It’s Time to Stop Claiming “Judeo-Christian Values”
Katie Simpson

IMHO you’ve taken on a big and important subject, Katie, but you approach it in a narrow way. Jesus was a Jew — a pure Jew, who did not intend to create a new religion. Christianity has, during the last one hundred years or so, been engaged in a serious struggle with this incontrovertible fact. (I’m not saying all Christians have been involved with this struggle. But the leaders of Christian seminaries and of many Christian institutions, and probably a majority of evangelical Christians, do take this issue very seriously.) What we call “Christianity” began as a mere difference of opinion, within the Jewish community, on issues including halacha (spirit vs. letter of the law, hypocrisy, etc.) and how to deal with the Roman occupation. Most Jews today would agree with more of Jesus’s views on these issues than with, say, the views of the Temple Priests (who were indirectly appointed by Rome). In that sense, most Jews are perhaps more Christian than many Christians. I could go on and on, but my point is, whether you like it or not, we are heirs of one culture even though there may be differences of opinion between many Christians and many Jews (or between Reform Jews and Orthodox Jews, or evangelicals and Catholics for that matter) on certain political issues. These are legitimate arguments within a family, and if we don’t learn to value our common heritage the strife between us will only increase.