Christmas trees or ‘Holiday’ trees?

Rockefeller Center's gigantic Christmas tree

Rockefeller Center’s gigantic Christmas tree

Apparently the White House referred to Christmas Trees as Holiday Trees for the first time this year which prompted CBS presenter, Ben Stein, to present this piece which I would like to share with you. I think it applies just as much to many countries as it does to America …

Bill Stein

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 single one of my ancestors was Jewish.  And it does not bother me  even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejewelled  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  celebrities and we aren’t allowed to worship God ?  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 Hurricane 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 neighbour 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 okay.

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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19 Responses to Christmas trees or ‘Holiday’ trees?

  1. toad says:

    “Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.”

    Very thoughtful and well-considered piece by Mr. Stein. The above sentence is particularly true.
    God should be discussed at great length, everywhere, and all the time.
    Because if He exists, it’s very important.
    And, if He doesn’t exist, it’s very important.

    CP&S is certainly doing its bit.

  2. kathleen says:

    Thank you Toad.

    I’m afraid I left out the last two or three sentences of Ben Stein’s article, and I have just now added them on.

  3. toad says:

    …And then, the idea that Hurricane Katrina is the result of God “calmly backing out,” from contact with the wicked human race is, well, interesting. Stimulating, even.

    Exactly the same thing was said of the Lisbon earthquake of 1755.

    Seems God “calmly backed out” quite a while ago. Do we believe that on CP&S?
    Doubt it, somehow.

  4. The secularists can’t get away from God that easy. “Holiday” means “holy day.” :)

  5. toad says:

    You might as well say Wednesday means Woden’s Day.

    But then you probably do, don’t you?

  6. NEO says:

    Reblogged this on nebraskaenergyobserver and commented:
    With great thanks to Kathleen (Hey, I miss you at my shop too) for one of Ben stein’s best, which I missed.

  7. Pingback: Christmas trees or ‘Holiday’ trees? – Ben Stein | The Peanut Gallery

  8. Reblogged this on the prodigal and commented:
    It’s always easy to blame God when something goes wrong. I have always asked: what is so offensive about God that some people want Him out of their lives?

  9. toad says:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9743058/Britain-is-getting-a-glimpse-of-the-crazy-world-of-culture-wars.html

    Seems as good a place to put the above offering as any.
    Toad agrees with every word, more or less. How ’bout you?

  10. Pingback: Christmas Trees or “Holiday” Trees? « Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Your Love

  11. Brother Burrito says:

    To me the Christmas Tree represents the Church itself, it being a living, growing and branching creation. The lights, tinsel and baubles represent the Saints.

    Christ is the tree, and we are the needles!

    Of course, some needles fall to the ground, and are hoovered up and cast unto the compost heap, where there is much rottenness and munching by woodlice.

    No thing can beat a real Christmas tree, especially its healthful scent. Sadly, many man-made imitations exist, for economic reasons, and those of “ease”.

  12. kathleen says:

    Many thanks to our American friends for your comments and reblogs. I’m afraid some of your comments were held up in ‘moderation of comments’ and were overlooked by the Team at CP&S this morning. That has been rectified now. :-)

    Big ‘Hi’ to NEO! Yes, I’ve been amiss, but hope to get over to your great blog again a.s.a.p.

  13. toad says:

    “Of course, some needles fall to the ground, and are hoovered up and cast unto the compost heap, where there is much rottenness and munching by woodlice.”

    Well, what happens to the needles that don’t fall to the ground, Burro? Where do they go?
    And what ultimately happens to the tree?

    You used to be able to put it out for the Council to come and dispose of.
    Not today, probably.
    Unhygenic or something.
    Or might upset the Muslims next door.

  14. toad says:

    “I have always asked: what is so offensive about God that some people want Him out of their lives?”
    Toad suspects, Prodigal Daughter, that some people want God out of their lives because they think He makes all the needles fall off their Christmas trees.

  15. toad says:

    Doh. Bolded. Again..
    (Fixed by Moderator for you. :-))

  16. johnkonnor72 says:

    …the tree burro is referring to is the mystical tree of life…the trunk of the tree is rooted in faith, and holy fear which is wisdom …since the fear of God is the begginning of wisdom and faith guides the intellect so that it is not blind but certain ……holy fear not as in dread of impending doom holy fear as it relates to fear of losing one’s true love….now the tree rooted in fear produces the theological virtue of hope which constitutes the trunk…since the hope looks up to its first cause in righteousness…it is upright in virtue….and so hope is the trunk…the branches become the loving affections since they reach out towards different works of mercy… the leaves are the prayers…. prayer is the oxygen of the soul ..and so leaves take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen….the fruits are acts of love…when the acts of love are done without recourse for reward then they are ripe fruits… when the works of love are done with a hope of some remuneration then they are more green fruits…however God accepts all the same….grace becomes the living water that sustains the tree…can read about this in the epistle on prayer by st. denis..i modified it a little

  17. johnhenrycn says:

    Goodnight, JK72. Inscrutable, but loveable.

  18. Didn't Feel Like Registering says:

    Lots of interesting comments. But before you get too upset about it, please keep in mind that the original claim is a bunch of hooey, So, you should probably get upset at whomever created the hoax since they were clearly trying to manipulate people.

    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/10/holiday-tree-hooey/
    http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/barackobama/a/white_house_christmas_ornaments.htm
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/christmas/ornaments.asp

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