For example, the Christian emphasis on faith above works led often to faith without works. Meanwhile, the Jewish emphasis on works above faith has led to many Jews abandoning God and valuing only works -- meaning, more often than not, the embracing of destructive secular radical faiths.
Judeo-Christian values combine the two religions' strengths -- the Jewish emphasis on moral works in this world with the Christian emphasis on keeping God at the center of one's values and works.
Another example is the American Christian's ability to remain God-centered and hold onto traditional beliefs while fully participating in modern society. This has not generally been the case in Jewish life. Over the centuries, God-centered and Torah-believing Jews retreated from mainstream society. They did so because: 1) anti-Semitism forced Jews into ghettos; 2) Jewish ritual laws increasingly restricted contact with non-Jews; and 3) Jews are a people, not just a religious group.
On the other hand, Jewish rituals have kept Judaism and the Jews alive while the abandonment of ritual (for example, Sabbath observance) has hurt Christianity. And Jewish peoplehood has ensured action on behalf of persecuted fellow Jews while Christians usually did little on behalf of persecuted fellow Christians -- as, for example, those many Christians terribly persecuted under Communism; the Copts in Egypt; the Maronite Catholics in Lebanon; and the Christians of Sudan.
In sum, despite whatever differences they have, Jews and Christians need each other and Judaism and Christianity need each other. The Judeo-Christian values system has become a uniquely powerful moral force. Among its many achievements is that it is the primary contributor to America's greatness.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”
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