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Keeping The Spirit of God Within Us

Ben Stein Talks About God


Remarks from CBS on a Sunday morning

Ben Stein


This is really something to think about. Only hope we find GOD again before it is too late!

The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

My confession:

I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees… I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel discriminated against.. That’s what they are, Christmas trees.

It doesn’t bother me a bit when people say, ‘Merry Christmas’ to me. I don’t think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn’t bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu . If people want a creche, it’s just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

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.

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.

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.

Billy Graham’s daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her ‘How could God let something like this happen?’ (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response.. She said, ‘I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?’

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.

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.

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 is 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 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.

My Best Regards, Honestly and respectfully,

Ben Stein

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30 thoughts on “Ben Stein Talks About God

  1. dkgoodman on said:

    Dear Mr. Stein,

    America is not understanding the concept of tolerating others’ beliefs anymore. I had been hopeful that it would turn, this year. But our celebrities are now our “Gods” and our President is a celebrity.

    Mrs. (I know VERY old fashioned) Goodman.

    • I am Judith Sherman and agree totally with your comment. Thank you so much for having the courage to make this statement, I am proud of you for standing up like this.

      • Kenneth G. Dye on said:

        I am a Christian and believe everything Mr steins had to say. everyone should get
        on their knees and ask God to for give us and return our great country to his guidance. I believe if we do this God will for give us and return to us and save our country.

      • Mr Stein, I have always admired you. Now my admiration has increased twofold. Thank you for loving God and for putting forth my right to love God, too. I extend this right to everyone who reads this. Love your God. Praise Him, Worship Him, and spread this message to everyone who will listen.

      • Al Grey on said:

        You got it right, as did Ben. I’d like to have a chance to “deal” with the parents of some of these 20 -30 year old brats who show little or no respect for other people. By not teaching their kids they helped create this horde of rude people. They excel in every day “rudeness,” like not saying “excuse me” or “may I help you with you groceries.,” or “may I get that door for you?” I would ask “where did you learn such manners?” then knock their legs out from under them and then I’d say, “well, EXCUSE ME, you ill informed jerk!

  2. Love you, Ben Stein, that presentation is the greatest, by far and my prayer is that it will wake up enough Americans to turh this country back to God!!!

  3. Ben, you are a giant among men for encouraging God-consciousness in our culture. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  4. 1. The word “secular” merely means “nonreligious.”

    2. This country (the United States) wasn’t founded by Christians.

    In 1787 when the framers excluded all mention of God from the Constitution, they were widely denounced as immoral and the document was denounced as godless, which is precisely what it is.

    Opponents of the Constitution challenged ratifying conventions in nearly every state, calling attention to Article VI, Section 3: “No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    An anti-federalist in North Carolina wrote: “The exclusion of religious tests is by many thought dangerous and impolitic. Pagans, Deists and Mohammedans might obtain office among us.”

    Amos Singletary of Massachussetts, one of the most outspoken critics of the Constitution, said that he “hoped to see Christians (in power), yet by the Constitution, a papist or an infidel was as eligible as they.”

    Luther Martin, a Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 wrote that “there were some members so unfashionable as to think that a belief in the existence of a Deity, and of a state of future rewards and punishments would be some security for the good conduct of our rulers, and that in a Christian country, it would be at least decent to hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism.”

    Martin’s report shows that a “Christian nation” faction had its say during the convention, and that its views were consciously rejected.

    The United States Constitution is a completely secular political document. It begins “We the people,” and contains no mention of “God,” “Jesus,” nor “Christianity.”

    Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as the “no religious test” clause (Article VI), and “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (First Amendment)

    The presidential oath of office, the only oath detailed in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase “so help me God” or any requirement to swear on a Bible (Article II, Section 1). The words “under God” did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, when Congress, under McCarthyism, inserted them.

    Similarly, “In God we Trust” was absent from paper currency before 1956, though it did appear on some coins beginning in 1864. The original U.S. motto, written by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, is “E Pluribus Unum” (“Of Many, One”) celebrating plurality and diversity.

    In 1797, America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This reassurance to Islam was written under Washington’s presidency and approved by the Senate under John Adams.

    We are not governed by the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose was to “dissolve the political bonds,” not to set up a religious nation. Its authority was based upon the idea that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” which is contrary to the biblical concept of rule by divine authority.

    The Declaration deals with laws, taxation, representation, war, immigration, etc., and doesn’t discuss religion at all. The references to “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” and “Divine Providence” in the Declaration do not endorse Christianity. Its author, Thomas Jefferson, was a Deist, opposed to Christianity and the supernatural.

    “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. However, Jefferson admitted, “In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man and that other parts are the fabric of very inferior minds…”

    It was Thomas Jefferson who established the separation of church and state. Jefferson was deeply suspicious of religion and of clergy wielding political power.

    Jefferson helped create the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, incurring the wrath of Christians by his fervent defense of toleration of atheists:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Jefferson advocated a “wall of separation” between church and state not to protect the church from government intrusion, but to preserve the freedom of the people:

    “I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest morality that has ever been taught;” he observed, “but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invested by priestcraft and established by kingcraft, constituting a conspiracy of church and state against the civil and religious liberties of mankind.”

    Jefferson and the founding fathers were products of the Age of Enlightenment. Their world view was based upon Deism, secularism, and rationalism.

    “The priests of the different religious sects dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight,” wrote Jefferson. “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter…we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this…”

    As late as 1820, Jefferson was convinced everyone in the United States would die a Unitarian. Jefferson, Madison and Paine’s writings indicate that America was never intended to be a Christian theocracy. “I have sworn upon the altar of God,” wrote Jefferson, “eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    In his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson wrote:

    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

    Similarly, in an 1824 letter to John Cartwright, Jefferson expressed anger at judges who had based rulings on their belief that Christianity is part of the common law. Cartwright had written a book critical of these judges, and Jefferson was glad to see it. Observed Jefferson:

    “The proof of the contrary, which you have produced, is controvertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed.”

    Jefferson challenged “the best-read lawyer to produce another script of authority for this judicial forgery” and concluded, “What a conspiracy this, between Church and State!”

    As president, Jefferson put his “wall of separation” theory into practice. He refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and fasting, insisting that they violate the First Amendment.

    As early as 1779, Jefferson proposed a bill before the Virginia legislature that would have established a series of elementary schools to teach the basics—reading, writing, and arithmetic. Jefferson even suggested that “no religious reading, instruction, or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced, inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.” Jefferson did not regard public schools as the proper agent to form children’s religious views.

    As president, James Madison also put his separationist philosophy into action. He vetoed two bills he believed would violate church-state separation. The first was an act incorporating the Episcopal Church in the District of Columbia that gave the church the authority to care for the poor. The second was a proposed land grant to a Baptist church in Mississippi.

    Had Madison, the father of the Constitution, believed that all the First Amendment was intended to do was bar setting up a state church, he would have approved these bills. Instead, he vetoed both, and in his veto messages to Congress explicitly stated that he was rejecting the bills because they violated the First Amendment.

    Later in his life, James Madison came out against state-paid chaplains, writing, “The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles.” He also concluded that his calling for days of prayer and fasting during his presidency had been unconstitutional.

    In an 1819 letter to Robert Walsh, Madison wrote, “the number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” In an undated essay called the “Detached Memoranda,” written in the early 1800s, Madison wrote, “Strongly guarded…is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States.”

    In 1833 Madison responded to a letter sent to him by Jasper Adams. Adams had written a pamphlet titled “The Relations of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States,” which tried to prove that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Madison wrote back: “In the papal system, government and religion are in a manner consolidated, and that is found to be the worst of government.”

    Madison, like Jefferson, was confident that separation of church and state would protect both the institutions of government and religion. Late in his life, Madison wrote to a Lutheran minister about this, declaring, “A due distinction…between what is due to Caesar and what is due to God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations…A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.”

    In the early part of the 19th century, a general understanding existed that the government should not promote religion, or favor one religion over another. In 1829 to retain Sunday mail handling. Senator Richard Johnson of Kentucky wrote:

    “It is not the legitimate province of the Legislature to determine what religion is true, or what is false. Our Government is a civil and not a religious institution. Our Constitution recognizes in every person the right to choose his own religion, and to enjoy it freely, without molestation. Whatever may be the religious sentiments of citizens, and however variant, they are alike entitled to protection from the Government, so long as they do not invade the rights of others…

    “Among all the religious persecutions with which almost every page of modern history is stained, no victim ever suffered but for violation of what Government denominated the law of God. To prevent a similar train of evils in this country, the Constitution has wisely withheld from our Government the power of defining the divine law.”

    3. School prayer violates church-state separation.

    Thomas Jefferson, the architect of American democracy, was politically laissez-faire toward all belief AND disbelief, saying:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Yes. Neutrality. The government must remain politically laissez-faire towards all belief AND disbelief.

    The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    4. Public schools must remain religion-neutral.

    Public schools exist to educate, not to proselytize. Horace Mann, the father of our public school system, championed the elimination of sectarianism from American schools, largely accomplished by the 1840s.

    Bible reading, prayers or hymns in public schools were absent from most public schools by the end of the 19th century, after Catholic or minority-religion immigrants objected to Protestant bias in public schools.

    As early as the 1850s, the Superintendent of Schools of New York state ordered that prayers could no longer be required as part of public school activities.

    The Cincinnati Board of Education ruled in 1869 that “religious instruction and the reading of religious books, including the Holy Bible, was prohibited in the common schools of Cincinnati.”

    Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt called for “absolutely nonsectarian public schools.” Roosevelt stated that it is “not our business to have the Protestant Bible or the Catholic Vulgate or the Talmud read in those schools.”

    In McCollum vs. Board of Education (1948), the Supreme Court struck down religious instruction in public schools.

    In Tudor vs. Board of Education of Rutherford, the Court let stand a lower court ruling that the practice of allowing volunteers to distribute Gideon Bibles at public schools was unconstitutional.

    In Engel v. Vitale (1962), the Court ruled that prayer in public schools is unconstitutional.

    In Abington Township School District v. Schempp (1963), Bible reading and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in public schools were ruled unconstitutional.

    Posting the Ten Commandments in classrooms was declared unconstitutional in Stone v. Graham (1980).

    In Lee v. Weisman (1992), the Court ruled that prayers at public school graduation ceremonies are an establishment of religion.

    Although state-sanctioned prayer in schools was found unconstitutional, the high court did not seek to remove all study about religion.

    In fact, in Abington Township School District v. Schempp (1963), the justices maintained that a student’s education is not complete without instruction on the influence of religion on history, culture and literature.

    Justice Tom Clark, representing the court, wrote: “Nothing we have said here indicates that such study of the Bible or of religion, when presented objectively as part of a secular program of education, may not be effected consistently with the First Amendment.”

    Clark added that government could not force the exclusion of religion in schools “in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion.”

    The court’s ruling suggested merely that a student’s family, not government, is responsible for decisions about religious instructions and guidance. There was respect, not hostility, toward religion in the court’s ruling.

    Justice Clark concluded:

    “The place of religion in our society is an exalted one, achieved through a long tradition of reliance on the home, the church, and the inviolable citadel of the individual heart and mind.

    “We have come to recognize through bitter experience that it is not within the power of government to invade that citadel, whether its purpose or effect be to aid or oppose, to advance or retard. In the relationship between man and religion, the State is firmly committed to a position of neutrality.”

    Yes. Neutrality. The government must remain laissez-faire towards all belief AND disbelief.

    The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    5. School prayer discriminates against religious minorities, including Christians!

    Several years ago, on one of his broadcasts, TV preacher Pat Robertson was quoted as saying, “We want a secular constitution, we want to make sure religious minorities are protected…” But he wasn’t talking about the United States–he was talking about Afghanistan…where Christians are a minority!

    Similarly, in the October 2006 issue of Church & State, the periodical put out by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Gary B.Christenot, an evangelical Christian writes about his experience on the Hawaiian island of Wahiawa, where Christians are a minority “in this little village that was populated predominantly by people of Japanese and Chinese ancestry. Rather than a church on every corner, as is common in the continental 48 states, Wahiawa had a Shinto or Buddhist shrine on every corner.”

    Christenot notes that prayers before a high school football game were led “not by a Protestant minister or a Catholic priest, but a Buddhist priest who proceeded to offer up prayers and intonations to god-head figures that our tradition held to be pagan.”

    He concludes: “I would say in love to my Christian brothers and sisters: Before you yearn for the imposition of prayer and similar rituals in your public schools, you might consider attending a football game at Wahiawa High School. Because unless you’re ready to endure the unwilling exposure of yourself and your children to those beliefs and practices that your own faith forswears, you have no right to insist that others sit in silence and complicity while you do the same to them.

    “I, for one, sleep better at night knowing that because Judeo-Christian prayers are not being offered at my children’s schools, I don’t have to worry about them being confronted with Buddhist, Shinto, Wiccan, Satanic or any other prayer ritual I might find offensive.”

    6. Personal testimony.

    I’m not a Christian, nor a member of any of the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, nor the Baha’i faith).

    I had a secular upbringing.

    My friend Greg, a gay Catholic, influenced by his older sister Claire, a born again Christian, used to preach to me in high school about the second coming of Jesus and the Rapture, and he first got me interested in religion and politics.

    As high school seniors, when I decided I felt uncomfortable going along with the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, Greg would say lightheartedly, “Salute the flag, commie!”

    I commented to Greg that nationalistic sayings like “God Bless America” exclude everyone else on the planet! It’s like saying, “God bless white people.”

    Does God love only some and not others?

    When I told Greg on one occasion that I would salute a United Nations flag, as more inclusive, Greg pointed out that not all nations on earth belong to the United Nations.

    “One Planet, One People…Please!” reads a Baha’i bumper sticker.

    Upon graduating from high school in 1981, however, I was slightly irked when one of the speakers referred to “Jesus Christ” during our graduation ceremonies.

    Greg understood my feelings in this regard (remember “do unto others…”?), but said that as a Christian, he was glad the reference to God was included.

    In 2002, however, in the Newdow case, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, Greg and I both agreed the ruling, based on church-state separation, was correct!

    Senator Tom Daschle (D- South Dakota) called the decision “nuts”, and all the members of Congress made a public display of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “under God” in protest.

    “Those hypocrites!” exclaimed Rose Evans, a pro-life Episcopalian, and editor and publisher of Harmony: Voices for a Just Future, a “consistent-ethic” periodical on the religious left.

    Rose accepted written submissions from people of all faiths and those of no faith for her periodical, including atheists like Nat Hentoff and Jen Roth, Hindu spiritual masters like Eknath Eswaran and Buddhist spiritual masters like Thich Nat Hanh and the Dalai Lama.

    Rose felt Congress should address serious concerns.

    7. Again: the word “secular” merely means “nonreligious.”

    Pro-life Christian activists love secular arguments to protect the unborn (e.g., John Morrow, Dr. J.C. Willke, etc.). Secular arguments are good politics, because secular arguments are religion-neutral, and thus applicable to *everyone*… including atheists, agnostics, etc. Secular arguments to protect animals, on the other hand, are met with the cry “MOVE”! A double-standard.

    (If pro-lifers don’t like being told it’s wrong to kill animals, they’re not in a position to tell others not to kill the unborn!)

    I told a couple of pro-life Christian friends that Nativity scenes are fine on private property, but on public property, it sends the wrong message to religious minorities (including atheists and agnostics). It tells them the government is favoring one set of beliefs over another. It tells them they are not welcome here or that their faith isn’t as important as the majority faith.

    8. Thomas Jefferson, the architect of American democracy, was politically laissez-faire toward all belief AND disbelief, saying:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Yes. Neutrality. The government must remain politically laissez-faire towards all belief AND disbelief.

    The First Amendment reads: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

    • First of all, no one said the Constitution was founded on God but was founded on the values that the founders of this nation cherished. Those who originally left the old country were fed up with government/religion rule so the last thing they would have done is repeat what they left behind. However, they did love God and did hold the values instilled in them close enough to their hearts that those values had to be included in the new country being established. All of your comments clearly proves how important those values were to most Americans when people began to forget those values and so they needed to be reminded of them.

      Yes, our founders were religious but they wanted to make sure that ALL people were treated fairly. Now it seems that the religious are the ones treated unfairly in the name of fairness. Fairness? What a crock!! Christians have every right to worship as they please: have every right to believe in the existence of a Deity that rules over the earth and our lives, every right to say Merry Christmas, every right to speak of God and Christ – even as in public prayer, every right to say “One nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance, and every right to put “In God We Trust” on our money. Americans have every right to worship as they please in the name of God as Christians, Jews, Islam or whatever and many of our countryman have died to make that so!!

      Plus, being American gives you and me and whoever else pleases to worship in whatever God or nonGod they please. Thank GOD for that privilege!!

  5. David Blackwell on said:

    Well said Mr. Stein. I appreciate the truthful comments and commend you for having the courage to say what needs to be said.

    D. Blackwell

  6. Frank R. Bartolotta on said:

    As a Christian (Roman Catholic), I am sick and tired of some fellow Americans siting separation of church and state as to why we cannot mention Christmas in our greetings. To all my fellow Americans it is my Constitutional right to say Merry Christmas and or Happy Holidays, as I see fit.

  7. Dear Brother Ben,

    Amen..Your article is very familiar and I think another has also expressed their thoughts on this issue. I couldn’t agree more. We do live in an era where people are more concerned about what others think then what God thinks. They are full of fear and when y are.anyone dares to make a comment or statement that bucks the status quo or exposes their own lack of conviction or truth, they rebel and usually demonize or attack those in opposition. It doesn’t matter who they are either. It can be a person as close as their own family member and usually sadly it is. We live in a world and existence that was designed and formed, created by a Master Designer who holds everything, EVERYTHING together in His hands. Our God, well at least my God is the author of all…He created everything thing we see and cannot see. We struggle in life because we do not live as He has asked us to and designed us to. We don’t like His plan for creation so we do throw Him out of our lives. Foolish people. We ignore the beauty of a man and a woman and the incredible gift of their love as they share in the wonder of Creation and bring forth life. We have let the horrid evil one who tried to stand up to God, shame,dishonor and blaspheme His Holiness turn the beautiful into the unholy by the embracing of deviant ways. We shamefully and to our own demise have done exactly as He said we would, turned from the natural course which he so wonderfully designed of the love between and man and a woman and have turned to the obviously unnatural attraction of man to man and woman to woman. It is quite funnty(not really) when those who desire to love and honor God by trying to live within His design are played out as intolerant or unloving. If we do not embrace their sin we are somehow judgemental or unkind or again intolerant. Intolerant of what? SIN? Are we sinless ourselves? No we are not yet that does not mean that sin is ok and quite the contrary. There is a severe price and horrible price to pay if people do not repent and turn back to God. Everyone does not go to Heaven….How could they? How could a righteous and loving God allow that? So, anyway, I agree Ben, we are a foolish puny lot if we the created think we know better than our Creator. I say all this we all due respect to whomever reads. I am not perfect nor claim to be but I am called by God to be perfect in His love. Is it easy? No, is it possible? with Gods help yes, but it is His design His holiness that we need Not the worlds standards. Money, power, sex, pleasure, all that leads to final destruction and if you follow that way you will surely perish. If you are feeling at all uncomfortable by any of these words or upset, before you fire off a emotionally charged reply, first ask yourself if there is something inside that rings true and if you do find yourself at odds with God and want a change then you are in a great place as the Lord is near to all who call upon Him and call upon Him for His healing and forgiveness. May you be blessed and drawn closer to Him from this time on.

  8. CJ Ancelin on said:

    You are right on the money! Without the one true God we are just a pile of dust in the final analysis. Nothing good in life comes without God and His absence withdraws all good for everyone. The most pitiful people in this country today are the so-called Christians and Jews who are following in the Marxist footsteps of this regime and selling themselves and their future generations down the river! Carole from Dallas

  9. The TRUTH, shall set you free! Excellent points Ben, we are all guilty of NOT standing up for our faith. America was founded on Biblical principles, many if not all were deeply religious Christians or Jews. Our records indicate so, David Barton has proved it over and over with volumes of Historical Books, letters and testimony from those men of their faith in God, Jehovah Jireh. That we are a religious people. Our Constitution was written with those ideas in mind. May God Bless you and your Family for your stand, and through prayer we can touch God’s heart if we repent of our sins. II Chronicles 7:14 Dan Stepp, Goodlettsville, TN.

    • You incorrectly claim, “America was founded on biblical principles, many if not all were deeply religious Christians or Jews… we are a religious people.”

      The founding fathers were Deists, not Christians. And according to journalist Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, SECULARISM has given rise to the high degree of religiosity in the United States:

      “We have a vibrant, multifaith religious society that, with the exception of a few fundamentalist Muslim states, is admired all over the globe. We have a degree of interfaith harmony unmatched in the world. Our government is legally secular, but our culture accommodates and welcomes a variety of religious voices. New faiths take root here without fear…

      “Americans remain greatly interested in religion and things spiritual—unlike their counterparts in Western Europe, where religion is often state subsidized but of little interest to most people….

      “Children are no longer forced to pray in school or read from religious texts against their will, yet they are free to engage in truly voluntary religious worship whenever they feel the need. The important task of imparting religious and philosophical training to youngsters is left where it always belonged—with each child’s parents or guardians…

      “Some European nations have passed so-called anticult laws aimed at curbing the rights of unpopular new religions. Such laws would not be acceptable in the United States or permitted under the First Amendment.

      “In a multifaith society such as the United States,” observes Boston, “a type of religious marketplace does exist. Religious groups that aggressively seek converts, such as the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are well aware that people in the United States are able and even willing to change their religious beliefs. To these groups, it’s well worth it to enter the marketplace and advertise their goods. Lots of people might buy them…

      “Because the U.S. government is secular, religious groups are left to contend for members based solely on their own initiative. They create a free marketplace of religion that spurs competition and a vigorous religious life. This explains why the United States, which maintains church-state separation, retains a high degree of religiosity among its people.

      “The more sophisticated and perceptive believers realize that the separation principle is a boon to their faith,” notes Boston. “They see danger in any attempt by government to decide which religion is true and which is false. They know that a faith that is in favor with the government today can be out of favor tomorrow. These believers are thankful for the free marketplace of religion and the secular state that makes it possible. They understand that the way to get new members is through persuasion, not government aid.”

  10. YOU ARE SO RIGHT AND THANK GOD FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT. ATHEISTS CAN SAY WHAT THEY WISH, BUT CHRISTIANS CANNOT ANYMORE WITHOUT RETRIBUTION. KEEP IT UP MR. STEIN. GOD BLESS YOU.

  11. Sue Bondurant on said:

    Well said. All one has to do to understand what is happening to this sick sad world we are living in is to read and understand the old testament. What did God to to his chosen people every time they turned their backs on Him? He punished them severly. Why wouldany one expect that this country which has turned against God not receive Gods wrath.

  12. Further proof that I would have lost to a great mind like Ben Stein (I miss the “Win Ben Stein’s Money”show). One thought that came to my mind…I would like people to wish me a “Happy Hanukkah” or “Merry Yule”, or just say “thanks” when I wish them “Merry Christmas”. I’m not a Christmas fan, but I do what I can to celebrate the spirit of the season. Like Ben said, ” It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year.”

  13. I grew up in the midwest in a large Christian family that went to church most Sundays. I now live in NYC and have converted to Judaism with my children. I love both my Christian roots and my Jewish faith. Truly we are all one! Thank you for having the courage to take a stand for God!

    Baruch Hashem

  14. Jonathan Lloyd on said:

    Ben, what a wonderful piece.

    Resonates for me. I was born a Jew but baptized and confirmed as an Episcopalian (remarriage of my Dad), as were my two children (a lawyer at Knobbe and senior publicist at Random House). My son just married a devout, wonderful Jewish woman and they are wrestling with some issues as they are about to have children and I tell them to relax, Jews and Christians are mouse whiskers apart.

    You and I have encountered each other a couple of times (like How’s Market!) but we share an appreciation for Hal Gaba, who was my mentor and the greatest guy I have ever known. I miss him every day.

    Thank you for all that you say.

    Best

    jlloyd@att.net

  15. I really liked this…sensible and succinct. Thanks, Counselor!

  16. handball1 on said:

    It’s about time, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so taking back our county is going to be an up hill climb,

  17. Nora Doss on said:

    You are so right. When Madelyn Murry O’Hare started talking about taking prayer out of school we did protect, but the politically correct media made us sound like a bunch of religious nuts. If Americans don’t stand up soon and take our country back we are not going to have a country worth the lives of the men and women fighting to save us.

  18. Charles Calvano on said:

    Mr. Stein, I wish you all the blessings of my God and yours.

  19. Thank you so much Mr. Stein. I feel your one of the Last Day Watchers on the Wall. You Sir have a Unique opportunity where you are to wake up the masses.

    May the Father Abundantly Bless and Keep you Sir.

  20. Johne443 on said:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed surfing around your weblog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write again soon! eddkceeabggd

  21. A Roman Catholic priest, Reverend David K. O’Rourke, said, “Every religious group in the United States is a minority group. Some may be unhappy with this status and wish they had official standing. I am not unhappy with it. The Catholic Church, the largest of these minorities, has prospered greatly in this country where we separate church and state.”

    According to journalist Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State: “We have a vibrant, multifaith religious society that, with the exception of a few fundamentalist Muslim states, is admired all over the globe. We have a degree of interfaith harmony unmatched in the world. Our government is legally secular, but our culture accommodates and welcomes a variety of religious voices. New faiths take root here without fear…

    “Americans remain greatly interested in religion and things spiritual—unlike their counterparts in Western Europe, where religion is often state subsidized but of little interest to most people….

    “Children are no longer forced to pray in school or read from religious texts against their will, yet they are free to engage in truly voluntary religious worship whenever they feel the need. The important task of imparting religious and philosophical training to youngsters is left where it always belonged—with each child’s parents or guardians…

    “Some European nations have passed so-called anticult laws aimed at curbing the rights of unpopular new religions. Such laws would not be acceptable in the United States or permitted under the First Amendment.

    “In a multifaith society such as the United States,” observes Boston, “a type of religious marketplace does exist. Religious groups that aggressively seek converts, such as the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are well aware that people in the United States are able and even willing to change their religious beliefs. To these groups, it’s well worth it to enter the marketplace and advertise their goods. Lots of people might buy them…

    “Because the U.S. government is secular, religious groups are left to contend for members based solely on their own initiative. They create a free marketplace of religion that spurs competition and a vigorous religious life. This explains why the United States, which maintains church-state separation, retains a high degree of religiosity among its people.

    “The more sophisticated and perceptive believers realize that the separation principle is a boon to their faith,” notes Boston. “They see danger in any attempt by government to decide which religion is true and which is false. They know that a faith that is in favor with the government today can be out of favor tomorrow. These believers are thankful for the free marketplace of religion and the secular state that makes it possible. They understand that the way to get new members is through persuasion, not government aid.”

    In 1787 when the framers excluded all mention of God from the Constitution, they were widely denounced as immoral and the document was denounced as godless, which is precisely what it is. Opponents of the Constitution challenged ratifying conventions in nearly every state, calling attention to Article VI, Section 3:

    “No religious test shall be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    An anti-federalist in North Carolina wrote: “The exclusion of religious tests is by many thought dangerous and impolitic. Pagans, Deists and Mohammedans might obtain office among us.”

    Amos Singletary of Massachussetts, one of the most outspoken critics of the Constitution, said that he “hoped to see Christians (in power), yet by the Constitution, a papist or an infidel was as eligible as they.”

    Luther Martin, a Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 wrote that “there were some members so unfashionable as to think that a belief in the existence of a Deity, and of a state of future rewards and punishments would be some security for the good conduct of our rulers, and that in a Christian country, it would be at least decent to hold out some distinction between the professors of Christianity and downright infidelity or paganism.”

    Martin’s report shows that a “Christian nation” faction had its say during the convention, and that its views were consciously rejected.

    The United States Constitution is a completely secular political document. It begins “We the people,” and contains no mention of “God,” “Jesus,” or “Christianity.” Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as the “no religious test” clause (Article VI), and “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (First Amendment)

    The presidential oath of office, the only oath detailed in the Constitution, does not contain the phrase “so help me God” or any requirement to swear on a Bible (Article II, Section 1).

    The words “under God” did not appear in the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954, when Congress, under McCarthyism, inserted them.

    Similarly, “In God we Trust” was absent from paper currency before 1956, though it did appear on some coins beginning in 1864.

    The original U.S. motto, written by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, is “E Pluribus Unum” (“Of Many, One”) celebrating plurality and diversity.

    In 1797, America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This reassurance to Islam was written under Washington’s presidency and approved by the Senate under John Adams.

    We are not governed by the Declaration of Independence. Its purpose was to “dissolve the political bonds,” not to set up a religious nation. Its authority was based upon the idea that “governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” which is contrary to the biblical concept of rule by divine authority.

    The Declaration deals with laws, taxation, representation, war, immigration, etc., and doesn’t discuss religion at all. The references to “Nature’s God,” “Creator,” and “Divine Providence” in the Declaration do not endorse Christianity. Its author, Thomas Jefferson, was a Deist, opposed to Christianity and the supernatural.

    “Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus,” wrote Thomas Jefferson. However, Jefferson admitted, “In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man and that other parts are the fabric of very inferior minds…”

    It was Thomas Jefferson who established the separation of church and state. Jefferson was deeply suspicious of religion and of clergy wielding political power.

    Jefferson helped create the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786, incurring the wrath of Christians by his fervent defense of toleration of atheists:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    Jefferson advocated a “wall of separation” between church and state not to protect the church from government intrusion, but to preserve the freedom of the people:

    “I consider the doctrines of Jesus as delivered by himself to contain the outlines of the sublimest morality that has ever been taught;” he observed, “but I hold in the most profound detestation and execration the corruptions of it which have been invested by priestcraft and established by kingcraft, constituting a conspiracy of church and state against the civil and religious liberties of mankind.”

    Jefferson and the founding fathers were products of the Age of Enlightenment. Their world view was based upon Deism, secularism, and rationalism.

    “The priests of the different religious sects dread the advance of science as witches do the approach of daylight,” wrote Jefferson. “The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter…we may hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away all this…”

    As late as 1820, Jefferson was convinced everyone in the United States would die a Unitarian. Jefferson, Madison and Paine’s writings indicate that America was never intended to be a Christian theocracy. “I have sworn upon the altar of God,” wrote Jefferson, “eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

    In his 1802 letter to the Danbury Baptists, Jefferson wrote:

    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

    Similarly, in an 1824 letter to John Cartwright, Jefferson expressed anger at judges who had based rulings on their belief that Christianity is part of the common law. Cartwright had written a book critical of these judges, and Jefferson was glad to see it. Observed Jefferson:

    “The proof of the contrary, which you have produced, is controvertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed.”

    Jefferson challenged “the best-read lawyer to produce another script of authority for this judicial forgery” and concluded, “What a conspiracy this, between Church and State!”

    As president, Jefferson put his “wall of separation” theory into practice. He refused to issue proclamations calling for days of prayer and fasting, insisting that they violate the First Amendment. As early as 1779, Jefferson proposed a bill before the Virginia legislature that would have established a series of elementary schools to teach the basics—reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    Jefferson even suggested that “no religious reading, instruction, or exercise shall be prescribed or practiced, inconsistent with the tenets of any religious sect or denomination.” Jefferson did not regard public schools as the proper agent to form children’s religious views.

    As president, James Madison also put his separationist philosophy into action. He vetoed two bills he believed would violate church-state separation. The first was an act incorporating the Episcopal Church in the District of Columbia that gave the church the authority to care for the poor. The second was a proposed land grant to a Baptist church in Mississippi.

    Had Madison, the father of the Constitution, believed that all the First Amendment was intended to do was bar setting up a state church, he would have approved these bills. Instead, he vetoed both, and in his veto messages to Congress explicitly stated that he was rejecting the bills because they violated the First Amendment.

    Later in his life, James Madison came out against state-paid chaplains, writing, “The establishment of the chaplainship to Congress is a palpable violation of equal rights, as well as of Constitutional principles.” He also concluded that his calling for days of prayer and fasting during his presidency had been unconstitutional.

    In an 1819 letter to Robert Walsh, Madison wrote, “the number, the industry and the morality of the priesthood, and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” In an undated essay called the “Detached Memoranda,” written in the early 1800s, Madison wrote, “Strongly guarded…is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States.”

    In 1833 Madison responded to a letter sent to him by Jasper Adams. Adams had written a pamphlet titled “The Relations of Christianity to Civil Government in the United States,” which tried to prove that the United States was founded as a Christian nation. Madison wrote back: “In the papal system, government and religion are in a manner consolidated, and that is found to be the worst of government.”

    Madison, like Jefferson, was confident that separation of church and state would protect both the institutions of government and religion. Late in his life, Madison wrote to a Lutheran minister about this, declaring, “A due distinction…between what is due to Caesar and what is due to God, best promotes the discharge of both obligations…A mutual independence is found most friendly to practical religion, to social harmony, and to political prosperity.”

    In the early part of the 19th century, a general understanding existed that the government should not promote religion, or favor one religion over another. In 1829, Senator Richard Johnson of Kentucky wrote:

    “It is not the legitimate province of the Legislature to determine what religion is true, or what is false. Our Government is a civil and not a religious institution. Our Constitution recognizes in every person the right to choose his own religion, and to enjoy it freely, without molestation. Whatever may be the religious sentiments of citizens, and however variant, they are alike entitled to protection from the Government, so long as they do not invade the rights of others…

    “Among all the religious persecutions with which almost every page of modern history is stained, no victim ever suffered but for violation of what Government denominated the law of God. To prevent a similar train of evils in this country, the Constitution has wisely withheld from our Government the power of defining the divine law.”

  22. The government can’t favor one religion or one set of beliefs over another:

    “Congress shall make no laws respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” (First Amendment)

    Thomas Jefferson, the architect of American democracy, was politically laissez-faire towards all belief AND disbelief:

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are only injurious to others. But it does no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

    In the early part of the 19th century, a general understanding existed that the government should not promote religion, or favor one religion over another. In 1829, Senator Richard Johnson of Kentucky wrote:

    “It is not the legitimate province of the Legislature to determine what religion is true, or what is false. Our Government is a civil and not a religious institution. Our Constitution recognizes in every person the right to choose his own religion, and to enjoy it freely, without molestation. Whatever may be the religious sentiments of citizens, and however variant, they are alike entitled to protection from the Government, so long as they do not invade the rights of others…

    “Among all the religious persecutions with which almost every page of modern history is stained, no victim ever suffered but for violation of what Government denominated the law of God. To prevent a similar train of evils in this country, the Constitution has wisely withheld from our Government the power of defining the divine law.”

    Nativity scenes are fine on *private* property. On public property, they indicate the government is favoring one religion or set of beliefs over another. It sends the wrong message to minority religions, telling them they are not welcome here or that their faith is not as important as the majority faith. An identical argument applies to state-sponsored school prayer!

    • Americans have every right to post Nativity scenes on public land because it BELONGS TO THE PUBLIC who have every right to do so…under the Constitution. We have as much right as anyone else does to object but that does not mean everyone has to like it or approve of it. It is our faith (which is the foundation on which this nation was founded) and no one has THE RIGHT TO PREVENT IT. NEITHER DO THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMOVE ALL MENTION OF GOD AND ALL CROSSES (especially those that were raised long before most objectors were ever born). Islam can be mentioned and honored yet Christianity is treated with hostility, so where is the right of Christians to worship their God as they please! PEOPLE may think they can stop us but only if “WE THE PEOPLE” allow it.

  23. What Would the Founders Think of the U.S. Today? A similar idea occurs at the end of journalist Rob Boston’s 2003 book, Why The Religious Right is Wrong About Separation of Church and State:

    “Thomas Jefferson excelled as a political leader and architect of religious liberty, but he was a lousy prophet. Jefferson once predicted that Unitarianism would become the dominant religion in the United States. He also believed the country would remain a largely agrarian society; he never foresaw the rise of sprawling urban metropolises.

    “What if Jefferson could see America today…? During his lifetime, Jefferson spoke eloquently about the need for religious liberty for all people — not just Christians. He would be delighted to see an America that has welcomed Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, nonbelievers, and others. He would be pleased by the diversity among the Christian denominations as well.

    “The Sage of Monticello would be happy to see these groups living side by side in peace… Any assertion that Jefferson would find common cause with today’s Religious Right is laughable.”

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