The Nudnik File

Nudnik - n. U.S. colloq. Esp. in Jewish usage: a pestering, nagging, or irritating person

Friday, December 17, 2004

              Religion and the State
For many (especially left-leaning) Americans the most dismaying thing about the last election was the perceived move towards religious fundamentalism and the supposed move of religion into public life. I think that this is not entirely correct, and is mostly the invention of the media. America has always been a religious country - probably the most religious of all Western industrialized countries. The fact that the religious have become more vocal is most likely a reaction to the radical secularism that is being forced onto the US.

Every December, the radical secularists reemerge in force trying to take the religion out of Christmas. And every year it seems that there are more and more demands. It started out with the banning of nativity scenes in public places, and has now progressed to the point where one can not even publicly with people a Merry Christmas; Happy holidays is the PCified greeting. Charles Krauthammer addresses the absurdity of de-Christianizing Christmas.

Some Americans get angry at parents who want to ban carols because they tremble that their kids might feel "different" and "uncomfortable" should they, God forbid, hear Christian music sung at their school. I feel pity. What kind of fragile religious identity have they bequeathed their children that it should be threatened by exposure to carols?

I'm struck by the fact that you almost never find Orthodox Jews complaining about a Christmas creche in the public square. That is because their children, steeped in the richness of their own religious tradition, know who they are and are not threatened by Christians celebrating their religion in public. They are enlarged by it.

It is the more deracinated members of religious minorities, brought up largely ignorant of their own traditions, whose religious identity is so tenuous that they feel the need to be constantly on guard against displays of other religions -- and who think the solution to their predicament is to prevent the other guy from displaying his religion, rather than learning a bit about their own.


Follow up from Elder of Zion #6

On a personal note, I was helping my girlfriend sell Christmas trees the other day (its true, the Jews are making money off the birth of the baby Jesus this year) and after the completion of a sale I wished the buyer a happy holiday. The guy then mumbled something about secularism and as he walked away all I could hear under his breath was...

“blah blah mumble mumble its God damn Christmas… happy holiday my ass!!!”

To be honest, I liked him the most. He was the best non tipping customer this Jew has ever sold a Christmas tree to.

|| Nudnik 1:53 PM
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