So today I saw an article on facebook credited to Ben Stein regarding the controversy over calling Christmas trees holiday trees.  It was really good, but it got preachy towards the end and made me think he hadn’t actually written it.  Turns out he hadn’t written the preachy half of it (hooray Google, for answering all of my most unimportant questions!), but he did write the part that resonated with me:

“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. “

You can read the entire article here.  It’s short.  But you’ve already read the part that I like the best.

I am going to school at a place called Shimer and for the most part I really like it, but one thing that is driving me crazy is how prejudiced against Christianity (in particular) and religion (in general) people there are.

I have trouble calling myself a Christian most of the time.  Sometimes I think I might be one.  Sometimes I’m certain that I’m not.  Sometimes I don’t really care either way.

But I hate hate.  I hate condescension.  I hate intolerance.  I hate close-mindedness.

If I, as a person who barely has a religion at times, am offended by the disrespect displayed by the student body at Shimer, something must be wrong.  In the conversations and classes I have had, there is enough condescension, quiet hate and intolerance going around at Shimer to have passed passé and entered into the realm of super shitty and pretty boring.

I guess I’m just trying to say that it’s just nice to have someone who agrees a little bit.

Ben Steeeeiinnnn.


3 Responses to Religion

  1. I agree with this assessment. Being fairly religious myself, I am often upset by the violent opposition at our school to my faith.
    Now, being faithful in a Jewish sense obviously means something different that being faithful in another sense, but it is sometimes met with the same negative reaction.
    Humanities III was the most upsetting for me. The course is called “Philosophy and Theology,” but only Christian Theology was read (with the exception of some excerpts of the Torah, referred to, insultingly, always as the “Old Testament,” which is a text – as you know – used in both Christianity and Judaism — so, no exclusively Jewish texts) while Judaism and Islam was ignored. Both being a part of the “Western religions.”
    On top of that, a good number of people in the class found it acceptable to actually scoff at the texts. I understand that people do not all believe these texts. I, myself, do not follow the Christian faith. However, they are important to the history of this country and the societal framework we operate in. Any text should be treated with respect in the classroom, whether or not the students agree with the message.
    In other words, I feel your pain.

    • tertiaryhep says:

      I am glad that you have noticed the same thing. Even though I’m upset that that kind of reaction seems acceptable at a school like Shimer, it’s nice to know at least that I’m not just being overly sensitive.

      And oh dear. I am taking Humanities III next semester. Fingers crossed for a randomly super open-minded class. And an addition of non-Western texts to the curriculum. 😀 And parts of the Talmud. Because I was kind of hoping we’d read some of that.

  2. Ruth Schaffenberger says:

    Do you still read Ben Stein? And yes, I know the man. I’ve seen him on television.

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