Persecution Complexes

James Croft is new at Patheos and I have to say, I’m liking him so far. I don’t really get the Ethical Culture stuff (it’s tough to explain, but let’s say that I like the idea, but the implementation is a bit preachy for my tastes), but otherwise he’s got some solid stuff to say and I’m impressed by his clarity.

So when I saw that he got into a discussion with other new Patheos blogger Adrian Warnock, it got my attention. Apparently Warnock seems to think that Christians like him are unfairly persecuted. Is it because they don’t control most of government, don’t get special treatment, the head of state is not the head of the church (this is in the UK), or that Christianity is not the official state religion?

Of course not! All of that’s still in tact. No, Warnock is afraid that meanies like Richard Dawkins will mock his beliefs.

Personally, I’m surprised it’s taken this long for that sort of mockery to become anywhere near common. He claims to be in telepathic communication with a Jewish ghost. Think about it.

That being said, Warnock is being absolutely ridiculous. He also claims that people are afraid of being fired if they reveal that they support their religion’s version of marriage and not any other one. As Croft points out, this has never happened before. Every few months, a case of this “happening” is trotted out, and inevitably it turns out the person was fired for proselytizing at work instead of, you know, working.

There are a few more ridiculous examples that Warnock gives and Croft very politely demolishes. I recommend reading the whole article, but I really can’t help but shake my head whenever I hear about how persecuted Christianists are in the West because people don’t automatically take their claims at face value and aren’t entirely ok with their treatment of people their faith tells them are bad.

I can’t remember who suggested that since the Bible says that Christians would be persecuted, it’s an article of faith that they are for many fundamentalists, and if there’s no particular evidence to support the assertion, then “persecution” must be redefined as “not always getting your way” in order to maintain inerrancy. It’s actually a little sad, and if people like Warnock didn’t equate not being able to spend all your work time talking about how awesome Jesus is (and how bad everyone else is) or harassing gay college students in some bizarre crusade with being beaten up and having homophobic slurs cut into you before your assailants tried to burn you alive, then I might actually give a shit. Unfortunately, Warnock and others like him have no sense of perspective, so they really ought to shut the fuck up about how “persecuted” they are.

2 thoughts on “Persecution Complexes

    • I absolutely believe that you do, but first you have to acknowledge the problems that exist and stop making false equivalencies. I’m sorry, but LGBT people fear for their lives, many on a daily basis, and the idea that this is somehow the same as being afraid of losing your job for having your beliefs is not only silly, it’s incredibly offensive, especially since it simply doesn’t happen whereas violence against LGBT people happens regularly.

      I know you and a lot of the people who come to this debate that share your beliefs have good intentions, but unfortunately intentions are fairly meaningless in the face of the results of actions. And suggesting that the most privileged faith in the history of Western culture is persecuted because somebody may mock their beliefs or demand that they actually do their jobs…well, “laughable” is the polite reaction. Those of us who have to genuinely worry about being fired or losing our lives because we’re queer or atheist, who have little or no representation in government, who are largely distrusted (especially when it comes to children), and who have to listen to the majority tell us how wicked we are near constantly have every right to be extremely upset.

      If you want everybody to live together peacefully, may I suggest you start by being a vocal advocate for marriage equality? We can’t have peace as long as some of us are not equal and legally preventing it legislates us into following your faith. Legal same sex marriage will not force you to get one, nor will it force your church to perform them should you choose not to. You can continue to live by your convictions by not engaging in or performing same sex marriages, but allowing others to live by theirs.

      I hope we can all live together in peace one day, too. But I won’t do it as a second-class citizen, not in service to your faith or for any other reason.

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