Book Review: The Right’s Obsession with “Judeo-Christian” Values

It's code for an exclusionary theocratic state

As K. Healan Gaston shows in her new book, Reimagining Judeo-Christian America: Religion, Secularism, and the Redefinition of Democracy, Americans have long articulated their thinking about politics and religion through their comments on Judaism. Few expressions capture this dynamic better than “Judeo-Christianity,” first appearing the 1930s, it became popular during World War II and the Cold War, when Americans embraced the claim that their democracy stemmed from a “Judeo-Christian heritage.”

Gaston reveals that Judeo-Christianity’s ascendance was not powered by the liberal belief that all religions should be equal in the eyes of a neutral government. Instead, Judeo-Christianity was most commonly the domain of fiery anti-secularists, who railed against any separation between church and state.

The author shows how easily inclusive language can be mobilized for anti-egalitarian purposes. Her book further hints at the limited nature of many American concepts of inclusion. The radical right’s use of Judeo-Christianity has largely been used in an exclusionary way.


Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.