Is Dickens' A Christmas Carol Anti-Semitic, Christian Propaganda?

Dec 20, 2010 at 8:00 am
Ebenezer Scrooge: Brought to you by the same author who created the notoriously cringe-worthy Jewish stereotype, Fagin.
Ebenezer Scrooge: Brought to you by the same author who created the notoriously cringe-worthy Jewish stereotype, Fagin.

Well, it's that time of year again. Christmas. We all know what that means. Twenty-four hour marathons of A Christmas Story on TBS. Gaudy lights tacked onto just about every house in the suburbs. Overcrowded stores and that annual homage to Charlie Brown's puny little tree.

Oh, and then there's our favorite: Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

But are we the only ones who've noticed that this widely-accepted, celebrated piece of literature is actually wildly anti-Semitic?

Seriously. Stop huffing and puffing. Stop talking to yourself about how absurd this claim is. Just stop and think about it.

A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge. Ebenezer, who just happens to have a Hebrew name, runs a counting-house. He's generally thought to be a banker of some kind.

Mr Scrooge is notoriously selfish and miserly -- depicted as a greedy, unsympathetic man who's icy-cold and bitter.

"External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty."

A nice guy.

Let us pause to recap. We have a man with a Hebrew name living in London. So it's safe to say he's Jewish and not, say, Welsh.

Next let's consider how Dickens describes Mr. Scrooge's appearance.

"The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice."

Hmm. As it stands, we're dealing with a cold, greedy Jewish banker sporting a pointed nose. Nope, we don't see anything stereotypical about that.

Next, our evil banker is visited by three ghosts of Christmas. Ghosts of Christmas, huh? What else is a ghost but a spirit? And what about the etymology of the word "Christmas"? Oh yeah, it means Christ's Mass. Basically, these ghosts represent the three spirits of Christ's Mass.

Pausing for another recap: A trinity of Christ's spirits visit a mean, greedy Jewish banker to preach redemption and salvation. Starting to see the undertones yet?

In the end, it works like magic. Ebenezeer awakes reborn. He now has the spirit within and rains joy, compassion and charity on his fellow man (and that darling little Gentile, Tiny Tim).

Yep, that's right. The miserly, Jewish banker opens his heart to the Spirit of Christ -- and then, and only then, is he transformed into a loving human being. Scrooge done got himself saved.

And had he not, well, we guess he'd still be an angry, greedy Jew banker destined for the shadows of an eternally-cold grave.

So, this holiday when you sit round the tree toasting eggnog and preparing for that holiday reading -- okay, viewing, since we prefer TV to books now, and there are about ten zillion TV adaptations of this thing -- just remember the hidden message you're sharing with your kiddos on this day of love and grace: Jews are bad people doomed to hell unless they find Christ.

Go Jesus!