In his weekly column (which runs first in Salon and will run Sunday in the Star Tribune), our own Old Scout, the cranky and lovable Garrison Keillor, has suggested that Christmas is best left to Christians and that everyone else can step out of the way.

"Christmas is a Christian holiday -- if you're not in the club, then buzz off," he writes. "Celebrate Yule instead or dance around in druid robes for the solstice. Go light a big log, go wassailing and falalaing until you fall down, eat figgy pudding until you puke, but don't mess with the Messiah."

But the line that has the world of Twitter and Facebook aflame with comments is this one: "And all those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck. Did one of our guys write 'Grab your loafers, come along if you wanna, and we'll blow that shofar for Rosh Hashanah'? No, we didn't."

Did Garrison really just disparage Jews? The world of Twitter seems eager to give him the benefit of the doubt, but uncertain if it should.

"Whoa, Irving Berlin Hate alert! Just a toe shy of anti-Semitic. Maybe Garrison Keillor's kidding," wrote one Tweeter.

 "Wow Garrison Keillor, bitter much?" read another.

"Ugly. Just ugly," said another.

" I never liked Garrison Keillor and he's just given me one more anti-Semitic reason not to," said someone else.

But others found his column funny and defended him. "What if Garrison Keillor was just kidding? Good for him, I say," wrote one Twitterer. 

"I'm going with the 'he was trying to be funny' angle on Garrison Keillor.," said another. "Can't manufacture much outrage."

It's a little harder for us to reach Mr. Keillor than it used to be, ever since he blocked us on Facebook, but we do have an e-mail in to him. We'll let you know if he responds.

In the meantime, the list of Tweets is growing quickly. Go to twitter and do a search on Garrison Keillor.

Meanwhile, what do you think? Was the Old Scout being funny? Or did he go too far?

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