2020’s agonies make it more important than ever that I count my blessings — and sharing America’s Christmas spirit is a very big blessing.
Every year, I post my favorite Christmas song, which is Josh Groban’s live version of O Holy Night. This has been a strange year but I’m not going to abandon that tradition. Also, not every year but often, I use Christmas as a springboard to express my gratitude for the gift of Christianity — most specifically, America’s Christianity.
American Christians are very special people in that they generously share Christmas with everyone! There’s no price tag. I don’t have to give up my secular, cultural (and moral, I hope) Judaism to be enveloped in the loving, happy Christmas spirit. That spirit is everywhere — in the well-wishes from friends and strangers, in the beautiful lights that surround me, and in the hopeful spirit of the season. Christians carry it in their hearts even when our federal, state, and local governments takes on the character of Scrooge and the Grinch combined, except that none of these institutional tyrants and haters show signs that their hearts will change this year.
I’m also grateful for American Christians because those churches that have not embraced Marx as their central tenet in place of the New Testament are not anti-Semitic. My parents were afraid of Christianity. They came from Europe and associated Christianity with anti-Semitism. Even the fact that the greatest anti-Semitic killer the world has ever known was a socialist who rejected the church did not change their view. To them, European Christianity was a threat and, if Hitler went mad, the backdrop was a thousand years of a church that hated Jews.
That’s not the case in America, at least among traditional denominations. And with America’s angry leftists becoming ever more open about their anti-Semitism (ironically, as the Muslim Middle East is starting to embrace Jews and Israel), I am daily grateful for American Christians. Thank you for being you and understanding brotherhood and pluralism in a free country.
With that, I freely and happily wish everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike, a very Merry Christmas. Whether as a deeply religious occasion or a shared spirit of seasonal joy, it’s a wonderful holiday. And what better way to do it than with Josh Groban’s beautiful O Holy Night?
To all the wealthy, liberal elites who are cheering on the protests and riots, a word of warning is in order. The same holds true for the conservative Christians who are lining up to show their support for the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement. To each of you I say: Do not be deceived. The cancel culture will soon be coming for you.
A few weeks ago, I read about a TV sports journalist who tweeted his support for rioters in a nearby city. “Burn that s— down. Burn it all down,” he tweetedwith glee.
Later that same day, as the mob marched towards his private neighborhood, his tone had changed. He called them animals and – get this – noted how the crowds scattered when the police arrived. How ironic! The cry to defund the police lasts only so long.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezon is the latest to face the wrath of the mob.
As Breitbart reported, “According to a number of videos posted to social media, protesters in DC placed a model guillotine in front of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ Washington complex. A flyer for the event stated ‘End the abuse and profiteering. Abolish the police, the prisons, and Amazon.’”
And note that, “Alongside the guillotine [was] a sign reading ‘support our poor communities, not our wealthy men.’”
Oh, yes the guillotine once again. As in off with your head. As in CHOP. (See here for a sobering article, along with an even more sobering video clip.)
Conservative web host Drew Hernandez postedanother video in which a DC protester said, “when they become threatened, and we have no voice, the knives come out.” And the protester delivered these comments while standing in front of the guillotine.
All clear on the meaning of “knives”!
It’s true that Bezos has come under attack for allegedly taking advantage of Amazon employees.
But Bezos is also famously liberal. He is the owner of the leftist Washington Post. In 2012, he pledged $2.5 million to support same-sex “marriage” in Washington State. And the award winning transgender comedy series, Transparent, was produced by and aired on Amazon.
But Bezos is also rich. Very rich. And that makes him a target. After “defund the police,” it will probably be “defund the rich.”
Jemele Hill has also felt the wrath of the culture-cancelling mob. (Hill formerly worked for ESPN and is now a writer for the Atlantic.) But 10 years ago – yes, a decade ago – she cracked some jokes on Twitter that were considered transphobic and homophobic.
Yet as Breibart notes, “This is the same Jemele Hill who several years later went hammer and tong against Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Josh Hader for racist and homophobic tweets he posted when he was a kid in high school.
“In her screed against Hader and those who supported him in 2018, Hill sneered, ‘Realize that when you chalk Hader’s remarks up to youth and immaturity or worse, and give him an over-the-top applause for God knows what, you’re simultaneously telling the people hurt by his remarks that their feelings of resentment and skepticism don’t matter.’”
Now, Hill is being targeted by the Twitter crowd, with comments like this: “Time’s up. We are coming for every last one of you [expletives] right now. No more playing nice, we played by your rules, now you get to, and I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time now. #CancelJemele #CancelJemeleHill.”
Sounds like a scene straight out of Animal Farm. What goes around, comes around. You cancel one day, you get canceled the next.
This is especially important for conservative Christians to grasp, since we want to be on the front lines of racial reconciliation and since we reject racism as sin. And, understanding the significance of the phrase to our black brothers and sisters, we want to shout out, “Yes, black lives do matter.”
Many black Christians also want to stand arm in arm with their friends and colleagues who have joined together with the BLM movement.
I find it even more disturbing when Christian leaders across the nation fall over each other in their zeal to prove their wokeness. They fail to realize that some of the very people they are trying to impress are the same ones who will turn on them in an instant the moment they take a strong stand for biblical values.
I was reminded today, as I am often reminded, that American Christians are extremely nice, generous people, and that I am lucky to live in America with them.
I stopped by my local Dairy Queen today for a treat: a chocolate dipped cone. Yum. If I didn’t have some common sense left, I’d eat those things every day and become the living embodiment of that old song about Mr. Five By Five. But I do have some common sense, so my visits are infrequent. Perhaps that’s why it really jumped out me as I finished my transaction at the drive-through when the clerk, instead of saying only “thank you,” added “have a blessed day.”
Sadly, I know a lot of people who would be offended by that. Indeed, truth to tell, back when I was young I would have been offended. Being Jewish, my cultural memory was rich in stories of forced conversions and executions for those who didn’t convert or who sneakily practiced Judaism alongside their forced Christianity. For hundreds of years, across Europe (which is where I trace back my Jewish roots), that type of brutal coercion was normative for Jews. The Spanish Inquisition lives on forever in Jewish minds.
That’s why, when I was young and someone said, “Have a blessed day” or asked “Have you found Jesus?” I instantly went into defensive mode. I usually kept my mouth shut, but my brain was ricocheting wildly between “Who do they think they are to impose their Christianity on me?” to “Are they going to hurt me?”
Because there were very few Christians in my world — family friends were Jewish; school friends were Asians, usually Buddhists or Shintoists or atheists — I really didn’t have a working template of American Christianity. My Christian grandmother didn’t really count because, despite a very traditional Protestant upbringing in Europe, she was a stone cold atheist whose idea of Christianity was Christmas trees and Easter bunnies. And after all, she had married a Jew and moved with her Zionist husband and their children to British Mandate Palestine. In other words, I never thought of her as “Christian.”
Fortunately, I moved to Texas for law school and met nice Christians. And then I moved back to California as an adult and met more nice Christians. After which I become conservative and then I suddenly met a whole bunch of Christians, both in real life and through their writing. That’s was when I realized that American Christians are really nice people. Obviously, not each of them specifically is a nice person. There’ll be some who are petty and some who are greedy and some who are just irritating. But taken en masse, I really like American Christians.
You see, American Christians have a generous Christianity. They willingly share their lovely holidays with the world. In American, you don’t have to be Christian to enjoy Christmas trees, Christmas carols, decorated houses, Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, etc. You’re not blaspheming and subject to torture or death for having a tree in your house even if you don’t believe that it celebrates Christ’s birth or joining in an Easter egg hunt even if you don’t believe in the Resurrection. It’s okay with American Christians as long as you don’t get in the way of their core beliefs about Christ’s birth and Resurrection.
And while many American Christians are anxious to share with you the Good News about Christ, they do so, not out of a sense of superiority or a totalitarian need to control. Instead, they do it because to them, it isn’t just Good News, it’s the best of all possible news and they want to share. And then, if you rebuff them, either rudely as I did when young and scared, or politely as I do now, they quietly take themselves off and go share the Good News with others. No torture, no death. They graciously share and they just as graciously accept rejection.
Oh, and speaking of sharing, I love the way churches, especially outside of urban areas, have outdoor signs on which they post scripture, wise thoughts, and funny thoughts. I find them inspirational and, often, amusing. This again is part of the generosity of spirit that infuses American Christianity. No torture; no death.
Just as that young woman at Dairy Queen wished me a blessed day, American Christians wish people well. They don’t revel in suffering or pain. In this, they are unlike Leftists (see Dennis Prager’s excellent column on that point) and they are most certainly unlike Islamists, who are Stone Age in their passion for pain (other people’s pain).
I also like American Christians because the vast majority of them support Israel. I support Israel too. I’m Jewish; my parents were part of its founding; it’s a staunch American ally; and it’s the most decent country in the Middle East. Indeed, I’d say that it’s second to America on the list of “world’s most decent countries.” That American Christians value Israel means more to me than you can imagine.
Sadly, some American Christians are drifting away from their practical and spiritual generosity. When Leftism isn’t try to destroy Christians — with the un-ending attacks on Christian baker Jack Phillips standing as Exhibit A for this pathological hatred — they are trying to rejigger Christianity into a socialist ally. Just as is the case with Reform Judaism, certain Christian denominations have ever so gently curated their faith to the point at which it’s indistinguishable from the Democrat Party platform. The whole “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s” has gone entirely by the wayside. God and Caesar are one — and Caesar won.
These same Leftist Christians are also bringing back the anti-Semitism that animated the early Christian Church and made Jews so paranoid about Christians. They call it “anti-Zionism,” but because the only country in the world they attack is also the only Jewish country, the anti-Semitism just kind of jumps out at you.
Anyway, I don’t want to wander off the point which is my respect and liking for non-Leftist Christians. That’s why I’m writing this post, one in a series of similar posts I’ve written over the years to express my gratitude that I share a country with traditional American Christians. I am truly fortunate to live in a place in which a young Christian woman freely shares her “have a blessed day” with everyone and means it every time.