by Bob Johnson
After winning the Iowa Republican caucus Monday night Ted Cruz said that America was “built on Judeo-Christian values.”
What are Judeo-Christian values? Doing a Google search I did not find any precise set of Judeo-Christian values. The term “Judeo-Christian” is a relatively new term which gained popularity in the US in the 1950s as a way to combat anti-Jewish beliefs. However, I did find this article by a Christian clergyman, Richard Lee. He lists seven values he claims are Judeo-Christian.
The first one is the dignity of human life. He cites the commandment from the Ten Commandments, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13). Lee got this one wrong as it actually states, “Thou shalt not kill.” There is a big difference between killing and murder. There is much debate over the meaning and the translation from Hebrew to English. This is another example of why The Supreme Intelligence/God would not use a human language to communicate with people. As Thomas Paine pointed out in The Age of Reason, the only possible word of God is the Universe/Creation itself.
Lee also cites Matthew 22:39 which says that Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Lee did not mention how Leviticus 27:1-7 can possibly promote the dignity of human life. In these ungodly verses from the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament God allegedly put a financial value of worth on people. For example, he valued men who are between the ages of twenty years old to sixty years old to be worth 50 shekels. Women in the same age group are worth only 30 shekels. Baby boys and little boys between the ages of one month to five years of age are valued at five shekels and baby girls and little girls of the same age range are valued at three shekels each. Babies younger than one month and unborn babies are not valued at all. It’s important to remember that in spite of quotes attributed to Jesus that sound humane and kind, Jesus was a Jew (IF he really did exist even as a mere mortal) who believed the cruel and ungodly Hebrew Bible/Old Testament was the word of God and that it will be in effect until “heaven and earth pass” (Matthew 5:17-18). This completely negates any humane statements attributed to Jesus. So much for human dignity as a Judeo-Christian value.
The next Judeo-Christian value Lee lists is “The Traditional Family.” He uses Genesis 2:21-24 to back this up. This is the foolish and ludicrous Bible story of God putting Adam into a very deep sleep and then removing one of Adam’s ribs, which he allegedly made the first woman out of. Verse 24 in this nonsensical Bible myth states, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” Of course, this is used by the religious right to attack gay people and to deny gay people their right to marry. But perhaps it also gives a strong argument to gay men when they’re confronted with Bible believing opposition to gay marriage. They should tell the Bible believers that if they can get their Bible god to make a woman for them as the Bible claims happened for Adam, they will marry her! (Based on a promise attributed to Jesus, this can happen. John 14:12-14 says that Jesus promised that those who believe in him can get whatever they ask for in prayer.)
The third Judeo-Christian value Lee lists is “A national work ethic.” He quotes 2 Thessalonians 3:10 to support this. This quote states, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” This is in direct contradiction to Deuteronomy 6:10-11 which says that God told the Hebrews/Jews:
And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full;
Talk about an attitude of getting something for nothing! This would be a horrific “national work ethic.”
Lee lists as a fourth Judeo-Christian value “the right to a God-centered education.” He uses Deuteronomy 6:7 for support of this claim. Deuteronomy 6:7 is for Hebrews/Jews and not for Gentiles. It reads, “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” In verses three and four it is directly addressed to Israel and has nothing at all to do with anyone but the Hebrews/Jews.
Under this fourth Judeo-Christian value Lee also quotes Proverbs 1:7 which claims, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge:” This progress stopping teaching is the exact opposite of the ancient Greek and Roman philosophers who taught that wonder is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge. It truly is a battle between Jerusalem/superstition and Athens/wisdom.
In Lee’s fifth Judeo-Christian value he uses “the Abrahamic covenant.” This is the Bible myth found at Genesis 12:1-4 that God made a deal with Abram, aka Abraham, that if he obeyed God and lived in fear of God that God would bless Abraham and bless those who blessed Abraham and would curse those who cursed Abraham. (Zionist Christians like John Hagee and Pat Robertson often use this Bible line to encourage Christians to support the Jewish state of Israel at America and the world’s expense.) God also allegedly promises Abram/Abraham at Genesis 15:5 that the generations of Abraham’s offspring would out number the stars in the Universe. This is pure foolishness.
Lee writes, “The Abrahamic Covenant states that if a person or a nation obeys God, observing the moral truths found in the Bible, that person or nation will be blessed.” He is wrong. The Abrahamic covenant is for the Hebrews/Jews and Israel, and not for any Gentile people or nations. In fact, the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament makes very clear on numerous occasions that Hebrews/Jews are chosen by God “above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 7:6) and that any Gentile nation that will not serve the Jewish state of Israel “shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted” (Isaiah 60:12). There are many other calls for Jewish superiority over Gentile people in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament.
Lee’s sixth alleged Judeo-Christian value is common decency. He uses Matthew 22:39 which states, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” This is a great teaching. HOWEVER, as mentioned above, Jesus’ belief that the ungodly cruel Hebrew Bible/Old Testament is the word of God and that it will be in effect until heaven and earth pass, coupled with Jesus attacking the Jews who would not follow the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament command to kill their children who have cursed them (Matthew 15:1-6) makes this positive quote being attributed to Jesus null and void as a Judeo-Christian value.
For Lee’s last Judeo-Christian value he uses “our personal accountability to God.” He writes, “Perhaps the greatest restraint for acts of evil against one’s fellow man is the realization that every person and every nation of people will one day give an account for their actions to Almighty God.” This brings to light the rotted heart of Christianity: fear and selfishness. Why not kill, steal and rape? Because if you do you won’t get a reward of eternal bliss in heaven and you will be punished by burning in hell for eternity. Like most Christian clergy, Lee completely ignores the Christian doctrine that is very popular among a very large segment of Christians: that of being washed in the blood of Jesus. This doctrine claims that if a child molesting mass murderer who caused untold suffering for many, many innocent children and people accepts the Christian belief that Jesus is the son of God and died for their sins, they will go to heaven for eternity, and that good people like Albert Einstein, who did not accept this foolish Christian claim, will burn in hell for eternity. (In fact, Einstein wrote, “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in Nature.”)
Thomas Paine wrote a statement in The Age of Reason that sums up well the benefit of Deism over Christianity. Paine wrote, “Were man impressed as fully and as strongly as he ought to be with the belief of a God, his moral life would be regulated by the force of that belief; he would stand in awe of God and of himself, and would not do the thing that could not be concealed from either. To give this belief the full opportunity of force, it is necessary that it acts alone. This is Deism. But when, according to the Christian Trinitarian scheme, one part of God is represented by a dying man, and another part called the Holy Ghost, by a flying pigeon, it is impossible that belief can attach itself to such wild conceits.”
In The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition Paine did a great job of showing why fearing God and what God will do with us when we die is nonsense. He wrote, “I consider myself in the hands of my Creator, and that He will dispose of me after this life consistently with His justice and goodness. I leave all these matters to Him, as my Creator and friend, and I hold it to be presumption in man to make an article of faith as to what the Creator will do with us hereafter.”
The Christian teaching that Lee used to control people by fear robs individuals of the opportunity to do good simply because it’s the right thing to do and it robs people of loving The Supreme Intelligence/God unconditionally. This Christian dogma has no place in Deism.
Thankfully the founders of the American Republic were much more influenced by the European Enlightenment and its quest for knowledge and wisdom than they were the Bible or anything to do with Judaism or Christianity. This is reflected in the fact that nowhere in the US Constitution is Judaism, Christianity, Moses, Jesus or the Bible mentioned. And in the Declaration of Independence God is only mentioned in Deistic terms such as “Nature’s God”, etc. Add to these facts the fact that in the Treaty of Tripoli, which was started during the administration of George Washington and ratified during the administration of John Adams, it plainly and unambiguously states, “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion . . .”
Bob Johnson is a freelance writer in the Tampa area of Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after a stint in Marine Corps infantry and reading Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason he became a Deist.
In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists, and in 1996 he launched the first website devoted to Deism. He is the author of God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion, Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You and An Answer to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. He has also written the introduction to Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, The Complete Edition and Principles of Nature by Elihu Palmer.