At the outdoor mall near our house, they have a grassy area for holiday expression. Every night of Hanukkah they had a big production where they light candles on a ten foot menorah made of seashells and spin a ten foot dreidel made out of the same. Afterwards they hand out free potato pancakes. They taste pretty good if you don’t mind getting elbowed a few times.

But with all the action on the Jewish side of the field, my 19 month old daughter walks by the rabbis, past the giant Christmas tree and toward the diorama that shows the birth of Jesus. I grew up Jewish and my Love Interest, Christian. So I guess our daughter has a choice of which winter holiday to celebrate. Hanukkah has a tough road ahead of it, if its festivities can’t beat out the religious aspects of Christmas. Wait until Santa Claus and his promise of presents, elves and flying reindeer come into play.

Our daughter did enjoy the potato pancakes, but she can’t get enough of the donkey, wise men, and especially the little plaster Jesus. She laughs and pokes at Jesus’ toes. For a second I think of stopping her, but then I remember the Bible saying something about not worshiping false idols. Since I’m pretty sure the replica isn’t possessed by any member of the holy trinity I let her play. But since I can’t be 100% sure, maybe I should stop her?

I have the same level of certainty about religion in general. The stuff religions throw out there from Judaism to Christianity to Islam to Mormon to Scientology to Hinduism is pretty outlandish stuff. The only thing that gives these religions the benefit of the doubt in my mind is that all these people can’t be wrong, can they? But then again if one of them is right then that means the followers of the rest of them are schmucks.

I guess the safest bet is to follow all religions. Then when you die and one of them is right you’re set.


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