Tag Archives: Christian persecution

Billboard Accused Of Persecuting Christians

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image of billboard with Jesus is Muslim message
Religious Pissing Contest Erupts Over Billboard

This week a group called ‘Ask a Muslim’ put up a billboard on the North side of Columbus that stated ‘Jesus is Muslim’. Of course some evangelical Christians got the vapors. They plan on holding a rally and prayer vigil against the billboard this Saturday. Really. The Christians plan on protesting a billboard. And ‘Coach’ Dave Daubenmire is involved.
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Report Shows Christian Persecution Is A Myth

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created clipart showing Church welfare courtesy of US TaxpayersWe hear all the time from Christian conservatives, in the US, that they are being persecuted in some way like the fake ‘war on Christmas’ or the new rules requiring businesses to cover contraceptives for their employees. We seculars have always known that such claims of persecution were false and now a report from the Council for Secular Humanism and University of Tampa offers proof that most religious groups aren’t doing charitable work and taxpayers are in fact propping up some of them with tax subsidies.
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An Example Of Christian Privilege And Persecution Complex

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screencap from a newsreportI was doing some “spring” cleaning by finally digitizing some old VHS tapes I had. These contained TV show clips and news stories I saved over the years. One of the news stories was about a controversy over a Nativity scene in Lancaster Ohio back in 1999. I wrote about it for my website back then but had no way of embedding a video clip. I watched it again and found a perfect example of Christian privilege and persecution complex in the space of a short 15 second comment from someone interviewed by the reporter. I now have a short clip I can show people who don’t know what Christian privilege is or don’t understand their expressed irrational persecution complex.
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Failed Presidential candidate Gary Bauer complains about Christian privilege

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One of the most ridiculous stories that comes up when talking about separation of church and state is the constant complaints of Christian persecution from right wingers. Gary Bauer, president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families and a failed US Presidential candidate, tries hard to claim that Christians are hurt more than Muslims in this country.
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Christian victims? Give me a break

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My heart is in the sanctity of life and marriage and values and defense against terrorism. I support what the president’s doing in Iraq, and if they’re spending too much money, then I’ll let someone else yell about that. But this president — it’s like this Mark Foley thing — that’s not going to discourage any evangelicals I know from voting. We lived through Bill Clinton, and this situation with Foley is minuscule in comparison. So, I really think it’s making a mountain out of a molehill.

Rev. Jerry Falwell on CNN’s The Situation Room 11/02/2006

Yes, Rev. Falwell, defender of the sanctity of life, marriage, and values, doesn’t seem to have a problem with child abuse.

It isn’t real surprising that Falwell said what he did. You can predict what a religious leader will say by just looking at the politics of the object he/she is discussing. I am pretty sure Falwell would put former Congressman Foley’s actions in proper context had Foley been a Democrat.

That is a big reason the current special relationship that religious conservatives and Republicans proves the point that church and state should be separate. Politics not only can corrupt a person but can corrupt your religion. I mean if your political values can allow you to think that child abuse is less of a moral problem than a blow job then you might need some remedial religion classes.

Of course hypocrisy isn’t the only problem with the mixing of religion and politics.

Last month, my local paper did their obligatory conservative-Christians-as victims election season report as if it were a new trend. Conservative Christians feel put upon because their anti-gay, anti-woman, anti-religious freedom, anti-science bigotry isn’t shared by everyone.

“The Christian majority is sick and tired of things like same-sex marriage and the (removal of the) Ten Commandments in the court- house,” he said. “Two people get upset, and the ACLU comes in. People are tired of things like one guy with a lawyer changing the entire face of a government building because of the Ten Commandments. What the hell was it hurting?”

Bob Burney, who hosts a Christian radio call-in program on WRFD (880 AM) in Columbus, hears the complaint a lot.

“It’s the clash of two worldviews,” he said. “Things have been declared to be unconstitutional that have been constitutional for 200 years,” he said. “Evangelical Christians are energized by their very strong perception that those on the left want to remove the Godly heritage that we have and move to a completely secular state.”

From “Enough was enough” Columbus Dispatch 10/09/2006

I wrote a letter to the editor about the article and it was published on October 18th:

I wanted to comment on the Oct. 9 Dispatch article “Enough was enough.” It doesn’t surprise me that conservative Christians would vote for a candidate solely on religious beliefs. We have some voters who choose a candidate simply because they recognize the name of the person on the ballot or because some relative served years before.

Unfortunately, atheists and secular humanists such as myself don’t have that luxury. Since the conservative Christians have invaded the political process, we have a de facto establishment of religion and no atheist or secular humanist candidate can pass the religious test that group has put in place. We have to vote for the whole package that a particular candidate brings into the campaign.

The New York Times reported on Oct. 8 that, since 1989, religious groups have received more than 200 special arrangements, protections or exemptions in congressional legislation, on topics from pensions to immigration to land use to exemptions from federal employment-discrimination laws.

These special arrangements also have come from winning court decisions and federal-agency rule changes. Ninety-eight percent of the special treatment goes to Christian groups. As The Times put it, “As a result of these special breaks, religious organizations of all faiths stand in a position that American businesses — and the thousands of nonprofit groups without that ‘religious’ label — can only envy.”

So forgive me if I don’t shed a tear the next time I hear the myth that conservative Christians are under siege.

Removing the 10 Commandments from public buildings promotes equality by removing the religious bigotry inherent in the Decalogue. Allowing gays to marry gives them the chance to formally share in what it means to commit to the one you love and removes the 2nd class status that comes from not being allowed.

Conservative Christians use politics to force their subjective “values” on others. Politics should be about doing the best for the most people. It should be about promoting shared values that have little to no negative impact on others.

War on Christians: same old same old

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I posted earlier about not having a transcript or article about the recent “The War on Christians and Values Voters in 2006” hosted by the religious right front group Vision America. I had an idea of what would be talked about – same old same old tired arguments – but I wanted to read about the conference and maybe some details about it.

Thanks to the blog Writing Right I was led to an article on the People for the American Way site that gave me what I needed.

The article is called The Liberal “War” On Christians and Values Voters : Hysterical Females, Perverted Sodomites, and the Collapse of “Christian America” and here are some of the tidbits of interest to me:

Tom Crouse, pastor of the Holland Congregational Church in Massachusetts and radio show host, testified about his personal tale of persecution, recounting a “Mr. Heterosexual 2006 – A Celebration of God’s Design” event he organized in response to a “Mr. Gay 2005” competition in San Diego. Crouse sued the city of Worcester for making him pay more than $6,000 for police protection for the event, saying it violated his constitutional right to free speech. While refreshingly admitting that it was somewhat disingenuous for panelists to be talking of “persecution” in light of actual religious persecution around the world, Crouse nonetheless stated that Jesus warned Christians that they would be persecuted for their beliefs and thus, such persecution was actually a blessing. In fact, Crouse suggested, if Christians are not being persecuted, they ought to ask themselves if they are living their faith properly. Crouse’s “Mr. Heterosexual” event was designed, he said, to proclaim the truth that God doesn’t make homosexuals and that everyone is born heterosexual, but some choose to pretend otherwise. Crouse called on the church to stop worrying about appearing tolerant and start proclaiming the truth, saying that Jesus was the most intolerant person in the world.

and

Rabbi Aryeh Spero, president of Caucus for America – an organization that is dedicated to “unmasking the true intentions and motivations of a cynical, elitist corps working to transform America into a variant of European secularism and socialism.” Spero took up Feder’s theme and went a step farther, stating that they are really in a battle against “hedonists” who want to destroy America and turn it into a socialist state. Spero said that words and phrases such as “tolerance” and “multiculturalism” are really just code words for unmitigated hedonism. Spero responded to a question from an audience member wondering why “liberal elitists” have sided with the Palestinians against Israel and with Islam against America, by saying they have done so because they – liberal elitists – hate America and because they constantly are looking for ways to make themselves appear smarter and more compassionate. He closed with a warning that Islam and “fundamental secularists” were working together to destroy America’s moral underpinnings.

and

Texas Senator John Cornyn was then introduced by Phillip Jauregui, the director of Vision America’s Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration and the former attorney for Justice Roy Moore. Cornyn basically delivered a stump speech about judicial activism and the importance of getting the “right kind” of judges on the bench. After saying he was pleased by Justice Alito’s confirmation in light of Alito’s views on religious “freedom,” Cornyn commenced an attack on the court system and various decisions about the separation of church and state such as prayer in public schools, the Ten Commandments, etc., for constitutionally “transforming” a policy of state “neutrality” toward religion into a policy of “hostility” toward religion.

and

Rod Parsley, pastor of the Columbus, Ohio World Harvest megachurch, is one of the rising stars of the religious right and got the conference’s second day off to an energizing start. According to Parsley, who wholeheartedly endorsed the “War on Christians” conference, America is in the midst of “a revolution, a reformation and a revival” – and this conference was part of a “moral revolution,” which he compared to the Crusades. The nation is at a “point of crisis,” he said, in which “our culture is in chaos” and the “moral foundations … are quickly crumbling around us with no sign of a cure.” To the “smoldering ash heap of moral decline that we find ourselves in today,” he maintained, God “has called us to war” against a “spiritual invasion” – although who the invaders are is less than clear, though “secular humanists,” the “liberal left,” public schools, and “America’s tortured and angry homosexual population” could all be likely candidates.

The Liberal “War” On Christians and Values Voters : Hysterical Females, Perverted Sodomites, and the Collapse of “Christian America”

As the PFAW article noted:

Those who attended and spoke at the “War on Christians” conference are committed to portraying every court decision that they don’t like, every piece of legislation they support that doesn’t get enacted, and every policy that does not conform to their religious and social agenda as part of some overarching secularist plot to destroy Christianity. If there is any doubt that the drafters of the “Values’ Voters Contract with Congress” truly want to portray themselves as engaged in “war,” one only has to read the declaration’s conclusion where they pledge their “lives” and their “fortunes” to “support of the beliefs and actions we have herein declared.”

It all seemed so familar to me. Why?

Oh, yes. The same “war” metaphors and shrill screeching that the country is falling apart has been expressed by the religious right since the Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973, the Christian Voice was born in 1978, and the Moral Majority appeared in 1979 and so on.

“The strategy against the American Radical Left should be the same as General Douglas MacArthur employed against the Japanese in the Pacific… Bypass their strongholds, then surround them, isolate them, bombard them, then blast the individuals out of their power bunkers with hand-to-hand combat. The battle for Iwo Jima was not pleasant, but our troops won it. The battle to regain the soul of America won’t be pleasant either, but we will win it.”

Pat Robertson, The Most Dangerous Man in America? by Rob Boston

and…

“[T]he even more diabolical ‘wall of separation’ that has led to increasing secularization, godlessness, immorality, and corruption in our country.”

“God has called us to engage the enemy in this culture war. That is our challenge today.”

“How much more forcefully can I say it? The time has come, and it is long overdue, when Christians and conservatives and all men and women who believe in the birthright of freedom must rise up and reclaim America for Jesus Christ.”

Rev. D. James Kennedy, Character & Destiny: A Nation In Search of Its Soul, (Zondervan Publishing House, 1997)

The Religious Right controls the Republican party and the GOP controls both houses of Congress, the President, the Supreme Court, and most of the Appellate courts, along with a majority of state and local governments.

11 states passed amendments banning Gay marriage.

There is NOT a war on Christians in the US. There is a struggle between freedom and Christian extremism and unless secular people and moderate Republicans wake up we will all be outlawed.

There is no difference in my mind between the Religious Right in this country and the Taliban in Afghanistan. They are both dangerous to American values.