This sense of mission is why more Americans have died for the liberty of others than any other nation's soldiers.
It is why those who today most identify with the Judeo-Christian essence of America are more likely to believe in the moral worthiness of dying to liberate countries -- not only Europe, but Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. That is why America stands alone in protecting two little countries threatened with extinction, Israel and Taiwan. That is why conservative Americans are more likely to believe in American exceptionalism -- in not seeking, as President Bush put it, a "permission slip" from the United Nations, let alone from Europe.
The second meaning of Judeo-Christian is a belief in the biblical God of Israel, in His Ten Commandments and His biblical moral laws. It is a belief in universal, not relative, morality. It is a belief that America must answer morally to this God, not to the mortal, usually venal, governments of the world.
That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values lead the fight against redefining marriage. We believe that a pillar of Judeo-Christian values is to encourage the man-woman sexual and marital ideal, and to provide children with the opportunity to benefit from the unique gifts that a man and a woman give a child, gifts that are never replicable by two men alone or two women.
That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values are unmoved by the idea that the war in Iraq is moral if Germany, France, China and Russia say so, but immoral if they oppose it. We ask first what God and the Bible would say about liberating Iraq, not what Syria and other members of the U.N. Security Council say.
That is why those who most affirm Judeo-Christian values believe that war, while always tragic, is on more than a few occasions a moral duty. Nothing "Judeo" ever sanctioned pacifism. Of course, the Hebrew Prophet Isaiah yearned for the day that nations will beat their swords into plowshares. But another Hebrew Prophet, Joel, who is never cited by those who wish to read the secular value of pacifism into the Bible, said precisely the opposite: "Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, 'I am strong!'"
And that is why those who want Judeo-Christian values to disappear from American public life affirm multiculturalism, seek to remove mention of God from all public life, and make Christmas a private, not a national, holiday.
The battle over whether America remains Judeo-Christian or becomes secular like Europe is what this, the Second American Civil War, is about.
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