December 9, 2010

Persecution Shuffle

Blessed are ye when men hate you, and thrust you out of their company, and rail on you, and abhor your name, as an evil thing, for the son of man's sake.
Rejoice ye then, and be glad: for behold, your reward is great in heaven.
After this manner their fathers entreated the prophets.
(Luke 6:22-23, Tyndale-Coverdale Bible, modern spelling)

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus,
must suffer persecutions.
(2 Timothy 3.12, Tyndale-Coverdale Bible, modern spelling)

Buon giorno. That's right, it's not easy to be a follower of Jesus. You want easy? Be a piece of deadwood and float with the current.

Still waiting for input on text size and colors, gang. Subscribers are stuck, they get what the service sends them. Sorry.

My subscribers, followers and regular readers know that I have been posting articles about the persecution of Christians. The instances to which I refer have been blatant "renounce Jesus" kinds of things, including torture, murder, imprisonment and other harassment. In most of the West, and here in the United States, "persecution" is relative. More often, the persecution is toned down to the level of discrimination.

Unlike what some God-haters may say, I am not one of those people that sees persecution lurking behind every tree or hiding around every corner. Unlike what some God-haters may say, the persecution of Christians does indeed exist. (Note: Other groups experience it as well, but I am doing one of the first rules of writing, and limiting my topic to the persecution of Christians.) In fact, I believe that I am going to give regular reports on this subject in the United States and the West. Just because some people do not like to admit it does not mean it does not exist, capice?

Just a moment.

Now I'm going to switch to a less emotionally-charged word and use "discrimination".

The new FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps, wants to have a test of sorts, or a kind of standard, for the "public value" of every broadcast station.

"Is that discrimination, Cowboy Bob?"

In and of itself, no. However, it is an item of concern because someone's arbitrary and subjective standards of "public value" can be used to heavily influence the airwaves. To me, it sounds like the Fairness Doctrine dug up from its grave, zombified and put into a new suit of clothes. The Fairness Doctrine was targeting Conservative radio, because it was successful and liberal radio was failing because nobody wanted to listen to it. After all, radio is a business and it is market driven.

I am concerned that if the FCC has that power, they can simply decide to shut down stations because they have no "public value", even if the public wants to hear those stations. It is one thing to have community standards (including decency), but it is quite another to have bureaucrats in charge.

Just something to think about.

Something else to think about: Just because I cite Christian sources or use Conservative news sources does not make something untrue. That kind of accusation is outrageously, deliberately stupid. It is also hateful to be slandering good people just because you don't like what is being said. I have come across people who think that if the source is Christian, it's automatically suspect. Do those people listen to themselves? We serve a holy and righteous God who does not tolerate that kind of thing, so it's ridiculous to label Christians as a whole to be habitual liars. (Imagine — we serve a holy and righteous God, so we'll be habitual liars as a group to get you to believe in a holy and righteous God. Like, duh!) If they made the same kind of remarks about an ethnic group, it would be racism. As you can see, that kind of nonsense really grinds my gears; it's an excuse to avoid facts.

Anyway. Here is another item that may or may not be outright discrimination: Touchdown! A high school football player, Ronnie Hastie, in Washington state briefly dropped to one knee and pointed skyward after making a touchdown. The referee gave a fifteen yard penalty. Now, I can understand a penalty for the showboating, gloating, "in your face", time wasting stuff that went on before. But this? Pretty heavy handed. (Want more sources for that one? OK. One, two, three, and this fourth one is from Britain. That outta hold you for a while, Gertrude.) But the player will change "for the team". Does he have the strength of his convictions? Tough call.

I picked two "iffy" examples. The first could easily be used to stifle free speech, affecting Christians and Conservatives most of all. It is not clear-cut discrimination. The second example seems more likely to be discrimination because the penalty call was absurd. Not definite, however.

At any rate, discrimination and persecution of Christians does indeed exist, whether you like it or not. Whether you believe it or not.


Paul Baird said...

Discrimination is a better word.

It reminded me of the experiences of a pagan friend of mine who was in labour, second stage and the midwife, who was a Christian noticed her pagan broach and asked the question about her faith, which she answered honestly.

The day after the birth, while convalescing at home she was told by another midwife that a referral had been made by the first wife to social services.

The grounds - her paganism.

After some phone calls and a visit from the Social the case was dropped and the midwife reprimanded.

Who do you think was being persecuted ?

You might laugh it off, but consider the Orkney case.

There is a case to be made that Christians suffer discrimination. There is not a case to be made that it is exclusive to Christians, other faith paths suffer too.

Stormbringer said...

As I said, "Other groups experience it as well, but I am doing one of the first rules of writing, and limiting my topic to the persecution of Christians."

But I am not going to wave off what appears to be discrimination BY a Christian, who probably had more enthusiasm than sense. But that is based on the few things that I see here; there may be other factors that have nothing to do with religion. Or, the Christian could have been a jerk, plain and simple.

That Orkney case? Not laughing.

You agree that Christians suffer persecution. I am thinking that Christians suffer more persecution than other groups (aside from Jews, of course) in the US. I have another thing to write up on this line, probably appear on Saturday.

And if I do this on a regular basis, I intend to keep them short so I don't bore people.

Rhomphaia (Sword) said...

There's a case, here in the states, where a baker refused to cater a gay wedding. It was "against her religious convictions".

The gays took her to court- she lost and I think was even fined very heavily. She did appeal last I heard.

Why did the gays have more rights than she? Who was persecuted? There was not ONE ounce of fairness in that ruling. Nadda.

Whateverman said...

IRT to events here in the West, I think "discrimination" is a much more appropriate term. To be sure, Christians are truly persecuted in parts of the world, but I am suspicious of those who (by willful omission or ignorance) imply it's somehow "special" or more noteworthy because it happens to Christians. I'm sure no one here would doubt that other groups are persecuted.

Sure, there's discrimination against Christians here in the West. I think it's a disservice, though, to point to it while ignoring that it happens to other groups as well.

Anonymous said...

"I think it's a disservice, though, to point to it while ignoring that it happens to other groups as well."

One reason that I am pointing it out is that discrimination against Christians does not get anywhere near the attention of discrimination (real and imagined) against other groups. As far as being more noteworthy... I don't think anyone is asking for anything preferential, but just to note that it does happen. Sometimes it happens quite a bit.

I remember a pastor in a small town in Michigan saying (and I was there to hear it) that a girl was told she was not allowed to bring her Bible to school, that it was "illegal". This happened in the late 1980s, I believe. National press? Not a chance.

Whateverman said...

By all accounts, Christians outnumber other religious demographics in the US. If you're right, and anti-Christian discrimination gets less coverage than that of other groups, wouldn't you think this is at least part of the reason? It's difficult to cry "discrimination!" (and I'm not accusing you of doing so here) when the discriminated group is in the majority.

Anonymous said...

WEM, first, great job at being very specific in your wording in a potentially volatile situation.

Here is where I say some things that may look like a dodge, but I hope they are worth considering while considering your own comment.

I know you've seen people who call themselves Christians but live like, well, the devil. Part of that is from a misunderstanding of what a Christian really is. If you went to someone on the street and asked, "Are you a Christian?", unless this was someone who was dressed to indicate otherwise, the response could very well be, "Well, sure, I guess so". It's a loaded question because people associate it with "good person" or "nice guy". Sure, they may attend a church, but many of those are just religious social clubs that do not have good Biblical teaching.

People who are Bible-believing Christians, practice their beliefs, spread the Gospel message — not so many.

Anonymous said...

It's easier to do nothing and get left alone but you're big on self respect and all.

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