Religion

Spoiled: Christian Persecution?

In college I joined a group called CRU or Christian Crusade for Christ. It was an evangelical group, and because I was a recent convert to Christianity I saw them as a bright and shinny beacon to help me develop my faith in God. While their views were often more conservative than mine, they, in general, were a very nice, welcoming group of people…as long as you were a Christian.

At one meeting I remember them talking about how hard it is to be a Christian in America. Not only did you have to deal with Satan’s temptation but also all the persecution going on! Constantly being bullied by non-Christians who just don’t understand. However from seeing their words and actions over four years I’d have to agree with Ben Franklin:

“If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practiced it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England blamed persecution in the Romish Church, but practiced it upon the Puritans. They found it wrong in Bishops, but fell into the practice themselves both there (England) and in New England.”— Benjamin Franklin

I think one of the irony’s of extreme Christians today (note that I said extreme, not normal everyday Christians walking around, minding their own business) is that they aren’t being persecuted and yet they want to be so terribly. Because of this they find and create stories about how hard it is to be Christian in America. Here is one.

There is this sense that government and non-Christians are out to get them. A paranoia that the only reason that Obama is making those decisions is to screw over god fearing xians. Let’s open our eyes. Obama has a lot of things to worry about, and maybe other people have needs just like you do that aren’t being met. The world, as well, has things that it requires: such as not being too populated. With overpopulation comes a strain on and wars for resources, even more malnourished kids and adults, and so it goes. Sometimes decisions have nothing to do with religion. And when it comes to government it shouldn’t. the founding fathers wanted it that way because the connection would ruin both the institution of religion and politics.

“History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose.” — Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

Christian are offered privileges in America. That article above about contraception. Think about if that were Muslims who were writing that rather than Christians…how would society react? They would probably say that Muslims are trying to take over America and Obama is helping them since he is a Muslim…
The fact that Christians are even being taken seriously in their arguments means they are privileged.

Any time the government and parts of society try to create more equal ground between all religions xians come back by saying that they are being persecuted since they aren‘t enjoying the same privileges as they have been for so long. They take their beliefs to the extreme and thrust themselves onto politicians, onto funerals, and state websites like this one.

I think about as much hate crimes happen against Christians as they do for anyone else. Unfortunately it’s not extremely popular to be an evangelizing Christian, just as it isn’t popular to be Muslim in America, and mormons are the butt of everyone’s jokes.


Muslims, Mormons, and Xian aren’t bad, in my eyes all of those things are great! They should be qualities that are celebrated for their similarities as well as their differences.

I was once a Christian in America…and I didn’t find it that difficult. Maybe this is because the town I grew up in is around 80% Catholic. Our school rarely served meat on Friday’s during Lent, and no one in town scheduled activities on Wednesday evening because everyone would be at CCD. Mind you the town has a population of about 60,000 so it’s not some two horse town (we had at least 6 that I know of).

I’m not saying that Christians aren’t being persecuted per se, but I don’t think they are to the extent they would like to be. To me, there is this sadistic underlying as if they want it to be able to prove a point to society that it’s oh-so hard to be a Christian. That way they can pretend like they are taking up their proverbial cross in order to endure the hardships similar to Christians of the past. It’s like a wealthy, white American male trying to say how hard it is to get by to a Native American or an African American. For a Christian to say they are being persecuted is insulting to every minor religion who don’t get those same privileges.

It’s hard enough to believe in a religion, you don’t need to make up hardships. The pressures of society do that enough. So Christians…stop trying to prove yourself,

Like I said before evangelical Xians are not the most popular. Is it because we just hate them for no reason? No it’s because of that whole thing above and, to put it delicately, their inability to shut their traps. Extreme Christians tend to not know when to stop trying to preach when it’s unwanted. If someone doesn’t want to hear the message then they should take it as a hint that they don’t have the ‘eyes to see’ or the ‘ears to hear’ and leave people alone. And If the need to do something remains then they can go home a pray that people open their hearts to receive the message before they meet their ‘maker’.

I’m totally cool with people posting stuff about their beliefs online, on facebook, or talking to people face-to-face about it. But don’t bully them into believing what you do. It is not that they are wrong (I’m not saying they are right) but the more you push  people the more they will be annoyed and dislike you and are less likely to receive your message. I feel like this is common sales knowledge–Don’t piss off the customer. Recently on facebook a friend of mine posted a anti-abortion message that compared the killings at the movie theater in Aurora, CO to abortion. I commented that I understood the meaning of the message but posting it cheapened the deaths of both parties. And that I found it disrespectful. Of course an argument ensued between others and him. He had a message that he wanted to get across (abortion is bad), and in the end everyone disregarded him as an extremist asshole and his original message was forgotten.

So let’s work on the idea of persuasion. When politicians use fear mongering to get people to vote for them or buy into some new bill I laugh in their face. Just like when you tell me I need to believe or I’m going to hell–I am laughing at you. BUT! if you convince me that your life is much better and you reap the rewards of being a better, more understanding, person than I will definitely consider it and maybe crack open a Bible to see what’s up.

But, hey, that’s just me. I very well could be entirely wrong in my thinking. Maybe Xians are very persecuted. I’d love to hear and learn so please comment, argue with me, set me straight or confirm. I love to hear from everyone of all faith backgrounds. Paul Tillich taught me that with doubt we become stronger in our faith. So help me doubt myself.

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way. Prov 14:8

 

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5 thoughts on “Spoiled: Christian Persecution?

  1. I agree with your view that Christians are not persecuted to the extent that such a word would cause us to imagine. The little “Persecution” that the faith community does encounter is brought on by itself by socially ignorant points of view and/or living a life that reflects anything but Christ. Unfortunately the true messages of Christ have been manipulated to fit others agendas in the political, social, or sexual arenas.

    I work in the non-profit world doing my best to take care of what the bible would refer to as the “least of these”. I feed 500 people every Thursday and mobilize 200-300 volunteers every Thursday evening and the biggest “Persecution” that i face is from the “Church” itself because we refuse to “Preach” the gospel from a platform.

    As a Christian, I think that those who are not, persecute us for our general lack of resolve in acting like the very thing that we claim to embody.

    I write a blog about my own pursuits in defying the modern “Christian” methods of living out a life worthy of the kind of persecution that you speak of.

    http://crockpotchristianity.wordpress.com/

    Peace to you,

    Zach Clark

    • Thanks for all the great work you do helping people! The world needs people like you who work towards making the world a better, more enjoyable place.

      People have definitely spread the message thin. While Christians of the past had to deal with being able to practice openly, we have to deal with a diluted message and understanding of community. I suppose it’s not a bad problem to have except that Christians and society tend to bring it on themselves.

      “As a Christian, I think that those who are not, persecute us for our general lack of resolve in acting like the very thing that we claim to embody.” That’s interesting, why do you think that is? Do you think it goes to the extremes to people who are ‘too faithful’ (Those who picket funerals and in general hate on other social groups) all the way to people who don’t profess their religion enough? (I’m not sure if that will make sense)

      Thanks for posting, I’m looking forward to reading you blog.

      • I think that one big issue is that modern Christians “drink the Kool-aid” of leaders that filter the true message of Christ to fit their agenda. We have these “professional Christians” (AKA Preachers) that mobilize the masses under the guise of the biblical truth, when in reality they are fed propaganda for a social or political opinion.

        Unfortunately they make up a large number of the public Christian persona and the rest of us are left to clean up their messes.

        I don’t think that they face persecution because they are extreme in their faith. I think they face persecution because the don’t actually understand the reality of the message of Christ.

        I am an extreme Christian. I get down to the dirty areas of the people I serve and love them with everything I have. There are few lengths that I will not go to show them that I love them right where they are and represent God in me through that love. I believe that this may make since to someone like your self and you would be hard pressed to find fault in simple, reckless love like that.

        If it were a matter of the extreme being persecuted by unbelievers I would feel more pressure from them. Instead I have a ton of support from people who subscribe to my beliefs and those who do not.

        Ignorance is the culprit in those who choose to hate in God’s name (banner waving, protesting groups) and it is often fear for those who under profess their beliefs.

        I hope this answers the question. If not I will be happy to give it another go.

        Peace to you,

        Zach Clark

      • I agree with you full-heartedly! The love and passion you seem to have for other people shows in your writing and, I’m sure, very much in your work.

        While media tends to really shove the ‘crazies’ down our throats because it makes a better story, I think Christians who do really understand and live by the message are starting to step up and show the world that they are out there. While numbers of followers in Christian churches are declining, I think that message is still living strong and people are becoming more inclined to act on it. And while I don’t knock those who benefit from attending church, I’m inclined to think that actions speak louder than sitting in a pew or chair. It’s not that ‘churches’ or Christianity is in decline, it just seems to be modifying how it’s practiced. This can be seen as a negative, but I see it becoming a great power that has the ability to adapt, and to grow with the times and needs of the people in the face of diversity. Acceptance of all faiths does not mean you have to give up your own faith, and I feel like that gets lost for certain types of extremists who may have underlying insecurities in their beliefs.

  2. Good points. I agree with you.

    I once read a book by a Christian author. He narrated a conversation between two preachers. One preacher had just held a “revival” and the other was asking him how it went. The one who had held the event said “It was amazing, what a success!!!” to which the other replied, “how many did you add to your congregation?”. The first preacher responded “none… We lost 500″.

    Christianity is truly alive and well in new forms. If being alive and well only means that those who understand and act upon their faith are the ones left i would consider it “revived”

    I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. It seems that we are like minded.

    Peace to you,

    Zach Clark

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