As my Christian friends begin to celebrate their special holy day, let’s take a minute to remember that good will and peace on earth which are two of the important Christmas values are not exclusive to Christians. Good will toward all and peace on earth are also Jewish values and Muslim values and Hindu values and Buddhist values. All the great religions of the world teach these ideals. But let’s be honest we human beings have a hard time actualizing these two!
When there are nasty voices like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins who angrily rant that religion is the cause of war and strife they miss the profound point. They miss the point that religion is a system to promote higher human ideals of how we ought to be. The problem isn’t really religion it is the human beings who try to live out the ideals. Are there issues? YOU BET! Are there sociological and historically bound ideas that need to be updated in the realm of religious ideals -ABSOLUTELY!
That is why I have a progressive view toward religion and our changing world. That is why I understand the Torah to be ever evolving and growing just like humanity. And as we seek to better understand our world and ourselves religion must adapt to those newer realities.
Imagine if these two principles guided our Senators and Representatives. The soldiers would come home. And there would be equality for all. Immigrants wouldn’t be seen as the other. And perhaps more might get done in Congress because they Senators and Representatives might assume good will with each other. Yes that is a different reality.
Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All are beautiful ideals that religion teaches. And we all ought to strive for these each and every day not only at Christmas time.
3 thoughts on “Peace on Earth Good Will Toward All”
In my humble opinion, Christopher Hitchens is a rabid anti-Semite. Anti-Semitism always has been prevalent in the British Ruling class. Hitchens, who was educated at the Leys School, in Cambridge, and then later at Balliol College, Oxford, is typical of the British Ruling class: unapologetically anti-Semitic behind closed doors while purporting to loathe any form of anti-Semitism in public. I should know — I personally experienced the two-faced nature of the British Ruling class when I went to school at Cambridge University. And don’t just take my word: released government papers have revealed that during World War II the British Ruling class who served at the highest echelons of government blocked a secret American plan to save thousands of Jews from Nazi concentration camps by exchanging them for expatriate German nationals in Latin America. Anthony Eden, then the Foreign Secretary (who later became Prime Minister), rejected the 1944 proposal to repatriate Germans in return for the freedom of Jews with South American passports held in Nazi-controlled Europe, because he was concerned that the freed Jews would emigrate directly to Palestine. And Eden had placed limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine during the apex of the Holocaust against the Jews in Europe. Likewise, Hitchens is a typical byproduct of longstanding British Upper class values and beliefs. Hitchens has described Zionism as being based on “the initial demagogic lie (actually two lies) that a land without a people needs a people without a land,” and he went even further saying “Zionism is a form of Bourgeoisie Nationalism.” While Hitchens describes himself as an “anti-theist” who believes that the concept of God or a Supreme Being is a totalitarian belief that destroys individual freedom, his battle against religion always has included his long-running war against the Jews.