The War on Hanukkah Begins

In Springfield, Massachusetts they had a public ceremony to light a menorah to commemorate the start of Hanukkah and a Christian city councilman decided that would be the appropriate time to recite a well-worn cliche and declare that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

Bud Williams, city councilor in Springfield, Mass., stood in the court square earlier this week and participated in a holiday tradition.

“Jesus is the reason for the season,” Williams said at a Tuesday ceremony,according to MassLive.com.

His remarks wouldn’t really be notable, except that Williams was speaking at a menorah lighting ceremony, to mark the beginning of Hanukkah.

“I thought it added something to the service, it didn’t take away,” Williams, who is not Jewish, told MassLive.com on Tuesday night.

And the War on Hanukkah begins. This is clearly a job for the Hebrew Hammer:

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Alverant

    What arrogance and ignorance. Sadly this is pretty common for the pro-“Christmas MUST get top billing” types. I wonder how he’d feel about someone explaining how Earth’s tilt is the actual reason for the season and how christianity invented Christmas.

  • John Pieret

    “I thought it added something to the service, it didn’t take away,” Williams said Tuesday night.

    The city councilor said he referenced Jesus Christ, whose birth is celebrated every Dec. 25 by Christians worldwide but not by Jews, after participants in the ceremony mentioned “the bright light” of 2,000 years ago – an allusion to Christ, according to Williams.

    “They said it,” Williams said.

    The councilor said his remark wasn’t meant as an expression of religious superiority or “dominance,” but rather as a simple reminder about the “reason for the season.”

    “Jesus was Jewish,” Williams said. “To me, Jesus is the messiah … I thought I was being very positive.”

    Williams said some people thanked him for his remarks. “A couple of the rabbis walked up to me and said, ‘Great comments, Mr. Williams.’ “

    http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/springfield_city_councilor_bud_7.html#incart_m-rpt-1

    Yeah, I believe that! I’m sure rabbis thought bringing up Jesus at a ceremony to celebrate the participation of Jewish people in the community was very positive. And any mention of “a bright light”at a celebration of the Festival of Lights naturally was referring to Jesus. It sure wasn’t referring to Williams …

  • Mobius

    And there’s no badass Santa Claus to save the holiday.

  • dysomniak “They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!”

    It’s not even a high holiday.

  • D. C. Sessions

    Considering the historical roots of the holiday [1], the comment was remarkably apt — but probably not in the way he intended it.

    [1] Look it up — the Maccabean revolt was in part due to the Greeks imposing their religion on the Jews, including using the Temple for Greek religious rituals. The “miracle” of Hanukka was all about getting out from under a foreign religious domination!

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    @D. C. Sessions #5 – Yup. Hanukkah marks the event when People A rose up en masse and slaughtered People B because People B were trying to force their religion, culture and values onto People A. The real miracle was not the oil, but the fact that they succeeded against a very powerful, well entrenched enemy.

    Definitely an observance to make note of.

  • D. C. Sessions

    It’s not even a high holiday.

    Certainly not in comparison to Purim.

  • raven

    This guy Bud Williams just seemed tacky and classless to me, as well as not very bright.

    Insulting people’s religion in public during one of their religiously oriented events.

    Oh well. Xians never, ever miss a chance to demonstrate the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of their religion. As far as many people are concerned, this was an own goal in the War on Xmas. Thanks Bud Williams.

    I can’t wait to see what he will say on a Moslem holiday.

  • Artor

    A couple of the rabbis walked up to me and said, ‘Great comments, Mr. Williams.’

    In other news, Bud Williams doesn’t get sarcasm. “Great comments, Mr. Williams, but maybe you could have mentioned how our Matzah tastes great with the Xian baby’s blood flavoring.”

  • colnago80

    Hey, Yeshua ben Yusef of Nazareth celebrated Hanukkah.

  • Sastra

    Alverrant #1 wrote:

    … and how christianity invented Christmas.

    As has been note here and elsewhere time and again, Christianity did not invent “Christmas” as a winter holiday on the 25th of December with trees and Santa and presents and mistletoe and family, friends, food, and giving to charity. All those aspects have their roots in various pagan ceremonies, ancient customs, and human nature in general. Christmas itself has had many names and is now secular at the core. It is the Christians who have attempted and are attempting to co-opt the celebration and turn it into Jesus’ birthday exclusively. Like Grinches, they want to steal and horde it for themselves.

    Who gives a crap what it’s called? Names are not magic. We do not all become Catholic when we send chocolates wrapped in Cupid paper on Saint Valentine’s Day.

    Christianity invented Christianity. They invented ‘Jesus.’ They didn’t invent Christmas.

    Inserting Jesus into a specific sectarian Jewish ceremony was clueless and tasteless at best. Screw this guy. But I do hope that in time a cheerful “Merry Christmas” will have lost its religious implications and turned into an all-purpose greeting perfectly appropriate for a Hanukkah celebration. Christmas for everyone.

    Kick Christ out of Christmas. Marginalize it till “the birth of Jesus” becomes the answer to a trivia question. In my opinion this is not only truer to the humanist spirit of Christmas, it’s more likely to work towards good goals than “Christmas is for Christians.”

  • sugarfrosted

    It’s very interesting that Christians celebrate the birth of the son of the illegitimate son of a Roman soldier and expect Jews to go along with it.

    (“Yoshke Pantera” was one of the nicknames that Yiddish speakers gave to Jesus, Tiberius Iulius Abdes Pantera being the alledged real father of Jesus (Yoshke is a diminutive of Yeshua the Hebree name of Jesus.) I’m sure they’d totally be on board with “Jesus is the reason for the season.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiberius_Iulius_Abdes_Pantera#Jewish_usage_in_the_Middle_Ages

  • busterggi

    Williams said some people thanked him for his remarks. “A couple of the rabbis walked up to me and said, ‘Great comments, Mr. Williams.’ “

    Someone needs a new sarcasm meter for Christmas.

  • Karen Hardin

    It isn’t eve Christmas yet. Does Williams light Advent candles?

  • petemoulton

    I’m pretty sure Williams’ parents don’t let him have matches.

  • http://www.pandasthumb.org Area Man

    The councilor said his remark wasn’t meant as an expression of religious superiority or “dominance,” but rather as a simple reminder about the “reason for the season.”

    I wasn’t saying that our religion is dominant to theirs. I was just saying that when it comes to religious celebrations, ours is the dominant one.

  • Karen Hardin

    @ petemoulton

    :)

  • thebookofdave

    Not to interrupt your party, but don’t forget we’re here to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. You can go back and play with your lights and tops when we’re through.

  • Freodin

    Well, if it is admissable for satanists to place their displays next to some christian iconory… why not christian speaches at jewish festivals? Equal rights for everyone!

  • jonathangray

    Hey, come come all y’all atheists aren’t getting all butthurt about a public religious ceremony that clearly violates the Wall of Separation?

  • Acolyte of Sagan

    raven says

    December 21, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    This guy Bud Williams just seemed tacky and classless to me, as well as not very bright.

    Insulting people’s religion in public during one of their religiously oriented events.

    There’s nowt wrong with that part of the story. Doing just that is one of my favourite pastimes.

    ‘Tacky and classless’ would have been him saying “Jesus – and you might know the name, he’s the one you lot had crucified – is the reason for the season.”