There are very few things or people that I “hate.” I may dislike, I may not tolerate, I may not want to associate, but I do not hate. For example…
I (along with this young lady) do not like Brussels sprouts. For me they have a bad texture, taste funny and give me gas. I will eat them if I am a guest at someone’s dinner, but avoid them whenever possible. However, Brussels sprouts have a place in my heart and a singular use fit for all mankind – Practice golf balls. They fly well, are bio-degradable and non-toxic.
That is if you do not get caught in a plume of rabbit gas.
One of the few things I dislike enough to call “hate” is “Judeo-Christian” when describing, well, anything; like “Judeo-Christian ethics,” “Judeo-Christian beliefs,” “Judeo-Christian values,” “Judeo-Christian war against Islam,” and the most serious of the offenders, “Judeo-Christian nation.”
The most recent of these egregious comments came from Congressman Paul Ryan said during a conference call with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition,
“It’s a path that grows government, restricts freedom and liberty and compromises those values, those Judeo-Christian, Western civilization values that made us such a great and exceptional nation in the first place.” (Washington Post, November 5, 2012)
But what is “Judeo-Christian?”
It is Christendom’s attempt to assimilate Jews into the Christian beliefs and to justify Christianity’s own existence. In our case, the arguments used as the connection between Jewish and Christian beliefs are based on autonomous definitions, and interpretation of history.
It is Polemic Theology or the study of the history of controversies of biblical writings to justify that their beliefs are correct. This is not apologetic theology which attempts to use intellectual argument to justify their beliefs.
Don (DA) Carson, professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Ill. and General Editor for “Themelios,” an international evangelical theological journal, defines Polemic Theology as “nothing other than contending for a particular theological understanding (usually one that the contender holds to be the truth) and disputing those that contradict it or minimize it.” He continues,
Every time you assemble six reasons as to why your interpretation of a biblical passage or your formulation of a theological issue is correct, and assert, or at least imply, that alternative interpretations or formulations are correspondingly incorrect, you dabble in polemical theology.
This is not to say that polemic thinking is solely Christian or even religious based. The use of historical data to argue a point or counter-point is a treasured methodology of research. From my own research, polemics theology does not permit true critical thinking and listening starting instead from the premise that “we’re right, you’re wrong.”
Religious scholarship differs, but Jewish author Mr. S. Levin defines the falsity of the Jewish Christian connection clearly.
‘After all, we worship the same God,’ the Christian always says to the Jew [but] the Jew never [says that] to the Christian. The Jew knows that he does not worship the Christ-God but the Christian orphan needs to worship the God of Israel and so, his standard gambit rolls easily and thoughtlessly from his lips. It is a strictly unilateral affirmation, limited to making a claim on the God of Israel [as a god of Christianity].
By usurping the Torah into their scriptures, Christians have taken claim to the God of Abraham in order to justify their belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And Christians do this with extreme purpose to fulfill the “prophecies” of the Jewish scriptures. Prophecies that many Jews do not believe exist or have yet have not fulfilled.
Why are the first five books of the Christian Bible Jewish scripture? This is a question few have examined and locating an answer is near impossible.
It is my belief that as the Christian scriptures were being organized and agreed to through the various ecclesiastic councils, the inclusion of the Jewish scripture was done to justify the existence of Jesus of Nazareth as the “God in Jesus,” the god of Abraham, and to make the new religion more palatable to the Jews. It is easier to convert if there is a familiarity.
It is also quite possible (and more likely) that Roman emperor Constantine, the founder of today’s “Christianity,” forced through violence the conversation of Jews, pagans and other non-believers and to simply maintain order, re-packaged the beliefs at hand.
This is not an atheist position, but one that comes from the historical proofs that the Christian faith has, over the centuries, taken pagan and druid holidays and beliefs, incorporating them into the Christian dogma, and the incorporation of these beliefs made it easier for Christianity to be accepted by the non-believers. Polemics.
Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, even the stories of Jesus of Nazareth can be traced back to the pre Christian faiths in Europe and the Middle East. Even the idea of a “virgin birth” is not new or specific to Christianity.
I also take to task the American media for not correcting this unholy wrong. That Judeo-Christian values are somehow real and accepted by Jews and gentiles alike is another mythology that needs to be corrected. The truth of this matter is unquestionable – by accepting the premise of a “Judeo-Christian” state of beliefs and values as true, the press is perpetuating anti-Semitic/religious beliefs.
During this writing and research, a new question came to mind that does not appear to have been tested. If Mohammed had incorporated the Christian Bible into the Qu’ran, the acceptance of Islam may have been greater than it is today. Europe’s, and by extension America’s majority religion may have been Islam today.
If that were so, maybe this essay would concern the Judeo-Islamic mythologies instead.