While cruising the Internet the other day, I came across a post by Adam Graham on his blog titled “Why You Can’t Trust the Left on Religious Freedom“.
In the post he talks about the recent case of a man in Afghanistan who is under threat of execution for converting to Christianity. Afghanistan, although free of the mega-zelots, the Taliban, still bases their laws on sharia, or Islamic law.
Graham takes another blogger to task for complaining about some religious conservatives from the US who complained about the persecution of the man. At one point he makes the statement
Wow, and like I said, that’s why you can’t trust the left with religious liberty. First of all, do I think Russ would ever do violence against religious people? No. But what it shows is that Russ takes a flippant attitude towards it.
Then he goes on to make some wild speculations if the “left” responded to some hypothetical situations of persecution.
1) All Evangelical Christians were rounded up and deported from the State of New York:
Predicted Liberal Reaction: Shows them for not supporting gay marriage.
2) Muslims in Detroit kill hundreds of Christians and burn dozens of churches to the ground:
Predicted Reaction: Well, when you don’t clearly support the Seperation of Church and State, that happens.
3) Christians Put in Re-Education Camp in California
Predicted Reaction: Call it Reparitive Theory for anti-gay bigots
If Russ reacts like this to the persecution of foreigners, why would he react any differently to the persecution of American Christians? Any persecution is not just facilitated by bloodthirsty regimes, but those who couldn’t care less about what those regimes are doing.
I had to respond to the post and the following is my comment I left on his post:
A lot of wild speculation and reaching for your conclusion. What is your definition of persecution? Persecution is persistent mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. Is is near impossible for a majority religion to be persecuted. My guess is when Christians complain of persecution in the US they are more likely complaining about losing their special status within the overall culture – like the debates over the 10 Commandments in court houses and “under God” in the pledge. It is simply a false complaint.
Equating real persecution like the article at the beginning of your post noted, and the political debate over religion having a special status in the US government is comparing apples and oranges.
It doesn’t follow that “you can’t trust the left with religious liberty” since the situations aren’t the same.
In the US, the persecution clearly is going against non-Christians and non-believers as Christians are struggling in their death grasp as the “chosen people” of this country deserving of special status and special rights.
Graham responded to my comment by saying that David Limbaugh, brother of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, wrote a whole book detailing the persecution of Christians in the US. (Persecution : How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity (2003)) Limbaugh’s book focuses on the political and legal debates over religion in the public schools and within the government. Real persecution is not mentioned.
Let me restate my point – the charge that there is persecution of Christians in the United States is false, it doesn’t exist. Like the “War on Christmas” it is an attempt at vicitimhood by the very people who are in power.
Being asked to cover up your cross at work is totally different than being told by a police officer to cover it after being stopped on the street and he/she indicates if you don’t comply you will be jailed or beaten. The first is not persecution while the former is. See the difference?
Also note that while you wouldn’t have recourse at work, since courts have ruled that the Bill of Rights end at the office door, the ACLU, yes them, would be first in line to defend your right to wear a cross while walking on the street.
There is religious persecution in the US but it is not toward Christians. Most persecution is directed at non-Christians and mostly Atheists. Here are some facts:
Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas prohibit an Atheist from holding public office. The prohibition is written in their constitutions and is in direct opposition to the US Constitution’s prohibition against religious tests for elected officials. Clearly those laws are illegal yet still on the books.
You can be fired or denied housing if you are an atheist and there is no legal re-course. Atheists and Muslims can’t be Boy Scouts or be leaders of Boy Scout units. Some states now require children to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school even with the “under god” part.
A 1999 Gallup poll asked the question “If your party nominated a generally well-qualified person for president who happened to be a ‘X’ would you vote for that person?” “X” is Atheist, Baptist, Black, Catholic, Homosexual, Jewish, Mormon, and Woman. The percentages were: Baptist 94% Black 95% Catholic 94% Homosexual 59% Jewish 92% Mormon 99% Woman 92% and Atheist…. 49%
When I revealed to my co-workers that I was an Atheist and Humanist they made snide remarks about not getting Christmas gifts and left tracts on my desk as a “joke”. I know some Atheist friends who refuse to let our Humanist group to use their full names or picture on our website or newsletter in fear of retribution from friends, family, and co-workers who don’t know they don’t believe in a God.
It is logically near impossible for a majority group to be persecuted. I can only think of one solid example. Until 1990 in South Africa, whites holding power were the minority race in the country and they persecuted the Black majority.
But the facts don’t keep the religious right from claiming Christians in the US are being persecuted.
On March 27 – 28, Vision America’s The War On Christians Conference will convene at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The conference is not only the first to address growing attacks on Christians, but will include discussions of every aspect of the War on Christians, including — Hollywood, the news media, the courts and groups like the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League.
Besides celebrated conservative leaders like Alan Keyes, Gary Bauer, Sen. John Cornyn, Phyllis Schlafly, Sen. Sam Brownback and Rep. Tom DeLay, the conference will feature timely and informative panel discussions.
So as you can see the Big Lie is used by political conservatives to scare their election base to the polls to solidify the majority power they already hold.
International Religious Freedom (yes an entire office in the US State Department devoted to reporting on religious freedom in the world except in the US)