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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Dateline Seattle: War on Christmas Wrong, War on Chanukah Just Dandy

Now let's be clear about it.

Any facility that fails to put up a Christmas tree is declaring war on Christmas. Any store that fails to use "Merry Christmas" is declaring war on Christmas. Christian organizations that sue or boycott either of the above are completely in the right.

By contrast a Rabbi who asked the airport to put up a Menorah alongside NOT instead of the Christmas trees is in the wrong. Why? Because apparently fighting to put up a Christmas tree makes you a hero in the Judeo-Christian culture war. Asking to put up a Menorah makes you the villain. So much for the Judeo part of our 'Judeo-Christian Heritage.'

Rather than put up a Menorah the airport announced it was taking down the trees so as not to be exclusive (an utterly backward phrasing because the whole point of their action was to be exclusive) and the comments vituperatively blame Rabbi Bogomilski for the whole thing warning that America as we know it is about to fall apart.

In other words a War on Christmas is wrong but a War on Chanukah is just dandy. There's an inalienable right by Christian spiritual leaders to demand Christmas trees go up whether on public or private property, but a Jewish spiritual leader who asks for a Menorah is not only in the wrong but downright wicked.

The usual comeback to this is that America is a Christian country and the vast majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, which bluntly reveals the charade of a 'Judeo-Christian Heritage.' It's all Christian with no Jews wanted. Neither presumably are those Christians who shun Christmas trees or Christmas, like Jehovah's Witnesses or Lowell Ponte over at Newsmax who wrote that he was happy to see a symbol of paganism removed from the airport.

To be fair Bill O'Reilly who was one of the top promoters of the War on Christmas interviewed the Rabbi and pointed out reasonably enough that it was the airport that chose to eliminate the trees, rather than add one menorah. But plenty of conservative Christian columnists took a nastier line.

"Once again, in a country touted as a “Christian Nation” where a majority of the people identify themselves as Christians and where tradition certainly attests to the veracity of this claim, an individual has forced the majority to bend to his will," Doug Bower wrote at the American Chronicle.

Let's see, America was never set up as an exclusively Christian nation. Christmas tree celebrations were not part of American Christian traditions until they were imported by German immigrants and Christmas only became a national holiday after the civil war during the Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant. That's a good century later.

But see how when an evangelical Christian sues over school prayer or displaying the cross, they're fighting for religion but when a Rabbi, who's the representative of a sizable movement, does so, he's an individual forcing the majority to bend to his will.

"I just wonder what would happen if a Christian went into an exclusively Jewish neighborhood..."Bower goes on to wonder. Somehow now the Seattle airport has become an exclusively Christian neighborhood.

Considering that Seattle has a roughly 7 percent Jewish population, a sizable portion of the city is Jewish. In a survey only 37 percent of the city listed any religious affiliation. Of those only about 30 percent identified themselves with any Christian faith. Yet that third of Seattle is the majority and the other 7 percent have no right to have one menorah corresponding to the many Christmas trees there.

But with the magic of rhetoric people like Bower transmogrify multi-ethnic and multi-religious American cities into a solid Christian block and stuff the Deist founders of America into that same block who they presume, despite all statements to the contrary, would have supported their religious and political agendas.

The irony is that a Menorah is a biblical symbol present in Christianity. The Book of the Maccabees is considered by many Christians to be part of the Christian Bible. The story of Hannah and her Seven Sons was retold by Christians as a lesson in martyrdom for one's faith. For Christians to become offended by a menorah is senseless, unless they're also offended by the G-d who commanded Moshe and Aaron to construct and light one in the first place.

The story of Chanukah is a story about resisting paganism and fighting for one's faith. It should be the kind of idea that those Americans who are concerned about the erosion of religious values should embrace, rather than scapegoat and demonize.

23 comments:

Yobeeone said...

Yes, it's terrible to say anything about holiday who's foundation stems from the worship of a Syrian god, the god of a couple emperors, and Thor, the god of thunder. Not too mention, teaches children lies like Yashka-dork being born Dec. 25 (Date of the Roman festival named after their false gods.), that his family slept in a stable, etc. etc. Shame. Shame.

Naughty Rabbi wanting a menorah which represents something that actually happened. :]

Lemon Lime Moon said...

While I believe it is wrong to place a menorah in the midst of pagan symbols, I also recognize the bias shown by the airport.

Anonymous said...

Was it the Christian conservatives' fault that the Chabad rabbi threatened to sue the airport, a fact your article conveniently neglects to mention?

Sultan Knish said...

christian conservatives regularly file lawsuits to put up christmas trees

why is it wrong for the rabbi to do it?

Keliata said...

And as far as I know, the airport has no plans to set up the Menorah this year, but supposedly will consider holiday decorations next year.

Anonymous said...

Ah, "consider"...an important distinction.

The word "consider" infers that the airport management actually has a choice in the matter, as opposed to being forced into an insincere gesture they'd no longer have any desire to accommodate.

Sultan Knish said...

sure they have a choice, more choice than most municipalities or schools do when the Catholic League or the ACLJ sues them demanding they put up a Christmas tree

but insincere gesture didn't seem to be a problem there

yobeeone said...

Sincere or insincere is irrelevant. I'm certain that if the muzlim-butts had something that represented one of their holidays and it wasn't displayed and they whined, the airports would have immediately put it up. Perhaps because they know the muzlims will blast a plane out of the air if they don't and would do it out of fear. Hmm...another insincere act on the airports side? LOL

Rev. Billy Thornton said...

Howdy Anonymous, Actually the rabbi himself and his lawyer claim he never threatened to sue at all. Because of shabbat he was unable to respond to the accusations.
So no law suit was involved , the airport "feared" one I suppose.

As a Protestant minister for the past 35 years I have to say that this is all very ugly. I say this because I do know that there was a time when a Menorah would have been included almost automatically, something done by most places since they have both Jewish and Christian employees and try to include them both. It is the nice thing to do isn't it?

However, what troubles me most about this is that we all know of a certainty that if a Muslim delegation came to that airport and asked for some sort of "holiday season" representation it would not be denied at all and this bruhaha would not have occurred simply because the airport would have cowered in fear of terrorism.
Now, isn't that true?
But you see, because the airport has nothing to fear from Jewish people, they take out their frustrations and petty attitudes on the Jewish rabbi who will not blow the place up out of anger or call for "Jewish Days of Rage" as the Muslims would.

And herein we have the heart of the matter as it has stood from the beginning of time:
The peaceful are pursued and hounded while those who are violent and cruel receive respect.
I for one am tired of it.

Now Anonymous, if you are a christian it is certain you have lived long enough to understand that Christmas is not the time of Jesus' birth at all. That is just a simple fact.
It is a glossed over remnant of the pagan holidays of yore covered in the garments of christian lore.
It was not celebrated in early America as it was in the 1700's and up through a lot of the 1800s a drunken bash where riots occured in the streets!
Religiously it was not something that the church approved of much at all, especially the Calvinist churches which supplied most of the first immigrants to America.

Another fact you need to know anonymous is that Jesus kept chanukah himself as is mentioned in the books of the newtestament itself. He was a Jew after all and kept all of the holy days of Israel to the letter.
If in all this high minded spitoon ringing that is going on from Sea-tac and Christians supporting sea-tac they are thinking that they are somehow supporting Jesus, they are quite frankly wrong.
Since he himself honored Chanukah, shouldn't you?
If you say you honor him, if you say you follow him and his way, then you must admit his way was to celebrate chanukah and that should be your way also I would think. Otherwise there is a wide discrepancy between what you say
and what you do.

No, the heart of this matter is simply that Jews are not Muslims.
Jews will not harm Sea-Tac or any thing else and so it makes it easy for those with a chip on their shoulder to jump up and down and slam them while letting the violent muslims go their merry way out of fear.

To the Rabbi and Chabad I say:
Keep your menorah out of such a place of devisiveness and find a place of honor for it. I think God can provide a spot for it where it will be a beacon of light all on its own without sharing the spotlight with the trappings of a dubious season at best.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, lemon.

Incidentally, I believe that, if it had been a Muslim who threatened the airport officials in order to get his way with a religious artifact, there would have been no end of howling from the right, and from the media.

It is simply that the American people have come to expect having the Jewish religion rammed down their throat (you will notice no demands from Muslims for Ramadan displays, etc.)

It is simply that the American people have been conditioned to accept it from the Jews.

Well, not this time, I guess.

Sultan Knish said...

Oh yes gosh there's no end of the American people having the "Jewish religion" rammed down their throat.

I mean I went shopping yesterday and what was on the loudspeaker but Chanukah carols...oh wait those were Christmas carols.

I went into the lobby of an office building and there was a giant Chanukah tree...oh wait it was a giant Christmas tree. Three of them actually. (Somewhere out of sight on a shelf was a small electric menorah. It wasn't ramming anything though)

I turned on the radio and there were Chan...oh wait it was actually Christmas songs.

Then I walked down the street and hanging between the lamposts were Chanuka... wait those were Christmas decorations too.

So where are we ramming the Jewish religion down your throat exactly, Anonymous?

And if the Jewish religion bothers you so much, why are you a Christian? I mean there's way too much Jewish religion in Christianity.

You could be much happier as a Muslim, Hashfa...I mean Anonymous.

Keliata said...

It amazes me how most Americans can express outrage over Mel Gibson's anti-semitic rants (as they should) but a single Menorah upsets them so much that they'd do anything to avoid setting one up, even if it didn't cost the airport one red cent (other than the cost of the electricity).

Part of the problem is that it's a Jewish symbol, more than that, it is a Jewish RELIGIOUS symbol. Religious and Jewish makes it a double threat to these clods. What do they think? People will see a Menorah and immediately want to convert to Judaism?

On the other hand, more and more christians are becoming noachides so perhaps Christians on some level do fear the Menorah and what is symbolizes.

Then again, there's an almost knee-JERK reaction of people when it comes to anything Jewish, something unconscious. They act the way people would act if a spider fell on them.

It's Jewish! Get it away! Get it off of me! That type of instinctive hatred was bred in them from an early age. But they're adults now. Time to take responsibility for the sorry state of their souls.

blueenclave said...

Applause for excellent post.

blueenclave said...

In fact, this is the best SK post I have ever read. Thank you, Akiva, for pointing it out.

Sultan Knish said...

KA - when people became upset over holiday flags created by a non-jewish woman which happened to be blue and white and had a snowflake six pointed star, this kind of thing reveals their psychoses

http://wcbstv.com/topstories/local_story_345162626.html

Blueenclave - Thanks and glad to know you're a reader

Hash - You're still banned. It doesn't matter if you post as anonymous. I see IP addresses. If I let a post of yours through as I did here, it's for educational reasons.

yobeeone said...

I'd be happy if:

1) x-tianity wasn't constantly being slammed down our throats.
2) You could walk through CH and not have bloody x-mas lights glaring at you.
3) If certain local Jewish store owners would actually obey Torah which forbids selling pagan items to goyiim for their pagan celebrations.
4) If Walmart banned x-mas songs and was only allowed to play Weird Al singing about pizza cheese and constipation.

But alas, I'm stuck with waiting for Moshiach to come for at least 3 outa 4 of my happy thoughts to be a reality. :]

The back of the hill said...

It is simply that the American people have come to expect having the Jewish religion rammed down their throat.

I'm afraid that's nonsense. I've not yet received a single chanuka card. Ever.

And I hasten to point out that I live in a part of the country where multi-culturalism is stressed. Where we have parades and fiestas for each little group that decides to temporarily split off and celebrate what makes them unique (Chinese New Year, Cinco De May, Cherry Blossom, Gay (Gay-Lesbian-Transgender-Very Confused) Freedom Day, Indian Independence, Mexican Independance, Native American Holocaust Day, and what have you).

If Americans really had Jewish stuff rammed down their throats, I would not have to explain what Chanuka means..., or kashrus..., or Yom Kippur..., or Peysach....

I am, however, somewhat baffled that a rabbi would want to share space with an ashera. It seems somewhat perverse.

Der Shygetz said...

Anonymous 12.04 is Hash? Is he posting from the conference in Iran?

Sultan Knish said...

hash in the deranged flesh.... from iran if not lower than that

Der Shygetz said...

I heard Hash was at the conference in Iran, but Ahmadidingdong took one look at him and had the Revolutionary Guards take him right back to the airport for deportation to Cuba.

Sultan Knish said...

hash didn't pass their inspection for diseased foreign rodents

ahmedanijad was worried hash would unfairly compete with local diseased vermin like him

Keliata said...

Olympic figure skater Sasha Cohen (describes herself and half Jewish, half Christian) is caught up in the "war on christmas" controversy.

Even though she celebrates Christmas, city officials in Riverside, California abruptly cancelled a performance featuring Christmas carols because they MIGHT offend her. They even brought a police escort to ensure the carols were cancelled.

Sasha Cohen is a professional. She liked the carols, and yet they were cancelled in her name. Guess who will be portrayed as the villian in the story?

Sultan Knish said...

disturbing and really shows there's an agenda behind this to paint jews as obstacles to christianity

it's an old story

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