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Post Reply Ben Stein's "confession"
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Posted 1/29/08
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 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.

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. My Best Regards.

Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein
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Posted 1/29/08
Wow. Thanks for sharing this, it's at the very least a thought provoking read for everyone who looks down on us for believing there is a God.
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Posted 1/29/08 , edited 4/18/08
Magnus, I appreciate your comments, but please refrain from using curse words. I know it might be a way of expressing your anger, but don't do it here. Thank
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Posted 1/30/08 , edited 4/18/08
I agree 10 commandments should never be put in a school. As if it's not burdensome enough that people see all those school rules, they now have to face rules from 'god'?

Sorry, but the grace covenant is precisely to get us out of the judgement of sins according to the law. Like I said, the law does not condemn, same with school rules. It is not sin in itself, breaking it is not exactly what people do. They do things as according to whatever they do in daily life, the law, placed by their actions will indicate what actions are or are not of the commandments. If you have no thermometer in hot water you wouldn't know it's above normal heat temp. Placing the 10 commandments in your face all the time will get you to be more sin conscious rather than grace conscious. God did not send Jesus down so you can be more aware of your sins. That's stupid.

God doesn't act all the time, because there is a period of observation. If God interferred with every little part of our life, then it's not exactly a life of ours. Similarly, it's not that he observes because he's bored. He's thoroughly interested, but sometimes letting things play out in its way will mature a person. He steers the route such that he knows which is the best way for us, if only we let him.

If you're pissed for people believing that God exists, then it's just your feelings you consider, don't you? Looking at things from a macro level, how would you govern a country as big as America? Before you start shooting immature desires, think about it seriously. There are many factors to start with, considering its history, the people, the mindset of people and political relations, circumstances, natural resources, trade and economy, education, welfare and healthcare of people, morale, fertility rates, science and medical research, updates about other countries. I'm not even going into the topic yet. This is what a government faces when they try to run a country. No model is perfect, no government of man is perfect and without flaws. To just diss laws of a country because something offends yourself is inconsiderate on a very basic level. But then again, aren't all man selfish? Why do you think there can be no perfect governance? Do they not fight for power?

Maybe it's not a good idea to force religion down the throats of people, but with basic sociological imagination, it won't be difficult to see majority of the people demand and defend their common interests and values. Govt officials traditionally use rational models that allow them to maximise gains, with the least resistance and achieve goals whatever is next most agreeable. State religion is over the top and it's over politicised, but you can hardly blame government for doing it that way.
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Posted 1/29/08 , edited 4/18/08
Magnus why does that disturb you? I don't know one school in this country that would allow a prayer group without people rallying in protest so I don't know where you get the notion that this kind of thing is allowed. Maybe you know of a school that has done it, I don't know.

When you say that America is for all of us, that seems to exclude those of us who express our beliefs unless you are anything but a Christian. Muslims, Jews, atheists, are all off limits but taking jabs at Christianity is even encouraged in our society. We take God out of Christmas for crying out loud.

I'm sure most people are glad that God is banished from being taught schools just as you are. Having more knowledge on the subject would be dangerous, wouldn't it? It might actually cause people to believe in something other than evolution and that would certainly send the whole country to Hell. Having the 10 commandments in a school would be even worse! How dare someone tell me that killing is wrong! Learning about the Bible doesn't make you any less of an atheist so I don't know why you would be so concerned about it.
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Posted 1/30/08 , edited 4/18/08
Well you're wrong. Most people in America are not Christians and I don't know where you got the misinformation that they are. Of course as it is with most people, it's easy to call yourself a Christian by your own definition of it. So what if Christians adapted Christmas as a holiday to glorify Christ? It's not a pagan holiday now, so America should stop trying to turn it back into one. Well, try to have a good day.
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Posted 1/30/08 , edited 4/18/08
Magnus, I'm really interested on your basis that Christmas was originally a pagan holiday. I really want to find a website that talks about that. Can you pm me one, I can't find anything on wikipedia xD

True, Christmas is more secularized, but that doesn't stop us from "properly" celebrating Christmas...so in a sense, I didn't lose any battle.

Hail Santa? Isn't Santa a mythical figure?

True, we can't judge who is and is not a Christian (unless self-professed Christians scream out "Hail Satan")
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08
I'm not judging anyone, you know what I mean. I'm talking about those who claim to be Christians because they "do good things" when in reality they don't know anything about God. Most people I've known in my lifetime were like that.
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08
actually, the law never mentions anything about seperation of church and state. What it says is, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." So, these laws that prevent people from praying in schools and reading their Bibles, They are IN VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!

Anyway, A bible verse comes to mind when I think of all those who died of the school shootings. "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." Matthew 24:12 We can see it in modern times.
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08

clearwateralchemist wrote:

actually, the law never mentions anything about seperation of church and state. What it says is, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." So, these laws that prevent people from praying in schools and reading their Bibles, They are IN VIOLATION OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!!

Anyway, A bible verse comes to mind when I think of all those who died of the school shootings. "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold." Matthew 24:12 We can see it in modern times.

Man you are stupid. Listen moron thats what that line is taken to mean by everyone in the country basically. Certainly those familiar with jurisprudence. Church and state are supposed to be separate. Look up Thomas Jeffersons take on it idiot. No one is preventing people from doing those things its just the school cant arrange for them. You can pray and read your bible as long as you dont disturb others.
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08

magnus102 wrote:

Peep:You stole christmas and changed it around for your religion. It was a pagan thing so stfu. Most people in America are Christians. Claiming that you are unfairly treated is absurd. Also I am against teaching the bible in school as I think that when government mixes with religion it turns out badly. Also is there not a verse in the bible talking about rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesars..............
Fae: Yes I can blame the government. Sociology is all well and good. However as people on morality we can not cave to the demands that are immoral. Forgive me but I will not not bow down to religion even if by some miracle every other person on Earth becomes a Christian. You see in sociological terms I symbolic interactionist. I prefer to look at the micro level and feel that it is more correct as no one is a slave to group think completely. Goverment serves ALL people and not a majority. I am not dissing the laws of America regarding church and state. America was founded to be neutral on the religion issue. I am angry at those who would pervert my nation by making it into a theocracy if they but had the chance. Morality can not bow down to the majority. I wll blame any goverment or offcials that would pervert it that way. Remember after all America was funded by rebellion against an unjust power. I would rebel against it if it ceased to at least have a chance to be good. I admit we are a flawed nation but so far no one else has come up with anything better. I fight or my country.


The idea of Santa was originally made in New York, not a 'pagan thing', so I find your ignorance here fairly funny.
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08
You fail worse than I do. If Jefferson wanted complete seperation of Church and state, he wouldn't have phrased the First Ammendment the way he did. He did write the Constitution. He could have put the words seperation of Church and State into the Constitution, but he didn't. Don't you find that a little odd? Now Jefferson's letter does use the phrase, "Seperation of Church and State." What that phrase refers to is protecting the rights of the Citizen to exercise religion, and preventing the government from interfering in such a manner. Oh wait, that's exactly what the government is doing these days. Also, this was a letter, mentioning the first ammendment. If every letter written between friends were treated as law, no one would be left alive in the world.

Did you know that even though the phrase, "Seperation of Church and state." never turns up in the US constitution, it turned up in the Soviet Union's Constitution? I ask again, if Jefferson wanted seperation of Church and State, wouldn't he have put it into the constitution? Did he 'overlook' such a simple problem, while the soviets didn't?

Did you know, that after he wrote the "seperation of Church and state" letter, he attended church in the largest congregation in North America at the time? This church held its weekly worship services on government property, in the House Chambers of the U.S. Capital Building. If he believed in seperation of church and state so strongly, would he really attend a church on government grounds?

lastly, you say that no one is preventing people from doing those things in public places, right? Let's start with the public school teachers. If the teachers start talking about the Bible, or praying in school, they 'violate' the "speration of church and state," ammnendment. Then, they are promptly fired. I know teachers who have been such fired for their actions. People are fighting to not say the pledge of allegiance in school because it uses the words, "Under God." which they find offensive. Countless lawyers have fought toothe and nail to put an end to Christmas, and countless others have fought to keep Christmas.

Hey, I should thank you. I'm getting more knowledgeable about the current issues because your always challenging me to look deeper into the issues.
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08
I thought Ben Stein comments were very good. I wish there were more people like him.
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08

Geshnurpla wrote:


magnus102 wrote:

Peep:You stole christmas and changed it around for your religion. It was a pagan thing so stfu. Most people in America are Christians. Claiming that you are unfairly treated is absurd. Also I am against teaching the bible in school as I think that when government mixes with religion it turns out badly. Also is there not a verse in the bible talking about rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesars..............
Fae: Yes I can blame the government. Sociology is all well and good. However as people on morality we can not cave to the demands that are immoral. Forgive me but I will not not bow down to religion even if by some miracle every other person on Earth becomes a Christian. You see in sociological terms I symbolic interactionist. I prefer to look at the micro level and feel that it is more correct as no one is a slave to group think completely. Goverment serves ALL people and not a majority. I am not dissing the laws of America regarding church and state. America was founded to be neutral on the religion issue. I am angry at those who would pervert my nation by making it into a theocracy if they but had the chance. Morality can not bow down to the majority. I wll blame any goverment or offcials that would pervert it that way. Remember after all America was funded by rebellion against an unjust power. I would rebel against it if it ceased to at least have a chance to be good. I admit we are a flawed nation but so far no one else has come up with anything better. I fight or my country.


The idea of Santa was originally made in New York, not a 'pagan thing', so I find your ignorance here fairly funny.


Santa is not the same thing as Christmas you moron. He said Christmas not Santa. You can read right?
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Posted 1/31/08 , edited 4/18/08
we can talk about any subject, without calling each other morons or idiots...
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