People often minimize the differences between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. They say that there is broad agreement on central issues like the Ten Commandments, and that the differences are obscure theological points, or opinions about the divinity of Jesus. You often hear "Judeo-Christian", as if there isn't much difference.
The differences are huge. The biggest differences between Christianity and Judaism are:
1. Tribalism. Jews are primarily concerned with what is good for the Jewish tribe, and others may as well be dogs. Christianity is universalist, and strives to save all mankind.
2. Forgiveness. Christians believe in forgiveness, to the point where all sins can be forgiven, and Christians are encouraged to forgive their enemies. Judaism's biggest holidays and beliefs center around hatred for their persecutors, and how those persecutors should never be forgiven.
3. Materialism. Jews are preoccupied with money and material goods, while Christians believe that the soul and afterlife are much more important.
The biggest differences between Christianity and Islam are:
1. Fatalism. Christians believe man has the free will to do good works and avoid sin. Moslems are fatalists who say Allah has willed whatever they do.
2. Jihad. Moslems believe in killing infidels, while Christians can co-exist with many different belief systems.
3. Government. Christians believe that religion is separate from government, law, and business. Moslems object to any such distinction, and believe that Islamic law should control government and everything else.
These differences are so great that I wonder whether the concept of "freedom of religion" makes any sense. The concept was invented to protect Christian denominations from each other. Christians can tolerate other theological beliefs, but the above beliefs of Jews and Moslems are not even legitimately religious, in the view of many Christians. They are mostly just non-religious excuses for taking advantage of Christians.
Jews and Moslems do not choose their religion. They are born that way, or they accept it as a condition of marriage. To deny free will is to accept the life of a slave. Beliefs in taking over government and killing infidels are not compatible with freedom of religion. Many American Jews do not believe in God or have any beliefs that Christians would recognize as religious.
The USA First Amendment should be reinterpreted to understand religion in a Christian context. And we should be reluctant to accept immigrants who belong to a religion that is hostile to Christianity and to American freedoms. There are about 50 Moslem countries already. One of the requirements for naturalization is good moral character, and that requirement used to be taken more seriously.
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