Bill Donohue and the Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights have announced a boycott of Wal-Mart…
“Give ‘em an inch and they take a mile.” When people were forced to belong to the religion of the majority they demanded freedom not to belong. When they got it—when they were given “an inch”—they proceeded to “take a mile,” by demanding never to even hear of the majority religion or its holidays. Little by little, they’re wresting that freedom for themselves too.
A religion is a whole way of life for an individual and for a community, not something they set aside 99.999999999999 percent of the time. The muzzling of the majority’s religion is intolerable. It’s coming from the Jews mainly, lately with help from the Moslems. This sort of thing in reverse wouldn’t be tolerated for one second in Israel or a Moslem country. It shouldn’t be tolerated for one second here.
If the Bill of Rights is the tool they use to suppress Christianity and Christmas it needs to be rewritten. Men wrote it and can rewrite it: it’s not the Bible.
It may not be possible for Jews and Christians to live together after all. The whole attempt along those lines these past couple of hundred years or so may have been a mistake. Jews are miserable when Christmas is celebrated publicly and Christians are miserable when public celebration of it is suppressed. There are additional ways in which Jews and Christians each want things that clash with what the other wants. Often enough, each finds intolerable what the other needs for its happiness. What can the solution be, except that they ought to live in separate countries?
Maybe Christians and Jews should live apart.
Long live free Flanders!
> If the Bill of Rights is the tool they use to suppress Christianity and Christmas it needs to be rewritten. Men wrote it and can rewrite it: itâ€™s not the Bible.
True, but given that most white Americans’ patriotism revolves mostly around adherence to a political creed - “freedom” - and not around shared race, ethnicity, language, and culture, to say nothing of religion - how can one overturn not only the entrenched laws, but the mindset, as well? There’s the difficulty, far as I can tell…
“how can one overturn not only the entrenched laws, but the mindset, as well?” (—Will S.)
Speaking our ideas plants a seed which will later grow and bear political fruit.
… that is our best hope.
A great quote from George Orwell’s 1984, here:
We are the dead. Our only true life is in the future. We shall take part in it as handfuls of dust and splinters of bone. But how far away that future may be, there is no knowing. It might be a thousand years. At present nothing is possible except to extend the area of sanity little by little. We cannot act collectively. We can only spread our knowledge outwards from individual to individual….
I agree that the GOP’s commitment to social conservatism is fetid at best. But, what if it wasn’t? With the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) in control of national social policy, what can a president or legislature do?
Yes, they can talk, and some do. Obviously, they have anger at and despair over SCOTUS, because its imperial jurisprudence has eliminated or limited the right to self-government. This helps explain the anxiety over and resistance to the Harriet Miers nomination. SCOTUS is everything, if one is interested in re-establishing some form of self-government. Without a retaking of SCOTUS, and its self-removal from the arena of social policy, all the talk and commitment in the world is so much noise.
The alternative is the continued alienation of the American public from the federal Courts, the public’s dissatisfaction with and contempt for the Courts’ usurpation of the policy making function, and the eventual illegitimacy of those courts within the body politic. In their mad pursuit of the liberal project, the courts have inserted themselves into the political maelstrom, all the while pronouncing their “independence” and claiming limply that they are above it all. Having made themselves into political institutions, the Courts will be treated as such by a public and legislatures that know better.
As far as Christmas is concerned, my local newspaper The Sarasota Herald Tribune (a New York Times newspaper) takes every Christmas season as the opening of hunting season on Christianity, which it views, consistent with its liberal orthodoxy, as a world-view competitor. We are treated to editorials, features, and letters to the editor chronicling the horrors of public Christmas celebrations and observances. It is all utterly predictable; it is so canned I could write their stories for them (as well as the letters to the editor, which merely mirror the views of the newspaper).
Their fundamental complaint isn’t with Christmas, or its celebration or observance, but with the very existence of Christianity itself and the fact that some people actually take it seriously (and some people, horror of horrors, take it more seriously than Liberalism). Christmas and the First Amendment are merely hooks to unload on a world-view competitor as a threat to our common political order, the terms of which are defined by Liberals. Christmas, and its public observance, therefore becomes a threat to public order itself, a threat to our common understanding as a republic, and a cancer on our political arrangements. It is not only an enemy, but an enemy aimed at the heart of our very self-definition as a stable democracy of free people. Christmas (and Christians) is not “welcoming;” it undermines “diversity;” It “oppresses” non-Christians (or, as Liberals so quaintly put it, members of other “faith communities); it undermines the “ideals” of the First Amendment; it “excludes” Jews and other non-participants; it threatens the secular order, the only order that can preserve “freedom,” the highest ideal.
Thus sayeth the Liberals.
… sounds a lot like Time or Newsweek; each Christmas season, Time or Newsweek, or both, come out with cover stories along the lines of “New Evidence Shows Christianity Is Bunk”, more or less… I now try to think to myself, when I see the War on Christmas, “Ah; it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”
Here’s an old piece of satire, from six years back, but even more relevant now than it already was then:
Christmas Rebels Mar Holiday Shopping Season
I believe last year Newsweek ran a cover article claiming that the Christmas stories of the gospels were all made up. You’re completely right, it’s a holiday staple.
by Thomas Hardy
Christmas Eve, and twelve of the clock.
“Now they are all on their knees,”
An elder said as we sat in a flock
By the embers in hearthside ease.
We pictured the meek mild creatures where
They dwelt in their strawy pen,
Nor did it occur to one of us there
To doubt they were kneeling then.
So fair a fancy few would weave
In these years! Yet, I feel,
If someone said on Christmas Eve,
“Come; see the oxen kneel,
“In the lonely barton by yonder coomb
Our childhood used to know,”
I should go with him in the gloom,
Hoping it might be so.
My point in posting that short poem by Thomas Hardy was the same as his in writing it: anything can be denied, and what makes us believe—the only thing that makes us believe—is, in one way or another, faith. It’s not the scientific method that makes us believe. Belief in “truth that is proven through the scientific method, not resting on faith,” is still belief through faith: faith that the scientific method is valid; that the criteria of validity themselves are valid; faith that the word “valid” means anything; and so on, in lengthy regression stopping with faith. That was Hardy’s point in writing that poem( * ) and my point in posting it in reply to outfits like Newsweek who imagine they’re so clever and modern in questioning the truth and meaning of Christmas the way they do. Yes, belief in Christmas rests ultimately on faith—exactly as does every other belief, including the belief in science and the scientific method. These people have nothing to teach me. I used to spout exactly the same stuff—exactly the same stuff, word-for-word and if memory serves I was actually better at it than they—until somewhere in my late twenties, because I was raised that way from the time I was taken out of Catholicism as a child and told there was no such thing as God. I could actually teach the Newsweek guys how to do it!
( * Hardy’s theme in that poem was twofold: we believe ultimately through faith, and—where he says “hoping it might be so,” at the end—faith is always at least to some degree an act of will. Those are the points he was making in that little poem and are why I posted it.)
I was indeed puzzled, and am glad you explained that in depth. I agree with Hardy and your main point, though, not to spark a R.C./Prot. debate, but as a Calvinist, I obviously will differ on the other point about faith being partly self-willed, but never mind…
Wow, your post could be a topic or two in itself.
As for faith, I’ll adopt Paul Tillich’s distinction and say faith is not a belief or an opinion but a state of being. One either has it or one doesn’t, and an act of will can’t change it (or an investigation into or analysis of “evidence”). This explains the gratitude, and sense of “miracle,” following a conversion experience.
As for popular Liberal publications, they routinely make absurd ontological claims for “science,” which no scientist or philosopher of science would support. Don’t confuse this with Liberal support for science; Liberals can just as easily turn against science at the drop of a hat, if science develops a theory or finding that contradicts liberal dogma.
> Liberals can just as easily turn against science at the drop of a hat, if science develops a theory or finding that contradicts liberal dogma.
Exactly, MD; I’ve noticed that, whereas liberals will laugh at and poo-poo Christians who hold creationist views, that they treat with respect, minorities who have similar non-evolution, creationist views, e.g. aboriginals, with their creation myths (North America is a giant turtle, and thus we Canadians, Americans, Mexicans and Central Americans live on “Turtle Island”, etc.). So liberals will let their commitment to “a scientific worldview” (i.e. materialism) be trumped by multiculturalist ideological considerations. The only way you’ll ever see “Intelligent Design” end up taught in public classrooms, is if a Muslim or perhaps an Orthodox Jew, brings forth a lawsuit against evolution. But that’s not likely, as religious and ethnic minorities know which way their bread is buttered…
BTW, on the matter of faith, I’m not particularly familiar with Tillich, but I am in agreement with his assessment of our inability to alter our faith via an act of will. Scripture of course calls Christ “the author and finisher of our faith”, and Paul begins most of his letters with the assertion that he was called by God, that his faith was from God, and not of himself or any other… (And in a couple of letters, specifies that his audience are also “called out” ones like himself…)
Tillich was a German protestant theologian. Born and educated in Germany, he came to the US and taught at Union Theological Seminary and the U. of Chicago. His method was existential, and his worldview was pessimistic (as one might expect of a German of Hitler’s generation). He published a “Systematic Theology” in 3 volumes (which you can probably find at your local Barnes & Noble), and a well-known book, “The Courage To Be,” which is essentially about the phenomenon of faith (and its relation to the anxiety of modernity).
Among protestant theologians, he would rank among the top 5 of the 20th century, together with Barth, Niebuhr, Bultmann, and Bonhoeffer.
There’s a good website on Tillich, which I consult from time to time for Tillich’s lectures on the history of Christianity. http://www.theology.ie/theologians/tillich.htm
It is admitted that Tillich was existential. What a moron, but I do not disresprect his intellect. Of course the Holy Father believes in right or wrong, unlick Tillich. Protestants, as well as Catholics, seem attracted to heresy. We just need to get together for once and all. Catherine was a mistake. How wonderful it would be to be part of a Union of Britian and America, not that the British share our deire.
I’m glad MD touched on this. I don’t want to fly off too far from the matter at hand, but it frustrates me to no end how leftists have laid claim to the mantle of ‘science,’ a word they often use (in classic bumper-sticker style) as a means of stifling the exchange of ideas that somehow deviate from their own predilections.
I was reading how, in Stalinist days, the “Great Father” himself was the arbiter of scientific theory, striking down this or that study according to whether or not it fit into Marxist orthodoxy (which isn’t terribly scientific itself).
They do the same today, telling us how cow poop is destroying the atmosphere, how children in the womb don’t feel a thing when being killed, how the Bohr-Heisenberg model of quantum mechanics ‘proves’ cause and effect aren’t ‘real,’ on and on.
I’ve observed a couple of things as to the leftist use (or misuse) of science.
First, science will be used and invoked selectively and misleadingly to support a liberal dogma (as you note about abortion).
Second, science will be ignored, or actively condemned, if it conflicts with liberal dogma, as in the Larry Summers case at Harvard. All science that establishes gender differences is essentially ignored or deemed illegitimate.
Of course, however you categorize postmodernists (and most are leftists), postmodernism rejects science in toto as just another “metanarrative” constructed for the purposes of oppression and control.
It may have seemed, at the turn of the twentieth century, that we were entering the era of “rationalism”, wherein “science”, as materialists conceived it, would “sweep away” religion, and “usher in a new era of enlightenment”, blah blah blah. Come to find out, they were only interested in sweeping away Christianity, and are quite happy to ditch rationalism in favour of post-modernist “truth is relative” sentiment, now that they’ve succeeded in removing Christianity from being Western Civilization’s ethos…
Yep. Too much rationalism leads to irrationalism. Or, rationalism is irrational.
“Too much rationalism leads to irrationalism. Or, rationalism is irrational.” (—Degu)
Good point. That’s because rationalism depends on irrationalism, as the rational part of the brain, the cerebral cortex, depends on the irrational sub-cortical gray-matter structures and archaic structures of the limbic system and so on for its functioning and as the source of what it views as meaning and emotion, things it can’t supply but must get elsewhere. The cortex thinks a lot of things originate with it which don’t, but come from “non-rational” places deeper down and more ancient.
how they manage to avoid facing this paradox is a mystery, but this must be another of their “unprincipled exceptions“…
David Hume was the first modern philosopher to bring human reason into question, by the use of human reason; Hume even asserted that reason shows that cause and effect are suppositions and cannot be verified. I could do a little research on this, but there have been many discussions of the use of reason to undermine reason. Popper struggled with this at length (one reason he distrusted all scientific theories), as did the ancient Greeks.
Liberals believe in the sufficiency of human resources, primarily autonomous reason, to fulfill history and ourselves; hence, their frequent descent into Scientism. However, the limits of science and/or nature don’t limit Liberals; if science should find a limit inherent in nature that contradicts Liberal dogma, Liberals will ignore, deny, or ostracize the finding. This selective hostility towards science reveals that Liberalism is not based on reason, but rather is a secular faith system.
Hopefully, in for a change is the mindset we know is there. If Judge Alito is confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, we shall have great hope for change. People are much like lemmings; our social imperative is hard wired. If Judge Alito follows the lead of Judge Scalia, who is the dominant intellect on the Court, abortion rights and actual individual rights (insert here the Bill of Rights, which are explicitly stated in any Almanac) will be re-recognized. Abortion rights have been twisted into a right to murder for convenience instead of giving a conscientious mother (and secondarily, a father) the right to save her own life should her conscience so dictate.
I don’t know, Paul… I don’t trust the GOP on social issues any more; they’ve had ample opportunity, from Newt Gingrich’s election and since, to demonstrate real, not merely lip-service, commitment to social conservatism, and have failed consistently, far as I can see… The GOP always have to placate the pro-choice, Arlen Specter / Kay Bailey Hutchison / Christine Todd Whitman / Rudy Giuliani / Arnold Schwarzenegger types in their midst, and end up watering down their social conservatism into non-existence, for all practical intents and purposes. Whereas the liberal-dominated Democrats can sell out with impunity, the so-con Roman Catholic Hispanics or black evangelicals who vote for them (Baptists, Methodists, etc.), simply because race trumps faith and morals, for racial minorities (esp. blacks and Hispanics), when it comes to considerations of perceived political self-interest…
Dear Will and Mr. Kalb:
I don’t trust the GOP either. The GOP though is not the third branch, the Judiciary. The GOP without any doubt whatsoever will vote to confirm Judge Alito AND will end the filibuster rule if the usual Republican and Democratic creeps act as usual. (A fun Las Vegas bet: Arlen Specter will or wiil not vote for Alito.) So fear not, I pray to Mother Mary.
Let it Be. Was this a tribute to the Virgin Mary, our Mother? McCartney is in print (not that it is reliable) saying one of his last Beatle songs was based on a dream he had about his mother Mary. So why did John Lennon throw a hissy fit about such a mundane figure?
â€œItâ€™s coming from the Jews mainlyâ€ is an English expression that could use discussion. The expression is a small part of a much larger composition and should not be taken out of context. The writer is offering a perception in support of his hypothetical, which isâ€”Jewish and Christian people must govern themselves separately or forever fight one another. â€œItâ€ is the suppression of a general, public recognition and celebration of Christmas by a country comprising around 90% Christians.
Because we live in a republic and Jewish people comprise only about 3%-5% of the republic, nothing, in general, can be coming mainly from the Jewish people. For example, maybe Jewish people bake more bagels than Christians, but I think not. Jewish people might hold a slim majority in some of the arts, but politically, a Jewish person has only as much power as the Christian people give him or her. It seems, therefore, Christians are mainly responsible for suppressing a general, public recognition and celebration of Christmas in the USA.
Please do not take offense at the formality of the above argument. The formality is just practicing and not snideness. So letâ€™s end on a fun note.
Itâ€™s coming from the AP mainlyâ€”the stupid propensity of the dominant sports media (who went to PAC-10 or Big 10 conference colleges) to underrate teams from the SEC such as LSU. The PAC-10 (USC) does not even have a playoff. The Big 10 supposedly had one-maybe two teams for Texas to play; but as it turns out, the so-called players are big nothings. They did not play Tennessee, Auburn, Florida, and Alabama and will face Georgia in a playoff. Bottom line—USC and Texas will not have to play LSU or another SEC team. Good night. Hmm, maybe UCLA will wake up and realize it is a decent team.
That the assault on public celebration/manifestation of Christmas is coming mainly from Jews I have no doubt. (For the record, I’m Catholic.)
Lots of Jews who themselves may or may not like Christmas aren’t in sympathy with this assault—it’s coming from a subset of them who harbor one degree or another of hostility toward Christianity (in the case of some, pretty intense hostility), that causes them to react to pubic manifestations of Christianity, such as Christmas (especially Christmas, since it is so big, important, deep, and hard or impossible to just ignore), the way they’d react to an affront, or worse (I’ve seen some say things like Christmas is evil and to celebrate it one must be insane).
The majority of Jews don’t consider public manifestations of Christmas and the traditional public trappings of Christmastide an affront but do consider it an annoyance they and their children must adjust to in a number of ways, the whole thing amounting to more or less of a nuisance for them.
It’s true (as Paul Henri alludes to), it’s hard to understand how a tiny fraction of the population which is Jewish could exert its will in getting Christmas partly driven from the public square. It’s done through a combination of left-wing Christians agreeing to go along with them (who I don’t think would’ve thought it up themselves), non-left-wing Christians trying to bend over backwards to be nice and not to offend, and the tremendous leveraging power afforded to determined individuals and small groups by the particular characteristics of the U.S. courts and legal system (leveraging power through law-suits and so on). The leveraging power afforded to small, weak parties by our legal system is one reason left-wing legal scholars like Prof. Dershowitz and others always oppose even the most minimal common-sense tort reforms—such reforms might take away some of the leveraging power against the majority which is put to such creative use by the minority interests left-wingers sympathize with.
If the phenomenon of public Christmas is a strong “negative” for Jews and its suppression a strong “negative” for Christians—i.e., if the one leaves Jews unhappy and the other Christians unhappy—and if there are other issues where the two clash, including ones many in each group feel extremely strongly about (such as the apparent Jewish preference for a racially-diverse immigration policy, viewed as “good for the Jews” as one Jewish leader said, as opposed to the tendency among Euro Christians to question such an immigration policy—with plenty of exceptions on both sides, of course)—if the things that make Jews happy and Euro Christians happy conflict, sometimes in very important, even non-negotiable ways in the view of many, would the two groups be happier living apart?
After giving the Christmas issue a good deal of thought I’ve come to the view that suppression of public celebration of Christmas for a Christian United States is unacceptable. Many Jews feel the opposite way, that public celebration of Christmas for the United States is unacceptable. Since no one wants to make anyone unhappy maybe we should physically separate … no? Is there an alternative? I’d love one.
No one wants to force his religion on anyone but the minority has to understand that the majority has the right to publicly celebrate its religion, the forbidding whereof is intolerable and tyrannical. Minorityhood may not be ideal; may be a difficult way to live. No one denies that. Maybe that was part of the impetus for the creation of the state of Israel by those pioneers who dreamt it then did it. If there’s any way, short of suppressing what are important sources of the majority’s happiness and equilibrium, to help the Jewish minority have an easier time living as a minority—which can’t be easy for them—I’m all for it.
(I’ll say something else: Abe Foxman should be replaced. Jews and Christians can either try to get along or not. He’s more conducive to the latter than the former.)
… that, apparently, when Pieter Stuyvesant was the Dutch governor of New York (back when NY was still a Dutch colony), he originally had banned Jews from settlement in his colony? So I’ve read, anyway, though I haven’t confirmed this; the account I read went on to say that economic and political pressure forced him to change this policy.
Whether this is true or apocryphal, given how different Christians a few centuries back were on questions of ethnic nationalism and the place of religion in society, it certainly seems plausible, and if so, it occurs to me that Stuyvesant’s original policy was as sensible as Australia’s “White Australia” policy, which, it too, abandoned… Such policies aren’t “bigoted” or “hateful”; they simply recognize difference, and affirm that recognition and support for those differences, AND THEIR CONTINUED SEPARATE EXISTENCES, is a social good, one to be encouraged - if people truly believed in “diversity”, they wouldn’t have a problem with the idea of mono-ethnic, mono-racial, mono-cultural, and mono-religious societies - nothing could be more diverse than having a multiplicity of such - and good fences make good neighbours, as they say… Of course, the “diversity”-mongers of our day don’t believe in true diversity any more than they truly believe in “tolerance” (they don’t tolerate what they call “intolerance”, do they).
So then: should we try to convince others of this? Or would that be a waste of time, and should we simply try to make the best of what the situation is today? I don’t know, honestly. But we need to start, at least, with a recognition that sometimes the “bigots”, so called, are right, and if we had followed them in the first place, we wouldn’t have had the social problems of group interactions within heterogeneous societies that we do today… “Hindsight is 20/20”, as they say; yes, true, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from hindsight, to avoid the same mistakes in the present and/or future. We should be bold, and not merely ask, for example, whether slavery was/is, in all circumstances, a completely bad thing or not (which is an excellent question itself), but should ask, esp. as regards race relations in America, whether white Americans wouldn’t have been better off in the first place if they hadn’t have imported black slaves to work Southern plantations…
Here’s a piece on Stuyvesant and what he tried to do.
Jewish people cannot mainly do anything in Christian dominated society without plenty of Christian help. Nothing above has called this proposition into question.
The power of a “subset” of Jews is an insufficient reason to believe Jewish people are leading the anti-Christmas effort. Jewish people are not superhuman or magical beings capable of imposing their will on hapless peoples of Christian heritage. Have Jewish people not suffered innumerable tribulations helped by non-Jews? If not, we need to forget the Pharaohs, the Romans, the Spanish, and the Nazis.
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