Season’s Greetings to America’s Jews
#11
This thread puzzles me. My experience has been that it's the rabid atheists that are doing a lot of this stuff.
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#12
Jewish Americans, as a community, are largely committed to secular values and tend to regard religion as an affair of private concern. Perhaps due to the history of the Jewish people, many are wary of public expressions of faith, especially when they are connected with the state. Accordingly, Americans from Jewish backgrounds have taken a leading role in criticizing the place of Christianity in contemporary American culture, specifically criticizing people they see as a threat to secular values and the separation of church and state. This activism sometimes takes place in associations of "rabid atheists," which have a long history of Jewish involvement.

For example, this year, the association American Atheists coordinated what can be described as a propaganda assault on Christmas, broadcasting television programs dedicated to undermining the religious foundations of the Christmas holiday:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014...mas-tv-sp/
Quote:American Atheists unveiled Wednesday the “War on Christmas” line-up on its television channel, AtheistTV, featuring “original programs proclaiming the truth about Christmas on December 24 and December 25, featuring scholars and celebrities from the atheist community.”

“Christmas is hard for many atheists, so we will provide programming free from superstition and fairy tales that allows families to watch together and not worry about being preached at,” American Atheists President Dave Silverman said in a statement.

American Atheists, founded by Madalyn O'Hair, is one of the best-funded and best-organized atheist organizations on the American political landscape. Its current president is David Silverman, a Jewish atheist who became a bar mitzvah and studied Computer Science at Brandeis, America's premier Jewish university. Although he does not participate in Jewish religious life, he is part of the culture. There are actually many Jewish atheists, and a great many of them are noble but disbelieving people who respect religion as a social and cultural institution. But there are also some rabidly secularist Jewish atheists who seem to have a particular animus against Christianity, and these people are very well-represented in atheist and secularist organizations.

Many of the flashpoint issues of the past united atheist "freethinkers" and religious Jews against the Christian majority: Christological oaths and prayers in public life, Bible education in schools, school prayers, and Sabbath laws. In each of these areas, Jews argued successfully that they bore disproportionate burdens, and the institutions and customs of the majority were changed in order to accommodate the minority. Compare this approach to the Catholic one (although Catholic immigrants certainly were not perfect); Catholics built parallel institutions, like parochial schools, rather than demand the alteration of curricula in order to accommodate their sensibilities as a minority that was charitably allowed into the country by a majority with their own history and own culture.

If you remember the Black Mass controversy from some months ago, both at Harvard and in Oklahoma, one of the major organizations defending the Black Mass was an organization known as the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Founded in 1978 and drawing over 20,000 different members from 50 states, it is a politically-significant atheist activist organization. It holds a hard secularist line, opposing tax exemptions for churches, nativity scenes on public property, and puts up displays in public buildings at Christmastime of an aggressive, secular nature. For example, in Wisconsin's State Capitol, the organization maintains this plaque:
[Image: Atheist_sign_Wisconsin_State_Capitol.png]

Although founded and directed by a former Protestant Christian minister, a large number of the individuals on the honorary board of the FRF are high-profile secular Jews, including Michael Newdow, the physician and attorney who is famous for his relentless legal challenges of the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency.

Many of the leading figures in "New Atheism," scholars and writers who use their position as public intellectuals to criticize religion, are from Jewish backgrounds, and it is fair to wonder if there is something about Jewish backgrounds that leads to such people. These are some of the foremost people that are idolized by aggressive young atheists, at least in the English-speaking world: the late Christopher Hitchens (Jewish according to Halacha, but at least half English), Sam Harris (ethnically Jewish), Jerry Coyne (ethnically Jewish), Steven Weinberg (ethnically Jewish), Richard Dawkins (goy), Daniel Dennett (goy). The authors on reading lists for young atheists, the heroes they celebrate in memes on image boards and Facebook, sound like a list of Hillel trustees.
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#13
my brother actually got a lot of flak from my family for wanting to go to brandeis because it isn't jewish enough
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