Bernie Sanders’ Christophobia

June 13th, 2017 Posted by Thought Tools 77 comments

If you have been reading Thought Tools for a while or enjoyed any of our other ancient Jewish wisdom resources, you probably suspect, correctly, that you have a better Jewish education than most secular people of Jewish descent. You might even know that the entire Jewish nation take its name from Jacob’s fourth son, Judah.   Why is this so? Because the meaning of Judah, Yehuda in Hebrew, is gratitude, and ancient Jewish wisdom identifies the trait of gratitude as one of the most important defining characteristics of Jewish identity.

Although descended from Jewish bloodlines, Bernie Sanders probably doesn’t know the above information and as a declared atheist he has chosen to reject his ancestors’ faith. Nonetheless, in the eyes of America and the world he is a Jew. For this reason, I am sharing an important column written by our friend Ben Stein, which so effectively captures the view of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians. It was just published in The Spectator (www.Spectator.org) where his work regularly appears.  I am grateful for permission to share it with our Thought Tool subscribers.

Ben Stein’s Diary

I am a Jew. All of my ancestors have been Jews since Judaism was founded almost 6,000 years ago on the belief of a monotheistic God. I pray in Hebrew every morning and every night. And I am deeply, cruelly, painfully embarrassed at my fellow Jew, Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont.

Within the last few days, from his nuthouse chair in a U.S. Senate Committee Room, he blasted a fine man named Russell Vought. Mr. Vought had been nominated by another fine man, Donald Trump, President of the United States, to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. That’s an extremely hard job. I worked with those brilliant people forty some years ago, especially with the mega genius, Paul O’Neil, on a bill to provide universal health care to all Americans. I guess it would have been called Nixon-Care if it had passed.

Mr. Vought was tormented and lectured to by Bernie Sanders because he had written some time earlier that he was a Christian and he felt as if all men and women who were not Christian “stood condemned” before God. Sanders said this statement was “Islamophobic,” a favorite phrase of trouble makers. He said it also offended Jews. And as he yelled at Mr. Vought, Mr. Vought simply stood his ground and said, basically, “I am a Christian and I am not going to walk away from Christ.”

This left Bernie sputtering with impotent rage.

But I am a lot more of a Jew than Bernie Sanders (my family never changed our names and I unabashedly support Israel). And I am HUMILIATED that a fellow Jew took it on himself to mock and belittle those who trust and believe in Christ, Jesus. We live in a country that is a free country as far as the worship of God is concerned. We Jews have been taken in and loved and cared for by the great majority of Americans who are Christian. This is a free country but it is also a Christian country, to be honest. And the Christians here have been saintly to us Jews. A large example—Go to the U.S. cemetery at Normandy and look at the endless rows of gravestones for those who were killed by the tough as nails Nazis in Normandy. Those gravestones are overwhelmingly crosses.

The men under those crosses were not Jews. Yet they freely gave their lives to save the world — and Jews in particular — from the Nazis’ genocide against us Jews. I feel an on-my-knees gratitude to the men buried there and all over the world who died young to protect us from the race killers.

And now cometh Bernie Sanders, a Jew, to mock the way of the cross and say it offends Muslims. Guess what, Bernie: It wasn’t Muslims who saved America. It wasn’t Muslims who saved us Jews. It was the American Christian who believed that those who do not follow Christ will be judged harshly for it on Judgment Day.

Now, these people — and I especially include my wife’s family, from beloved Arkansas — are saints to me. If they want to believe in Christ and that no man cometh to the Father but through the Son, I’m all for it. I’m all for anything they want to believe. And a belief in a merciful, loving God, is very far from something I want to question. I need all of the loving and forgiveness I can get. So does everyone I know, Jew or Gentile. I don’t believe that American Christians are filled with Judgment and I am quite sure that it is this forbearance that I will have to thank for every day I have above ground here on earth. I would happily go back on my horse and go to work for Russell Vought at OMB if I were younger and I don’t believe he would mistreat me. If he wants to believe I stand condemned because I was not baptized, he’s welcome to it and I pray that he’s wrong. But I know that here on earth, God’s work must surely be our own (in JFK’s words). And here on earth, the people who do the work of kindness and compassion are Christians. I am not the slightest bit worried about America’s Christians. I am terrified of the Muslims — not here, but all over the world in whatever hellhole they are planning their next attack. And, yes, I do believe the great majority of American Muslims are fine people. (Although I do wonder where the million man Muslim marches condemning Islamic terror are here in America or in London or in Manchester. What are they waiting for?)

So, Senator Sanders, I am not scared to death of Christ or of your Christophobia. Christianity, here in America, which has been such a great friend of us Jews, is far too powerful to be taken down by one angry Vermonter. But I am scared that as a nation, we among the political and media self-selected elite, so strongly blast “Islamophobia” but do not hear the onrushing sounds of Christophobia throughout the world and especially here at home.

Senator Sanders. This is a free country, as I keep saying. And it is also a Christian country. And this country has been unbelievably good to us Jews. I am ashamed of you and your fear and hatred of the religion that has, here in the glorious USA, made heaven on earth for us followers of the Old Book. But I am minded of something you should hear from the lips of the Fisherman. “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”

*   *   *

Thank you, Ben Stein, for saying so eloquently what so badly needed to be said. We are grateful to you.

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77 comments

Mark Lampe says:

Hi Rabbi Lapin, thanks so much for sharing this! I rarely say that I love any man but Ben Stein is without a doubt an exception. I have often enjoyed his remarkable insights about the world we live in as well as his dry sense of humor. Borrowing a quote from Chief Dan George, “He is a great human being!”

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

You’re welcome Mark–
thanks are due to Ben Stein.
Cordially
RDL

Wow! Thank you, Ben Stein, and thank you, Rabbi Lapin, for re-posting this message. As a Christian and proud American, it is wonderful to hear the gratefulness and respectfulness towards the great heritage American is built upon. You, and all those of like mind, really understand that if this heritage is lost America will no longer be the safe haven for “all the people of the earth” nor will it be the beacon of light that has brought hope and prosperity to so many throughout its 200 plus years. Again, Thank you for being proud of being an American and willing defending her and the foundational beliefs upon which she was established.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Appreciate your oh so very true words Tomas–
As soon as I read his piece I asked Ben if we could share it with the Thought Tool community and he immediately said “Yes!”
I’ve always publicly said (and wrote in my book “America’s Real War” ) that Jews have always prospered safely in America precisely because America is a Christian country.
Cordially
RDL

Deb Cheff says:

Hello Paster, as a Christian who is learning that the God of your ancestors is my God and your people are my people, I do believe that Yah (GOD) is removing the veil from before all of our faces and we who trust in Him are being made into one new man so making peace. I appreciate how the Jewish people see Christian’s as allies and am so excited that Yah is re-revealing Himself to us all for our good and HIS GLORY!!!

when religion, enters into politics,, then its worst than a nuclear explosion,
JEWS or whatwver. MUST GRANT to the other the RIGHT of thought and its expression,..everybidy… aND MUST AGREE tgat WE can not accept any restriction ON THAT liberty !! EVEN WERE LIVING IN AN era THAT ,BEHADINGS AND CRIME. IS MADE IN THE NAME OF A deity!!.. hats TODAYS sickness!..IN hEBREW IS CALLED “LASHON hARAH!”

Karen Boswell says:

As someone who knows of Ben Stein( beyond Ferris Bueller) and reads and appreciates his striking truism, thanks Rabbi for sharing this.

Blessings to you and Susan – appreciate you both very much too

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

You’re welcome Karen–
Cordially
RDL

Robin says:

Thank you so much!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

You’re welcome Robin
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Randa Sawyer says:

Beautiful words of truth and grace from the heart of a Jew! God bless America & everyone that loves this country! A spiritual revival is coming soon!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Yes, Randa-
I also do believe we are going to be watching America’s 3rd great religious awakening. Onward Jewish and Christian soldiers!
Cordially
RDL

Ben McFie says:

That was fantastic, thank you for sharing!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thank you for reading it Ben
and regards to your family
Cordially
RDL

Sonia P. says:

Just a small correction to your last comment, Brother Stein: He was not a Fisherman, but a Carpenter by trade. You know, one who builds things – useful things, beautiful things, strong things, lasting things. Such as people like you and I who are proud of this great nation and supportive of our Judeo-Christian foundation. Who stand against the destructive forces that would tear down all that we uphold, be they Nazi, Muslim, or whatever. Remember that the One Who said, “Neither do I condemn thee; go and sin no more” was the only One in the whole crowd who was qualified to condemn the woman.

Peter B. says:

Hi Sonia P. — let’s keep in mind that Jesus did say to Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt 4:19). In this sense, Ben Stein is absolutely correct, for the carpenter’s Son was not just your garden variety fisherman, but an instructor.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Peter
Cordially
RDL

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Sonia–
out of my area of expertise but please see comment from Peter B below
Cordially
RDL

Ann Musico says:

Rabbi Lapin I always enjoy and am encouraged and educated by your posts. As a committed Christian who loves her Jewish Jesus – I commend you for sharing this wonderful piece by Mr. Stein. Beautifully said.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Ann–
it needed to be said–by a Jew
Cordially
RDL

Lest we forget, Jesus was a religious Jew. His lessons were timeless Jewish lessons. Thanks Rabbi for helping us understand ancient Jewish wisdom, and thank you Ben Stein for reminding us of what we already knew but wasn’t top of mind. Christians and Jews alike have fought and died for people of all faiths so they might be free.

Blessings to all…

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks for your service, Old Nikko–
They don’t deliver mail in Saudi Arabia on Friday because–it’s a Muslim country. They don’t deliver mail in Israel on Saturday because–it’s a Jewish country. They don’t deliver mail in the USA on……Sunday! Because —-Yes, this is a Christian country. Don’t like it? Well, there’s always Saudi Arabia…or Israel….Or for Bernie, perhaps Sweden.
Cordially
RDL

Peter B. says:

If it were still an option, I think Bernie might prefer the country where he and his second wife honeymooned in 1988 — the Soviet Union.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Trouble is, Peter,
Folks like Bernie want to live amidst the comforts and civilized surroundings that Biblical capitalism built in the west while promoting the infinitely satanic abyss of progressive socialism. Paradoxically if they succeed, they would be among the many victims their ideas had harmed.
Cordially
RDL

Craig Curtis says:

What a wonderfully written response from Ben Stein. I always enjoy Ben’s writing. Thank you for sharing this. As a Christian I believe Heaven will be populated by Bible Believing Christians and Bible Believing Jews. And I’m looking forward to getting to spend time with the Lapins and Ben Stein when the time comes. Thanks for being such wonderful teachers Rabbi and Susan.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

You’re welcome Craig–
we feel privileged to be able to make ancient Jewish wisdom accessible to all.
Cordially
RDL

Barbara Miller says:

Thank you, Rabbi , for posting this most inspiring and encouraging article. As a Christian, I was deeply offended by the biased and hate-filled remarks of Senator Sanders but I was cheered and blessed by Mr. Vought’s gracious responses. Mr Sanders heard the gospel in no uncertain terms, delivered in Christian love by Mr. Vought.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Barbara–
and didn’t that exchange just highlight how we have a clash today in the US between those who see Judeo Christian values as vital for our nation’s survival and those who see them as obstacles to progress. Good to be together with you on the right side.
Cordially
RDL

bob aronson says:

it takes some modicum of courage to stand against the plethora of new age progressive godless jews that populate the U.S. Well done Mr. Stein.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

It is a bit hard, as you say Bob
because there is today a very large alliance between secularism, Government, the administrative bureaucracies, the Soros’ of the world and together they wield considerable power.
Cordially
RDL

D. C. Smith says:

Free people set other people free! Regardless of Faith, Creed, location or color of their skin. Thank you for being my Rabbi and sharing these wonderful words.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks for being a regular Thought Tools reader, D.C.
Cordially
RDL

Thanks Rabbi Lapin. It’s hard to go wrong by quoting Ben Stein…what a guy! I am a Jew (the son of Holocaust survivors) with a proud heritage going back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am also a follower of Yeshua (Jesus) who shares a great expectation of Messiah’s coming (for the second time) to usher in the “Great Shabbat.” Like Ben Stein, I am ever grateful for the Christian America that accepted my Jewish family who survived Hitler’s genocidal attempt to completely destroy an entire people…the Jews. My parents came to America with nothing but worked hard to attain success. I grew up hearing, “As long as there is life there is hope.” Often, when all earthly hope feels lost, a heavenly hope intervenes which has the power to carry us through. I am very thankful for defenders of the faith and defenders of American freedom. It may be difficult to abide by the sayings of Bernie Sanders but it’s not too late for him to hear the truth and experience the heavenly freedom that would follow. G0D bless America!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

It would take quite a miracle for Bernie to find truth, Marty,
but stranger things have happened. For instance, Mr Trump won the 2016 election.
Cordially
RDL

Al Wengerd says:

Dear Rabbi Lapin,
Thank you for sharing this piece from Ben Stein. I hadn’t heard of the comments made by Mr. Sanders but it seems he was somewhat out of line. As you well know America was founded on the principle that people are free to worship as they choose. It’s good to see someone refuse to renounce their beliefs because of political pressure. Then to have someone else from a different religion defend him is pretty cool too!
I am a Christian as well and I always learn a lot from your Thought Tools. It is as you say, “Everyone needs a Rabbi.”
Thank you again.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Al–
Happy you regularly read Thought Tools. Thanks. There really is something called the Judeo Christian tradition: Israel and western civilization in general and the USA in particular are its daughters.
Cordially
RDL

Peter B. says:

Hi my Rabbi:

Nine months after being elected Chancellor of Germany, Adolf Hitler declared that Germany was pulling out of the League of Nations. This audacious move facilitated the military buildup forbidden Germany by the Treaty of Versailles. It was October 1933, and only a relatively few German Christians could see what was coming (among those few who could see, by the way, was Dietrich Bonhoeffer). Those who did not recognize the gathering storm instead preferred to utterly separate the issues of church and state. Among them was the prominent German Christian pastor Martin Niemöller. In fact, Martin Niemöller went so far as to send a congratulatory telegram to the Führer in which he swore loyalty to him while expressing his gratitude.

Many years later, after Martin Niemöller had been imprisoned for eight years in concentration camps as the personal prisoner of Adolf Hitler, he penned these infamous words:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
And then they came for me –
and there was no one left to speak for me.

Thank you Ben Stein, for speaking out.

Rabbi Lapin, I look forward to the release of your revised and updated 1999 book titled America’s Real War, for I’ve not seen nor heard any better explanation than that book of just exactly what it is that makes the Bernie Sanders of this world tick. In the meantime, your Thought Tools, podcasts, Susan’s Musings (especially that brilliant jewel of last week titled “A peek behind the Ivanka and Jared Curtain”), Genesis Journeys Series, and your many books, writings, and other recordings continue to serve in fortifying the ever-growing American Alliance of Jews and Christians, among who I could not be more proud to stand – and speak.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thank you Peter–
I did not know of the Niemoller telegram. We are working on the release of the new 2nd edition of America’s Real War…everytime we think we’re ready to go, something new happens that is too unbelievable to omit.
Appreciate all your help and encouragement
Cordially
RDL

Peter B. says:

My Rabbi:

In case you may be able to use the reference re the MN telegram, see the book titled Bonhoeffer (2010) by Eric Metaxas, pg. 191.

Btw, a suggested working definition re one of the other comments in this string:

hate speech n. Any speech that liberals hate.

😉

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Ah yes, that outstanding work by Eric.
and a good definition you provide, Peter. Warmest wishes to M
Cordially
RDL

What a well said commentary! Thank you for the wonderful lucid explanation of reality as it is! I hope it will make a big impact on people’s thinking and choices! Be Blessed in the Name of the Lord God of Isreal!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Let’s hope so, Barbara-
Cordially
RDL

Joyce Redos says:

Thank you for sharing Ben Stein’s article, Rabbi. As a gentile believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and in Jesus, I mourn for those like Senator Sanders who are so spiritually wounded they not only reject belief in the Creator and Sovereign Lord in their own right, but also condemn those of us who love our Savior and refuse to deny Him. I think they are terribly afraid that if they do not loudly reject us and try to get us to cower at their rejection, then they will have to face the possibility that they themselves are wrong in rejecting belief in God. I will be praying for the Senator to have his eyes opened to the truth that the God of Abraham is real and desires to heal his wounded and broken spirit. Blessings and shalom to you and your family.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

You’re welcome, Joyce,
and thanks for writing. I wrote an entire book (America’s Real War) explaining the hard-core left of which Bernie is a proud member. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Bernie to see the truth. He is positive that he already HAS the truth. I am not pessimistic or without faith in the power of God, but there have always been those on the other side and they don’t often see the light. Better to be realistic and maybe pleasantly surprised one day than overly optimistic and get sandbagged by one Bernie or another.
Cordially
RDL

Joyce Redos says:

Thank you for your wisdom on that score. I actually have a couple Bernies in my own family. The believers in the family have been praying for them for decades. We don’t appear to have much to show for it, but we know our dear Abba hears our prayers and that He will answer them. We do so recognizing that our Bernies and allBernies have free will and the ultimate answer to our prayers may be no. Still we pray because we love and because we know our Abba loves and would that no one perish but that all might be reconciled to Him.

Crystal says:

Thank you for sharing more of God’s truth, and for speaking up for us Christians.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

You’re welcome Crystal,
and this is exactly why we founded the American Alliance of Jews and Christians because someone other than Christians has to speak up for the last unprotected minority in America–serious Bible believing Christians
Cordially
RDL

Kisa says:

As a muslim, Ive been following your posts to learn more on Judism as part of my spiritual urge to dive deeper into religion but time and again you ve tried inculcating unjustifiable hatred towards specific religions and specific not, as if your on some agenda. While ive read judism, christianity, islam, Zoroastrianism and buddism, i would still not make hardcore statements about any specific religion like you do. There is not a single religion among them that preaches hate or terrorism. Terrorists are not religious motivated individual but agenda motivated.

Anyhow, just like i wouldnt generalize judism by your hate speech, a wise mind would first think, read and then reflect before drawing conclusions about any religion in the world.

p.s. Expecting you to remove my comment after reading but if it went across to you, thats enough too.

Hoping our God be pleased with us and we be guided, no matter which region or religion we belong to.

Regards.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Kisa–
You can learn as much about a religion just by reading about it as a vegan can understand about a perfectly barbecued sizzling steak just by reading a recipe book or a life-time celibate can understand sex by just reading a book. Religion is similar in that the full depth of the experience is accessible only to those who fully immerse themselves into it.
Second, I appreciate you regularly reading Thought Tools whatever your religious background. Thank you.
I am not going to dignify your ridiculous allegation that I have “inculcated unjustifiable hatred towards specific religions” by denying it. Instead, I’ll just ask for one or two examples. Happy searching….
Regarding Islam, it goes without saying that many Moslems are peaceful however for you to say that terrorists are not religiously motivated flies in the face of what they themselves disclose about their motivation. When even one bombing is perpetrated by a Quaker screaming “In the name of Jesus” or when even one stewardess has her throat slit by a Buddhist yelling “Buddha is great!” you might have the basis for a conversation. As it is, however, since the only common feature uniting almost every act of terror on every continent is the Moslem faith of the terrorists, you are asking a lot to suggest that their faith has nothing to do with their violence against ‘infidels’. This is particularly true since they so often are heard shrieking “Allah is great”.
And hurling the slur of “hate speech” against anyone with a view different from your own is sure to shut down meaningful dialogue
While I wouldn’t profess expertise in any religion other than mine merely on the basis of having read a few books, I do insist that one can tell a great deal about any belief system or religion by examining the kind of culture and society its devotees build and live in. Enough said.
Finally, with respect to your hope that “our God be pleased with us..” I am not sure there is an “Our God”. I think there are many gods–there always have been. There is the God who made His wishes clear through Moses on Mt Sinai. There is no part of the Hebrew Bible, as far as I am aware, that Christians dispute. For instance Jews and Christians agree that Abraham nearly sacrificed his younger son, Isaac, on Mt Horeb not his older son Ishmael. Jews and Christians agree that Solomon’s temple stood on that same mountain in the heart of Jerusalem. In other words, there is such a thing as a Judeo-Christian tradition. There is no such thing as a Judeo-Christian-Moslem-Buddhist-Hindu tradition.
Sorry to disappoint your expectations but we seldom remove comments and never just for disagreeing with us.
With all said, we appreciate you reading our Thought Tools and especially appreciate you taking the time to write.
Cordially
RDL

Lyna says:

Excellent response to Kisa, Rabbi, in several ways! Thank you.
Comment/response could be a stand-alone Thought Tool entry. perhaps?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thank you Lyna–
Good idea. Actually we are preparing a new edition of my book America’s Real War and it will contain these points and more
Cordially
RDL

Lyna says:

Can the new edition be pre-ordered?

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

No the new America’s Real War is not yet on sale–I am hoping not too much longer now
Cordially
RDL

Marie says:

Thanks for the article, however, if there were any doctrine the Christian wish they have wrong it’s the doctrine of “Hell!” Nevertheless, it is the doctrine that keeps us on our knees praying for our loved ones and the world for that matter.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Marie–
Like Ben I am never disturbed by my many Christian friends believing I am not going to heaven. I am only so grateful to live among people who are doing nothing to hasten my arrival there!
Cordially
RDL

Patty says:

This is the first time I have EVER commented although I have been reading Thought Tools for years. This posting of the message from Ben Stein brought tears to my eyes. Words that would come straight from the heart of those who love the Lord with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind – Jew or Gentile. Thank you from the bottom of my Christian heart. I know next to nothing about American politics and what precipitated this “Diary” entry, but I sure do love the message!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

So happy it made you write to us, Patty,
Hope you’ll maintain the habit!
Cordially
RDL

Michael A. Dutka says:

Beautiful and loving article. I am eternally grateful to the Jewish people because it is from them that Jesus is from.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Michael–
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Renae says:

When our American Heritage Girls earn the Sign Language badge, one of their requirements is to learn the National Anthem in sign language. I use it as a history lesson and teach them the history behind it – we start with how only a few Jewish groups had a written version of scriptures which only recently became printed in English and mass produced. When our founding fathers read what we know as The Holy Bible, they were inspired to start a land based on Biblical principles. As I see it, Jews and Christians have always been linked because we both believe we are created in the image and likeness of God. Society has blinded us into believing something counterfeit and many of our leaders have fallen into that trap. America was founded as one nation under God whether we like it or not.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Renae–
Please see what I wrote above to “Old Nikko US Navy Retired” about America indeed being a Christian country.
It doesn’t mean everyone must be Christian but it does mean that the cultural foundations are Biblical as established by the nation’s Christian founders.
Cordially
RDL

Paul R says:

Thank-you, Rabbi for reprising Ben Stein’s words. I am a student of History in general and American History in particular and I have since the sixth grade taken keen interest in politics as well. I know that my study of American History shows clearly that from the Separatists of Plymouth, America has openly accepted Jews and did not follow the despicable practice of European Christians in persecution of the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. A great many Americans have understood that our Christian roots are firmly found in the Hebrew Patriarchs, Moses, the Prophets and the Writings. There are differences between Christianity and Judaism but there is much more that unites Christians and Jews. It’s a shame to find both Jewish as well as Christian politicians that are so completely ignorant of American and Jewish history and traditions as is the case of Senator Sanders. He is so woefully ignorant of Islam as well. The Sons of Ishmael have used religious (I tend to agree with Avi Lipkin that Islam is not a religion so much as it is a horrific plan of world domination) fervor to destroy both Hebrews and Christians. That said, historical fact seems to elude many who are really neither Jew nor Christian all to often. Shaloam.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Paul–
my experience is that almost no American Jews know that there never has been a Protestant pogrom against Jews. Never. Martin Luther ended up writing disparagingly about Jews but so what? Nobody acted on this in any way against Jews.
Cordially
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James says:

BRAVO, dear Rabbi, and BRAVO Ben Stein! The radical-socialist-anarchist Jews will never listen to us, but just label us as anti-Semites. So it takes a bona fide Hebrew to point the finger. It is a mark of fine character and great courage indeed that a frank, undisguised and non-dissimulating Hebrew will thus address one of his fellows with the unvarnished truth, as Mr. Stein has done. Today I was amazed by the publicized comment of Comrade ‘Sanders’ to the effect that he was sickened by today’s assault on the Republican baseball team. Abject hypocrisy! He, like all Lefties, should mind their words, their accusatory and inflammatory hyperbolic rhetoric that inseminates unbalanced minds with acts of senseless violence: teaching for example that Republicans want to deprive the poor of health care, throw Grandma off a cliff, or return Blacks to the plantation. Lest the Lefties call me an anti-Semite: this impassioned philippic comes from me, a person assigned Ashkenazic ancestry by ancestry.com!

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Welcome fellow Ashkenazi, James,
Cordially
RDL

Jerry Rutherford says:

Dear Rabbi. I bought your book, America’s Real War, when it first came out. I am looking forward to the update. Imams claim that their God is the same God as the Jews and Christians. My question to them would be……why are you killing those who worship the same God? Christians aren’t killing Jews. Jews aren’t killing Christians. They are liars. Keep up the good work, Rabbi……….Jerry

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Thanks Jerry–
I’m also looking forward to finishing the updated new edition of America’s Real War. It is going to be ruthlessly honest about Islam and will explain its bizarre alliance with American progressives.
Cordially
RDL

Mr. Stein, First let me thank you for a very fine column.

Second, I and my family are practicing Roman Catholics. I mention this to echo what you’ve written.

In the summer of 1994, the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day, I had the remarkable honor of sitting down with my father’s cousin, a retired US Army Colonel as he went through story after story of his WWII service. For approximately three hours, he poured through a book showing maps, pictures, and locations where he had fought and served (he was a Captain during this time). These included the D-Day invasion and The Battle of The Bulge.

As he concluded, he left me with one thing that has remained with me all these years later. He said very firmly and seriously, “Mark, don’t let anyone ever tell you that the holocaust never happened. It happened. I saw it. I helped liberate those camps. I’m not going to tell you what I saw because it’s horrific and unspeakable.”

I never forgot this.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Mark–
For a few decades after WWII Jews were so traumatized by something the world had never seen before..the methodical slaughter of huge numbers of humans by a civilized nation. Of course everyone knew that the Ottoman Turkish Muslims had slaughtered the Armenian people, but Europeans doing it was unthinkable. Jews assumed that the Holocaust would become a major feature of history forever. Today, increasing numbers of people do doubt that it ever happened. And you know what? It is impossible to persuade them otherwise. Your testimony simply becomes questionable. Furthermore, it is all a bit of a yawn today because we now know of what Stalin did. What Mao Tse Tung did. What PolPot did. What the Hutus did. It happens. Get over it.
I fear that this is true and the Jewish calamity of the 20th century is largely irrelevant. Today, when Moslem leaders openly and publicly speak about there not being any survivors when they’re done with Israel, we all know exactly what they intend and nobody in the world even slaps their wrists.
Perilous times…
Cordially
RDL

Brad Weis says:

I never did get around to thanking the Los Angeles Times for publishing Ben Stein’s column some 30+ years ago. His was the first item I would read those I think it was biweekly columns, even before the disaster headlines others groped for. God bless Ben Stein for being so insightful and witty, and thank the Lord for giving him that talent.

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Amen to all that, Brad—
Thanks
Cordially

RDL

Andrew Kornfeld says:

Rabbi Lapin:

This article by Ben Stein was sent to me by my bible believing in-laws. I can understand how they, no students of history, could be fooled, but a rabbi? You must have studied history at some point…particularly the history of WWII and the Holocaust? You would know that Churchill had told Roosevelt early in the war about the plan for Jewish extermination but neither leader made a single military move with the rescue of Jews in mind. You would know that in 1938, the St Louis, a ship filled with 800 Jewish refugees from Germany was denied entry into the US and then every country in Europe until it returned to Germany where all were eventually murdered including the women and children. There was no great public outcry among Christians to allow the boat to dock. In fact, it was the opposite. You would know, like my father learned when his battalion liberated a concentration camp in Germany in late May of 1945, that Americans had not been informed about the extinction of European Jews until after the war so the notion that Stein proposes about Christians fighting in WWII on behalf of Jews is pure and utter nonsense. He also says we were welcomed and nurtured by Christians in America which history and every single one of my Jewish relatives who lived before and after WWII would refute. We made it in America despite Christians not because of them as Stein insinuates. They didn’t want us in their neighborhoods, didn’t want to hire us and denied our entry to many institutions and colleges. We made it because we own 25% of the wealth in this great country though we are 2% of the population and wealth equals power. I love many Christians but not because of the reasons of the misinformed Stein. As far as what Bernie Sanders said which is being misconstrued by conservative Christians for their own reasons; it is much ado about nothing. Bernie is a senator and he can veto any proposed cabinet member he wishes to for whatever reason. If Vaught wants to publicly state that 80% of the world stands condemned because they don’t believe what he believes then Bernie can be justified in vetoing his appointment on the grounds that his judgment is impaired and not because he is a Christian. If you bring your religious beliefs to the public square in America, then they are fair game as any political views. Rabbi, please fact check any propaganda that comes your way before you publish it. Andrew Kornfeld

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Dear Andrew–
Words like self-righteous, self-pitying, and arrogant sprang to mind as I read your piece. All over the country in all kinds of venues, I have debated Jewish leaders who agree entirely with you. And I think they’re all wrong, self-righteous, self-pitying, and arrogant. Not to mention, lacking in the defining Jewish characteristic (according to ancient Jewish wisdom) of gratitude. Gosh, a long letter, dear Andrew, with nary a word of gratitude? No word of gratitude, not for the country that has been a better home to Jews than any other in the past two millennia and not for its citizens? My gosh! What happened to graciousness? There’s probably not a lot of point in me writing to refute your points one at a time. We ain’t gonna find agreement. That’s all there is to it. That’s why I wrote American’s Real War. Yes, I was right. There is a canyon cutting through American culture. On one side are those who believe that Judeo-Christian Biblical values are vital to our nation’s survival and on the other, those who regard such values as primitive obstructions to progress…. and there are Jews on both sides of that canyon.
Cordially
RDL

Andrew Kornfeld says:

Rabbi:

Cordially isn’t a word with which I would have ended your e-mail with had I written it. Apparently I hurt your feelings and struck a chord when I referenced your lack of historical context, and that truth should hurt. The only actual point you make is that I should be more ‘gracious’ to Christians and I am…and believe me, I am more than gracious since my mother was one as is my wife but I thought we were discussing history, no? And Mr. Stein mischaracterized a lot of really big historical issues, ones which have impacted Jews in a profound way. As far as historical ‘graciousness’, it seems that you want to sound bells and whistles for people acting normally. Yes, the Christians in America did not hunt us down and pull gold out of our teeth like the Christians in Europe at the time…should they be praised for that? Thanks for not being monsters. 2/3 of them didn’t want any additional Jewish children taken in as refugees (according to polls at the time) after the St Louis incident generated a lot of national attention. We weren’t welcomed in any way by a vast majority of America’s Christians. I am grateful, however, to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, two deists who framed the two founding American documents, and made for a clear separation of church and state so our new country wouldn’t follow in the path of the religious monarchies in Europe. And I’m grateful to Christians who don’t believe complete and utter nonsense like what Stein wrote and you disseminated. How can you possibly agree with his thesis in the stark light of history? Andrew Kornfeld

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Ha ha, no hurt feelings I can assure you Andrew–
I work problems in my head not my heart.
Just astonishment that someone who prides himself on lecturing about ‘historical context’ really is unaware that both Jefferson and Franklin, along with most of the other Founders, were deeply religious and Bible-believing Christians.
…and you do know about the Protestant Reformation don’t you? Of course you do. And you’ve naturally read the writings of Increase Mather and Ezra Styles, great Christian and political leaders of the colonial period, but wait! What about separation of church and state, the defining (non-existent) founding doctrine of secular Judaism? And to think that Jews ‘made it’ in America ‘in spite’ of Christians, to use your formulation betrays a shocking lack of knowledge of what life as a Jew was like in Europe. Anyway, I wish you good health and prosperity and thank you for caring enough to both read our material and write to us. Bosom buddies I think probably not, but yes, most definitely,
Cordially
RDL

Andrew Kornfeld says:

Rabbi:

I get it. You don’t like to be challenged so you assume this faux air of superiority but you still can’t defend Stein’s thesis with any other argument than at least they weren’t as bad as the Christians in Europe. The crux of what Stein said, however, was fundamentally wrong and you can’t explain why it’s right except by discounting facts and history so you attack me instead and try to change the subject? Is it because you realize now you can’t defend his words because they’re historically invalid? Tell me again how Christians fought WWII to save the Jews? You decided to further Stein’s distorted thesis based on what? AK

Rabbi Daniel Lapin says:

Oh nonsense, Andrew–
Now you’re just getting churlish. You disappoint me. If I didn’t like being challenged, do you really think I’d have published your three letters? What does the word “Delete” mean to you?
For now, I think I’ll let your letters speak for themselves.
Cordially
RDL

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