Monday, December 20, 2004


A good part of the last week was dedicated to blogging about Jews who like Christmas, and think other Jews should like it, too. The fruits of my labor are here: I II III and IV

An angry exchange on the same topic with the Yehupitz Rav, which has since been taken offline, began here. (Keep those email flames coming Rabbi!)

Now Miriam is getting into the act, too.

To my mind, there are two issues here, and they should not be confused. First, I agree with Miriam that it's absurd to pretend that Christmas celebrations are "holiday parties." There's no reason to lie. This is their holiday time; not ours. One of my annual irritations is being wished a Happy Holiday in late December when Hanukah is already over. Christmas parties and Christmas trees should be called just that. It you mean Christmas, say Christmas. Mealy-mouthed euphamisms are not necessary.

But I strongly disagree with Yehuppy and the Conservative clan of columnists who seem to think that all religons must be venerated and protected because the alternative is liberalism, atheisim, cynicm, and mandatory French education in the public schools. The real alternative to the Christian agenda is freedom, ie: the right to choose any religion and any lifestyle you like. Anything the marginlizes the pious frauds of the American heartland advances the cause of freedom, and freedom is what minority Judaism must have if it is to flourish.

I am not suggesting that their private celebrations be prevented: They can do what they like in private (and I'd fight to the death for their right to do as they choose in private) but when those cultural ayatollahs bring their religion into the public square those of us who think and believe differently are put at risk.

Furthermore, Christianity is false. Though it occasionally overlaps with Judaism, at bottom it is idol worship, and much of it is incongruous with Torah Judaism - including its teachings on abortion and homosexuality. The sages have for 2000 years warned against lowering our guard around Christians. We're forbidden to eat their bread, or drink their wine, or enter their churches. The Jew (Prager) who urges us to admire their decorations, or the Jew (Krauthammer) who suggests that Christmas "enlarges" us is only a small half-step behind the Jew (Prelutsky) who revealed his hunger for faster and easier assimilation, writing:
Although it seems a long time ago, it really wasn't, that people who came here from other places made every attempt to fit in. Assimilation wasn't a threat to anyone – it was what the Statue of Liberty represented.
Finally, the flip-flopping logic of many of these conservative columnists is facinating. The same Conservative columnists who cackle with the glee of Ken Lay whenever the Government relaxes regulations and restrictions on corporations sit shiva when private companies decide that it is in their own best interest to tone down Christmas in their stores. What happened to the free market? What happened to Capitalism? Why is it in the "best interest of business" when Walmart employs people for six cents an hour, but a cause for public moaning and shirt tearing when Macy's decides to post a sign reading Happy Holidays, or when a mall nixes the nativity scenes?