The following is being circulated through email around the country and attributed to Ben Stein's appearance on a CBS Sunday Morning broadcast. The email usually has "God is the answer" on the subject line. Stein was once billed as a comedian, even though many didn't appreciate his humor. More commonly, now he is known as a right-wing conservative who delivers some of the more hate riddled propaganda for the Republicans camouflaged as legitimate commentary.
Sometimes it is impossible to read this stuff without responding, so here is my thoughts on this one. His words are in italics.
The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.
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...
1.) Pushed around? Its true that Jews get pushed around for their beliefs. Especially by Christians who want to convert them or want to worship them for being "God's chosen".
2.) Atheist Country? I have never heard or read that people consider America to be an "atheist country." There is a big difference between atheism and the belief that one should be allowed to follow any religion they please or be free to not follow any religious idea.
Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.
1.) Should worship celebrities? The idea is ridiculous and makes no sense. Where is anyone insisting people should worship celebrities? Of course, there are people who worship celebrities like Ronald Reagan, Ian Rand, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Grover Norquist, Jerry Falwell and Ron Paul. Was this what he is thinking about?
2.) Aren't allowed to worship God? The constitution guarantees we can worship God or any other deity. We have laws to protect that right. This is precisely why we cant push or religious beliefs on each other. This includes using public institutions like schools. We are guaranteed religious freedom as long as it does not infringe on others' religious freedom. The New Testament clearly encourages one to lead by example and not coercion. The process of following Christ is to be voluntary; not coerced by peer pressure.
3.) America went no where, it just chooses to reinforce God's design of man having a "freewill."
In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be a joke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.
In light of recent events... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc.. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school... The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK
1.) Religion in schools. Public schools are institutions provided by tax-payers to provide an education to children. These taxpayers consist of Jews, Muslims, Buddhist, Agnostics, Atheist and many who follow various different beliefs of Christianity. They are attended by the children of similar believers. It is a matter of simple respect for others. Religious instruction is the realm of family and not government. It is impossible to allow religion is schools without allowing all of them and its impractical to incorporate so many different beliefs. What person would want their child to be told at school their family's beliefs were not favored by God or that they were "going to hell?"
2.) The Bible says thou shalt not kill, etc. Then why do conservatives who claim to follow the Bible seem to look favorably on war? Why is war so glorified? Why are those who kill in the name of the government treated as heroes and not as someone who was put into a position that required committing such a horrible and despicable act? They certainly don't seem to lament the death of women, children and other non-combatants as the Bible seems to indicate.
Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about.. And we said okay..
1.) What has Dr. Spock got to do with it? We have laws against child abuse. While all spanking is certainly not child abuse, millions of children have been physically abused through the use of it. Its just common sense, not to punish a child physically with your own anger. Actually, that is a biblical concept.
Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.
Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'
Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace.
To some Christians, who understand what Christ is really about, this very diatribe by Ben Stein would be vulgar and obscene. However, its really just fabrication and nuance used to vent his resentments frustrations and incite the worst in others. It really has nothing to do with God.
Are you laughing yet?
Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it.
Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.
Doesn't the bible teach something about humility?