Sunday, December 17, 2006

Merry Christmas from Mark Steyn

Once again, Mark Steyn gets it right:

Everyone who knows Rabbi Bogomilsky says he's an affable fellow, he doesn't want to Scrooge up anybody's Christmas, he's an all-around swell guy. No doubt. But in the week when the president of Iran hosts an international (and well-attended) Holocaust Denial Convention (which simultaneously denies the last Holocaust while gleefully anticipating the next one), this rabbi thinks it's in the interests of the Jewish people to take legal action against "holiday" decorations at Seattle Airport? Sorry, it's not the airport but the plaintiff who's out of his tree. An ability to prioritize is an indispensable quality of adulthood, and a sense of proportion is a crucial ingredient of a mature society.

This isn't about religion. Jesus is doing just fine in the United States. Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized American Christianity unique in the Western world. What the rabbi in Seattle and the cops in Riverside are doing is colluding in an assault on something more basic: They're denying the possibility of any common culture. America is not a stamp collection with one of each. It's an overwhelmingly Christian country with freedom of religion for those who aren't. But it's quite an expansion of "freedom of religion" to argue that "those who aren't" are entitled to forbid any public expression of America's Christian inheritance except as part of an all-U-can-eat interfaith salad bar. In their initial reaction, Seattle Airport got it right: To be forced to have one of everything is, ultimately, the same as having nothing. So you might as well cut to the chase.

What, after all, is the rabbi objecting to? There were no bauble-dripping conifers in the stable in Bethlehem. They didn't sing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," either. That's, in effect, an ancient pop song that alludes to the birth of the Savior as a call to communal merry-making: No wonder it falls afoul of an overpoliced overlitigated "diversity" regime. Speaking of communal songs, they didn't sing "White Christmas" round the manger. A Jew wrote that. It's part of the vast Jewish contribution to America's common culture.

OK, I biggie sized the text there, because it's important. America started out Christian and remains overwhelmingly Christian. The freedom is granted to those who are not Christian or for those who worship Christ in their own way. It is still granted. And that, unlike other intolerant countries is one reason America is great--for everyone.

H/T Gina

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Funny you posted on him today. We had a long conversation about him the last few days and I just ordered his book, "America Alone". I hear it is very dark. Oh boy, am I really ready for it?

Kevin B said...

Doc

I loved the Mark Steyn column and it is, as usual, chock full of quotable quotes, but the two passages I would have emboldened, if there is such a word, are:

But in the week when the president of Iran hosts an international (and well-attended) Holocaust Denial Convention (which simultaneously denies the last Holocaust while gleefully anticipating the next one), this rabbi thinks it's in the interests of the Jewish people to take legal action against "holiday" decorations at Seattle Airport?

which gets to the nub of the matter so perfectly it hurts,

And:

Forty years of ACLU efforts to eliminate God from the public square have led to a resurgent, evangelical and politicized American Christianity unique in the Western world.

which is so forehead-smackingly obvious, now he points it out, you wonder why you've never seen it before.

Kevin B

Dr. Melissa said...

Kevin B,

Obvious to some....the ACLU seems oblivious, however.