to you. For example I see the words "morning" as yellow, "heart" as red and "Lindsay" as pink. At the bottom is my heathen reply.

"If they know of him at all, many folks think Ben Stein is just a quirky actor/comedian who talks in a monotone. He's also a very intelligent attorney who knows how to put ideas and words together in such a way as to sway juries and make people think clearly.


The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary, Sunday, 12/18/05.

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 as k 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.

If this is what it means to be no longer young, i 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 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.

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 when Madeleine 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 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?

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."


First off, though I realize America is often ruled by the cult of personality I don't think it's an accurate indication of people's heart's and minds what People or Us magazine publish any more than what the president says is reflective of what the entire country is thinking. If the premise is the media panders to us then why must we also assume the pandering is welcome?

Do I believe everything I read by so called "experts"? No, I once burned a book on child psychology, I mean literally used it to start warm fires in winter, called the "Magic Years". I burned this book, which I consider about the worst thing you can do to a book, because I didn't want it falling into the hands of people who read books on child rearing/psychology and don't have enough common sense to know most of it is crap wrapped in authoritarian language. Also if my child ever commits suicide I will know it for what it is, God's message to me that I fucked up, I mean that's what he was telling Dr Spock right? Our kids are only extensions of ourselves so it HAS to be about me!

Secondly, I'm not a Christian, Jew or a Muslim. I'm not a Hindu or a Moonie or a Scientologist. I'm also not one of your "Spirit Rock" Buddhists who surrounds themselves with paid for enlightenement. Apparently this means I don't want "peace on earth", "goodwill towards men" or a slice of the baby Jesus' birthday cake. Really! Anyone who knows me will understand I never turn down a nice piece of cake.

It must be comforting when a person like Ben Stein takes it upon himself to speak for all the Jewry of the world and mention he likes a nice creche and isn't threatened by an evergreen tree strung with lights. I'm not sure why those things would be threatening but I'm glad he's set me straight.

I'm not sure how a person leaps to the conclusion that a woman who pushed for prayer being removed from a state institution such as public education deserved to be murdered. I'm not sure why Christians want their religion to be taught in schools when there are so many different sects that each believe different things. Should we tell the little Lutherans they are going to hell because they weren't totally immersed in water when baptised? I thought that was what Sunday and private schools were for. What about non Judeo-Christian based religions? Equal time for Buddha and Bastet? Cause I've got a systrum and and I have to shake it every time I get an answer right to praise my goddess, umm yeah the cat ears I always wear also praise my goddess. Who are you to tell me I can't sacrifice a chicken in my room during finals, it works!

I suppose that to think it's a parent's duty to instruct a child in religion is a crazy idea that has no place in this modern world. I must be incredibly backwards to assume that it's my role as a parent to raise my child to have ethics and a sense of responsibility. Anyways it's a lot easier to complain what a horrible job the schools, media, tv and society do raising my child than admit I am too busy or ignorant to do so myself. An angry letter to FOX is much easier to write than explaining to my daughter why it's wrong to use stem cells for reasearch but killing 30,000 Iraquis is a price of peace.

I guess I have no eithics or morality because those are exclusively owned by the world's major religions. Those smaller religions are just cults, once you have the bigger numbers maybe we'll talk, but for now you are just praying under Rome in catacombs, huddled masses afraid to be found out and thrown to lions, metaphorically speaking of course. Don't expect sympathy from those who went before you anymore than the naturalized Mexican has sympathy for the illegal alien.

I find it ironic that the whole tone of this email is that you should think but only about God. I really doubt prayer is going to pull our collective asses from the fire anymore than a few virgin sacrifices will change this heat wave. I don't treat the news as truth and anyone who does in this age of information where anyone can have a say or their own tv show is lazy. Schools are meant to teach such important skills as critical thought and problem solving, understanding of societal laws and how they are made. The schools are failing to do so but then I don't think those things are covered by state aptitude tests, pity.

Religion allows people to wring their collective hands and be absolved for any responsibilities on earth while dehumanizing those who disagree and damning them to an eternity of "I told you so!". If you aren't one of us, you are against us. THAT's the sentiment that ruins society and as long as there are self righteous folks who feel THEIR religion makes them superior there will continue to be jihads, crusades and ethnic cleansing.

I don't know what all my friends believe because I feel it's a highly personal issue. I know people who are married couples, share life and trials and still are not sure what the other person they are committed to believes. LOSERS!

Do I know what I believe? If I said I was sure I'd be lying, so of course I do! I don't think of religion as something you follow without thought anymore than I go through life following a flow chart of actions and responses without consideration.

If I forward a crude joke more often than a picture of a puppy in the refrigerator I must be part of the problem not the solution? Nudity is vulgar and so is laughing at ourselves but kittens and puppies and sunsets painted by god will somehow make things better? I just need to send MORE pictures of monkeys washing cats? Hello world peace!

If you think humor, any humor is not at some one else's expense, even our own, then you don't even understand why you're laughing. Am I laughing? Yes, yes I am. At you, at myself and at this whole crazy rock full of monkeys we call home.


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