A nationally renowned Jewish rabbi said he believes that America has provided Jews with the most prosperous period in their entire history. And this is precisely because America is a Christian nation.
In an interview broadcast with evangelical leader Dr. D. James Kennedy, Rabbi Daniel Lapin expressed his gratitude to Christians like Kennedy who ensure that Christianity remains strong in America while it fades in other Western countries.
"I would say ... a strong, vibrant, American Christianity is the only hope of protecting Western Civilization," Lapin stressed.
Kennedy, head of Coral Ridge Ministries and who is currently hospitalized but improving quickly, agreed, saying he does not know what else is going to stop militant Islam, communism and other such ideologies.
Today, however, there is widespread bigotry against Christianity in America, noted Lapin.
"We are looking at a time of anti-Christian bigotry," he said. And, quoting his late mentor, Lapin added that anti-Christian bigotry would be far more serious a problem than anti-Semitism.
Schools and other public venues are increasingly rejecting free Christian expression including the public display of religious symbols such as crosses.
In such a time, Lapin, who leads the organization Toward Tradition promoting Jewish-Christian cooperation, encouraged Jewish organizations to fight anti-Christian bigotry "as defiantly and fiercely as Christians have fought anti-Semitic bigotry over the last 50 years here in the United States of America."
What Christians Don't Know about Jews
Lapin recently signed a contract with Thomas Nelson, Inc., a publisher of Christian resources, to publish his new book on the 10 things that Jews do not know about Christians and Christians do not know about Jews.
One of the things that Christians do not know is "that most Jews are pathetically ignorant about Scripture," said Lapin.
And another grey area for Christians is the denominational differences among Jews.
"First ... there is no such thing as ‘the Jewish community,’" Lapin explained. "I truly could not think of one issue upon which all Jewish-Americans would agree including, by the way, the state of Israel."
A minority of Jewish people are Orthodox, including Lapin. Then there are the Conservative Jews. The name "conservative" does not indicate their political views. Conservative Jews are rather "ultra liberal," as Lapin described. And what may be the largest group is the Reformed Jews who are "further to the left."
Lapin further pointed out an ever larger group of Jews – the unaffiliated Jews.
"[They are] so fed up with the lockstep position of Jews and the Democratic Party that they just aren't affiliated with anything," he said.
On a more basic level, Lapin clarified what exactly determines a Jew.
A Jew is not necessarily anyone born of a Jewish mother, he said. But a Jew is "anybody who does his best to live according to the laws of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."
Judaism is not a matter of racial background, he clearly noted.