Robert P. George argues a great truth of Judaism and Christianity: both Judaism and Christianity stand against paganism, despite the fact the many Jews and Christians have substituted a secular liberalism in place of the ancient traditions. This substitution, argues George, is a return to a new paganism that demands as its sacrifice the blood of innocents leading to the "culture of death" -- abortion and infanticide today, even more barbarism tomorrow.
The great Milton Himmelfarb has summarized the matter in a single sentence: "Judaism is against paganism."
Jews honor, as do Christians, a transcendent God who governs the universe and providentially superintends the affairs of men. While no one can fully comprehend God's purposes, we know that God's acts are not without purpose. And so faithful Jews, as well as Christians who understand the continuity of their own faith with the religion of Israel, have always asked: What is God's purpose in His election of the Jewish people?
The greatest rabbis and theologians have wrestled with the nuances of this question. Yet the Almighty has chosen to reveal even to the simplest of the faithful the essence of what he wishes us to know on the subject of this wonderful mystery. Kitvei ha-Kodesh, the books of prophetic witness, teach us that God elected Israel as his covenanted community (Keneset Yisrael) to be "a light unto the nations." And this, I submit to you, remains the mission of faithful Jews-a mission shared by Christians who would join with their Jewish elder brothers in fidelity to the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jesus.
So let us recall Milton Himmelfarb's great summation: Judaism -- and also Christianity -- are against paganism.
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