Thursday, April 17, 2014

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Michael L.

religion1Here is one way of thinking about the differences between the big three religions of the Levant.

As "Universalist Religions" and / or as "Political Religions."

I am admittedly painting with broad brushes here, but it is probably fair to say in this point in human history that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam take significantly different positions on the universalism of the different faiths and the political imperatives of the different faiths.

Christianity, for example, is a universalist religion in the sense that it believes itself to hold a spiritual message for all of mankind.  Ultimately, the purpose of Christianity, as it acts in the world, is to bring the faith in Jesus to all humanity.  So, there is no question but that Christianity is a universalist religion, because it is a religion that endeavors to speak to all people.

What Christianity is not, for the most part, since the Enlightenment, is a political ideology.  Following the trends of the Renaissance and the Reformation and the Enlightenment, Christianity throughout the west has generally embraced the separation of church and state.

Judaism is also not a politically-inclined religion.  Jews are notoriously political, as a people, in part because we come out of a tradition wherein debating with G-d, Himself, is part and parcel of the faith, but the great majority of Jews are not the least bit inclined to see Torah Law as the basis for the Israeli legal system or any other national legal system.

Nor is Judaism a universalist religion.  There is no notion within Judaism that all peoples throughout the world should adopt the Jewish religion for the purpose of "saving" their souls.  Christianity is universalist.  Islam is also universalist.

Judaism is not.

Islam, however, is both universalist and political.  Along with Christianity, Islamic doctrine suggests that the only possible spiritual salvation is via the one true faith.  Islam is 1.5 billion people, so it is remarkably diverse, but as a religious-political ideology it is also generally absolutist, if not fascistic.

It looks like this:

Christianity:  universalist, but generally non-political

Judaism: non-universalist, generally non-political

Islam:  universalist and political

And that is the problem.

The reason that we have a never-ending conflict between the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East and the large Arab majority is because, for religious reasons, even a small Jewish State on any land that was once controlled by imperial Islam must stay within Dar al-Islam.  The hatred and the violence and the never-ending vitriol is not because Jews are mean to Arabs, but because the majoritarian Arab culture is deeply racist toward Jews.

This is what is most infuriating about the insipid and condescending progressive-left glance at the Arab-Israel conflict.  They honestly think that 6 million Jews on the Mediterranean coast are mean to 400 million Arabs.  They fail to recognize that the Palestinian-Arabs are used as a club by the surrounding governments and peoples in order to strike at Jewish sovereignty on historically Jewish land.

Despite living under 1,300 years of Jim Crow dhimmitude, followed by a century of ongoing warfare against us, western "liberals" blame the harassed Jewish minority for the racially and religiously-based Muslim majority hatred toward us in that part of the world.

The western-left has betrayed the Jewish people and we need to wrap our brains around this notion, because it happens to be the truth.

We do not need to run to the Right - I have not - but we need to understand where we stand with the Left.


  1. It is foolish to make overgeneralizations about complex matters, but then again, who really cares. As such:

    Judaism is a religion of law and free will.
    Christianity is a religion of compassion and forgiveness.
    Islam is a religion of submission and conformity.

    The latter two are also based on power, which Judaism might also be, except there are too few to exercise real power.

  2. You say universalist, I say triumphalist. Both Christianity and Islam state they are the one the only and the final word of God above all others. Period. Any dissension from that is by definition heresy. And heretics are typically tortured, killed, enslaved or displaced.