Judaism is not just another Abrahamic religion

12 Mar

“The next time you write about what “Abrahamic” faiths believe or do, consider whether your comments sincerely apply to each and every Abrahamic faith. Does it apply to the Sufi? The Jews? The liberal sects of Christianity? Do you know enough to be able to say whether it does or not? If you are mad at mainline Christianity, maybe your beef ends there.”

At Patheos’ Agora, Aliyah bat Stam fabulously explains the nonsense of the phrase ‘Judeo-Christian values’. I am quite certain almost every protestant Christian I know uses this phrase regularly, and thus lets Christianity absorb Judaism. Interestingly, none of these Christians would be comfortable hearing about ‘Christian-Islamic values.

Judaism under the Christian hammer

Make sure you read the entire article here.

Partly due to this article, I will never again talk of the Abrahamic religions as if they were a unity. It is incorrect, hurtful to many Jews, and moreover will rob Pagans of a potential ally. There is no earthly reason why we Pagans should allow Christianity to dictate the terms of understanding any religious tradition, and this includes Judaism. As P. Sufenas Virius Lupus once wrote:

I do not accept what some Jews, most Christians, and all Muslims say theologically about their various gods in a number of manners (e.g. the singular and true/only supreme deity, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, transcendent, etc.), nor am I required to do so since I am not a Jew, Christian, or Muslim. Just because I’m tolerant of those religions, and am accepting of their members, doesn’t mean I have to agree with them nor do I have to affirm the reality or the veracity of their theological claims, whether generally or in a specific interfaith context; and, I can do this while still giving them the utmost respect they deserve as human.

2 Responses to “Judaism is not just another Abrahamic religion”

  1. Amanda March 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Indeed. I have a good friend who’s a Modern Orthodox Jew (we became friends because we’re both sci-fi fans!). He’s very frustrated when he gets lumped in with Christians because they really have very different beliefs about the nature of God, the purpose of life, their relationship with other religions, etc. Christians tend to think Jews are just Christians without Jesus, but it’s really much more complicated than that, and pagans should know better.

    • Soliwo March 12, 2013 at 7:01 pm #

      You really hit the nail here. Most Christians see the coming of Christ predicted in the old testament and thus Christianity as the culmination of Judaism. At the same time, praying in mosque would be out of the question, for many Christians would consider Allah as a completely separate god. It also has to do with what is perceived as familiar and what as Other. A lot of Christians think they know Judaism because they know the bible. But the difference starts already exactly there … the relationship of Jews to their holy texts are very different than that of Christians (and of course Catholics differ from protestants etc.)

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