Christians, Jews and Muslims

By Ted Belman     Dec 12, 2005,

America was founded by Protestants fleeing from religious persecution. They not only had an appreciation for the need for religious liberty, but also had respect for the Hebrew Bible. As a result, the Constitution of the USA reflected both. One hundred years prior to the Constitution being written, Jews and Protestants in Europe were being burned at the stake for religious heresy.

But before writing the Constitution, America’s founders had to declare their independence from the tyranny of Great Britain. In doing so, they declared, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” What a powerful expression of the ethos of the America.

Jews began fleeing religious persecution and economic depravation in Europe one hundred years later. They, too, viewed America as the “promised land” and indeed, it was. They fought against anti-Semitism, discrimination and unbearable working conditions for the next hundred years and, in doing so, made America a better place for themselves and for everyone else. They dominated the cultural scene both on Broadway and in Hollywood; thereby, infusing Jewish values into mainstream America and, in turn, they became American. They changed America and America changed them.

My parents emigrated from Poland in the 1920s, but had to come to Canada because the doors had closed to Jewish immigration in the US. North America (America) was very anti-Semitic at the time, since the Christian establishment felt the Jews were a threat to them and their economic order, which they dominated. (And so they were. They lead the labour movement in the twenties and thirties, which greatly strengthened the working man in America.) This, of course, was in addition to the theologically based anti-Semitism.

Remember, in 1939, the US turned away the ship the St. Louis, filled with Jewish refugees, resulting in the death of most Jews on board. In the 1930s, when Canada’s immigration minister was asked how many Jewish refugees Canada would accept, he infamously said that “none was too many.”

I went to elementary school during the war years in a town of 14,000 and can remember to this day how uncomfortable I was, having to sit through the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer and the singing of Christmas carols, or to excuse myself from class. I also remember the occasional sign “No Jews or Dogs Allowed”, the restrictive quotas at universities and the restrictions on Jews joining country clubs. I remember hating such restrictions and I yearned for a world of no barriers. I was not religious, but felt my Jewish identity to the core.

As a result of all this discrimination and their own values, Jews became prominent in the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s. In this way, the Jews again made America better for themselves and for everyone else. Quotas were dropped, restrictions were removed and Jews excelled in all walks of life. Truly the promised land. In time, the Christians made room for the Jews as partners and hence, the constant reference to America being founded on Judeo-Christian values, the strong support for Israel among the American people and the disproportionate representation of Jews in the government. Along with this greater acceptance came assimilation and much intermarriage.

The civil rights movement brought in its wake the liberation of women, the liberation of homosexuals, multiculturalism, relativism and secularism.

Religious prohibitions were challenged by secular liberties. First came the battle for abortion, which may or may not be over. Then came the battle over gay marriage, which is far from over. Now, there is the battle to remove God, Moses, the Ten Commandments and “in God we Trust” from the public square. There are many similar battles being fought.

In the main, these are battles between Christian Evangelicals, with some support from Orthodox Jewry, on the one side (Right) and liberal churches, Reform Judaism and secularists, both Jewish and otherwise, on the other side (Left). This same divide is reflected in such issues as Iraq, the “peace process” in Israel, the war on terror, appointments to the Supreme Court and just about everything else.

The Right is also joined by persons who are not motivated by religious values, but by patriotic values. The Left is joined by people motivated by socialism, Communism, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

If this cultural war wasn’t enough, a new cultural war is well on its way; namely, that between an Islam lead by “radical Islamists” on the one side, and both the Right and the Left on the other.

This is a battle that the Right comes to with girded loins. The Left, on the other hand, is defenseless. Paradoxically, the same tools they used to weaken the Christian opposition to their secularism only serve to strengthen and empower the Islamists. These tools, according to Rabbi Spero, included “employing terminology they knew good-willed people ? us ? would readily accept: compassion, sensitivity, inclusion, tolerance. Especially tolerance, for who wishes to be called intolerant, the deadliest of the neo-pagan seven sins.”

Other tools include the use of the law to whittle away at established norms and values. So, what’s wrong with that? We see from the battle of who gets appointed to the Supreme Court: there is law and then, there is law. It is the same legal tools the Islamists use to tear down our society to make room for them. Nothing is ours or is sacred. The Right is not permitted to prefer its own values or culture to that of Islam because everything, we are told, is relative. By reducing the Judeo-Christian culture to one of many, through multiculturalism, the Left has opened up the door to the values and culture of Islam that are totally inimical to the established culture. And the Right has been handcuffed in their defense by the imposition of politically correct speech. The irony is that Islam is the greatest threat of all to the values of the Left, and the Left doesn’t even see this threat coming because they are too busy attacking Christians, Bush and Israel as the biggest threats.

I want to preserve America with all its movements for change. No one wants to go back to the America that existed in 1900. America is constantly changing and that is good. But that doesn’t mean that all change is good. Muslims are welcome to come to America if they accept the dominant culture in the public square as all other peoples do. In fifty years time, if they have proven themselves good Americans and not broken our china as our house guests, then they will have earned their place in our society. But first, they have to be proven worthy. If they are unwilling to accept our norms and values, then they should not be permitted in.

I don’t see eye-to-eye with the Christian Right (mostly on theological questions), nor do I with the Christian or Jewish Left (on political questions). I choose to support the Christian Right, though, because they support Israel and America, and fight Islamofascism. I oppose the Christian Left and the Jewish Left because they undermine Israel and America, and protect the Islamofascists.

December 17, 2023 | 5 Comments »

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  1. The Separatists, from whom the Mayflower fathers drew their strength and inspiration, had to flee England to the Netherlands, primarily because of their insistence on meeting in “house churches” to study the Bible. For some 1200 years before this, Western Christians were largely illiterate, and did not have a Bible mass-printed in their own languages. This had led to a “Christianity” with a top- (papal-) down, liturgy-based organization. The “Pro-Zionist”movement in Christianity today has its strongest support in this same sort of home-based, Bible-studying orientation. Strongly centralized church groups, be they Catholic or Protestant, have patterned themselves largely on the Top-down, pre-Gutenberg Roman model of the 4th to 16th centuries.

    There is therefore a split in Western Christianity, just as there is in Judaism. Generally speaking, the more one’s religion is centered around the “church” (organization and building) or “temple”, and the less it is centered around personal, Bible- and Torah-centered everyday faith and practice, the less conservative (lower-case “c”) both Jews and Christians are in their worldview and politics.

  2. Zionism is part of Judaism. The narrow definition is that it is the movement to re-establish the State of Israel. That is why many view it as a more recent phenomenon.

    The recognition of the fact that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, historically, geographically and spiritually means that Zionism is more than just the effort to re-establish the modern State of Israel, but an integral part of Judaism.

    Progessive-leftist Jews who are anti-Zionist but still claim to be Jewish have an antisemitic philosophy in that they deny a tenet that is at the heart of Judaism.

    We can debate issues such as what makes someone Jewish. Obviously, heritage is a major item. A person considering themselves Jewish, while opposing the principles of Judaism, is nominally Jewish at best.

  3. Thank you for this interesting historical perspective on Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

    The Jews have made many contributions to the American culture since our founding. However, I think that Jews who grew up idealizing FDR unknowingly were supporting an effort that ultimately led to the undoing of our Constitution.

    FDR was a “progressive,” which at that time meant he believed that government was the solution to the problems in America. Governmental officials were supposed to be “experts” in their fields. Indeed, FDR did employee many formerly unemployed individuals and in so doing returned their dignity. But by employing them in the federal government, as opposed to helping private companies grow and hire people, he grew the size of government enormously.

    This was something our Founders hoped to prevent by limiting the federal government to only those powers enumerated in the Constitution. Unfortunately their wisdom was ignored, and various Supreme Court decisions upheld FDR’s progressivism and the size of the federal government grew to Leviathan proportions.

    “Progressive” Jews didn’t see the problem with this. After all, didn’t FDR end the great depression by employing all those unemployed millions?

    And progressive Jews today STILL do not see the problem with it. They believe the government is the answer to every problem, whereas conservatives see the government AS THE PROBLEM, not the solution.

    This is one of the dividing lines between progressive Jews and conservative Jews in America, along with the secularism of progressive Jews and now the anti-Zionism of many of them.

    In addition these progressive Jews were/are champions of DEI, which we now know is responsible for the tremendous upsurge in Jew hatred on college campuses across the nation.

    So progressive Jews have championed the ballooning of the federal government’s power and reach, and in their efforts to be fair to minorities, have championed DEI and CRT, all of which have led to the flourishing of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. They appear to not realize they are on the side of the elites in this country, after being on the side of the worker in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s.

    Now the working class and middle class of patriot Americans feels the bi-coastal elites are for big government and destruction of their good paying jobs due to Clinton’s NAFTA.

    And the progressive Jews are on the side of Obama who, on his own, essentially inflamed racial conflict in this country! He took a country which was healing from the Civil Rights Era and in which people of color had opportunities for advancement, such as he himself had, and created a whole new race war! In addition, he brought the Muslim Brotherhood into the federal government, and supported the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    So now progressives are on the side of a President who is a stealth Islamic fundamentalist pretending to be a college-professor-liberal. And they still love him to this day!

    And let’s not forget how much they have hated Trump! In addition they went along with every COVID mandate, because that’s what people do who support government as the answer to all problems.

    So while Jews as a whole contributed greatly to America, progressive Jews of the 20th century have been working at cross purposes to global Jewry and certainly have played a role in undermining Israel. They have contributed to the undermining of our Constitution in favor of empowering unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats, and they are increasingly members of the elites in this country who have destroyed US manufacturing jobs and our economic strength by sending manufacturing jobs to Asia, hollowing out our towns in Middle America and the Rust belt. They have supported the rise of the billionaires and globalists, who now seem to want total control over the universe. But they do not see this: they only see their own virtue signaling. They do not see how they have contributed to all the problems we have today both in America and also in Israel.

    If more Jews have personal reckonings like Naomi Wolff and Bari Weiss, we will have a chance to once again unite to play a constructive role in America.

  4. On a small bright note, in Miami Florida, in 1958, our 4th grade class was part of the Christmas Celebration at Coral Gables Elementary School. We were Hanukkah candles. We were wrapped in red cardboard and had paper flames on our heads. It was a sight to behold. Our class learned about Hanukkah and we all sang the Hanukkah Song in the auditorium to an appreciative audience. We learned about dreidels and a little about Jewish religion and culture. My best friend, Mike, was in the same class and he shared his matzha peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with me. Mike is now an orthodox rabbi in Jerusalem. Sometimes things do change for the better.

  5. An excellent essay prescient for its time. On the issue of tolerance, interested parties can refer to my book, Tolerism: The Ideology Revealed.