There is really so much wrong with this very short statement that the senator must be given credit for efficiency. To believe such an assertion, you would have to believe at least one of three things:
- That Australian Aborigines were the first Judeo-Christians
- That it’s Christian to murder and dispossess the native inhabitants of a country and use that country as a dumping ground for society’s outcasts, or
- The continent of Australia is Jesus as a land mass, accepting those rejected by the ruling class.
I have never met a Judeo-Christian. I’ve met Christians. I’ve met Jews. I have never met anyone who is both. You tend to be either one or the other. Or neither. But not both.
It seems to be accepted that using the term “Judeo-Christian,” recognises the Jewish heritage of Christianity. After all, Jews and Christians share half a Holy book so there is some crossover. But this makes the “Judeo,” prefix redundant. The Jewish origins are implicit in the word Christian so why bother adding it?
The term “Judeo-Christian,” usually only comes up when some of the more militant elements of the Christian right want to start playing the victim. Whenever I hear the term, it suggests a couple of things. I get the impression that they want to avoid simply saying “Christian,” since that might make them seem intolerant of others, so while they want everyone to be Christian, they don’t mind the Jews quite so much as some of the others. There’s also a patronising undertone. There’s an implication that Jews are considered Christians who haven’t quite made it yet. Certain people on the lunatic fringe of the right wing (read: Ann Coulter) have come out and said as much. It’s an insult to both faiths.
Judaism, Christianity and Islam all share a common root. Islam considers Jesus to be one of the most important Prophets of God – just not quite as important as Mohammad by their reading. Yet nobody talks about Christo-Muslims. Nobody talks of Christo-Islamic values. Typically, Christians do not observe Jewish festivals such as Passover, Yom Kippur or Hanukkah, even though they are just as relevant to the Christian faith as they are to Judaism. So long as people practise either one or the other, don’t talk to me about Judeo-Christian traditions because I don’t believe there is any such thing. I’m cool with just about any faith, but I am bothered by misrepresentations of faith and misuse of language.