Friday, September 07, 2012

Christian Persecution

I have heard so many people talking about the persecution of Christians in the United States. Funny, I didn’t think it was possible to persecute a whole segment of a society where the victims represent at least 75% of the population and have the backing of the politicians in the government at all levels; but what do I know.

Persecution is about the systematic mistreatment of individuals or groups often involving harassment, imprisonment, torture, and denial of basic human rights. This was happening in America? To Christians? I was shocked to hear that such horrendous acts were occurring right under my very nose and yet, I was oblivious to them.

I sat in my car facing the “In God We Trust” motto on the license plate of virtually every car in front of me, with a Jesus fish on their trunk lids, or the “No Jesus, No Peace; Know Jesus, Know Peace” bumper sticker, and the crucifix dangling from rearview mirror, while I waited at the stop light at the intersection of Catholic and Methodist churches watching the guy in the mega-church parking lot with his “Real Men Love Jesus” tee-shirt load a box of NIVs in the trunk, as I fiddled with the radio past several evangelical preachers talking on AM stations and overheard the teller at the nearby bank tell the couple in the minivan to “have a blessed day”; I couldn’t understand how religious persecution of Christians could be happening in America.

We daily wade through rivers of religious information, imagery, and institutions; we cannot drive down any street in any town without being inundated with the claptrap of Christianity. We have “under God” in the pledge and trust in God is proclaimed on our currency. Based on nothing of substance, we have granted tax-exempt status for churches and politicians are unendingly vying for a Guinness Book entry on who can say “God Bless America” the most in one speech. There is a continuous drone of meaningless platitudes from the pulpit, prayers from their pious parishioners, and pathetic pablum from pontificating preachers on public access. We have all of this religious inertia in our society and yet…

Oh, wait a minute, what’s that? No torture, no denial of human rights, no imprisonment? What then? The application of Church-State separation in public school science classes, expansion of civil rights to non-traditional couples, intervention in child healthcare issues, and inclusion of other religious and non-religious groups in department store greetings and inaugural addresses. Seriously?

Not being able to enact or interpret laws that impose your religious views on others is apparently the new definition of persecution. This new definition denigrates those in the world who truly are persecuted, including Christians in other parts of the world. I guess I missed that revision to Webster’s.

Trying to live up to the ideals of “religious freedom for all” that our forefathers saw fit to establish in our Constitution is frowned upon these days. Equality, justice, and reason are out; science is a lie; prayer takes precedence over action; and the purveyors of salvation are surveying the road to theocracy. Conspiratorial Christian consorts of those that are buying the reigns of power are bullying the dissenters and clawing their way through courts, classrooms, and Congressmen to strangle rights and to defile education while attempting to erect legal barriers to any opposition.

Welcome to the new persecution of Christians…I hope the rest of us can survive the onslaught.

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