Do You recall Ben Stein?

By
Real Estate Agent with Bankers Realty

 

 

                                                            My confession:

 

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

 

Just incase you missed this commentary, I would like to place it up for all to see.

 

Iam 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 threated. 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 creche, it's just as fine with me as in 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 am 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 blessings 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 Maseleine 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 talking about. And we said OK.

Now we are 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?

Coming upon the Holidays and seeing the world and it's changes . I felt that this Quote from Ben Stein needed to go through cyberspace again, maybe someone will get the message

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Rainer
86,195
Gail Gladstone
Gladstone Group & Long Island Business Brokerage - Huntington, NY
Brokering Success
I have read it before and enjoyed reading it again.  Thank you for posting it.  Gail Gladstone, Long Island Realtor.
Nov 12, 2007 07:25 AM #1
Ambassador
891,651
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy
One thing I find ironic is that so many people think that if we reward bad behavior, we will get less... and if we punish good behavior, we'll get more.  So, instead of punishing, we reward...  Maybe if we just rewarded more???
Nov 12, 2007 07:32 AM #2
Rainer
407,471
Sean Allen
International Financing Solutions - Fort Myers, FL
International Financing Solutions

Hey Barbara,

thanks for sharing. I too have read it before and enjoy reading it again. Thanks

Nov 12, 2007 07:40 AM #3
Rainmaker
152,344
Leslie Bloss, Bellevue Real Estate Professional
Bellevue, WA

Hi Barbara,

As I was reading your post I thought that some of it wasn't attributed to Ben Stein--I am glad Joe set us straight.  I enjoy Ben Stein and have brought his thoughts several times to Active Rain.

Nov 12, 2007 08:41 AM #5
Anonymous
Manda

This is a propaganda piece which purports to be by Ben Stein. In truth, the majority of the piece is not by Stein (His piece ends after the comment about Nick and Jessica. The rest was cobbled together from anonymous messages circulating on the Internet since late 2001. You can read the original on his Web site). However, since the email is being mass forwarded as is, I am going to respond to it in its entirety.

The Stein commentary begins with an acquiescent anecdote about Christians and Jews, giving the illusion that the message will be one of harmony and goodwill. Like you, when I first started reading the email, I thought, ‘It's about time. What a beautiful, non-discriminatory email encouraging peace and acceptance among humanity.' However, after the initial two paragraphs, the email quickly turned divisive.

The email was in fact not about unity, but was in fact a poorly veiled attempt to convert readers to religious adherence and to promote the mergence of church and state. After the initial anecdote, the email itself was quite segregatory. It was quick to create a divide between religious and non-religious. Then, proceeded to blame everything from terrorist attacks to Hurricane Katrina on those who do not worship God.

I am sure the people who have sent this to me did so with the best of intentions, believing they were doing their part to create world peace. But harmony arrives in the form of human kindness, acceptance and compassion, not through segregation or attempts at forced conversion. Stein's comments about being free to interpret God as we understand him have merit, but the distortion that follows needs to be challenged.

I would ask that anyone receiving this email to deeply reflect on the statements made in this message and consider whether they are truly in the spirit of harmony and peace.

I mean no disrespect. But I believe it our responsibility to challenge harmful thinking, especially when it arrives under the guise of Godliness. I have added my comments below.
_______
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 creche, 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.

>>That's because this claim is what scholars call a "strawman" - where you construct a false version of someone else's position, set fire to it and then claim victory. Nobody claimed that America was supposed to be Atheist. What people have said is that America is supposed to be secular. You may have heard of it; it means religiously neutral. You know the word; it's what you depend upon to be able to air your religious views without fear of state reprisal when they're not the right ones. Before secularism, it was not such a safe thing to be a Jew in a Christian-majority nation.

I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

>>I can help! It's the part that starts Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. The constitution is very clear about that. The First Amendment explicitly prohibits the government from establishing or controlling religion. This means the government is not allowed to coerce adherence to religion, or to compel the support of religion against an individual's will. The effect of this arrangement is that Americans are free to worship, believe, and support religion as they see fit. Secular government allow Christians and Jews to co-exist!

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.

>>This is an illogical correlation. You do not need to be religious to reject corporate media culture.

>>Note: This is when Stein's commentary ends. The rest has been added anonymously by other emailers, under the pretence of being by Ben Stein. ****

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?"

>>How can one even consider attributing hurricane Katrina to a lack of allegiance to God. Anyone who believes in the New Testament should be horribly offended by such insinuation. Do we liken the flu pandemic of 1918 as message sent by God? More than 20 million people died from that flu. At best, this is thinly-veiled fear mongering. (By the way, the last time I received this email, Graham's comments were in reference to 9/11).

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.

>>First of all, terrorist attacks are not caused by lack of religion. In fact, they almost always carried out by religious extremists. Second of all, referencing O'Hair's murder as some sort of backhanded way of condemning atheists is appalling. O'Hair and her children were murdered callously by a man she had exposed for stealing money -not because the United States Supreme Court agreed with her that it was non-constitutional to force bible readings in public schools.

>>Though while we're on the topic of O'Hair, it is perhaps insightful to note that while O'Hair worked to defend non-Christian children from violence and persecution, those who were adamant about keeping religion in schools responded with aggression (Her son's kitten was strangled, her home was stoned, and she received several profane letters in the mail, including photos smeared with feces and another that threatened her life: "You will be killed before too long. Or maybe your pretty little baby boy").

Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school.

>>Wrong. Truly voluntary religious activities in schools have never been illegal, and never will be.

The Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

>>Scholars have found little if any original moral thinking in the Bible - the Ten Commandments were laid down by Hammurabi before Moses. Also, while commandments 5-10 do address morality (1-4 do not), admonishments of this kind are found in virtually every culture throughout recorded history.

>> "Do unto others..." is a wonderfully moral precept; however, numerous teachers have preached the same message centuries before Jesus (Zoraster, Buddha, Confucius, Epictetus). And, it is scientific fact that moral emotions (like a sense of fair play and an abhorrence of cruelty) precede humanity itself!

>>All of our primate cousins are partial to their own kin and generally intolerant of murder and theft. They tend not to like deception or sexual betrayal much either. Chimpanzees, especially, display many of these complex social concerns. There are obvious reasons why children treat their parents well and think badly of murderers, adulterers, and thieves.

Morality was not created by the bible. We, as human beings, use our own moral intuitions to decide what it is ethically right. That is why most religious moderates would never stone a non-virgin bride to death on her father's doorstep (Deuteronomy 22:13-21), or beat the child with a rod (Proverbs 13:24), or murder someone because they are homosexual (Leviticus 20:13), or kill a child who talks back (Leviticus 20:9; Mark 7:9-13; Matthew 15: 4-7), or keep slaves (Leviticus 25:44-46; 1 Timothy 6:1-4), or sell their daughter into sexual slavery (Exodus 21:7-11) or kill their first born as a sacrifice to God (Exodus 22:29-31).

It is our responsibility as humans, to hold ourselves morally accountable and question those convictions which are harmful to our fellow neighbour.

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.

>>I very much doubt that Spock's ideas about child care (being loving and affectionate towards children rather than refusing to pick them up, kiss them, or hug them because "that would not prepare them to be strong and independent individuals in a harsh world") were the cause of terrorist attacks. Nor do I think believe that Spock's recommendations against infant circumcisions because he "could find no convincing reasons for it other than religious rite" were the cause of school shootings. (The rite of circumcision emerges as a surrogate for child sacrifice Exodus 4:24-26).

>>Furthermore, Spock's son did not commit suicide. Spock had two children, both of whom are still alive today. The fact that thousands of people have forwarded this email without questioning its legitimacy is reprehensible. And even if this had been true, referencing such an awful event is just as appalling as referencing O'Hair's murder. Get the facts here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Spock

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."

>>This is very true. The basic tenet of morality is about not doing harm to others. We need to apply this universal law to our every action.

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.

>>One of these things is harmless, the other is the cause of countless wars and needless persecution.

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.

>>Simply copying and pasting or hitting the forward button is not engaging in the thought process.

Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

>>This is a forgery. Stein's words ended above where I noted.

 

Dec 31, 2007 02:14 PM #6
Rainmaker
510,307
Ann Heitland
Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties - Flagstaff, AZ
Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales
Go Manda!
Feb 16, 2008 08:17 AM #7
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Barbara Engen

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