From the desert came the ethic that underpins Western culture

In 1928, Sigmund Freud noted that if we did not have religion — Judaism and Christianity — we would need another set of rules to keep us from self-destructing; from not only coveting our neighbour’s wife but having an affair with her. We would steal and lie; we would gossip and destroy others with evil words. We would murder in the name of revenge.

Freud is famous for his introduction of psychotherapy in which he talked about the repercussions of repressing and suppressing feelings and actions. Ethical monotheism, the ethic the Jewish people brought out of the desert into the light, requires that we repress and suppress many of our baser animal instincts if we are going to live in a compassionate, civil society. Without that repression and suppression we would remain bloodthirsty and vengeful.

Ethical monotheism became the foundation of Western civilization. This ethic was revolutionary at the time and remains evolutionary, today.  Sadly, today, too many of us have no understanding of the root of our extraordinary culture. Too many have lost the connection between the teachings in the Bible and the very freedoms we have in the West. As we belittle religion we lose more of that connection. We begin to think that all people have the same values as if values were universal rather than particular to the culture.

Democracy, western culture, western civilization, is under attack:

Not only are we under attack from those who hate  our way of life, our Western culture is crumbling from internal pressures: from idolizing tolerance, inclusion and accommodation to the point that point that we welcome beliefs, customs, and rituals that undermine our democracy — in the name of democracy!”


It is time to go Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values, if we are going to save our western culture. And BACK TO THE ETHIC: RECLAIMING WESTERN VALUES is the name of my just released book from Mantua Books, an award-winning publishing company in Canada.

Here is an excerpt from Back to the Ethic:Reclaiming Western Values

“If we are going to preserve the freedoms we now take for granted we must return to the teachings of ethical monotheism, to words that bear great fruit, because the foundation of Western democracy is ethical monotheism, the 3500 year old ethic which began in the desert, was brought into Israel, then expanded outward with the spread of Christianity through the Mediterranean then into Europe where the teachings were translated into English and brought to the new world. Countries that are founded on the Bible became functioning and then flourishing democracies.

“We are living in an era of dis-ease. Our belief systems are under attack from external threats of terrorism, and internal threats from the extreme policies of tolerance, inclusion and accommodation that open the door to behaviours that are anathema to our hard won western freedoms that sadly, too many take for granted. Taken to an extreme these policies of tolerance, inclusion and accommodation will lead to suicide-by-democracy.

“We are losing our connection to the foundation, the very root of Western civilization: ethical monotheism, the revolutionary ethic that came into the world 3500 years ago. Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values will reconnect you historically, philosophically, scientifically, sociologically and psychologically, to that ethic so that you make it your own, protect and defend it and pass it down to future generations.”

Mordechai Kedar born in Tel Aviv is an Israeli scholar of Arabic literature and a lecturer at Bar-Ilan University. He holds a Ph.D. from Bar-Ilan University. Here is his review of my book, Back to the Ethic: Reclaiming Western Values.

When freedom turns into nihilism, ignorance is accepted as “free choice,” the human body turns into a fashion model, family values are viewed as “old stuff” and caring for the mere existence of our next generation is only an option, Western culture is in danger. A culture which does not reproduce itself walks proudly into the museum.

“When freedom, the axis of our culture, is deliberately misused to destroy it, and our values, which for centuries enlightened the world are twisted they become a poison which we force ourselves to drink. Under the slogan of tolerance and inclusion we allowed cultures — which share very little with our own — to infiltrate into our societies, settle inside them, ferment and change them from within.

“We tolerate and welcome people who do not believe in tolerance, we grant freedom to people who openly preach against our freedoms, we equally accept men and women who do not believe that men and women are equal. Western culture, which once was the lighthouse for humankind, is turning into a self-destruction scheme which leads the world into a dark tunnel with a dead end.

“The deterioration of Judaeo-Christian values, the demise of Western self-confidence and the nullification of the Western will to defend its culture and being, are all results of the same process. Diane Weber Bederman’s book is essential to understand the process which the Western culture is passing through that will bring it to its demise. Ms. Weber Bederman is a whistle blower, the boy whose finger is in the dam, and her book is a wake-up call for all of us.”

Israel is the light unto the nations, and like all Western countries, she has every right to defend that light from the abuse of tolerance, accommodation, and inclusion.


Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith endorsed, hospital-trained chaplain with a background in science and the humanities. A regular contributor to CanadaFreePress, Times of Israel, and Convivium – a magazine about faith in our community, she has been published in The Chesterton Review and was a blogger at Huffington Post Canada. A mental health advocate, Ms. Weber Bederman writes about mental illness, as well as religion, politics, and ethics on her blog, The Middle Ground: The Agora of the 21st Century. A proud member of Leading Women for Shared Parenting, she lives in Ontario, Canada in a place she calls the Garden of Eden.


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  1. Otto Waldmann

    Ms Bederman’s generosity of spirit and rhetoric deserves spacious consideration.
    One may assume that almost ANY assessment she indulges into aims at the deepest, most complex existential ontology. As she so valiantly attempts at so many social, cultural, spiritual and any other phenomenon, she’s bound to unearth an occasional irritated distinct thinking entity.
    If it matters at all, I for one, beg to differ on the privately guarded notion that a sui generis “Judeo-Christian” construct would be the basis of human necessary well-being, indeed the foundation of a civilised society. For starters I am wholly opposed to the spiritual tandem “Judeo-Christian”. I will say only that the “Judeo” bit does not need the other “half” to secure a viable humanity , indeed that indispensable basis of ethical sustenance. To mine, there is no more damaging ethical “contribution” to the Judaic intent, Divine “endorsement”, than what Christianity has been caused with serious destructive effect. An imperious , highly arrogant system, Christianity still continues to dictate with impunity terms and conditions NOT much lower in autocratic indifference than its fellow traveller, Islam. One can tolerate only so much tolerance…..

    • Diana Weber Bederman

      Thank you for your comments.The ethic that underpins all of western culture came from the Jews. From the desert-so that it would be available to all. I have often wondered if the ethic would have spread if not for Christianity-or something like it that took the ethic and spread it through proselyting. Jews don’t do that and they didn’t do much back then either, as far as I know. That Christians attacked Jews doesn’t change the quality of the ethic-it points to a failure in human beings to follow it. Being chosen isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be!

  2. Otto Waldmann

    Grateful for your reply. If not for the Jewish proseletizing ( as in Saul/Paul) Christianity would not have existed.
    The spectrum of the chosen contains almost exclusively obligations, moral impositions, commitments and all that is supposed to turn a mere Jew into a reliable yet complicated human – anxieties included as a bonus -.
    Your additional information about Christianity attacking the ones entrusted with instituting ethics – once again the chosen Jew – articulates with greater precision Christianity’s perniciousness. Systematic, canonical antisemitism emerged from the core notional envy of wrongly assumed claim of Jewish superiority, a misconception deriving from false transliteration of “chosen”. In the socio-political cum spiritual stakes, Christianity, followed by Islam, has been posting its calls to dominance, installed through persecution.
    Not unconnected is also the current reality that our moral fibre is being loomed not by theologians but by social craftsmen will casually call politicians. No Rabbi, priest or any other religious sort would dare compete with deities such as Donald or Hillary or even Bibi for that matter. If I had the insane temerity to wish to change the world I would not join a Yeshiva but a political party. For that matter, politics as such is a treif topic in my shule on Shabbos where I still have to hear the thrilling tale of Josef and his psychopathic mishpuha.