Oh, relax

RJ gets dramatic:

Scott, very true, I do understand why they see us that way but I think the opportunity for a great alliance is being lost because of that theological viewpoint.

The Bible preaches “Love thy neighbor” and I do beleive most Christians love Jews because of that, but beware, they may love us but as I am learning from many posters here, they certainly don’t like us or want us as part of their lives.

The distinction between celebrants of Christmas as a celebration – however historically inaccurate – of the birth of the Savior and non-celebrants is neither controversial nor insulting. Jews deserve to be lumped in with atheists and Muslims in this regard, just as I would expect to be included with atheists, Muslims and Hindus as a non-celebrant of Hannukah. Moreover, we are all non-celebrants of Kwanzaa; I’ve never actually met a single person who celebrates that fictional holiday.

Not to rely on a cliche, but Space Bunny worked as a nanny for a Jewish family for eight years and lived with them for six. Never once has religion been an issue in our friendship and we have attended their religious ceremonies just as they have attended ours. I quite like the give-and-take aspect of their synagogue, to tell the truth, it’s an element that the Christian church might do well to consider adopting in place of the one-way lecture from time to time.

The problem as I see it is that Jews with public influence need to stop doing two things. First, to stop insisting that every mention of Christianity is either an insult or an attempt to establish a theocratic Christian state. Second, the Jewish figures of import of Hollywood need to stop overtly and covertly attacking Christianity. I am no anti-Semite, but the vicious attacks on Mel Gibson and his faith by Abe Foxman, the ADL, Jewish media figures and Hollywood momentarily made me feel some sympathy for the medieval kings who periodically kicked the Jewish people out of their kingdoms.

I have lived as part of an overwhelmingly outnumbered ethnic minority. (In Japan). One does not have to be a bootlicking sycophant, but if you do not behave with respect for the majority in their own land, it is difficult to argue that you deserve much sympathy when someone steps on you. One need not necessarily do as the Romans do when in Rome, but if you decide to take it on yourself to piss on Caesar, don’t be surprised when his Praetorian Guard takes a dim view of the matter.

Loving what you do

There may not be a lot of money in writing… yet, but there sure are some nice perquisites. I emailed the estimable Mr. Charles Stross to inform him that I had received a copy of his new (and first) fantasy novel, A Family Trade, and to compliment him on the rather nice job the publisher had done with the book.

Like me, Stross is a Dana aficionado, which may in part explain why he sent me an e-book of A Family Trade for review along with the two forthcoming sequels, Hidden Family and The Clan Corporate. I haven’t started AFT yet, but the basic concept is more than a little intriguing, and if he’s boldly going where I suspect he might be, I’m going to be mightily impressed.

Needless to say, reviews will be forthcoming.

Meditations on Week 13

1. Obviously, the thing to do when you’re facing a defense that has given up two successive 200-yard rushers and you’re playing outside on a cold December day is to throw the ball. Onterrio Smith rushes for over six yard per carry, but only gets 13 carries while Daunte throws 3 interceptions and the Vikings blow the chance to take the lead in the NFC North. If Mike Tice gets fired at the end of the year, this game will be the reason.

2. McNabb has definitely taken it to a new level this year, but I still don’t think this justifies his early anointing as a great quarterback. Sure, having Owens helps, but a defense that shuts down the Packers and holds them to three points until garbage time doesn’t exactly hurt. That steamrolling at Pittsburgh tends to devalue the gaudy record somewhat too.

3. That loud crashing sound you hear is the sound of the Michael Vick: Superstar express crashing into a very large concrete barrier painted pewter. OVERRATED. Meanwhile, the unheralded Drew Brees quarterbacked the unfancied Chargers to a likely AFC West championship even though the Broncos successfully took away the Antonio Gates option.

4. Peyton Manning will probably achieve the unbelievable and break Dan Marino’s record this coming weekend. Of course, as the Sports Guy points out, running up the score in December doesn’t matter much if you don’t win in January. Does anyone else suspect that like Marino, (who admitted as much this week), Manning cares more about the records than he does about winning?

5. Ah yeah, I like the new juice. Mr. Julius Jones, who not only has the best name in football since He Hate Me, has racked up 400 yards and 5 TDs since I picked him up in my fantasy league two weeks ago. I’m riding him, Antonio Bryant and Lee Evens right into the playoffs. Last week, I started precisely two players I drafted, Daunte and Bubba Franks. It’s all about the pickups, boys.

6. Rick Fox of Carolina must be an unbelievable coach. He’s practically playing the cheerleaders now and Panther’s are still in position for the playoffs despite the heavy injuries. Coaches are overrated in most sports, but with the talent parity in the NFL, they may be the definitive factor.

7. The Jets are having the quietest 9-3 season ever. Thankfully, three teams at 10-1 should shut up all the whiners complaining about too much NFL parity. I like Herm Edwards, with the right hat, he’d be the black Tom Landry.

8. I’m not saying that turning the keys over to Eli Manning was the worst coaching decision ever, but it is probably the worst one in the NFL this year. Considering that this required topping Denny “it’s not the QB, it’s my system” Green’s decision to start a rookie QB and a rookie RB last Sunday, that’s saying something.

9. It seems pretty obvious that Mike Holmgren was riding the coattails of Ron Wolf and Brett Favre now, doesn’t it? I’ve never seen a pro receiver drop more balls than Darrell Jackson. No wonder they’re throwing it to Jerry Rice now, he may have lost a step or two, but at least he can hang onto the ball.

10. What was that I said about the window of opportunity closing on the Titans before the season started? Yeah, thought so.

Mailvox: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose

Ralph continues to take exception:

I do not take back the idea that I thought his article today was insulting to Jews by saying that Hanukah is based on “magic”–Christians do not own the market on miracles and Hanukah is holiday that clearly celebrates a miracle, not magic.

I also am even more insulted by him grouping Jews together with secularists, athiests, and Muslims–this is divisive and in my eyes, ungrateful–

In my opinion, this is a clear case of looking to be offended. My sentiments would have remained precisely the same had I used the term “miraculously” instead of “magically”; the point of the dismissive tone was not to denigrate Judaism but to underline the fact that Hannukah is about as minor a holiday as exists in America today, an unimportant holiday celebrated by a tiny minority of the populace. I do not purchase presents for anyone to celebrate ANY of the miracles chronicled in the Bible with the sole exception of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Furthermore, practicing Jews belong with secularists, atheists and Muslims with regards to this subject, because like those other groups, they deny the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As the furor over The Passion of the Christ showed, there even appears to be a larger segment of openly anti-Christian American Jews than there are openly anti-Christian American Muslims.

I will always defend the right of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and to live and practice their religion freely in America. I believe that Christians have a responsibility to protect God’s Chosen People from the prince of this world, who hates them like he hates Christians. I do not, however, regard them as a people or a faith who are somehow beyond all criticism and mockery, their oft-tragic history notwithstanding.

As evidence that most Jews not only understood but sympathized with the point I was making, here’s a typical email from Moshe:

It’s coincidental that I read your article today after a minor epiphany I had last night.I was standing in line in a store last night when one of the customers asked the clerk if he was in the “Christmas Spirit” yet. It astounded me that I hadn’t even thought about the term for a decade or more.

I am a devoutly Orthodox Jew. However, I grew up in a non-orthodox household in Canada in the ’50s. I distinctly remember the concept of “Christmas Spirit.” When I was a kid, this was no meaningless concept but a mindset that seemed to guide people for a few weeks each year. People were more gentle at that time, they let each other ahead in a queue for a movie or a bus. They were less belicose and warmer in their hellos and goodbyes. Fast forward to the early ’80s. As a newly married young man with a growing family I remember talking with one of my Christian employess about the fact that it seemed the Christmas spirit had died. Now, in the 21st Century, you don’t even hear the term any more.

As a Jew, I am not offended if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas. Obviously, I don’t subscribe to the theology but I respect those who do and am grateful for the Christians who founded and bled for this country and made it a haven for Jews. I simply respond “have a nice holiday” back. I am astounded though, when two Christians are afraid to offer each other Christmas greetings without having to looking over their shoulders for the PC police.