Philip Roth is often accused of being a self-hating Jew, which I have always found a tad redundant, especially when he’s brilliant and inclusive (while, I grant you, shitty and dismissive) — not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially when it comes to the hegemonic Christians among us who insist cashiers at Target witness to you while you’re trying to check out with your Pretzel M&Ms and deodorant.
Anyway, happy, happy . . . merry, merry.
“I heard myself next praising the greatest Diasporist of all, the father of the new Diasporist movement, Irving Berlin. 'People ask where I got the idea. Well, I got it listening to the radio.' The radio was playing 'Easter Parade' and I thought, But this is Jewish genius on a par with the Ten Commandments. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments and then He gave Irving Berlin 'Easter Parade' and 'White Christmas.' The two holidays that celebrate the divinity of Christ—the divinity that's the very heart of the Jewish rejection of Christianity—and what does Irving Berlin brilliantly do? He de-Christs them both! Easter he turns into a fashion show and Christmas into a holiday about snow. Gone is the gore and the murder of Christ—down with the crucifix and up with the bonnet! He turns their religion into schlock. But nicely! Nicely! So nicely the goyim don’t even know what hit ‘em. They love it. Everybody loves it. … If schlockified Christianity is Christianity cleansed of Jew hatred, then three cheers for schlock. If supplanting Jesus Christ with snow can enable my people to cozy up to Christmas, then let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
—Philip Roth, Operation Shylock, a Confession (1993)