In the end, it all comes down to who is more important.
That is the inevitable conclusion reading Susan Estrich’s volley in the War Against Christmas: Merry Christmas INDENVERTIMES.com December 23rd 2009.
This article is basically a mildly- phrased but lethal claim that Christmas symbols should be driven from public property:
I don’t lose sleep over creches — or menorahs — in public places.
But I can’t understand why my tax money should be used on either… government shouldn’t be buying religious symbols to put in public places.
with perfunctory reference to the Constitution. But Estrich goes on to reveal her attitude is not at all derived from objective consideration of that much-misused document, but is a matter of – Revenge.
When I was a little girl, I was told that I couldn’t play Mary in our (public) school play — even though I had the longest hair, which would have guaranteed me the part — because I was Jewish. I went home crying, and my parents pointed out that Mary was Jewish, too.
I flatly do not believe this story as it stands. Susan Estrich was born in December 1952, and grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a wealthy town in a liberal, cosmopolitan state. This means this alleged incident would have occurred in the early 1960s.
The early ‘60s in Marblehead were not the 1920s in the rural South. The basic structure of the Holocaust story had been well publicized. Israel was half a generation old, and from 1960-62 was engaged in the trial and execution of the kidnapped Adolph Eichmann, reaping immense publicity. Open anti-Semitism was totally out of fashion.
I suppose it is possible the teacher might, out of sensitivity, have asked Estrich to consider if she really wanted the role under the circumstances. Actually, if she looked anything like she does now, she might have been passed over because her appearance was insufficiently authentic.
(Ironically, it is common cause amongst the founders of NeoConservatism, a generation older than Estrich, to reminisce gleefully about the success their Jewish classmates had in securing the key roles in the Christmas pageants then held, incredibly enough, in the NY public schools. I seem to recollect a discussion of this in one of Norman Podhoretz’s autobiographies, but my books are not to hand.)
However, Estrich has shown her hand.
Insisting that the government wish those of us who aren’t Christian a “merry Christmas”… (leaves) those of us who don’t celebrate this holiday feeling excluded and disfavored.
As she more directly says in Happy Hanukkah Creators.com Dec 10 2009
As a kid, I hated Christmas. I was so completely and totally jealous of my Christian friends who celebrated this magical holiday and exchanged big gifts that I would get depressed every Christmas season
So there we are. So that a few little Susan Estrichs should not be upset, and, as the Happy Hanukkah column documents, bigger Susan Estrichs should not have to trouble themselves keeping Christmas contamination out of their homes, the traditional procedures of Christmas celebration which have bolstered and given pleasure to the immensely larger Christian majority for decades must be eradicated, reinterpreting the Constitution along the way.
As I said earlier this campaign in War against Christmas: Getting Serious
Is that really a wise way to frame this debate?