Can a Jew be a Good American?

The U.S. Supreme Court has said that America is "a Christian nation." Many people find this, and the question above, to be offensive. "Aren't Jews Americans too?," they ask.

Certainly Jews can make a valuable contribution to American society, as the example of HAYM SALOMON demonstrates. Zillions of other examples could also be given. Jews can make America a better place.

In fact, probably the percentage of Jews who have made valuable contributions to America is higher than the percentage of "Christians" who are assets to America, rather than parasites. (I don't consider "secular Jews" to be Jews at all. I don't consider myself to be "anti-semitic" for saying that atheistic and communistic "Jews" have been a poison in America.)

But what would America have become if it were a Jewish nation instead of a Christian nation? What if the vast majority of its population had been Jewish and only a minority had been Christian?

The question deserves a thoughtful answer, one which is neither "anti-semitic" nor one simply dismissing the very question as "anti-semitic."

America's Founding Fathers were inspired by the Prophet Micah to create a nation where everyone could enjoy the safe and secure possession of his Vine & Fig Tree.

How would a strict Jewish America have interpreted Micah's prophecy? Would it have been a day dominated by Levitical priests and ceremonies in a rebuilt temple?

When Jews become more Jewish they become more Levitical, more Pharisaical; Judaism becomes a ghetto. When Jews became more American they became more Christian. (I speak now in the past tense, because America is no longer a Christian nation. Today, when Jews become more American they become more secular. Both Christians and God-fearing Jews are wary of the influence of secular Americanism on their children.)

But the Founders had a more Christian interpretation of Micah. A Vine & Fig Tree society meant capitalism and Christian morality: "Liberty Under God."

Russell Kirk, in The Roots of American Order, p. 144, explains:

     At the heart of Jesus' ethical teaching stands the Great Commandment: "Thou shalt love the Lord with thy whole heart, with thy whole soul, with thy whole strength, with thy whole mind, and thy neighbor as thyself." So it had been written in the Law of the Jews, and every devout Jew repeated twice daily this precept. But by "neighbor," the Jews understood their immediate associates—at most, the community of Jews; while by that word neighbor, Jesus meant all mankind.
     "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you": this "Golden Rule" enunciated by Jesus is the spirit in which Christians are to fulfill that commandment to love neighbors. In its negative form, the same precept was stated by Hillel, the great Jewish teacher who lived about Jesus' time: "Do not do unto others what you would not wish others to do unto you." It appears thus in other sacred writings of the Jews, and in other religions; in this negative expression, it was a saying of Confucius.
     But the positive injunction of Jesus is more compelling, and requires higher sacrifice. In this, as in much else, the teaching of Christ urges men to be active in the service of God. The Jewish belief of his time was that Jews must obey the Law strictly—doing their duties under the Law, but not being expected to exceed the letter of the Law. To follow in the steps of Jesus of Nazareth required courage, and stern rejection of much that the average sensual man held dear. Far more must Christ's followers give than Jews gave under the Law. Sincere disciples of Jesus must forsake worldly possessions; they must forsake even father and mother, if need be, to follow the Way.

While many have recognized that America was built on "Judeo-Christian" principles, and our laws were based on the Ten Commandments and the rest of God's Law in the Older Testament, Dr. Kirk notes the obvious:

Of course Puritanism, and the other forms of Calvinism in America, were Christian in essence, not renewed Judaism merely. (p.48)

What if Jesus Had Never Been Born? -- a review
From the Washington Times -- another review

Christ-friendly Jews

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