The Christian Persecution Complex?

Over on Twitter I had a very interesting discussion yesterday with another blogger who has just moved over to Patheos. No doubt Jame’s original question was probably prompted from a tweet that came from my introductory post here on Patheos. His blog is coming from a very different perspective to mine and is called Future Temple.  Here is what we said, oldest posts at the bottom, and as is often the case in these discussions some of our replies to each other get a bit jumbled, but I think you can follow the thread just about!

@adrianwarnock Certainly :)
@FutureTemple Great! Check out the links I sent you, I’d love to interact with your interaction with those!

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock Indeed! You have given me ideas for about 5 posts! =D

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnockThat I would not support. And it won’t happen in the UK. James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnockThat seems to be what you are promoting, yes. If that troubles you you might want to reconsider using the word “hatred”.Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock
@FutureTemple Well, in some European countries it is already being mooted that mosques and churches will be forced to comply by law…

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock I think you’ll find most atheists enjoy some robust mockery of their positions. No wilting flowers we ;)

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock Which wishes to prevent religious groups who wish to marry gay couples from exercising their religious freedom.

 Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock
@FutureTemple Just as I fly off…we are heading for a society where people are accused of being haters simply for thinking differently.

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock Errrr, no. No one is proposing forcing places of worship to do anything. Except the anti-marriage campaign…

 Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock
@FutureTemple I gotta dash now. Need to make coffee for my wife. I hope we can interact some more, maybe in our blogs also.

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock That would be a very poor distinction between the two. Better ones are available. Or is everyone who makes a joke a hater?

 Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock
@FutureTemple I think one should do to others what you would like done to you. In other words mock as you would be happy to be mocked unto!

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock If the employer says “no necklaces”, it should not mean “no necklaces for secular ppl but crosses are ok for Christians”.

 Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock
@FutureTemple Fast forward 5 to 10 years, will Mosques be forced to fire their Imams if they believe marriage is for heterosexuals only?

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock They should be expected to abide by the same rules as all other employees, religious or not.

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock I do not always support mockery and derogation as a strategy myself. But I DO a distinction between that and hatred.@FutureTemple Usually “mockery” is something a person does to someone else whilst “hate speech” is something someone does to you!

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock
@FutureTemple So someone should be forced not to wear a cross even if that’s precious to them? What of a Sikh who wants to cover their hair?

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock All you have to do there is distinguish between mockery and hate speech. Can be tricky but usually it’s simple.@adrianwarnock Well that is not being able to do your job. I included that caveat for a reason ;)

@FutureTemple Well, I hope that our interactions in the future will prove what I describe about hate & mockery doesn’t have to be the way

 James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple
@adrianwarnock All I see is an attempt to ensure workplaces are safe and everyone is treated the same. No “hatred” here whatsoever…

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock

@FutureTemple @Patheos There are cases in the European courts right now, see the Telegraph link I posted a few tweets ago.

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock

@FutureTemple Yes. Registrars who felt they couldn’t perform civil union ceremonies (and by the way not all Christians would feel that way)

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock It would clearly be distressing. But I would use it as an opportunity to consider whether I am indeed a bigot. It’s possible.

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock @patheos You cite no cases at all…

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock @patheos Errr, has there been a single documented case of an Xtian being fired for their personal views about sex?

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock

@FutureTemple I’ve heard extreme fundamentalists in the USA say similar things about mockery being ok to justify their hate speech to others

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock But even fierce mockery is not necessarily motivated by or equivalent to hatred.

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock Obviously no one should be fired for their faith (unless it prevents them from doing their job).

@adrianwarnock There are very stringent laws in place to protect people from workplace discrimination on the basis of religion.

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock

@FutureTemple What if you were the one being mocked, and if protestors outside your door called you a bigot as a friend of mine once had

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock

@FutureTemple Some people live in fear of their jobs. I don’t believe anybody should have to be mocked for their faith, or lack of it.

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock When there is so much REAL hatred in the world it seems irresponsible to equate mockery and hatred.

@adrianwarnock Oh come on. Robust, even mocking critique is hardly hatred. You debase the term!

@FutureTemple @Patheos As an example of an issue that can spark the kind of animosity I am talking about check out http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2012/03/the-growing-divide-in-british-society-over-homosexual-marriage/ …

@FutureTemple Many Christans I know are afraid to admit their faith becoz they will be mocked with the hostility modelled by e.g. Dawkins

Adrian Warnock Adrian Warnock@adrianwarnock

@FutureTemple Glad we will be neighbours here on @Patheos hopefully we can help model respectful dialogue.

@adrianwarnock @patheos Where is this hatred happening and how is it manifested? I’m skeptical to be honest.

@FutureTemple @Patheos There definitely hatred for Christians, & some Christians hate back too. We are all forgetting how to live together.

James Croft James Croft@FutureTemple

@adrianwarnock I just made the move to @Patheos myself! Do you really think there is “hatred” toward Xtian values today??

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he seves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso.

Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.

Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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  • http://janitorialmusings.wordpress.com The Janitor

    Well of course this is an easy game for Croft to play. Just ask for you to prove there is hatred in the culture and then claim that whatever example you give isn’t hatred but rather something else.

    Yet if the New Atheists were directing their attacks on homosexuality rather than theism, using all the same rhetoric and tactics, is there any question that this would be labeled hate? Probably only if you’re Croft playing the catch-me-if-you-can game.


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