December 24, 2004

Merry _________

As a Jew, a liberal, a lover of the Constitution, and a loather of Fox News, I wish to declare that the word “Christmas” does not faze, throw, offend, upset, or disconcert me in the slightest.

When I was in a 90% Jewish public elementary school in the Bronx, we learned Christmas carols at this time of year. The songs were pretty, and it was a way of finding out about another culture, one that was all around us and well worth finding out about.

On the shopping street of our 90% Jewish neighborhood, the lampposts and subway girders were strung with lights, Santas, and snowmen, to attract customers.

If anyone had suggested establishing Christianity as the official religion of our country, we would have been outraged. But the fact that we lived in a predominantly Christian country was no outrage.

Many Sunday mornings I woke to the ringing of bells from the Catholic church across the parkway. It sounded nicer than the El going by every five minutes. And I took Driver’s Ed at a Catholic girls’ school, Mother Cabrini High—which is another story.