My Confession, by Ben Stein

December 6, 2011 Posted by: Kelly Gneiting

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 crèche, 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?  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 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’s 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?



Join the Discussion

  • Chuck

    Thank you Ben. I am not at all religious, but I am in complete agreement with you. All religions teach ethics, morality and personal responsibility. We have eliminated that from our children’s education because a minuscule minority complained. “We the people ” didn’t vote on it – it was decided by other, supposedly wiser men. It has always been unclear to me how the teaching of good, (fill in your favorite religion here), ethics, morality and behavior threatens anyone.

  • Pingback: Ben Stein is a sleaze… « A Bit of Behavioral Ecology()

  • Debra

    As an outside (non_American)…I agree that morals should be taught to children and that perhaps we have gone too far away from that. However as a non-American I believe that most of the “foreign aid money” coming from fanatical religious groups in America, is causing extermination of Palestinians, used to buy evil people to replace any leader of other countries that do not agree with US foreign policies (such as I want your oil for free, etc.), supplying weapons of mass destruction to fanatical radicals to topple stable countries, etc., etc., I think the world sees that America has been overrun by these religious groups and it is destroying everything good that America stood for.

  • Claire

    This is not all Ben Stein, some words in his “confession” have been changed and the confession itself actually ends after the first 5 lines. The rest is just another person putting their own opinions into the piece, which includes false claims about a suicide.

  • Joe

    The most brilliant posts we have like this one need far more people reading them. If we do not have the most incredible amounts of readers something needs to change!

  • Ronomundo

    How Atheism Became the Official Religion of the United States

    Three SCOTUS cases that made Atheism the Official Religion of the United States violation of the Establishment Clause
    By Ron Bartels, JD, Ph.D

    Federal Courts do not constitutionally have subject matter jurisdiction for disputes arising under the subject matter jurisdiction of the 9th and 10th amendments.

    The constitution prescribes for a limited government and the U.S. Supreme Court is bond by the constitution to be subject to the constitution. Further, each justice takes an oath to uphold and defend the constitution, a written contract.

    Law schools all teach contract law. Yet, they also teach our justices to ignore contract law when it comes to the constitution. They falsely claim that the constitutional contract is a living-breathing instrument, not a static contract. It needs to “change with the times.”

    However, the constitutional contract provides for two specific means of changing the constitution in Article V. History reveals that has happened many times so the course of action actually works. The contract (constitution) performs therefore it cannot be nullified. Only contracts that are written with language that inhibits performance of the meeting of the minds of the originators is subject to nullification by the Supreme Court.

    However, justices who willfully wanted to violate the constitution have done so in case after case. Then they have used decisions that violated the constitution as guidance for present and future perversions of the constitution. There is no provision in the constitution for a majority to override the constitution or to nullify it with case law.

    Article 3, Section 1 says justices may serve ONLY DURING GOOD BEHAVIOR

    The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

    There are three landmark cases that changed the meaning of the First Amendment as it was previously understood and practiced in America. In these three cases a parent of a child in school petitioned the courts to stop the school from exposing their child to prayer in school and reading the Bible in school. In fact, there are landmark cases that violate the constitution yet are used as guidance for judicial decisions.

    ACLU Lawyers used Thomas Jefferson’s letter, which was NOT a part of the constitution, in the argument for the plaintiffs. They argued that the founding fathers wanted a “wall of separation between church and State”; therefore, the government should be neutral to religion in schools, and as a result the Warren Court ruled that there would be no prayer in school or Bible reading.

    The court’s “majority ruling” reasoned that being neutral or not favoring one religion over another was the same as not allowing religious practices in school.

    Case 1: Engel v. Vitale – “The Regents School Prayer” – 1962

    The New York school system had adopted a prayer to be said before the start of each day’s classes. This prayer was to help promote good moral character of the students, spiritual training and help combat juvenile delinquency. The regents wrote a prayer for the schools which had to be non-sectarian or denominational. It was so bland that it became known to some religious leaders as the “to whom it may concern prayer.” Here is the Regents prayer.

    Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our Country.

    Justice Hugo Black wrote the following for the majority, “It is no part of the business of government to compose official prayers. . . the Regent’s prayer are inconsistent both with the purposes of the Establishment Clause and the Establishment Clause itself.”

    With standard jurisprudence the Court cites previous cases in making its rulings; however, not one previous case was cited in this ruling. Why was no other case cited? There were no previous cases at law, which would have supported the court’s decision.

    For 170 years following the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, no Court had ever struck down any prayer, in any form, in any location. While the Court invoked no judicial precedent to sustain its decision, it did employ some strategic psychological rhetoric.

    Recall the Court’s comment that: “these principles were so universally recognized.”

    These principles were not recognized by most Americans, and this decision caused uproar, and Congressional hearings! Even though the Founding fathers plainly stated that religion and morality were to be part of our society and government, the Court was not particularly interested in the Founders’ views on this subject; in fact, it openly acknowledged its contempt for America’s heritage when it remarked: That [New York] prayer seems relatively insignificant when compared to the governmental encroachments upon religion which were commonplace 200 years ago.

    Not one pastor and not one religious corporation were there to object though all had opportunity to defend the constitution. This begs an important question: How many Christians and Pastors have said the pledge of allegiance?

    “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    How can anyone claim they meant what they said? What is the purpose of the pledge of allegiance and what are its duties for all who take the pledge?

    The Warren Court decided to ignore the Founding Fathers intent and the Constitution and substitute the “Separation of Church and State” for the First Amendment. (The justices unlawfully legislated from the bench in direct violation of the separation of powers. We should know that ungodly men will perform ungodly acts.

    Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina said, “I should like to ask whether we would be far wrong in saying that in this decision the Supreme Court has held that God is unconstitutional and for that reason the public school must be segregated against Him?”

    Did the citizens rise up to insist that their legislators impeach every justice who violated their oaths of office?
    The answer is; not in any significant numbers. Why didn’t the people rise up and replace the Supreme Court? The answer is obvious but I will point it out for those who have yet to observe the reality of what did not take place.

    It is a principle of law, that silence is acceptance. So who had the primary duty to create a nationwide uproar to remove ungodly justices?

    • Was it the Congressmen?
    • Was it the people?
    • Was it the pastors of the people?
    • Was it none of the above?

    Answer “C” is the correct answer. God holds the pastors responsible for not activating the people.

    The Evidence

    The New Testament is clear in its teaching both by precept and example that there are certain men in the church who are invested with the responsibility of ruling. Christians are not blindly to accept false or unscriptural leadership, but they are nonetheless responsible to follow, obey, and honor their spiritual leaders.

    This authority was first vested in Christ’s apostles. They were the foundation of the church (Ephesians 2:20; cf. Matthew 16:18-19) and the very mouthpieces of God (Ephesians 3:5). Their word and example were and are binding (I Corinthians 4:17; 14:37; I Thessalonians 2:13; II Thessalonians 2:15).

    Their word settled all disputes in matters of faith and practice. They were Divine Legates, vicars of Christ, if you will. This is seen in Acts 6:1-7, when the apostles took charge to settle the first dispute in the church at Jerusalem, and throughout the epistles in their binding and authoritative commands to the churches.

    That the apostles intended for others after them to have authority (albeit, not their unique apostolic authority) is evident by the titles given to these leaders, the descriptions of them, and the responsibilities laid upon them and given to the church with regards to them.

    Acts 20:28 designates the elders of the church at Ephesus as “overseers,” those who manage the church. Romans 12:8 identifies those who are specially gifted by God to govern. The Greek word proistemi (“to rule, to preside”) is found also in I Thessalonians 5:12 referring to those who are “over you” in the spiritual realm, “in the Lord.” In I Timothy 3:4, 5, and 12 it refers to rule in the home by the father. Paul plainly states that some are gifted with the ability to exercise authority in the church.

    Similarly, I Corinthians 12:28 speaks of the one with the gift of “governments” (kubernesis). A “governor” (kubernetes) was a shipmaster, the one ruling, directing the ship (Acts 27:11; Revelation 18:17).

    I Corinthians 16:15-16 commands that certain ones in the church be the objects of submission.

    I Thessalonians 5:12-13 require that those in ruling positions (“those who are over you”) in the church be held in special honor.

    I Timothy 3:5 draws a parallel between the fathers’ “rule” in the home and the elders’ “care” of the church. The implication here is that the elders’ rule in the church is similar to a father’s rule of his home.

    I Timothy 5:17 commands that double honor be given to those who “rule” well.

    Hebrews 13:7, 17, and 24 all speak of rulers in the church who are to be “regarded with favor,” “followed” in matters of faith, “obeyed,” and “submitted to.” These men “rule” and are responsible for the spiritual welfare of the people.

    The writer of Hebrews is especially firm in this matter, for in all three of these verses the word translated “rule” is hegeomai, which speaks of “governing” from a position of recognized authority (cf. Matthew 2:6, 10:18; Luke 2:2; Acts 7:10).

    Some object that spiritual authority is inconsistent with individual priest-hood. It is significant, however, that while no New Testament epistle emphasizes more the truth of individual priesthood, neither does any epistle stress more the obligation to obey spiritual rulers.

    The author of Hebrews saw no inconsistency. The doctrine of universal priesthood does not conflict with the duty of subjection to spiritual authority. Individual priesthood is not individual lordship.

    Finally, I Peter 5:1-4 speaks of those who lead and oversee the church as under-shepherds (i.e., delegated rulers under Christ). Also, by referring to himself as an “elder” of the church, Peter indicates here that the apostolic authority was in measure being passed to the eldership.

    The Point

    The point is simple: there are to be those in the local church who have authority, to whom honor, submission, and obedience is due. This is not a popular teaching in our day of individualism; indeed, this is regularly vigorously opposed or ignored altogether. But the Scriptural teaching on the subject is plain: Christ, the Head, rules His Church through His under-shepherds.

    However, when pastors refuse to be under-shepherds; instead becoming hirelings, np allegiance is due them for they have forsaken their scriptural call. Our founding fathers were exhorted and instructed by the Black Robed Regiment of their day.

    NOTE: Most of today’s pastors are hirelings, not shepherds of the flock of Jesus Christ.

    Nor is this a continuation of the erroneous sharp distinction between clergy and laity. Authority does not imply superior standing before God. Just as man and woman are on equal standing before God (Galatians 3:28) with woman being subordinate to the man (I Timothy 2:9-15), so Christians with equal access to God are commanded to be subordinate to their leaders.

    John Bennett, dean of Union Theological Seminary wrote the following: “If the Court in the name of religious liberty tries to keep a lid on religious expression and teaching both in the public schools and also in connection with experiments that involve cooperation with public schools, it will drive all religious communities to the establishment of parochial schools, much against the will of many, and to the great detriment of public schools and probably of the quality of education.”

    Jeremiah 23:1-2 says, Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

    Secondly, it is dangerous for the people NOT to be bible readers and scholars of the Word of God. If God’s people read His Word, they would have replaced these silent pastors or started a home church that did follow God’s instructions. There is an old adage that says, if you fail at getting something to work, read the directions.

    There are 66 books of instructions in one library called the bible. Read them daily.

    The Indictment of Pastors

    Do you see your pastor speaking out against the unconstitutional acts of all government officials as pastors of old used to do? Go to that pastor and have a private meeting with him. I will give you what to cover with the pastor.

    Pastors are to Guard the Flock

    Paul, when leaving Ephesus, gathered the leaders together and said, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock, and from your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore be on alert” (Acts 20:29-31a). Jesus made it clear that an identifying factor of a true shepherd is that they defend the flock against wolves (John 10:12-13).

    There will be those who attempt to lead your people astray. It’s up to us as pastors and laity alike, whether of a large group or as a house church to properly feed and train our people to have discerning spirits so when someone is being deceptive or divisive they will be able to stop it before any are affected. It’s up to the pastor to fight against such wolves with everything he has. If we don’t stop it right away, the turmoil that will be ahead of us will be overwhelming.

    Be alert and watch, you never know when they may rise up or who they may be. It may someone who just finished pledging their support and loyalty to you, so beware. Shortly after the people praised Jesus on Palm Sunday they were crying out “crucify him, crucify him” (Luke 23:20). Paul and Barnabas, after the lame man was healed, could barely restrain the people from sacrificing to them as gods. When they were not allowed to sacrifice to them, they wanted to stone them (Acts 14:8-19). The one patting you on the back today could be stabbing you tomorrow.

    The Enemies Within

    Often it isn’t someone coming from outside bringing in false doctrine, but someone from within trying to plant negative seeds and cast doubt about leadership. It will often go something like this, “What do think about the pastor’s message today? What do you think about the direction the church is taking? What do you think about the worship leader? I really think it’d be better if they did it like this. I’m not sure if this might have been a better way to go. Did you hear this about so and so?”

    We must teach people to look out for things like this and put a stop to it. By the time it gets to the pastor, the damage has probably already been done. Negative seeds, even if not believed, have a way of coming to fruition. Romans 16:17 says, “Mark them which cause division and offenses contrary to the doctrine you have learned; and avoid them.”

    This battle usually begins with envy, bitterness, or a desire to be noticed and feel important (James 3:13-17). Once it moves from the heart and through the tongue, a fire has started that can blaze out of control. James 3:5-6 says, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things, behold how great a matter a little fire kindles. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, so is the tongue among our members that defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature and is set on fire of hell.”

    Gossip will defile the whole body. It begins with a few people, but quickly spreads until the entire church is destroyed. The devil knows it’s not the battles that come from outside the church that destroy us – they make us stronger. It’s the battles from within that get us. James 3:15 says, “This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual and devilish.” When someone tries to draw people away, remember where it’s coming from and don’t allow the devil to take advantage of you by being “ignorant of his devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11).

    Should we the people throw up our hands and go silent when our pastors go silent and speak not? Of course not. We should either change church groups if one can be found that will speak out or open a house church as many these days are doing.

    CAUTION: Most church organizations have become agencies of the state and licensed by the state so they must therefore obey the state over obedience to God. If your church is incorporated, it is an agency of the state government. If your pastor is licensed by the state, they are an agent of the state and God comes in second place if that. No church group should be incorporated at all. If they are, they need to repent and dissolve their corporate bonds to be agents for the state. Your pastor must dissolve his license from the state. The 1st amendment of the constitution is all the license needed to be a servant of God instead of the state.

    What are the sources of false wisdom?

    • It’s earthly. It comes from this world, not from above.
    • It’s sensual. It originates from our fleshly desires, not the Spirit of God.
    • It’s devilish. It comes straight from the devil himself.

    Case 2: Murray v. Curlett – “School Prayer” – 1963

    Madalyn Murray O’Hair, a militant left wing atheist with close ties to the American Communist Party, took the school board of Baltimore to court for allowing prayer in school. The local court judge J. Gilbert Pendergast dismissed the petition stating, “It is abundantly clear that petitioners’ real objective is to drive every concept of religion out of the public school system.”

    The case went to the Maryland Court of Appeals, and the court ruled, “neither the First nor the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to stifle all rapport between religion and government.”

    Unconstitutionally, the case was then heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Leonard Kerpelman addressed the court saying prayer in the public schools had been tolerated for so long that it had become traditional and that anything that is unconstitutional does not become constitutional through tradition.

    He went on to say the Constitution had erected a “wall of separation” between church and state, at which point Justice Potter Steward interrupted, asking where this wording appears. Kerpelman was stumped and an embarrassing silence followed. When he regained his composure, he stated that the text was not explicit on the point but that it had been interpreted to mean so.

    Incredibly, the National Council of Churches, a New World Order Agency, and several Jewish organizations actually favored Madalyn O’Hair case! The churches and the pastors were silent, indicating they did not care what the U.S. Supreme Court decided.
    Silence is Agreement

    Not a single Christian organization filed an amicus brief in support of school prayer, so the case went virtually uncontested before the Court. The Supreme Court ruled 8 to 1 in favor of abolishing school prayer and Bible reading in the public schools.

    Justice Tom Clark wrote, “religious freedom, it has long been recognized that government must be neutral and, while protecting all, must prefer none and disparage none.” Atheism has been recognized by the federal government as a religion, and this Supreme Court ruling preferred Secular Atheism, and therefore failed to be neutral as Justice Tom Clark suggested.

    Thus, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that atheism is the religion of our nation, in violation of the 1st amendment.

    All three branches of the government were prohibited from making any religion the official religion of the state, then the Supreme Court did just that and it is our fault and the fault of every denomination, every church and every church leader.

    Not one of them filed a single amicus brief. So now, baring a return to the constitution, the official religion of the United States is atheism. That is until Sharia Law replaces atheism. Is it any wonder that radical Islam sees an opening to overtake the United States from within?

    A foot note on this case: This case was centered on Madalyn Murray O’Hair’s son, William Murray. Madalyn O’Hair was murdered in the 1990′s, and her son William Murray became a Christian and is now a pastor. He now is an advocate for school prayer, and has written an excellent book on the subject, titled: Let Us Pray, A Plea for Prayer in Our Schools. In this book you will find a detailed account of this case.

    Case 3: Abington Township School District v. Schempp – Abington Township School District v. Schempp “Bible reading in school” – 1963

    The Pennsylvania school system complied with a state law requiring that ten verses of scripture be read every day.

    The readings were without interpretation, comment or questions asked, and any student could request to be excused.

    It was voluntary without coercion, and the Schempp girl never asked to be excused and even volunteered to read the Bible on occasions. (This point was not brought up when the case was before the Supreme Court.) Yet the parents brought the case to court on grounds that it was coercion.

    This case came to the Supreme Court at the same time as the Murray v. Curlett case, and the court ruled on them together. Not one amicus brief was offered to refute the false claims before the court. Therefore, the false claims stood.

    After these last 2 cases were decided, the court’s ruling stated that Prayer and/or Bible reading were a violation of the establishment clause of the first amendment. (The official religion had been changed from no official religion to making the official religion the religion of atheism.)

    In so ruling the court established a secular (atheist) religion for our school system, thus violating the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment.

    Bill of Particulars
    • No jurisdiction to hear an issue with subject matter exempted by the 9th or 10th amendments.
    • No authority from the constitution to legislate from the bench
    • No authority to change the 1st amendment without using Article V, which method is reserved to Congress and the States.

    The First Amendment has been completely revised with regard to religious freedom, putting the restrictions on the people and not the government.

    The Call to Action
    • Advise the Democratic Parties they have until October 31st, 2016 to override the U.S. Supreme Court or you will join the Independent American Party and elect legislators to county legislatures, elect legislators to the state legislature and elect legislators to Congress
    • Spread this message to as many people as possible in as many ways as possible.
    • Sign-up to run for any type of political office from school board to sheriff to county, state or federal legislature and begin training by becoming a new Founding Father or Founding Mother.
    • Pray for our nation and meet with your pastor or become a house pastor yourself.
    • Learn the 15 Simple Principles required to return to a constitutional form of government.
    • Learn about what God says about government, not what false teachers have to say. You will find out why most pastors have let prayer be taken out of the public discourse.
    • Learn about the constitution for free, online, from a major university which has remained true to the constitution. (Very rare)
    • Learn about your Christian Heritage.

    Advice
    • If you love America, join other who love the land God gave us and find something you can do to help. Many hands make light work.
    • Help outlaw campaign contributions from special interests and stop all politicians from accepting campaign contributions outside of their district.