On “Judeo-Christian”

I’m at Connecticon this weekend! If you’re there too, come by and see me! I’m running the Big Eyes, Small Mouth game and giving panels on The Slayers, Star Trek and 9/11, and The Near-Apocalypse of ’09! I will probably be hanging out in the tabletop room most of the rest of the time.

Since I won’t be there and we’re headed into finale territory, and also I still haven’t watched last week’s episodes, I am going to go ahead and cancel Saturday’s liveblog. Sorry! See you all next week!

Imagine that you’re British. (Based on my traffic stats, for roughly 12% of you that won’t require much imagination.)

Imagine, too, that people talk about British-American values a lot, and most of the time they mean stuff like not having a monarchy, or the right to own guns. They talk about British-American history, too, by which they mean people like George Washington and John F. Kennedy. And British-American beliefs, by which they mean opposition to single-payer health care and a sense of nationalist exceptionalism. British-American food like barbecue and cajun, British-American folklore like Paul Bunyan, and so on.

Imagine that virtually everyone who uses the term is American.

You’d be pretty prickly about the term after a while, too. It would be pretty obvious that the people using it are paying lip service to inclusion, while at the same time demonstrating that they don’t give a damn about you, your culture, your beliefs, or your history.

STOP SAYING “JUDEO-CHRISTIAN.” IT MEANS NOTHING EXCEPT THAT YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.

If you need a term that includes Judaism and Christianity, try “Abrahamic.” If you need a term that includes Judaism and Christianity, but not Islam, you’re wrong, because there is literally nothing Judaism and Christianity have in common that isn’t also shared with Islam. (Nope, not even sacred texts. The interpretation of the so-called “Old Testament” is so completely alien to how Jews read the Bible, and the traditional translations so mangled by the game of telephone used to make them, that it is effectively a different book.)*

*Note: This is me being nice about Christian misuse of the Jewish Bible. Me being not-nice involves ranting about how the Roman Empire, Christianity, and ultimately European/white culture as a whole are built entirely on conquest and appropriation, and are incapable of actually creating or achieving anything except by standing on the backs of people they’ve robbed or subjugated by force.

6 thoughts on “On “Judeo-Christian”

  1. So in context, “a sense of nationalist exceptionalism” appears to be an example of a specifically American thing, rather than an omniprescent part of the human condition, which is what it is.

    I would go so far as to say that Christianity has a lot more in common with Islam than with Judiasm.

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  2. So Jed, how do you think Western culture became so oppressive and corrupt? Has any great art or literature come out of it?

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  3. Oh. I see.

    Sometimes I like to sit back and think what European cultures could have achieved if they’d never been destroyed/co-opted by the Romans. Because, in the end, White People are just as capable of goodness and a sense of social justice as anyone else. But we’ll never see what the Celts or the Etruscans or the Carthaginians could have achieved if they hadn’t been wiped out and their cultures co-opted by a bunch of half-literate Italian shepherds whose greatest pre-Imperialism achievement was a giant sewer system.

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