At Praxis Circle, it’s no secret that we support the Classic Judeo-Christian (CJC) worldview. We believe that it is the worldview that best supports freedom, morality, and human flourishing in our country and across the globe. It is the worldview all Americans need to understand and defend to stop our destructive slide into postmodernism, cultural Marxism, and identity politics.

But what exactly is the CJC worldview, and what’s the particular importance of a Judeo-Christian alliance (as opposed to a worldview rooted solely in either Christianity or Judaism)?

Two recent National Review articles answer these questions squarely: “The Case for a Theocentric Right” by Andrew T. Walker and “What Jews Mean to America” by Meir Soloveichik. They’re worth a full read, but if you’re short on time, we’ll summarize. Walker’s article focuses on an increasing issue in conservative circles: conservativism without Christianity, or more specifically, conservativism without God.

We should explain up front that Praxis Circle strives to avoid the word conservativism, but for the sake of Walker’s argument, we’ll use that word here. In fact, we love the word given its rightful meaning as described by such PC Contributors as Sir Roger Scruton and others, yet we think the radical left too easily abuses it. And we are certainly conservative, as well, in the way our soon-to-be-introduced Contributor, Jonathan Haidt, explains it.

But the word is a terrific distraction. The deciding factor to us is that we think “conservatives” should teach themselves to move debates in the public square into the realm of “true or false” factual reality, avoiding political characterization, because the historical support for achieving broadly agreed to social goals since approximately 1800 are so good that labels are unneeded; they rarely help move those not already convinced.

But I digress. Let’s return to Judaism, Christianity, conservatism, and God.

Andrew Walker in his case for our underlying theocracy writes, “Theism is at the core of the conservative vision, and modern conservatism must champion the necessity of God as the foundation for political reflection.” Without that foundation, “Nontheistic conservativism exists in midair and by its own lights will yield to every moral demand that progressivism makes.” Here’s a larger excerpt from Walker:

Without God as the authorizing force, how can political communities account for what is required for their survival and thriving? Where can an account of morality, origins, and destiny come from, apart from God? It requires God. We will be a people who choose to be ruled by a righteousness that emanates from outside ourselves, or we will be ruled by raw majorities, changing conventions, and, inevitably, force. As Alexis de Tocqueville so rightly foresaw looking at the American experiment: “Despotism may govern without faith, but liberty cannot.”

In short, God is and always has been the central authority from which conservative values and principles find their origin, direction, and purpose. To claim anything else is to claim a different kind of conservativism altogether—one that is grounded in the will of man and not that of a supreme Creator.

In the same way, God is at the center of the CJC worldview. We are all made equally in His image and every worldview pillar stems from that key truth. To remove God from the CJC worldview would be a completely different kind of worldview.

Turning to Soloveichik’s article shows us the Judeo-Christian connection between Christians and Jews. He writes in light of the Israel-Hamas conflict, but it is not today’s circulating arguments in support of Israel simply rehashed—instead, Soloveichik gets at the heart and soul of America’s founding.

Soloveichik quotes Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: “Israel, ancient and modern, and the United States are the two supreme examples of societies constructed in conscious pursuit of an idea.” What was this idea? In one word: covenant. God established His covenant with the Israelites, and this enduring people and covenantal relationship served as an inspiration to the Founders. Below are some clips from our interviews with Os Guinness that touch on this:

 

 

 

Despite the Woke narrative today, recorded history shows that our nation and concept of freedom was in fact founded on Judaic/Christian principles, and our shared heritage as a theocentric people creates an inextricable bond. In conclusion, Soloveichik writes:

The rallies against Israel on college campuses and in the streets, and the explosions of antisemitism that have been made manifest in the past months, are more than just another episode in the millennia-long story of the Jews. This is a moment that asks Americans whether they see themselves as the Founders once did. On their answer hangs nothing less than the future of the free world, which is led still by an “almost chosen people” that welcomed the chosen people into its midst and, inspired by the Jewish biblical story, became a beacon to the world.

Will Americans, Christians, and conservatives acknowledge their Jewish ties? Will they acknowledge that the God of the Hebrew Bible plays a central role in who they really are? Will they acknowledge God at all?

 

 

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn warned us of what happens when men forget God. Without Him, we cannot make sense of the CJC worldview, nor can we successfully protect and preserve the values and freedoms that stem from this worldview. For all of us who claim or benefit from this worldview, let us make sure to give credit where credit is due.