Can we get some controversy going?

For my first post to Cross-Currents, I figured I might as well be a good team player and actually deal with a current issue relating to crosses (I don’t know why everyone else seems so off-topic). So, please indulge me as I submit for your consideration the following – it is the link to an article forwarded to me by a friend who asked for my take on it and, then, my take on it.

I hope my colleagues here will join in.

First: My friend asked me to look at the below article and react –

The Grinch who saved Christmas
Battling the homosexuals, liberals and Jews, Bill O’Reilly and friends are making America safe for Christmas.
by Eric Boehlert

Second – My reaction –

What I think:

In general, I agree with O’Reilly on this point. It’s a free country and the majority ought not be made to feel uncomfortable about their religion and culture. And, in fact, if a Jew – or a Muslim, or Hindu, or Buddhist, or whatever – feels uncomfortable with open expressions of sectarian faith, well, then he has a choice: be an American and live in a world of freedom of speech and freedom of religion, or go somewhere else where you feel more comfortable.
There is no constitutional right to freedom from hearing stuff you don’t like.

Donohue is another story. What follows is the text of an e-mail I sent to my friend who headed up Catholic outreach for Bush-Cheney.

“Bill Donohue has been talking on tv about the secular Jews in Hollywood who hate Catholicism. That kind of inflammatory rhetoric is not only inaccurate by virtue of being both overbroad and underbroad, but it will drive a terrible wedge between people of faith who should be working together to preserve and defend morality.

First, Hollywood is, indeed, dominated by secularists, most of whom, however, are not Jewish (a disproportionate number, to be sure, but still a minority). Second, what the secularists hate is not Catholicism so much as it is religion – including Judaism.

We would join with Catholics to rail against Hollywood – but Donohue sounds like he’s trying to start a religious conflict. That weakens the cause.

Can anything be done?”

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4 Responses

  1. Gil Student says:


    Funny to see your name here as you were just mentioned to me the other day by a mutual friend in an entirely different context. I ask that you please e-mail me privately. Thank you. [email protected]

  2. Yaakov Menken says:

    Jeff, perhaps you will raise controversy, but I’ll be no help. I agree with you!

    Yaakov Menken

  3. manny says:

    I was reading the post on carefullly in an effort to find fault with O’ Reilly. I don’t understand what Re. Lowey meant when she said “suggesting that Jews do not have a place in American society unless they accept without comment its ‘predominantly Christian’ nature.” O’Reilly didn’t say that and I don’t think he meant that. And, of course. Lerner’s claim that “He’s trying to tell his audience that Jews have no legitimate role in public life except as second-class citizens” is just preposterous.

  4. Menachem Hojda says:

    Of course we shouldn’t oppose the expression of religion in public. But aren’t schools different? I’m not talking only about separation, but as educational institutions is it reasonable for a parent to expect that little Seth is going to come home demanding to know why Santa doesn’t come to his house? Or worse yet repeating christian teachings that his teacher taught? Where is the line when it comes to acceptable religous teachings in Public schools?

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