The Death of Judeo-Christianity?

 

     I write a regular column on for InFocusNews, a Muslim newspaper in California–but many of you no doubt know that, since you’re been receiving these columns monthly in email format. My column deals with interfaith affairs, and over the years I have especially concentrated on the frightening growth of Islamophobia in the US. Islamophobia has grown so rapidly at least in part because so many Christian evangelicals and conservative Jews have accepted the insane neo-con idea that the dissemination of Islamophobia helps Israel. Of course, the dissemination of religious bigotry can only hurt Israel, and hurts the cause of peace in Israel/Palestine.

      As a heretical/progressive Christian, I am concerned with the continuing degradation of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Institutional Christianity has long been a religion of empire, war and oppression—and too many Jewish leaders have now fallen under the influence of the neo-cons in seeking a seat at the table of empire. The entire Judeo-Christian tradition has been so compromised by the aggressive secular idolatry of empire that both faith traditions are increasingly unable to influence thought and behavior in a good way. Now neo-cons once again are intent on dragging the US into war, this time with Iran. They and their rightwing evangelical allies want nothing less than ongoing, unending, worldwide religious war, and they know the right buttons to push to get what they want.

      That’s what my book The Death of Judeo-Christianity: Religious Aggression and Systemic Evil in the Modern World is about. The deadlocked yet rapidly escalating crisis in Israel/Palestine didn’t start in 1948—it started sixteen centuries ago, with the rise of Christian anti-Semitism. My book begins with a comprehensive theory of Christian anti-Semitism, and documents the extent to which Zionism internalized the worst and most brutal aspects of right-wing Christianity and European nationalism. It suggests that there is a ‘trauma bond’ at the center of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict—but insists also that mainstream Judeo-Christian thinking and institutions are incapable of resolving the hate and violence that arise from it. Thus institutional Christianity and institutional Judaism find it almost impossible to oppose the dangerous growth of Islamophobia in the West, because they are fearful of criticizing those who engage in it, or are psychologically locked into attitudes that justify it.   

      The Death of Judeo-Christianity: Religious Aggression and Systemic Evil in the Modern World is sweeping, painfully honest, straight-up truth-telling about the religious dynamics that are driving us into a religious war America can’t win and can’t afford. If you would like to look at a review copy of the book, either to comment on or to review, please send an email to me at interfaithfreedom@sbcglobal.net with your physical address. I’ll notify the publicity person at Circle Books and have a copy sent to you.

 

                                  Lawrence Swaim

                                  Executive Director

                                  Interfaith Freedom Foundation

                                  707-965-9687

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