Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

A column to follow over the year

With this first column of 2005, I inaugurate a periodic series of columns devoted to explaining and making the case for what are called Judeo-Christian values.
With the above words, Dennis Prager begins what he promises will be a series of columns aimed at explaining why Judeo-Christian values trump secularism and fundamentalist Islamism. It promises to be an interesting year's worth of writing. I'm not religious, but I do believe that the healthiest cultures are those that espouse the Judeo-Christian value system as it has been developed by centuries of Jewish rabbis and Christian thinkers. Many of the secularists I know point to how blood thirsty the Old Testament is as a justification for abandoning Biblical teachings altogether. After all, the Old Testament boasts genocide, polygamy, vile double dealings, adultery, etc. What these secularists don't get, though, is that the stories of the old testament have been filtered through the rabbis and through Christ. The moral lessons have been culled and we've removed ourselves from the practical realities of life 3000 years ago. That ability to extrapolate abstract thought distinguishes us from fundamentalist Islamism, which takes literally each word in the Koran, regardless of the thousand plus years that have passed since the Koran was written. Yes, it's true that there are Jewish fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists who take the Bible more literally than our dominant Judeo-Christian cultures do, but they are not in charge. They're minorities (unlike Wahhabiism in Saudi Arabi), and I haven't heard any stories about them lately going around beheading people, enslaving women, chopping off hands, stoning people to death, etc. That is, even Judeo-Christian fundamentalists have shorn away the most violent aspects of the truly Old Time religion.