The term “Judeo–Christian values“ in an an civilizational and ethical sense was not common until almost the middle of the 20th century. Even during WWII Churchill and Roosevelt usually spoke of Christian Civilization. George Orwell used the phrase in a 1939 essay. I believe “Judeo-Christian” became popular as anodyne to discourage anti-Semitism after the horrors of the Holocaust. Of course, Western Civilization or Judeo-Christian Civilization has always mean Greco-Roman/Christian or Greco-Roman-Judeo-Christian heritage. In older books and essays I recall the word Bible or Bible-based culture being used instead of “Judeo-Christian” but usually the ethical sense is the same. And there can be no question we, in the USA, in the West, have a “splendid ancient heritage” of faith and freedom. Lincoln believed so. Roosevelt believed so. John F. Kennedy believed so. Kennedy said, confidently,
|“And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.||2|
| We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike,|
that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—
born in this century,
tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our
ancient heritage—and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing
of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.”
What is this but a defense of Judeo-Christian heritage and natural law? We should be proud of “our ancient heritage” of freedom and faith.
Faith in the individual. Faith in limited government. Faith in rule of law. Faith in the free exercise of religion (or faith in the right to not exercise or participate in any religion or be force to support it. Faith in our Republic and Constitution, “under God.” That is what Judeo-Christian
heritage is. And it is indeed a proud and splendid ancient heritage.