Stop Saying “Judeo-Christian”!
Political leaders on the religious right often use the phrase “Judeo-Christian values” to claim Jewish support for their regressive social agenda, but that claim couldn’t be further from the truth.
For example, in his 2017 speech to the evangelical Values Voter Summit, Donald Trump claimed he was “stopping the attacks on Judeo-Christian values.” How? By allowing business owners to deny their employees access to birth control because of their own religious views. The same phrase was used by Congress in 1996 to justify passage of the Defense of Marriage Act, defining marriage at the federal level as between one man and one woman.
The overwhelming majority of American Jews, however, are socially progressive. 83% support reproductive rights and 81% support LGBTQ equality. Jews resoundingly back science-based policy, and reject the notion that the United States was founded on “Judeo-Christian” principles to the exclusion of other faiths or no faith.
As Jewish Americans, we have a history of overcoming religious discrimination and will not stand idly by as others are discriminated against.
Here are just a few more examples of harmful policies that Christian nationalists have recently pursued while falsely claiming they are inclusive of Jewish values:
Allowing publicly-funded child welfare organizations to prohibit certain families from adopting based on differing religious beliefs or for being a part of the LGBTQ community; in 2019, a Jewish couple was prohibited from adopting a child in South Carolina because of their religion.
Authorizing religious hospitals and healthcare providers to withhold medical care, including reproductive care, from patients based on the organization’s or provider’s religious views.
Requiring that public schools teach the Bible and display “In God We Trust” as first steps toward further Christian hegemony, part of a coordinated state-level legislative effort to erode religious freedoms known as “Project Blitz.”
Laying the groundwork for future state-level attacks on the separation of religion and government by establishing a National Association of Christian Lawmakers to “formulate [laws] based upon a Biblical worldview,” and “rebuilding the foundation of our Judeo-Christian heritage.”