There are times when some Jews find “Judeo-Christian” a useful term because it welds the much smaller Jewish population into a unity with the majority Christian culture but when incentives change so that it becomes more important to be aggrieved and separate, then Jews hate the term “Judeo-Christian.”
My view is that the term is sometimes useful to describe a common culture where Jews and Christians generally get along and look at the world similarly. It is not ever a correct theological term but few Jews care about theology.
I find that when I want something from someone, I look for things we have in common. When I hate someone, I look for ways we are different. There are days when I want to get close to the very same person that on other days, I want to distance myself from. For example, I have been overcome at times by intense longings for chubby chicks, and at other times my longings make me ashamed and I distance myself from the zaftig, such as after they have satisfied my most pressing needs and my mind is now clear to move on to the satisfaction of my other instincts, such as social approval (zaftig GFs are bad for this).
Senator Rubio is feeling blue and philosophical:
The debate after #Parkland reminds us We The People don’t really like each other very much.We smear those who refuse to agree with us.We claim a Judea-Christian heritage but celebrate arrogance & boasting. & worst of all we have infected the next generation with the same disease
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 28, 2018
MY JEWISH HERITAGE TEACHES THAT WE DO EVERYTHING IN OUR POWER TO SAVE LIVES.
Get my tradition out of your mouth while you’re taking that blood money. https://t.co/TwolPFavYl
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) February 28, 2018
Reading the bio of Rabbi Ruttenberg, a Religious Studies major at Brown, is exhausting. I had this naive assumption that being a rabbi was the last of the pleasant sinecures for non-self-starters, like being a curate in an old English novel. But intense Tiger Daughters like Ruttenberg are taking over the rabbi racket too, just like all the other SJW jobs.
Anyway, Marco’s rather affecting lament merely reminds Rabbi Ruttenberg that gentiles using the phrase “Judeo-Christian” just drives her crazy with anti-Christian animus:
This might be a good time to note that “Judeo-Christian” is not a thing and we Jews would like you to stop conflating our tradition with your American Christianity.
— Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (@TheRaDR) February 28, 2018
I looked up the use of the term “Judeo-Christian” on nGram (along with its rival “Angl0-American”):
“Judeo-Christian” is occasionally used in the 19th Century, such as by Nietzsche as a term of abuse, but it really takes off in the nice, tolerant American late 1940s as a term of inclusion.
The Coen Brothers’ most recent movie, Hail, Caesar! about a movie studio making a Biblical epic around 1950 has a scene in which the studio’s Irish Catholic fixer (Josh Brolin), whose main job is networking with Catholic cops to let movie stars off on drunk driving charges, hosts a meeting with representatives of Los Angeles’s four major religions to get their approval of a Bible movie. What’s striking is how much less than maximally satirical the Coens are in this scene: you get the impression that Coens basically are impressed with the 1950 clerics’ characteristic commitment to “Judeo-Christian” ecumenical goodwill and the filmmakers’ outreach to organized religion.
The naked expression of anti-gentile animus that motivates Rabbi Ruttenberg would have been considered in bad taste in 1950. But that era of goodwill and self-restraint appears to be slowly ending.
* Rabbi Danya, that Frappuccino you had while tweeting in perfect emotionalese cost you more than a donation to save a third world child’s life would have.
The subject of ethics is complicated. If it isn’t complicated then it isn’t an ethical problem. That’s why a tendency to hysteria and moral leadership should never be mixed.
Wouldn’t you be better off in an actually caring role? One where your need for emotional and compassionate validation, which in your heart or hearts you know is your real motive for this outburst, isn’t confused with a real world set of policy prescriptions or call to action?
Your father would take you no less nor more seriously.
* The rabinette is a not particularly attractive female. I think it would be interesting to find a correlation between physical ugliness (esp. female) & the level of frustration and unpleasantness …
* This might be a good time to note that “Judeo-Christian” is not a thing and we Jews would like you to stop conflating our tradition with your American Christianity.
* And don’t you ever mention Christmas without mentioning Hannukah.
And never mention that it used to be a pretty minor festival until we got tired of eating Chinese food on Christmas Day, and decided it deserved equal billing.
Also, we reserve the right to conflate our tradition with Christianity whenever we choose, so that everyone is made to understand that the Ashkenazim have been a big part of the Western tradition and the Enlightenment. Maybe even the central part, since the Enlightenment. Except when we don’t want to be under the ̶k̶l̶i̶e̶g̶ ̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ spotlight. Because that sometimes feels like anti-Semitism. Because it is.
Anyway, don’t include us in your stinkin’ tradition. We’ll do that ourselves.
* This is really an astonishing, not to mention unexpected, development. It was only a few years ago that some Southern Republican politician was admonished for omitting the obligatory “Judeo” from an off-the-cuff public remark about the foundations of the American regime.
The tribunes of the right went into a panic over it, lest the bald assertion of a merely “Christian” heritage offend. To his credit the pol stuck to his guns, unapologetically affirming that he had said precisely what he had meant. (I can’t recall who this was, but I don’t expect he has advanced much in the party since then.)
Now we see an aggressive rebuke of Christians—and Steve is right to call it a hateful one—from the Judeo-Left, demanding the de-coupling of that tired but polite coinage. It says to me that something really has changed—and not primarily in religious terms. The insistence on “Judeo-Christian” started out as a gesture of benign inclusion on the part of the powerful towards the weaker. It persisted (as shown in the story above) because the once-powerful feared the unraveling of a necessary alliance with, and reprisal from, a rising and influential counter-power.
But now it looks like the power relation has been completely inverted—at least in the thoughts of Rabbi Ruttenberg (herself an anointed rising star of the prevailing power, as her CV shows). She feels so secure in the invincibility of her power that she sees no further use for the alliance, expresses no residual gratitude for past and present generosity, and feels free to dump, and dump on, the Christian part of Judeo-Christian altogether.
Worst of all, she chooses to flaunt her power against the weakest of potential opponents, when the latter is expressing his personal fragility. What a nasty bully. If the word still had any meaning she’d be a genuine bigot. Anyway, folks, the knives are really out.
* As long as Christians recognize the revelations of the Old Testament and (on a human level) the Jewish origins of Christ and the Church, it seems to me that Judeo-Christian is “a thing” and the opposition of some Jews, even rabbis, to the term shouldn’t deter my use of it. It’s possible to over-emphasize the Old Testament elements, but I think that’s more of a problem with some Protestant denominations than with the Catholic Church.
* You are exactly right about how women are taking over all of the social justice warrior rackets. But this has been going on for a long time in Christianity.
The father of one of my best friends is a minister in the United Church of Christ. This guy is definitely a Democrat, but almost all of his time is centered on serving the people in his congregation. He is an exemplary human being in many respects.
His wife, on the other hand, is an intense social justice warrior. She marched with Martin Luther King in the 1960s, the whole 9 yards. At some point in the 1980s, she decided that she would have more authority if she also became a minister. She did so, and to my knowledge never did one whit of pastoral care of a congregation. Everything she did was politically related.
Fifteen years ago, I went to their daughter’s ordination ceremony. Over the course of this two hour long event, three or four senior members of her Divinity school took the podium, and acerbically reminded her that being an ordained minister means talking about Jesus and being a pastor to a congregation, not doing solely political work. Everyone laughed, because everyone knew that the only reason she became a minister was so she could engage in social justice warrior activities. As far as I know, she has no interest whatsoever in caring for the needs of a congregation or even talking about religious matters.
In the last church that my wife and I attended, the pastor was a very interesting and deeply involved guy who spent a lot of his time attending to the needs of his flock. However, he moved to another congregation, and the woman who took over as the pastor for this church is, guess what, an intense social justice warrior. Even my wife cannot stand this woman, and we left.
* For those who are rooting for an end to Judaism, this is how it happens. It’s men and women together who uphold religious traditions, and when women drop their obligations it’s over.
I know a number of Jewish men whose wives divorced them, taking the children and most of the money, and you cannot imagine their consternation and dismay. Do you think their sons are going to sit still and be good Jewish husbands?
5778 years is a long run, but the end is in sight for Judaism, and it is the women who will bring it down. Feminism and leftism are more potent forces than any of us imagine.
* She’s not at her best here. Purim tends to bring out the very worst in a Jew.
The three high holy revenge-holidays of Judaism, Hanukah, Passover, and Purim, are all repulsive in their own ways, but there’s something especially disgusting about the the fiction of Purim, which Bibi now uses to sell war against Iran. No doubt this repellent creature is fully on board with that agenda and quite happy to have “American Christians” do the fighting and dying for Eretz Israel.
As an aside, I was always under the impression that the popularization of “Judeo-Christian” was, like “Jesus the Jew” a largely Jewish meme with the intention of showing how much Christianity “owes” to Judaism and Jews.
I suppose that, like the Hanukah bush, that bit of faux-assimilationist propaganda has served its purpose and now there is no longer any reason for the Jew to cloak his fundamental hatred of Christianity and Christians.
So who did promote the term starting in the 1950s–suicidal, genteel WASP academics on their way to oblivion or conniving Jews looking to subvert institutional Christianity?
* [Lilith] It seems odd to name an ostensibly religious Jewish magazine after a demon.
* Most jews I know happily go along with the “Judeo-Christian” thing–it made US support for Israel that much more solid–but this next generation see no benefit as Christianity loses its heft in the 21st century. As things stand, “Judeo-Christian” is neither good nor bad for the jews, but I’d be selling it short in the decades ahead. Why be affiliated with something so obviously in decline?
And it really is an idiot expression–the two religious are ridiculously different in their doctrinal foundations.
More important, what about the intellectual and cultural foundations of Western civilization is jewish? I prefer “Hellenic-Christian.” That much better captures the individualistic striving and curiosity of the West.
* Ironic how the rabbi’s opinion appears to align with the opinion of Joe Sobran, who wrote the following:
“Clearly, it is futile for the Church to try to mollify a hatred so ancient and so deep as the Jewish animus against Christianity. Despite all the sentimental rhetoric to the contrary — such as pious nonsense about “the Judaeo-Christian tradition” — Judaism and Christianity are radically opposed over the most important thing of all: Jesus Christ, who commands us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and to love our enemies, which does not mean mistaking them for friends.”
* She looks sort of like a young Ruth Bader Ginsburg and soon she will look like an old Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
* When the Jewish brand was down (think the Rosenbergs), it appears they were fine w/ the conflation, but now that “Christian” is considered declasse, white and downscale, it’s time for the Rabbi and her peeps to begin the disassociation procedure, as it has served her people for what it was supposed to do.
* Self-restraint for Jews would be anti-semitic, self-hate. They can say whatever they want, cross any boundary at least as long as it serves them. No Lenny Bruce to call out Jewish establishment. “Spotlight” with Jew investigating misdeeds in Catholic community is good. Catholic investigating misdeeds in Jewish community would be anti-semitic.
* Her attitude is enlightening. “Judeo-Christian” is a polite fiction. The kind of pleasant, getting-along cultural thing that comes from Euro-gentile high trust societies. Jews had essentially nothing to do with America’s creation or why America became a huge successful, highly prosperous nation. But they showed up, and so politicians found a polite phrase to include them in a nod to our Christian values.
And Rabbi Ruttenberg hates it.
Not “weird” i guess, because people believe what suits these interests and self-conception, but i still find odd this tikkun-olamy self-conception about “Jewish” values as opposed to Christian ones.
Obvious as the sky is blue, is that Christianity is the a universalized God-loves-us-and-be-nice offshoot of Judaism. This Christian universaility and “be nice” message had at least something to do with why Europeans were able to develop these very nice, “everyone’s on board”, high trust nation states.
In contrast Judaism, is a much more primitive God-is-on-our-side-gave-us-this-patch-and-helps-us-smite-our-enemies tribal religion, of which there must have been hundreds back in the day. It’s no doubt accreted all sorts of stuff over the ages. But it really stands out only in that it has been so successfully tribal in resisting universalized religions–like Christianity–that Jews still exist down to this day, while pretty much all the other tribes that worshiped their particular tribal god were swept away. Of course, if you’re a Jew you can plausibly argue that just shows Jews are indeed the chosen people with God on their side. Fine.
But i find this Jewish preening about the superiority of the humanizing, universal, world-healing values of their obviously tribal religion compared to actually inclusive/universal Christianity–which helped build high-trust, super-pleasant European civilization–rather ridiculous.
* Her looks range from goblin to raptor. Mostly goblin. Although in some youthful shots, when she smiles brightly, I’ll concede “fresh-faced goblin.”
Now some gentle souls here on Unz may rush in and say, “Hey now, why are you judging her appearance? Uncouth!” Here’s why: Understanding comparative human aesthetics is an important part of sussing out why someone, or some people, have certain views—from the personal to the global. A lot of resentment/envy on an elementary biological level manifests in endless cries of “Privilege! Supremacy!”
* Since most Jews prefer Muslims over Evangelicals, Judeo-Islamic is closer to the mark.
But the real alliance is Judeo-Homo-Afro.
Judeo-Christian was useful to Jews long ago when christian power and identity were crucial factors in America. Christianity is now dead.
It’s Judeo-Diversity alliance.
Sure, there is a link between Judaism and Christianity, but there is also a break. It’s like Anglo and American. America developed as continuation of Anglos but there was also separation.
Christianity, as developed in the West, is Christo-Pagan or at least Euro-Christian, which is different from Arab-Christian and Afro-Christian.
Some say culture is product of race, but it’s closer to the truth to say culture is molded by race.
Consider how whites and blacks practice the same religion of Christianity differently.
Consider how blacks took white music and made it into black music and how whites took black music and made it in to white music.
So, regardless of the culture’s origins, it is reshaped by racial tendencies of those who adopt them. This is why Japanese Buddhism is different from the original in India. Different races digest even the same culture differently.
* I’ve noticed that women, being removed from men’s games, have only a dim understanding of the pecking order or the rules that determine status. And likewise women’s pecking order is somewhat of a mystery to men.
Anyway, this woman senses the power shift and has decided to run with it, but she has outrun her blockers, so to speak, if she really wants to pit Jewish men against Gentiles. In literature anyway, women are notorious for starting fights between men. She is either cluelessly or maliciously making prickly remarks to stir things up. However, if push came to shove, her side would lose so she should probably put a sock in it.
This is what Hegel was saying; remarks like hers are not merely statements of fact, they are actively oppositional and they will engender opposition. An Engineer would say that her statements x is this, y is that are not merely expressions or equations of scalar quantities but are vectors. They have magnitude and direction. The are barbed arrows.
* The term Judeo-Christian seems primarily confined to the United States.
It has never been popular in Europe. In any case, in Religious Studies
“Judeo-Christian” is being slowly replaced by “Abrahamic,” as in “Abrahamic
Religions,” referring to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Theologically speaking, I’ve always found the term Judeo-Christian to be
absurd, an oxymoron of sorts, as in many ways, although not all, Christianity
is practically the opposite of Judaism. For example,
1. In Judaism, unlike in Christianity, there is basically no concept of Original
Sin, and therefore there is no need for a Redeemer. Judaism shares this view
2. Ben-Gurion famously said, “We Jews don’t believe in hell – to us hell is
mediocrity.” Hence, culturally speaking, the pursuit of wealth, power, fame,
influence, and sexual pleasure is emphasized much more, especially among
secular Jews, than among Christians. There is a saying, “Judaism makes it
much easier to live, and Christianity to die.” In other words, Judaism
in practice emphasizes the expansion of the ego, Christianity – transcendence
of the ego.
3. Judaism says “Eye for an eye” whereas Christianity tells us to “turn the
other cheek.” As Gandhi said, “Eye for an eye means that soon we’ll all be blind.”
While those statements are obviously metaphors, there is no question that the
concept of forgiveness is much more developed in Christianity than in Judaism.
In contrast to “Love your enemies,” I was surprised that in Judaism one is
sometimes morally required to abide by the rule, “Hate your enemies.”
This was explained by a learned rabbi years ago in an article in “First Things,”
a highbrow Catholic monthly;
4. Judaism can be summarized as “It’s the deed, not the creed,” whereas
Christianity, esp. in the Protestant version, as “It’s the creed, not the deed.”
Catholicism, with its rejection of Sola Scriptura and Sola Fide, is in this sense
ca bit closer to Judaism;
5. In Christianity God is very close. We are encouraged to call Him Father, even
Daddy, as Jesus did. Theosis or deification is a venerable tradition in Christian
theology. In Judaism God (or G-d) is very distant, in fact totally other. Judaism
in this sense is similar to Islam.
In fact, Judaism, esp. Orthodox Judaism, is in practice much closer to Islam than to
Christianity. Both religions require circumcision (circumcision is virtually unknown
in Europe, and declining in the U.S.), have similar dietary laws, both are sex-positive,
unlike Christianity which values chastity, both are ritualistic, etc. It would make
more sense to speak of the Judeo-Islamic value system than the Judeo-Christian one.
In Judaism, esp. Reform Judaism, a rabbi (literally, a teacher), is the
equivalent of a college professor. Hence rabbis make a lot more money
than Protestant ministers or Catholic priests (although Catholic priests
typically get free lodging and free food, and at least in the U.S., typically
the use of a car). In consequence, the membership fees at a Jewish temple
are often very high. As a result, in contrast to Christianity, relatively few
Jews belong to a temple compared to the membership numbers at Protestant
congregations or Catholic parishes, where membership is technically free
although donations are collected and tithing is sometimes encouraged.
* We men in the West are so enlightened that we’ve created a wide variety of make work jobs for professional bitching.
* My take is Jews of the 40s, 50s and early 60s deeply desired to become Americans. You can see this with their obsession with Folk and Blues music. Bob Dylan is the archetype of this phenomena. Then there was the Phillip Roth’s and Joseph Heller’s that were practicing Hawthorne like ‘self awareness’ literature with a big smear of Freudian explanation. Somewhere in the late 80 Jews decided they preferred to be masters of the universe instead of Americans. This Jewish supremacy now pervades a vast swath of Jewish thinking. They no longer wish to be American, they wish to be masters.
* “We are not hyphenated Jews; we are Jews with no qualifications or reservations. We are simply aliens; we are a foreign people in your midst, and we emphasize, we wish to stay that way. There is a wide gap between you and us, so wide that no bridge can be laid across it. Your spirit is alien to us; your myths, legends, habits, customs, traditions and national heritage, your religious and national shrines, your Sundays and holidays…They are all alien to us.”
– Dr. Jacob Klatzkin, Krisis und Entscheidung im Judentum: der Probleme des modernen Judentums (Berlin: Judischer Verlag, 1921).
* Female pastors are heretical, and churches and synagogues have signed their death warrants by employing them. Who wants to go to church and be hectored by an angry woman?
* Judeo-Christian was an attempt at being nice and inclusive. Jews were not outside of the American tradition like Buddhists or Mohammedans or Hindus but were part of it.
Of course devout religious believers on both sides always rejected this because Orthodox Judaism is not very much like devout Catholicism. Even though they share some scriptures, the traditional Christian view of what they call the Old Testament is that it was all foreshadowing of the coming of Jesus. “Judeo-Christian” was rejected from the right, especially the Catholic right which traditionally viewed Jews as “the enemy” who killed Jesus and whose stubborn refusal to accept the new religion was an affront. Christianity is like the rebellious teenager who rejects his parents’ values and so to be conflated with them is galling – he is NOTHING like them (the narcissism of small differences). Whenever “Judeo-Christian” got mentioned around here there were always a few from the Christian right to pounce on it and say that it doesn’t exist – Judaism and Christianity are apples and oranges.
But for mainstream (Leftist) clerics it was pretty palatable. Since leftist Episcopal clerics and leftist Jewish clerics all believe in “social justice” more than they actually believe in that old time religion stuff, it was a comfortable fit. Until maybe last week, mainstream (Leftist) Reform Rabbi types were totally down with “Judeo-Christian”. When our local Reform synagogue was being renovated, the services were moved to a nearby Presbyterian church (ideal setup because the holy days don’t overlap – I’m surprised that there are not more permanent setups like this – you could cut your fixed costs in half) and our rabbi and the Presbyterian minister got along swimmingly because they both believe in mostly the same stuff.
But now we have the flight from Judeo-Christian on the (Jewish) left – same idea as the flight from white.
* Jesus committed suicide by cop.
* Another point in favor of the Catholic Church. Women may testify to their faith, as Sts. Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, and Therese the Little Flower did; they may instruct the ignorant, as countless teaching Sisters have done, but per St. Paul, they do not preach.
* Jewish-power critic Gilad Atzmon even uses the terms ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Athens’ as cultural polar opposites: in his schema, Jerusalem stands for rigid dogmatism and accepting things based on hierarchical authority, while Athens stands for free, open enquiry and individual interpretation.