Many conservative American Christian groups like Focus on the Family like to perpetuate the myth that they are being persecuted in America. This way they are seen as victims and in need of sympathy. Also, it’s a lot easier to group together if you have common hatreds. Some Christians are so full of hate and therefore, see everyone else as hating them because they hate their own selves. If this is not a trait of most Christians, then more rational Christians need to drown the hate speech and the false persecution complex.
Historically, Roman persecution was the best thing that ever happened to Christians. When they were being persecuted, they clung tighter together because they had found a purpose in life – to promote Christianity at all costs. Now that Christianity is the dominant religion in America (called “the second Roman Empire” by right-wing Christian fatalistic author Hal Lindsey), the purpose has been fulfilled. What next is there for a good Christian to do?
Declare Another Persecution!
Not all Christians fall for the paranoia that they are somehow being persecuted. But some radicals are wailing that they are, even no one is out to throw them to lions like in the days of the Roman Empire. Now, that was REAL persecution, when you could be tortured, publicly humiliated and killed for being a Christian.
Unfortunately, some radical right-wing American Christians are much louder than their more rational brothers and sisters, so it may appear to non-Christians that these radical American Christians speak for all American Christians.
So, what so-called persecutions are happening? Christian ultra-conservative Fox Channel commentators John Gibson and Bill O’Reilly maintain that there is a war on Christmas and that this counts as “persecution.” This is because some towns did not want to put up any religious symbols during the Christmas holidays. Also, some stores started telling their customers “Happy holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”
No church services were stopped, no arrests were made and no lions were cruelly starved in order to make John Gibson or Bill O’Reilly seem appetizing. In other words, no actual persecution was happening.
Why Are They Scared?
Christians that claim they are being persecuted are so scared of being persecuted that they see it in anything they can. (Again, not all Christians are like this). This is because these Christians are persecutors themselves. These are the ones that tell a homeless person to get a job; to mutilate and torture animals because God said they could; to deny women or gays any rights; to declare war on illegal immigrants and claim they have a God-given right to own a gun but that no one has the right to free medical care after they’ve been shot by someone weilding their God-given right to own a gun.
Christian myths and terminology have been ingrained into America since Christians annihilated Native Americans from the 1600s onwards. These Native Americans had to suffer humiliation, theft of everything they had, starvation, rape, murder and being placed in concentration camps called “reservations”. That’s not just name-calling or having someone giggle when they see someone praying before eating. That’s real persecution.
In America, any Christian can hold public office. Ths is not true of atheists. States that ban atheists from holding public office include North Carolina, Arkansa, Maryland, Missisppi and Pennsylvania. In some places like Arkansas, atheists are not allowed to act as a witness in a trial. Granted, this is not like being thrown into a concentration camp, but it is a way to keep atheists from political office and to work with the current judicial system.
Even the Pledge of Allegiance includes God, even though the original version did not. The “under God” part was added by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Joint Resoulution of Congress on June 14, 1954. That’s like the insult after the injury, although most atheists have more important things to worry about than the Pledge of Allegiance.
Any Christian in America that is convinced that he or she is being persecuted needs to look deeply at themselves and see who they persecuted recently. They also should go to a homeless shelter and see the constant stories of domestic violence, extreme poverty and injustice. They will then see what persecution really is.
“The Late Great Planet Earth.” Hal Lindsey and Carol C. Carlson. Zondervan. 1970
Worthy News.com: “Persecution of Christians Growing in the United States.” http://www.worthynews.com/1710-persecution-of-christians-growing-in-the-united-states
Focus on the Family. “Christian persecution on the Rise.” http://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/articles/christian_persecution_on_the_rise.aspx
Friendly Atheist.com: “Which States Ban Atheists From Holding Office?” http://friendlyatheist.com/2009/12/15/which-states-ban-atheists-from-holding-public-office/
WikiSource. “Public Law 83-396.” http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Public_Law_83-396