Religion And Political Correctness
Sam Bierstock, MD, writes In Praise of Christians and Christmas
I’m an American Jew—100% full blooded with all four grandparents 100% Jewish as far back as you want to go.
I live in a Christian country—I know it, I recognize it, and I love it.
Please, please—have your Christmas parades, your house decorations, and your nativity scenes. I love New York City at Christmas and festive shopping store windows. I celebrate your joy and the spirit of your holiday season with you. I rejoice for you as you celebrate the birth of your savior.
And THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, for allowing me to celebrate my own religion and heritage. For allowing my children to grow up in a tolerant society that respects those of us who are in a minority. For allowing us to display our menorahs. For your good wishes in advertisements and station sponsored comments on various television and radio messages at the time of our holidays, and for allowing my children and grandchildren to explain to their friends the wonderful warmth and meaning behind Chanukah, Passover, and our high holidays.
This country was founded as a Christian country, but left the doors open for all of us to enjoy its freedoms. I am a Jew and I am a infatuated patriot who would put his life on the line for this country in an instant—and do so filled with gratitude for what it has given me. I am proud of the outstanding contributions of Jewish war veterans, and I will fight and die beside my Christian countrymen if called to do so. The majority of people who fought our wars, who liberated Hitler’s camps that slaughtered my people, who commanded our armed forces, who served as our presidents and leaders, and who have preserved our constitution were Christians. There are lots more of you than there are of us.
I am not offended by billboards, Christmas lights, school plays celebrating the birth of Jesus. I do not demand equal time for celebrating Jewish tradition.
As I write this, the morning news reports that a YMCA has banned Santa Claus. I grew up surrounded by Santa Claus and Christmas festivities. I know who I am—Santa Claus didn’t do a thing to make me feel like less of a Jew. You learn who you are from your family and in your home, not on the streets of your cities and at your YMCA.
Primarily, I am deeply grateful that in celebrating Christian holidays, a tacit recognition exists that we are a country based upon Judeo-Christian beliefs and morals—and that, in and of itself, is enough for me. We are brothers and sisters who share the same Ten Commandments, the same belief in tolerance, and the mutual respect that comes from a common heritage in a shared Old Testament.
If only our legislators would stop fearing the backlash of the moral purists, religious fundamentalists on all side, and the never-ending advocations of the politically correct. If only our town officials and school administrators would stop being fearful the threat of litigation made possible by a pathological need for across-the-board representation.
Any day now, I am expecting to hear of objections to holiday displays by vegetarians and animal protection groups. After all, Jesus, Mary and Joseph took up comfort space in the manger allocated to animals, some of which were quite possibly destined for human consumption after suffering a painful end via the knife. I am certain that there is no shortage of lawyers willing to make that case.
As far as I am concerned, my best wishes go to the Christian majority of my fellow citizens with heartfelt thanks for allowing me to be a part of our country, and for allowing anyone else of another faith to do the same – with a single caveat.
When your religious teachings advocate the destruction of my country, preach intolerance, domination, and death to non-believers, and harm to my country and fellow Americans, you have crossed a line that deserves and should receive no forgiveness. Deceive us by advocating tolerance but clandestinely supporting our downfall, and you have lost the right to our tolerance.
Support causes that result in death or injury to my countryman or my people, and you are my enemy for life.
My wish for a Merry Christmas to my Christian friends could not be more genuine, for with every Merry Christmas, I utter a silent “Thank you”. Thank you for my country, for your tolerance, for our constitution, for our battles fought and won together, for my freedoms, and for the life offered to my children. I am proud of the contribution my fellow Jews have made in the armed services, in the sciences, and in all aspects of American life, and I am proud to stand beside you as an American.
P.S. If your community leaders forbid the display of a nativity scene, house decorations, or the erection of a cross—you can come and put them up at my house and on my property anytime.
Me Casa—Su Casa
Sam Bierstock, MD, BSEE