It’s not inherently a bad word. MOST things on that bingo board are context dependent.
For example, being raised in a Xian home doesn’t make someone antisemitic, but it does make them more likely to be ignorant about Judaism, to the point that even when they become an athiest or a pagan or whatever, their view of Judaism and religion as a whole is still directly informed by Xianity.
I think that image is resonating with Jews because they already know the experiences I’m thinking of without them being explicit, because they’ve also experienced them. But non-Jews won’t recognize them and don’t understand how that could be problematic, in any context, so, I will explain.
Like, it’s not bad in an academic context to describe Abrahamic religions as being related. (There are a lot MORE than just Judaism, Xianity, Islam btw.) But I’m not talking about an academic context.
There’s a few ways it tends to get used that needle at me.
One is to appeal to our similarity and unity when there… isn’t much. Frankly, there’s shared TEXTS between Judaism and Xianity, and shares stories. (Though there’s a fine line between shared and appropriated and Xianity plays jumprope with that line.) What there isn’t much of at ALL is shared theology. It’s often patronizing, and used to appeal to a false sense of family and unity when the reality is Xianity has always been and is often now harmful and oppressive to Jews.
Another is when “Abrahamic religions” is used specifically to mean Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. (See also “Judeo-Christian” when you don’t want to admit Islam exists…) The thing is that Judaism is a TINY religion, one of a handful of tiny “Abrahamic” religions. Xianity and Islam, by contrast, are the BIGGEST RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD by an enormous margin. Calling us “the big three” would be like calling the big three militaries of the world as the US, China, and Luxembourg. It makes NO fucking sense. Except that it does, because the point of this is that Xianity and Islam are both derivations of Judaism. They couldnt exist without it, and their claims make no sense outside of the context of the Tanakh. Referring to us as one of the “three Abrahamic Faiths” is not because we are a big or noteworthy religion, but because they need our narrative for theirs to make sense. More to the point, they need control of our narrative. In Xian theology, THEY inherited the Tanakh, religious truth, salvation, and righteousness: NOT Jews. Its part of a pattern of treating us as a subservient group.
The last one is much more pertinent to Pagans, Wiccans, Athiests etc than actual practicing Xians. You especially see this one in Norse Pagans and Athiests. Its the sentiment of “Abrahamic” as a synonym for war-mongering colonizers. For Pagans, it’s the narrative of Abrahanic religions forcing their way into Europe, persecuting pagans and witches, etc. For atheists, it’s the often repeated factoid of “most wars have been started by religion,” which is often paired with “Abrahamic” religions. This is a clear cut case of “don’t fucking say religion when you mean Xianity.” Except with the nuance of “don’t fucking say Abrahamic when you mean Xianity and Islam.” Did Yazidis colonize Europe? No. Did Samaritans start most wars in history? No. Did Gnostics colonize the Americas? Nah. Neither did Jews. The fact is, there’s only been one period in ALL TIME when Jews fought a war about religion, and it was to REMOVE colonizers oppressing us IN OUR OWN COUNTRY because they had made our native religion illegal and were killing us. That’s also the only period in history when Judaism actively sought converts. It lasted <200 years. By contrast, Judaism and Islam DID start dozens of wars over religion, conquer enormous swaths of the planet in the name of their gods, and oppress and kill religious minorities under their control. It’s antisemitic and totally unjust to lump Jews in with them in that context when it’s not true or historical, and when WE ALSO are one of the MAIN groups who were killed and oppressed by Xians.
Let me just head this off with an inb4: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is NOT a religious conflict, it is a NATIONALISTIC conflict about land. It’s also not “part of an ancient clash between Isaac and Ishmael” or some shit. The British Empire in the last century promised the same land to different groups while they were busy stealing land and oil and canal rights, then peaced out leaving a huge mess. It’s not about religion, as evidenced by the fact that MOST Israelis are not religious and many religious Jews don’t support the state of Israel.
No I/P discourse on this post because it Is Not Relevant.