Jerry Falwell the Maccabee

Well it seems that Christmas has come and gone, and that despite all the fears of a War on Christmas the christ-child’s birthday was celebrated without much state repression of Christian religious freedom. The incredible irony of this supposed War on Christmas has clearly been lost by most of the talking heads working the front-lines of the right-wing assault. One version of their claim is that secular Americans (and their Jewish partners) are imposing on their religious freedom by demanding an absolutely secular public square. As the fundies see it they are a repressed minority whose expression is silenced by demands for inclusivity. “Holiday Sales” rather than “Christmas Sales” are offensive expressions like these are forced upon the Christian public by a cabal of “PC” unbelievers.
The irony is that by styling themselves as defenders of religious freedom while actually hiding a fundamentalist agenda, these right-wing activists are embodying the story of Chanukah (not Christmas) more closely than any American Jews today. The story of Chanukah as fundamentalist civil war has already been linked from Jewschool here, here, and here. Given this irony are the Christian fundamentalists more true to Chanukah than multicultural assimilated Jews?
Perhaps… Though on the other hand I am proud that the rabbis of the Talmud intervened to promote the story of eight days of oil in place of fundamentalist rebellion and that two thousand years of diaspora history have largely upheld that change. These days the Jews most strongly reviving the Chanukah story of fundamentalist theocracy are religious zionists bent on imposing a single (Orthodox) religious observance in Israel. Once again the Christian fundies and the Jewish fundies aims converge. I say that we run speedily away from both of these groups and continue to celebrate the liberal multiculturalism of the “new” Chanukah story, history be damned.

15 thoughts on “Jerry Falwell the Maccabee

  1. liberal multiculturalism? It’s becoming more and more obvious that the only Jewish content on this website consist of three letters on the address bar.
    Is it any wonder that the orthodox see themselves as the only true representatives of the Jewish faith?
    Liberal multiculturalism…give me a break

  2. Have you ever tried cool-aid when you run out of the artifical powder and yet put the same amount of water…that’s liberal multiculturalism. Hold on, I need a bucket. Look I think this “Merry Christmas” thing is ridiculous too, but when you start flinging mud about orthodoxy versus liberal culturalism, you’ve lost me. Let’s respect the exotic while at the same time respecting our oneness.
    Happy Chanukah to my Jewish friends
    Merry Christmas to my Christian friends
    Happy Kwanza to my African friends.
    Was that so hard? Happy New Year.

  3. wow, there you have it; frumsters = evangelicals = bad. Meanwhile I see the frum amongst us supporting israel, raising large jewish families committed to judaism, upholding jewish values; and i see evangelicals raising traditional families, attempting to uphold a moral life, and supporting israel. there is of course another fundamentalist group out there (and i think you know who i mean): they endeavor to live in a world in which they have murdered all xtains, jews, buddhists etc. (or at least subjugated them to dhminni status); want women to have no status (maybe = to an animal); and be ruled by a muslim theocracy – but lets not ccritique them, their religion of peace should never be investigated, their horrendous crimes against humanity should always be rationalized, their abuse of minorities, gays, women should always be ignored or justified. i weep for the future of civilization.

  4. As a woman, I’m not too thrilled to have religious fundamentalists of any tradition–Jewish, Christian or Muslim–have political power as none or them seem to believe in gender equality. None of them seem too keen on equality for gays either. I don’t see fundamentalist Christians as natural allies for Jews or Israel either. If you support Israel because it advances your end times theology in which Jews either convert to Christianity or are destroyed, I’m not real excited about your “friendship”.

  5. confused (and after reading this post you will be less so): you have just committed the crime of moral relativism – the person who runs a red light is a lawbreaker, a murderer is a lawbreaker, therefor both are lawbreakers and are to be equally shunned. without getting into the issue of jewish fundamentalists and their treatment of women (ane having been around many i disagree with your characterization), you have just lumped jews and xtains in the same group with those who would literally have you beaten by ANY MAN if that man thought you were behaving immodestly; who would force you to cover your entire body with a large clothe sack; who would stone you to death if you were raped because that meant YOU had committed adultery; who would prohibit you from leaving the house, leaving the country, driving a car, etc. without the permission of the ruling male in your life – now please reconsider, Confused – do you really want to lump all jewish and xtian fundamentalist in the equivalent moral basket?

  6. whoah! Hold on there! I say Merry Christmas to those who want to hear it, but it would be nice if someone cared enough to wish me a happy chanukah. (the bigger problem where i come from is the spelling of chanukah, which i resolved by wishing people a chappy hunachka. )
    That being said, who said that the content of this website lacks Judaism? Excuse me. Anyone bother reading the debate about Jewish media, philanthropists and Jewish education…?
    And listen, while frumkeit may be an answer for some, it sure as hell wasn’t and isn’t for agunot, “old maids,” poor girls, and ugly or fat ones. I grew up as part of that community and the less said here, the better. For those of you who think that frum mating rituals are normal, i refer you to chananya’s website, endthemadness.com
    no Jewish content.???..multicultu ralism..???.if only one out of 10 kids can afford any kind of Jewish education, what is there for them to talk about? First they have to learn who they are. Then they can engage in Judaism. Give them the information in a way they can appreciate what you want them to hear and learn. Do not shove it down their throats.
    Provide the education via Sesame St. (Rechov SumSum) stuff, via cool programming on computers, via websites like this one…years ago there were far fewer Jews even engaged in such conversations….the web has changed everything, and people are entitled to their opinions, and you may try to convince them to change those opinions. The one thing you cannot do is crap all over them unless they want to kill you.

  7. Associated Press:
    A bomb ripped through a crowded meat market Saturday in an Indonesian province that has been plagued by sectarian violence, killing at least eight people and wounding 45, officials said. Many of the victims were believed to be Christians.
    The attack occurred in the town of Palu on Sulawesi island as people were preparing for New Year’s Eve celebrations, flocking to the morning market that sold and slaughtered pigs, said Brig. Gen. Oegroseno, police chief of Central Sulawesi province.
    See confused, muslim fundamentalists try to murder men women boys and girls for not being muslims – do you know of many (or any) jews or xtains who try to murder muslims because they are muslims? btw, i committed a language crime in my prior post, the crime i’m referring to is moral equavalency, relativism would be just the opposite.

  8. muslim fundamentalists try to murder men women boys and girls for not being muslims
    jewish fundamentalists once tried to murder men women boys and girls for not being jewish. they were called maccabees and this week we are celebrating their murder of their fellow jews. moral relativism or just the sad truth?

  9. as my last official post of 2005 (on the way to a night of celebration and frivolity), let me wish everyone of my fellow jews, even those I think stand on the wrong side of every issue (and i think we know who i mean, mobius) a very wonderful new years …the bible and rabinic authority tells us that every jew possesses that special jewish soul, and every jew owes every other jew a special place in their heart….and to all my xtian, buddhist, hindu and other brethren, may your year be a wonderful one, for judaism teaches that the good amongst you will also end up in heaven. see you all in 2006!

  10. Your “liberal multiculturalism” is neither liberal nor is it multicultural. It benefits only those whose ideas are already in line with yours. As far as the war on Chanukah that y’all keepp pushing, the Maccabee revolt and the Hasmonean Dynasty was certainly enigmatic – but what would you do to a regime that actively prevents you from practicing your religion and imposes the most onerous punishments for those thaat persist? What would you do to supporterss of such a regime? I would urge you to consider that and stop looking at stuff that happenned 2000 years ago from 2006 glasses.

  11. Formermuslim,
    Either you are a Maccabee or a Hellinizer. With us or against us, right FM? That is the fundmentalist model, and you are buying right into it.
    CK, you wrote,
    “As far as the war on Chanukah that y’all keepp pushing, the Maccabee revolt and the Hasmonean Dynasty was certainly enigmatic – but what would you do to a regime that actively prevents you from practicing your religion and imposes the most onerous punishments for those thaat persist?”
    You fight it, CK, but it’s not a blank check to replace a Greek tyranny with a priestly Jewish one. These are not 2006 glasses. No one was supposed to have unchecked power.
    In 2006 terms, the Maccabees successfully restored the Calephate.
    Except we don’t have a Calephite, and aren’t supposed to have one.

  12. mobius: “they were called maccabees and this week we are celebrating their murder of their fellow jews.”
    Suit yourself. Over by us we observed the darkest part of the year, the changing of the moons at the winter solstice. We pretended to conduct a little sympathetic magic to bring back the light of the sun, and the lesser light of the moon, and dedicated our celebration to the traditions of our people — “…she’asaanissim lavotaynu, bayamim hahaym, bazman hazeh” — and a pleasant time was had by all.

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