BY BILL LEVINSON—
Hanukkah is often called “the Jewish Christmas” because it takes place at about the same time of year. There is in fact a very strong connection between the two holidays; had it not been for the events that Hanukkah commemorates, there would be no Christmas. Hanukkah is about standing up to those who menace one’s home, family, or way of life as opposed to singing Kumbaya with them.
We have often pointed out that science fiction and fantasy societies are based on real human societies, and the one in Battlestar Galactica is no exception. We suspect that it is an alternate history in which Michael Lerner of Tikkun.org and Eric Yoffie of the United “American” “Hebrew” Congregations (now the Union for “Reform Judaism”) were in charge of the Jewish people when the Greeks demanded that the Jews worship the Greek idols. As stated by Yoffie at the Million Mom March rally in 2000,
We’re going to find out who’s getting NRA funds, and benefiting from NRA ads, and we’re going to vote for the other guy. The American people, I believe, are ready for a leader who will take on the fanatics and support sensible gun control. Controlling guns is not only a political matter, it is a solemn religious obligation. Our gun-flooded society has turned weapons into idols, and the worship of idols must be recognized for what it is-blasphemy.
With “Jewish” leadership like this, of course, the Maccabees (who would probably have been jailed by the Yoffie-led Hebrews for owning unlicensed and unregistered swords) would have lost the war, and the ex-Jews would then have ended up worshiping genuine honest-to-the-gods graven images. The result would have been a space-faring civilization like that in Battlestar Galactica, where spaceship pilots carry little Greek idols to which they pray on a regular basis. Jesus would then have been an idol-worshiper like everyone else, and the Christian religion would have never existed.
Hanukkah is therefore about defending one’s home, family, and country: a concept totally repugnant to the Kumbaya-singers. The war between the Maccabees and the Greeks was only the first in which Jews had to fight for their survival.
Two thousand or so years later, Minutemen used privately-owned firearms in the American War of Independence to create a country with freedom of religion. Many Jews emigrated from Europe and came to America so they could practice Judaism without having to worry about pogroms by Inquisitions, Cossacks, and the like.
In 1943, Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto revolted against the Nazis. “The first armed resistance occurred when a 17- year-old named Emily Landau flung a grenade into a cluster of SS men from a rooftop on Gesia Street, killing or wounding a dozen of them. The SS promptly assaulted the building with submachine guns blazing, only to be met by a volley of return fire that felled four or five Germans and drove the rest back in disorder. Emily Landau was bending down to recover a pistol from a slain SS officer when she was struck by a bullet fired by a German rifleman covering his comrades’ retreat. The first to fight, she was also the first to die” (Jon Guttmann, “Genocide Delayed”).
In 1947, Jews founded the Nation of Israel in the face of immense hardships. Its Arab neighbors invaded so the “idolators and fanatics” fought back desperately with whatever firearms they could buy, beg, borrow, or steal. If it had been up to Yoffie and the Union of “American” “Hebrew” Congregations, the Arabs would have overrun the Jews and thrown them into the sea. (Recommended viewing: “Cast a Giant Shadow” with Kirk Douglas as Col. Mickey Marcus.)
Physical cowardice and elitism are the elephants in the gun controllers’ living room, the ones that everyone knows about but no one wants to acknowledge. Ownership of a weapon requires the implicit acceptance of the idea that one may have to fight and possibly die to protect oneself or those for whose safety one is responsible: an idea that is repugnant to the typical gun control supporter or Kumbaya-singer (and the two usually go hand in hand).
This position is reinforced by the fact that some societies (e.g. feudal Japan, Polish Commonwealth) actually required their gentry to carry or at least own weapons, as an explicit symbol of their responsibility to defend that society. We therefore recommend that the gun control movement replace its handgun with a red line through it with a white feather. We recommend, in fact, that gun registration and confiscation advocates send one another white feathers by way of greeting, perhaps on September 30 (the anniversary of Neville Chamberlain’s Munich agreement with Adolf Hitler).
There is meanwhile a bumper sticker that says, “Free men own weapons, slaves don’t.” It would be more precise to say, “Slaves are ISSUED weapons, free people OWN them.” Many countries with strict gun control laws conscript their subjects into their armies, where they are issued weapons, and this practice dates to antiquity. The ancient Greeks employed Scythian slaves as police, whose tasks included rounding up negligent citizens who failed to show up for a public vote. Turkish Janissaries were the property of the state, albeit sufficiently privileged that many parents hoped their sons would be taken to serve as Janissaries. The Greek citizen, on the other hand, was not only permitted to own weapons but was in fact expected to show up armed with his own weapons during time of war. Service as a hoplite or armored infantryman was therefore the privilege of those who could afford the costly armor; lesser men were slingers, archers, and so on. A Polish szlachta or nobleman was similarly required to present himself along with his personally owned horse and weapons for military service. The government paid only for his lances, which were both expensive and expendable. There was a time in England when it was illegal to practice any sport but archery on Sundays, because the kings wanted a ready supply of longbowmen in case there was a war. The rulers in question obviously did not fear assassination or “voting from the rooftops” because a longbowman was quite capable of taking somebody out at well over 200 paces, and Queen Elizabeth’s speech at Tilbury says emphatically that she did not fear weapons in the hands of her loyal subjects.
These precedents leave little doubt as to the Founding Fathers’ interpretation of the Second Amendment; the right to keep and bear arms was already, and in countries other than the United States, instrumental to a nation’s possession of a strong militia. It emphatically did not refer to a National Guard (an institution that had yet to be invented) whose members were issued weapons. We are truly amazed that four Supreme Court Justices including Ruth Bader Ginsberg had a problem with this elementary concept that is easily understandable by anybody with even a high school mastery of civics and the English language.
The bottom line was stated in a movie about the life of Jesus: “Those who live by the sword kill those who have no swords and go on living.” History’s most vicious conquerors and genocidal maniacs have indeed lived quite well by the sword unless and until they picked a fight with the wrong people, who invariably also had swords as opposed to flowers and peace signs.
Some gun control supporters are, however, former police officers and soldiers; people who are obviously not afraid to bear arms. Their position is apparently that of elitist medieval overlords who wanted a monopoly on the means of violence. There were times when feudal Japan banned commoners from owning even knives. not to control crime, of which there is relatively little in Japanese society, but to prevent the commoners from defending themselves against sword-wielding samurai. Medieval knights similarly hated the crossbow, which allowed a commoner to shoot even the bluest-blooded nobleman from his saddle.
Finally we have elitist cowards like Rosie O’ Donnell and the late Ted Kennedy. Both employed armed bodyguards while demanding strict gun laws for commoners. Elitists want a monopoly on the means of violence, and cowards are unwilling to bear arms themselves. Niccolo Machievelli wrote a long time ago that you cannot pay a man enough to die for you, but O’ Donnell and Kennedy apparently believe otherwise. (We add in 2011 that former Governor Rod Blagojevich of Illinois is now one more convicted felon who doesn’t want honest people to own guns. We add in 2009 that gun control advocate Bobby Rush, D-IL, also is a common criminal and a former member of an organization, the Black Panthers, that advocated the murder of police officers.)
On a larger scale, the Kumbaya-singers want to disarm the world’s democracies to avoid threatening tin-pot dictatorships like North Korea and Iran. The Kumbaya-singers think it’s fine and dandy for those dictatorships to have the means of killing millions of innocent people, because they assume that Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are Kumbaya-singers just like Jimmy Carter and themselves. This is of course a manifestation of their personal cowardice, because they are afraid to even think that Kim Jong Il and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad might actually set off a nuclear weapon in New York City or Los Angeles. As Herman Kahn wrote of nuclear war, refusal to think about the unthinkable makes the unthinkable not only thinkable, but likely.
A large number of Christians are starting to point out that Christmas is not about shopping malls, plastic Santas, and so on. It is past time for Jews to remember what Hanukkah is really about, and it has very little to do with anything the Jewish Left represents.