Monday, April 28, 2008

Christian persecution complexes

Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars links to and comments on an essay by Elizabeth Castelli on the history of Christian persecution, real and imagined. It's interesting how many Christians argue that they are being persecuted, even as they are engaged in persecution themselves.

Which reminds me again of Robby Berry's classic "Life in Our Anti-Christian America."


Hume's Ghost said...

It reminds me of white supremacists complaining about being persecuted by blacks.

One of the most pathetic things that has always struck me when listening to white supremacists speak is their sense of being persecuted by an oppressive minority and/or the forces of liberalism. It is difficult to make sense of the assertion that white males in the USA are disadvantaged unless you consider that supremacists are 1)scapegoating an Other they are prejudiced against for perceived societal failings and 2)that their definition of being persecuted amounts to not being allowed to persecute others.

Another group that shares the same persecution complex is that of the religious right. More specifically, the dominionist or Christian nationalist elements of the religious right which similarly consider the failures of society to stem from an oppressive minority and also feels that not being allowed to enforce religious orthodoxy on others amounts to being persecuted. I suspect, however, that it is easier to see the bigotry underlying the persecution complex of the white supremacists than it is from the Christian supremacists, for the obvious reason that we've as a nation already rejected the ideology of white supremacism.

For example, if one were to hear someone say the following, it would be fairly obvious that the person making the statement is a bigot:

You can be any race you want and PROUD of it... except white. I watch tv and flip around and you've got networks for gays, for women, for Spanish speakers ... There's even BET a network just for blacks. Obviously, the owners of the network are black and are proud of it, but if the owners were white and tried to create a White Entertainment Television channel all Hell would break loose.

Is that really that different than this comment agreeing with Ron Paul's view that Christmas is under siege?

You can be ANY faith you want and PROUD of it... except Christian. I walk around one of the largest malls in California, during the holidays, festive colors everywhere, and what is directly in the center of the mall? A massive menorah. Obviously, the owners are Jewish and expressing their faith. Were the owners Christian and tried to do the same with a crucifix, Hell would've broken loose.

JaaJoe said...

Christians are under attack in America! Take Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America. Written by Robert S. McElvaine for example. This worthless
"hitorian" attempts to attack Christians with the bible! This book is likely to be the refrence book of the Anti-Chris. I found this great review of Grand
Theft Jeses
that tears the arguments Dr. McElvaine to shreds.

Jim Lippard said...

I'm not familiar with the book in question, and the review you cite doesn't seem to say much about what the book's arguments actually are.

But using the Bible to criticize Christianity as practiced in the U.S. today is perfectly legitimate, easy, and not persecution.

Criticism is not persecution.

Hume's Ghost said...

I should have mentioned that Alonzo Fyfe at Atheist Ethicist has also used the juxtaposition of white supremacism onto the Pledge in order to help demonstrate anti-atheist bigotry in the Pledge.

He's now turned that excellent (imo) post into a book.