On Friday, April 10, 13-year-old Nauman Masih was walking home from his job as an apprentice tailor. Two men, whom he did not know, stopped him and asked him what his religion was.
“I told them that I am Christian,” Masih said. “They started beating me, when I tried running, both boys started following me through the street and then they threw kerosene on me and burnt me.”
Masih suffered burns over 55% of his body, and today is listed in critical condition. We haven’t heard about this for two reasons:
First, because the hospital is in Lahore, Pakistan.
But second, we wouldn’t care anyway, because here in America we’re facing a War On Christianity. Bill O’Reilly explains it here:
See what Bill did there? People are dying all over the world. And here in America, they’re even being CRITICIZED! Oh, the horror!
The Evil That Is “Secularism”
Contrary to Mr. O’Reilly’s complaint, in pulpits all over America (I can vouch for this personally) the idea of Secularism is regularly attacked. In a nutshell, the idea that the State should not endorse any particular religion, and that all religions (even the lack thereof) have equal rights under the law, is in itself an attack on Christianity.
Evidence for this persecution began with the “War on Christmas” – retail chains instructing employees that it was more inclusive to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” This offense was countered with demands that we “keep Christ in Christmas” and to remember that “Jesus is the ONLY reason for the season.” (Never mind the fact that Jesus wasn’t born in December, or that the holiday was originally about winter solstice, or a celebration of the Roman god Saturn. Facts are irrelevant. )
Also never mind the thought that Jews, Buddhists, Pagans – and yes, even Atheists and Muslims – also shop during December and maybe are celebrating a different holiday. Or that they might appreciate being included in the festivities. NO. We must ALL be told Merry Christmas, gosh darn it!
And according to Bill O’Reilly, the General McArthur of the Right’s counter-offensive in this war, from now on we will.
Then came the idea that state and local governments shouldn’t be spending tax dollars to display religious symbols like the Ten Commandments or Nativity scenes. This recalled the Holocaust inflicted by the Supreme Court when it ruled back in the ’60’s that class prayer and bible study also wasn’t fair to the Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Atheist or Muslim children in attendance. And that maybe it wasn’t the school’s place to be indoctrinating children anyway.
Every time one of these items is taken down it’s another knife in the gut to Christians everywhere. Or, as this spot-on article calls it, “annually nut-punching Jesus.”
People like Bill Maher routinely express their feelings that Christianity – and all religions for that matter – are not so great for society and humanity. “Aggressive Atheists” troll social media with biting comments about believing in “sky fairies” and pointing out all the unpleasant passages in the bible. (You know, the ones condoning slavery and rape, etc.) It’s just amazing the persecution the average Christian has to put up with these days.
Fired “For Being Christian”
Kelvin Cochran was the Fire Chief of Atlanta. He self-published a book titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?. In this book, Cochran writes:
“Uncleanness – whatever is opposite of purity; including sodomy, homosexuality, lesbianism, pederasty, bestiality, all other forms of sexual perversion.”
“Naked men refuse to give in, so they pursue sexual fulfillment through multiple partners, with the opposite sex, the same sex, and sex outside of marriage and many other vile, vulgar and inappropriate ways which defile their body – temple and dishonor God.”
After the book came out, Cochran was first placed on 30-day suspension and then fired. Fox News went apeshit. One quote from their story says:
“It’s a frightening day in the United States when a person cannot express their faith without fears of persecution following,” White told me. “It’s persecution when a godly fire chief loses his job over expressing his Christian faith.”
Horrible, right? Well, what they – and all the other right-wing outlets making hay over this case – neglect to point out is the fact that Cochran didn’t just write and publish this book. He distributed it to subordinate employees who did not wish to be indoctrinated in his religious beliefs. He was asked to stop giving the book out on the job, but kept giving it out anyway.
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution (after the suspension, but before Cochran was fired):
Cochran has been ordered to undergo sensitivity training and has been barred from distributing copies of the book on city property after a number of firefighters said they received them in the workplace.
Then there’s the case of Lt. Commander Wes Modder, which has also received widespread attention in Conservative circles. According to RedState.com:
Lt. Commander Wes Modder, was accused of failing “to show tolerance and respect” in private counseling sessions regarding issues pertaining to faith, marriage and sexuality, specifically homosexuality and pre-marital sex, according to Fox News.
Military veteran and attorney Michael Berry said Modder, who is endorsed as a chaplain by the Assemblies of God, is being punished for his Christian faith… Modder, chaplain at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, S.C., was given a “detachment for cause” letter February 17 after the Navy found him unable to “function in the diverse and pluralistic environment.”
The article, and Modder’s supporters, insist that a new assistant (who Modder didn’t realize was gay) must have “gained access to private counseling files during his time as Modder’s assistant.” Because they insist that this assistant is the ONLY complainant, and that Modder is being persecuted ONLY for remarks made during private counselling sessions that nobody complained about before. (The article calls it “advice in private counseling sessions that left some people all hurty-pants.”)
But again, that’s not the whole story. According to Stripes.com, the complaint came from multiple different Sailors:
In a Feb. 17 memo to Navy Personnel Command, Fahs said that a command investigation, which was conducted following complaints from several sailors, found that Modder:
- told students that homosexuality was wrong, and that the “penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus.”
- suggested that he could “save” gay people.
- told a student she was “shaming herself in the eyes of God” for having premarital sex, and berated a pregnant student for becoming pregnant out of wedlock.
- asked a staff member about her sexual activities and then told her that she should be in love with God and not her partner.
- discriminated against students of different faiths and backgrounds.
But again, if your criteria is shoving your beliefs down everyone’s throat like a bigoted asshole then yes, Modder has been drummed out of the Navy for being a Christian.
Homosexual Marriage And The “Gay Agenda”
Now we get to the real biggie. The idea that extending gays the right to marry is an attack on “traditional marriage” itself. That the “Gaystapo” or “Gay Mafia” isn’t going to be happy until every innocent child in America is converted to perversion and Christianity is stamped out.
I once posted an image to my personal Facebook page declaring my support for the Freedom to Marry. A licensed minister in the United Pentecostal Church who I was still “friends” with at the time posted this comment:
People living in such arrangements can do so if they wish (it IS a free country) but then to demand some 1100+ benefits accorded to men and women who choose to do the “hard lifting” of procreating and rearing children while they willingly choose to absorb attendant costs of such–to take these benefits from taxpayers for their own selfish, unsacrificing sterile lives–is an affront to those of us in the former camp. No, the title “marriage” is brought low and dragged through the mud by this oddball political and social movement, and govt., which has an interest in fostering a moral social order with healthy and productive children and families has every right to stand athwart its untimely expansion. The faux happiness perennially displayed by these folks belies a profound sadness at the heart of the movement with something like 18 times the suicide rates of us normal folks. (emphasis mine).
The entire exchange was rather enlightening as some of my saner friends took issue with his comments. I pointed out the lack of Christian love, and was of course told that this type of bludgeoning is true love:
Please don’t try to turn the tables on us with this sort of blame-game chicanery. Almost 20% of young men infected with HIV will die of AIDS (CDC stats). Are you being “loving” to them by avoiding honest discussion of this with them? Or do you all sit around and engage in lite, empty banter such as I observe on your pages here while many of them continue to die off like flies?? No, true love will eschew the wine sipping and crumpet crunching and politically correct pseudo-happiness culture with its siren call to self destruction. God can change a person’s mind through the baptism of the Holt Ghost AND bring true deliverance, love, joy, and peace.
Oh yeah. I feel the love there.
Anyway, the same person – and many others I have known – are all up in arms over the “radical gay agenda.” Which really boils down to the fact that gay people think they deserve the same rights as everyone else. Seriously. I’ve had close gay friends since junior high. That’s really all they want. (Fashion and Fabulousness notwithstanding.) But for some reason the very existence of homosexuality brings out the most rabid reactions imaginable from Conservative Christians. They often look an awful lot like a vampire who’s just seen a cross.
I’ve heard it suggested – and I really think this is the bottom line of it all – that for these conservative types, any other sin is something they might actually commit themselves. Adultery? Well Jesus was pretty harsh on that one – if you even look at a woman to lust on her you’re guilty. Lying? Yeah most likely guilty. Stealing? Well, have you ever goofed off on the clock at work? That’s stealing. So yeah, really railing on the gays is a safe way to judge someone for something you’ve never done.
So the government, and the courts (which, according to my former preacher friend above is “stacked with homosexuals” who are the only ones making these rulings) are in the process of making Marriage Equality the law of the land. Which means that there will be gay weddings. Which means that gays will want cakes, and flowers and photographers. And maybe even pizza.
Well, of course a good, loving Christian won’t want to take part in any of that. And the fact that the government isn’t going to allow them to discriminate is the strongest evidence yet that they are, in fact, being persecuted.
So there you have it. For Christians, the struggle is real.
Except That… It’s Not
Here’s the thing, tho. According to a 2012 Pew Research survey, 73% of Americans identify as Christians. Only 6% claim a non-Christian religion, including a scant one half of one percent who are Muslims.
20% of Americans are now “religiously unaffiliated” This includes people (about 14% of the total) who believe in God but simply have no religious affiliation. Roughly 6% identify as Atheist or Agnostic.
According to the CDC, in 2014 97.7% of Americans reported being heterosexual. Only 1.6% reported being gay or lesbian, and 0.7% reported being bisexual.
As Jon Stewart has pointed out:
“Yes, the long war on Christianity. I pray that one day we may live in an America where Christians can worship freely! In broad daylight! Openly wearing the symbols of their religion… perhaps around their necks? And maybe — dare I dream it? — maybe one day there can be an openly Christian President. Or, perhaps, 43 of them. Consecutively.”
The bottom line is simple, and I can unequivocally vouch for its truth: Christians truly believe that they are privileged. Since they hold an exclusive patent on Truth, they should be treated preferentially. Their beliefs really SHOULD be the law of the land because, after all, they’re RIGHT. And everyone else is wrong. Not only that, but being wrong condemns the rest of us to an eternity burning in the fires of Hell.
Since they are the “Children of the Most High God” they really should have all the legal rights and privileges. This really should be a theocracy based on the Bible.
And anything less is just as much persecution as that faced by Nauman Masih above. As the beheading of 21 Christians in Libya. It’s what they truly believe.
I’ll leave you with this gem from last night’s O’Reilly Factor: