I have been engaged in numerous conversations with a number of Christians on a conservative/GOP social site concerning the religiosity of the United States. One discussion started about why the religious are fearful of science. Of course, the conversation has made some turns and sidetracked to bring the conversation to religion in politics and the religiosity of the United States. As regular readers, you know my position and arguments that the U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation. If you are new, read on.
If you bought and read my book, “A Christian Nation?” (hint-hint, see below), you would know the arguments from both sides of this issue.
But, that is not what this column is about.
Many Christians repeat a line that is just not correct. To quote one of my respondents:
Fundamentally, I am in accord with David, but to address some of the other points raised, there is no problem with someone calling the U.S. a Christian nation, or holding to the view that ours is a Judeo-Christian heritage and that the strength of those values are behind the liberties and success of America. Historically, I think that is all true. (Under score added.)
For example, take the concept of Satan and Hell. It seems that many Christians believe that Jews believe in these two entities. They do not. As I have written:
Satan and Hell are not part of the Jewish traditions or scripture and do not come into play until the Christian era and well past the death of Jesus with both entities borrowed from the Greeks and Romans.
As for the Christian Bible’s use of the Jewish Bible, the Torah, and the accompanying books as its own starting point, this has more to do with the other connecting fact (at least as believed by Christians), that Jesus of Nazareth was born a Jew.
If he existed (an argument made by many non-believers), he was a teacher, sage, maybe a religious leader who urged the keeping of Jewish law and Jewish traditions, including preaching at the markets and in Temples.
There are no known writings by Jesus of Nazareth. There is no mention of him in Roman writings concerning the Jewish revolts of the era. It appears the only evidence of Jesus is through the writings of others, some hundreds of years after his death.
Yes, God may have inspired the writings, but that same God gave man free will and the stories changed and contradict each other and themselves.
Oh yes, they believe in the same God, as do Muslims.
There is no other association between Jewish thought and heritage, and Christian thought and heritage. None. If there where, religion as we know it would look very different. The reason can be dated back to the Roman emperor Constantine.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:17-20, was very specific – Keep the Jewish laws and tradition.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Constantine broke sacred rule that Jesus gave in the Sermon on the Mount and is considered one of the most important statements of religion in the Christian Bible.
It was Constantine, a Saint to some, who forbade the Jewish dietary laws, moved the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday and attempted to eliminate all Jewish teachings including the Talmud, the Book of Laws. It was Constantine who hated the Jews so much that his legacy lives on today.
Why would he change Jesus’ command to maintain the Jewish faith? Because he could.
He became a Christian and claimed that his rising to the seat of Emperor and winning battles was a sign from his new god to rule the empire. He set out to kill the Jewish people, to destroy their way of life and to convert his entire empire to his new religion and to his beliefs on how that religion should be practiced. He had the army to enforce his will.
Those are the so-called Christian practices, contrary to Jesus’ sermon, that are still followed today. It seems to me that most who claim Christianity as their faith are really followers of Constantine.
Before Constantine’s misguided and power hungry takeover of an otherwise fairly peaceful religion, the Jews took extreme issue with the new sect of the Jewish faith, those who were following Jesus and believed that the Messiah had come. The Christians were persecuted. As were Jews by the Romans.
From Bible Study Library, which appears to be a primarily Christian site, there are some common beliefs among Jews concerning the Messiah:
- Oversee the rebuilding of Jerusalem, including the Third Temple, in the event that it has not yet been rebuilt (Michah 4:1 and Ezekiel 40-45)
- Gather the Jewish people from all over the world and bring them home to the Land of Israel (Isaiah 11:12; 27:12-13)
- Influence every individual of every nation to abandon and be ashamed of their former beliefs (or non-beliefs) and acknowledge and serve only the One True God of Israel (Isaiah 11:9-10; 40:5 and Zephaniah 3:9)
- Bring about global peace throughout the world (Isaiah 2:4; 11:5-9 and Michah 4:3-4).
(Though the BSL site claims that the information comes from a Jewish Web site titled www.missiahtruth.com, it does not exist. JB Bryant, owner of the BSL site, did write me with a correction: The post is entitled “Christian Messianic Deciet and Lies” and appears on his blog here: http://
These prophecies remain unfulfilled 2100 after the death of Jesus. In addition, there is no mention in Jewish scripture of a second coming. For the Jews, the Messiah will do it right the first time.
There is no mention of universal redemption through the death of a single person, god or entity in the Torah, Haftorah, or other writings by Jewish sages.
As for universal peace…
One more curiosity, most Jews will tell you that the Messiah may not be a person at all.
The only conclusion; there is no Jewish-Christian relationship. Period
I am now on a mission to stop this hijacking of the Jewish faith to forward the Christian mission of world conversion. I am doing this not a Jew by heritage or as an atheist by choice, but as one fearful of Christian edicts becoming law in the United States.
I am asking you not to use the term in an authoritative manner.
I am asking you to correct those who use the term freely and without regard to the Jewish faith.
I am asking you to contact your local and national media anytime they use the phrase in something other than a direct quote, to inform them there is no such thing as a Judeo-Christian faith or heritage except in the minds of Christians.
For theist, deist or atheist, this is your duty as a citizen.
David Rosman’s newest book, A Christian Nation? An examination of Christian nation theories and proofs is now available through Amazon.com in paperback or eBook versions.
You can invite David to speak to your group or organization. For more information, please contact him at Speaker@InkandVoice.com