Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Fraud of a Common Judeo-Christian Struggle against Secularism

For years now they've been emphasizing that the salvation of America lies in faith based values against the forces of "secular fundamentalism" and "anti-religious bigotry." They've been part of organizations pushing for prayer in schools, suing any town or municipality or school that barred Christmas trees and fighting for what they said was our Judeo-Christian heritage.

They lied.

When a Rabbi pushed to have a Menorah added at the Seattle-Tacoma airport, the airport responded by removing the Christmas trees. Sounds like a straightforward case of fighting for our Judeo-Christian heritage. After all a Menorah shows up in the bible by God's command. The Book of Maccabees was included in many versions of the Christian bible. It should be pretty hard for a Christian to find it offensive. Chanukah celebrates the victory of faith over secularism. You expect a joint press conference with Christian leaders backing Rabbi Bogomilsky's desire to see a celebration of religion in the public square and demanding the restoration of the trees along with a menorah.

Come on Virginia, you're not that naive?

Bill O'Reilly, to his credit, took that approach but for the most part the reaction was to vilify the Rabbi for trying to destroy Christmas and America's "traditional values" which apparently rely on having Christmas trees in airports, but couldn't possibly survive having a Menorah there.

Christian columnists and blogs vilified the "easily offended", but the Rabbi wasn't the one offended. He wanted to add a religious symbol. It's the people condemning him who are the ones easily offended.

Then came the "If we add a menorah then where do we draw the line" approach. If we add a menorah, so the argument goes, we'll have to add the symbols of every single religion including the Church of Satan. Clearly opening the door for Judaism opens the door for the Church of Satan and who can tell the difference between the two anyway.

There's only so many religions that have December holidays and only one was applying to have a religious symbol added to the airport. More to the point haven't Christians been constantly assuring us that Judaism was in a whole other category? That we were all part of a common Judeo-Christian heritage. Apparently that was great when we were putting up the Christmas trees, but when it's time to put up the Menorah then we're right out there with the Church of Satan.

Then there's the "he shouldn't have threatened a lawsuit" line. It's perfectly okay when the Pat Robertson run American Center for Law and Justice actually sues and boycotts malls and municipalities in order to defend religious symbols. But heaven help a Rabbi who does it. He's suddenly the bully beating up on the helpless entity of the Seattle-Tacoma airport.

Finally there's the "A Christmas tree is a secular symbol but a Menorah is a religious symbol" one. First of all if a Christmas tree is truly a secular symbol then why are Christian organizations fighting so hard for them in the name of faith based values and religious freedom? The same people who claim Christmas trees are a secular symbol, get outraged by political correctness if they're called "Holiday Trees." The difference of course is Christ, as in Jesus or Christianity.

The Christmas tree is part of the celebration of Christmas which is the celebration of Jesus' birth. It's a custom that became part of a religious holiday, making it religious. The irony is that the very same people who object to the encroaching forces of secularism on Christmas, are happy enough to redefine some elements of Christmas as secular if it gets them under the fence.

The Menorah commemorates G-d's miracle in Chanukah. It is a festival of thanksgiving and as such it is more akin to the American Thanksgiving. Christmas by contrast celebrates the birth of Jesus and represents the wellspring of Christianity.

If the goal is to resist secularism by emphasizing the symbols of our common Judeo-Christian heritage, then Christian groups should be united in pushing for the return of both the Christmas trees and the Menorah. If it's not, then the fraud that it's a common Judeo-Christian struggle against secularism, rather than a Christian struggle for the supremacy of Christianity and Christian symbols in public places aided by some Jews is made very crystal clear.


Lemon Lime Moon said...

Judeo-Christian sentiments are used only when they wish to lay claims to the "bible", then we hear of the common Judeo-christian heritage of the US.
However, when push comes to shove, its hot air and nothing more.

marallyn ben moshe said...

great post...when i moved to jerusalem, i thought, yeah now i'm free from all that christmas huha and my kids won't have to grow up under the shaddow of the tree and the presents and and and...then our prime minister who was mayor of this city at the time put up lights all over the place...wreaths, stars, sleighs...not one menorah or dreidle...when i phoned him to coplain he said it was the holiday of i am all for lights and all for holidays...the question is whose? but what can you expect from one of the three stooges...oy...stay safe sultan...great post once again

esperimento said...

Very nice to meet you :)
Hope you'll allow me to link you.
Chag sameach

Sultan Knish said...

true, lemon, it seems to be more rhetoric than reality

sad, marallyn very sad. I had no idea.

good to meet you, esperimento and I'd be happy to have you link me and have linked back to you

hash, you're banned...give it up

Lemon Lime Moon said...

Marallyn, that says a lot about him. He is pagan at heart. No wonder he wants to give away EY.

They are setting up idols all over in place of Hashem.

Dark, evil times.

catlady said...

I'm the catlady so I'll make the catty remark about Bill O'Reily
The only reason Bill was magnanimous is because due deference was shown to the chimera of "Judeochristianvalues". Bill encouraged the Chabad rabbi to make it was crystal clear that it was intended as no disrespect to xtianity-in fact it was to enrich the yuletide message and so the great bloviator was magnanimous.

Sultan Knish said...

true catlady... but consider how many weren't even satisfied with that

yobeeone said...

Quite frankly, there's no such thing as "judeo-xtian values". That's like saying judeo-nazi values or judeo-islam values. X-tianity is not related to judaism. Even the catholics in their own writings admit to how they made the whole bloody bugger up.

It's insane to connect Judaism to a religion that has three gods.

(once more yo's cats attack her with an aerial spraying of knock-out gas.)

catlady said...

an enemy who acts like a friend
is a more subtle enemy

in some ways it's worse to see a Jew give in to peer pressure than it is to see a Jew give in to an inquistioner

Ming Toy said...

Help me I am a prisoner in a chinese noodle factory! Save me please.
I was able to type this on their computer with my toes.
If you get this message I am at in the factory at Foley Square.
You will recognize me by my brightly colored plummage.
Ming Toy

seanbear said...

Lou Dobbs is an asshole, actually anyone who considers themselves a Christian and has a problem with the menorah or Jews is an asshole.

I sorry you guys feel the way you do about Christians.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but I dont hate you, or your traditions.

Sultan Knish said...

The article is about a certain group of people who hide behind religion (any religion) to do damage to others.
Jews are aware that this is not a blanket thing that its not "all" Christians.
Unfortunately there are bad people who think they speak for entire groups and make a hugely bad impression.
Most Jews also understand that decent Christians do have a connection with Jews on some levels.
And Sean..we are glad you feel as you do, its good to hear and very nice of you to say.

Anonymous said...

Gosh yes, that evil airport ... threatened with a lawsuit that they didn't want to spend money on, they removed ALL religious symbols, no matter what religion they belonged. It wasn't about being against Judaism, it was about being against a waste of money, time, and effort on a frivolous lawsuit.

Sultan Knish said...

there was no lawsuit

all they were asked to do was reply to a request to put up one single menorah

and somehow taking down everything was cheaper and less time consuming?

now pull the other one

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