Thursday, August 30, 2007

The persecution of Christians pt 1

I will be examining Thomas Horn’s essay on the Persecution of Christians in three parts. It has always been interesting to me that in the current day and age, that Christians consider themselves to be an endangered class. The oddity comes given their mass amount of numbers, increasing status, and tax exempt business opportunities. Yet somehow they are not happy that those that don’t agree with them are given equal opportunity to have their voice heard. My voice is in bold

More Christians died for their faith in the twentieth century than at any other time in history, says Christian Solidarity International. Global reports indicate that over 150,000 Christians were martyred last year, chiefly outside of the United States.

OK, let’s look at this statement a little closer. I do not intend to marginalize the death of anyone who was targeted for the way that they chose to live their lives. As a matter of fact, being from a country where persecution for beliefs is not sanctioned, I really have no personal perspective on it, except to say that the persecutions are wrong.

With that being said let’s see if the persecution of Christians has increased as CSI is claiming. The current population of the earth is roughly 6,700,000,000. They are saying that 150,000 Christians were martyred. This is equivalent to a little less that 0.2%. In Jesus’ day there were roughly 231,000,000 people in existence. This means that for the numbers to be comparable as a percentage only 461 Christians would need to be martyred in a given year. The number of people that actually were martyred is surprisingly higher. This is compounded by the fact that this all happened in a small area of the earth, so we are being generous by even considering the global population.

However, statistics are changing: persecution of Christians is on the increase in the United States. What's happening to bring about this change?

It sure is changing. Conditions for Christians have done nothing but get better since the world has become more and more secularized. In the places where Christians are still facing persecution, it is typically at the hands of other religions.

According to some experts a pattern is emerging reminiscent of Jewish persecution in post war Germany. "Isolation of, and discrimination against Christians is growing almost geometrically" says Don McAlvany in The Midnight Herald. "This is the way it started in Germany against the Jews. As they became more isolated and marginalized by the Nazi propaganda machine, as popular hatred and prejudice against the Jews increased among the German people, wholesale persecution followed. Could this be where the growing anti-Christian consensus in America is taking us?"

You must be absolutely fucking kidding me. You think that there is a growing sentiment against Christianity today that parallels that of Nazi Germany? Leave it to Christians to break out the Hitler argument anytime they get a chance. So if Christians are becoming isolated and marginalized then explain to me why 77% of the U.S. population claim Christianity, and an additional 7% claim some other Christian oriented religion. Or explain to me why every single President of the United States of America with the exception of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson claimed some version of a Christian faith.

Tolerance of anti-Christian attitudes in the United States is escalating.

God forbid that people who don’t agree with Christianity be tolerated!

recently, a woman in Houston, Texas was ordered by local police to stop handing out gospel tracts to children who knocked on her door during Halloween. Officers informed her that such activity is illegal (not true), and that she would be arrested if she continued.

This is an obvious encroachment on this woman’s free speech. If this story is true then she has a very nice settlement on the way from the city. Of course a search of the news archive in Houston turns up no such story. There is a story out of Georgia though were a 67 year old man was arrested for handing out Bible tracts at a parade. He is suing and hopefully, he will win.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the Freedom from Religion Foundation distributes anti-Christian pamphlets to public school children entitled, "We Can Be Good Without God."

So your literature is O.K. to pass out to school children but opposing literature is not?

The entertainment industry and syndicated media increasingly vilify Christians as sewer rats, vultures, and simple-minded social ingrates.

Really? What show was that?

The FBI and the Clinton White House brand fundamentalist Christian groups as hate mongers and potential terrorists.

If this is true, what do you think the chances are that she was talking about the religious groups that "are" hate mongers and "potential terrorist." Take for example the Westboro Baptist church which pickets the funerals of dead soldiers with signs that read “God hates fags.”

The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago warns that plans by Southern Baptists to hold a convention in the Windy City next year might foment "hate crimes" against minorities, causing some Christians to fear that speaking openly about their religious beliefs will soon be considered a crime. All this, while Christianity itself is often a target of hate-crime violence. We remember the students at Columbine, and the United Methodist minister who was fatally beaten and burned in a remote part of Chattanooga, Tennessee, to name a few of the recent examples of interpersonal violence aimed at believers.

This is exactly the type of propaganda that I am talking about. If a religious event causes hate crimes then it should be monitored closely. Certainly Christians will be allowed to speak openly about their beliefs unless they are inciting people to riot. The part about the students at Columbine seems like an odd statement to me since the shooters were not targeting Christians specifically but were shooting the kids that they felt had treated them as outcast. Here is the story of the United Methodist minister in Tennessee. A quick read through it will show you that he was not killed for being a man of god, but that the whole situation was a robbery gone wrong. Interesting though that when these horrible things happen to any other person that they are just random horrible events. When they happen to a Christian all of the sudden they are immediately considered persecution.

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