Christian Bashing in 2007

The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (Headed by Gary Cass) released a list of the seven worst offenses of “Christian bashing” in 2007.

First, the list:

1.) Colorado Church Murders — “You Christians brought this on yourselves I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. … God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die. …” Posted by a troubled young man, Matthew Murray, 10 hours after killing two at the Arvada missionary base and two hours before killing two at a Colorado Springs church. Churches used to be considered sanctuaries, but now they are targets for the hateful and the deranged. The CADC calls on every church to be prepared to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect their congregations.

2.) Federal Hate Crimes Bill — The 2007 Federal Hate Crimes Bill, which threatens religious liberties and lays the groundwork for “thought crime,” which has no place in American law and violates the concept of equal protection under the law. As has occurred in other nations, these laws pave the way for Christians to be silenced and even arrested because they believe that homosexual acts are sinful. It is totalitarian regimes that punish thoughts, not free societies. Thomas Jefferson declares that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions.”

3.) Violence on San Francisco Church — In September, Christians in San Francisco spoke out against a blasphemous anti-Christian advertisement for the Folsom Street Fair, a perverted “fair” for the sadomasochistic, leather fetish community. The ad mimics the classic Christian painting of Christ at the Last Supper. In the ad, Christ and the 12 Disciples are portrayed as sexual deviants provocatively posed before a table of sex toys.

4.) Attack on Jerry Falwell — CNN reached a new low when Anderson Cooper invited Christopher Hitchens, editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, on his show the day of Jerry Falwell’s death to make critical remarks about Falwell. Hitchens made the most reprehensible and offensive remarks one can imagine against a Christian minister, Jerry Falwell, even on the day of his death. Christopher Hitchens called Falwell “a little toad … a horrible little person…an evil old man… a conscious charlatan and bully and fraud…an actual danger to democracy, to culture, to civilization.”

5.) CNN’s “God’s Warriors” and HBO’s “Friends of God” — Two biased, anti-Christian documentaries were produced and aired. One by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, “Friends of God” on HBO and the other by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors.” At least they tried to act as if they wanted to be fair. Of course, they failed. Evangelicals are almost 100 million strong and very diverse but are reduced to clichéd caricatures or are portrayed as the moral equivalents of Islamic terrorists.

6.) John Edwards’s Campaign Bloggers who called Christian supporters of President Bush his “wing nut Christofascist base.” One asked, ‘What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit,’ to which she replied, ‘You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.’ They posed the thoughtful question of religious conservatives, “What don’t you lousy %#*@!+# understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds and our families?”

7.) “Golden Compass,” the movie — Phillip Pullman’s atheistic answer to C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” series, because destroying the church and killing God in the mind of every child is the best revenge. Why be damned alone when you can take a few million souls with you and get rich on the proceeds?

Number 1 is definitely Christian bashing by a person who “hated Christians.” And the reaction was overwhelmingly in support of the church. No matter which faith you belonged to, or how ardent an atheist you were, you never wanted to see something like that happen.

If someone gets physically hurt or injured because of their Christianity, or slandered for something that is untrue, I think most atheists would be on the Christians’ side in all those cases.

The rest of the items on the list? Not so bad at all. If those are the worst offenses against Christians this year, they had it pretty good.

#3 isn’t even accurate: “Violence on San Francisco Church”? What violence?

#7 only references The Golden Compass movie. Not the book? Apparently in the 12 years since the books came out, they were never offensive… until now.

Most items on the list are individuals’ opinions of certain Christians or groups of them (4, 5, 6, 7). Another is an advertisement that used religious imagery (3). And the Federal Hate Crimes Bill would have only concerned people who commited violence against gay people. If a church wanted to say being gay is a sin, no one was stopping them. They’re allowed to do so. That wasn’t bashing Christians at all.

Eileen Flynn, of the Austin American-Statesman, wrote about this list:

… I agree that some of this stuff could reflect a real anti-Christian sentiment in our culture. And don’t even get me started on No. 6. Whether you believe in the Virgin Mary conceiving God’s child or not, that John Edwards blogger was tacky, tacky, tacky. But I wonder whether Christians, a powerful majority in this country, are truly facing the kind of danger the commission would have us believe they are…

They’re not facing real danger. Christians are going to be just fine next year.

Hell, a follower-of-Christ will still be elected president, regardless of which way the votes go. Meanwhile, the LGBT community faces actual (literal) bashing in many parts of the country. And atheists will have a rough time getting elected to any position no matter where they are located.

Flynn also got a number of worthwhile comments.

Like this one:

Ok all of this sucks…i am tired of these hard core so called christians who thinks that they can judge every little thing that is said and done and make it seem as if the world is against christians. I believe in God, and I have faith in a higher being, but looking at what has gone on within our churches, our church leaders it is no wonder why people are angry and against church people and religious groups. Stop judging others before placing that mirror in front of your own self.

And this:

So let me get this straight. Gary Cass is whining about “Christian bashing” because of a proposed law that would increase penalties for committing a crime against someone because of their sexual orientation??

He’s whining because he’s afraid he won’t be allowed to bash gays even in a metaphorical sense?

Maybe he should spend his time being Christlike instead epitomizing the very modern model of today’s hypochristian.

Reed Braden also makes an interesting observation:

I think the most telling part of this list is that they couldn’t come up with 10 anti-Christian events in 2007. They could only come up with 7.

I’m trying to find instances of actual Christian bashing that occurred this year and I’m having a hard time. Outside of insane people shooting up churches, are there other cases of Christians being legitimately discriminated against?

In other words, is there anything that should’ve been included on this list that was not?

(via Unorthodox Atheism)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://australianatheist.blogspot.com Australian Atheist

    Just to clarify regarding number 6, the quoted sentences were written before the bloggers were working for Edwards and were obviously not written on his campaign blogs.

  • http://blog.myspace.com/johnpritzlaff John Pritzlaff

    In case people are mislead, I’m pretty sure that the person in number 1 was a Christian himself, if that matters.

  • http://www.jaredmlee.net jared

    #7 only references The Golden Compass movie. Not the book? Apparently in the 12 years since the books came out, they were never offensive… until now.

    you mean its a book too??? Ignorance is bliss – chew the steak.

  • Kate11

    More and more, I am convinced that no one in this country really suffers much of anything. Christians elsewhere do suffer for their faith, as do many of other faiths or no faith. North Korea is an especially ugly place to be a Christian, see http://www.persecution.com. Do Christians or atheists really suffer here for their faith? As a Christian, I’ve been in situations where I’ve felt uncomfortable because atheists are bashing Christians (verbally) and situations where I’ve felt uncomfortable because Christians are bashing atheists (verbally), but none of it has ever risen to a level of persecution. I do see lists like this as fueling an antagonism that would appall Christ. But even worse than that it distracts from the real persecution that plagues much of the rest of the world.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    The CADC calls on every church to be prepared to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect their congregations.

    As an almost-pacifist and follower of the Jesus who told us to love our enemies and practice creative non-violence, this disturbs me more than anything. For a much more thoughtful response to this sort of “praise the Lord and pass the ammunition” attitude, check out Bob Hyatt’s blog.

  • Jen

    “Wah! Its so hard to be the majority of the country!”

    Also, there have been a few attacks in schools in the past few years. Is that anti-learning violence? Anti-high-school-cliques violence?

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    According to the Bible, Christians are supposed to rejoice and be exceedingly glad if they are persecuted, not whine and complain.

  • http://lifebeforedeath.blogsome.com Felicia Gilljam

    So, what would be the list for atheists? I’m sure we could come up with ten points, better than those above.

  • http://off-center.tatuskofam.com Drew

    Kate11 took the words from my mouth!

    What about that all important Christmas bill passed through congress earlier this month? That has to count for something right?

    At any rate, let’s for the sake of argument call these “real” persecutions. Jesus had something to say about that…

    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12

  • Steven Carr

    I really think it is a bad idea for churches to start using deadly force when threatened.

    Just look what the Holy Spirit inspires

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/12/27/clashing.clergy.ap/

    Now imagine if those priests had had guns.

    Just think what the Holy Spirit would have inspired them to do now.

    Sadly this violence against Christians was too late to make the Top 7 list of Christian bashing, although it is a perfect example of the sort of Christian bashing that goes on around the world.

  • chancelikely

    #1 was by a disgruntled member of the church whose opinions had changed enough from Christ’s purported message that he decided to shoot the lot of them.

    If we want to include sectarian disputes like this one, we’re done. There are ten of those easily.

  • Robin

    Personally, I loved it when Christopher Hitchens gave Jerry Falwell the big farewell dis. The man really was a hateful troll of a human being. I mean, come on, he blamed 9/11 on feminists, abortion and gays, in an obvious attempt to steer blame away from religious nut-jobs. Since Falwell was a religious nut-job, it’s pretty obvious to see why he had a vested interest in doing so.

    Someone had to say it, and I’m glad Hitchens stepped up to the plate and said it.

  • Robin

    I think it’s also important to point out that while the author feels that the hate crimes bill would unfairly infringe on certain Christian’s free-speech rights, he criticises Hitchens–and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence in San Fransisco–for exercising their free-speech rights.

    So, in the author’s mind, free speech is obviously only meant for Christians.

  • stogoe

    That whole thing with Amanda Marcotte was pure bullshit dredged up from Bill Donohue’s sack of lying christian crap.

    “Wah! Its so hard to be the overwhelming majority of the country!”

    I added the part in bold to make it a little more accurate. I hope you don’t mind.

  • grazatt

    Kate11 Very good point! Sometimes I think those of us in America don’t realize how good we have it!

  • the Shaggy

    It never ceases to amaze me how often the Christian opinion is “OH HOW HORRIBLE THAT THEY ARE LETTING THAT GOLDEN COMPASS MOVIE INTO THEATRES! How could they possibly, POSSIBLY allow atheist propaganda to be released to our children, to start indoctrinating them in the ways of the godless elite! It is so horrible that such blatant statements of killing God be shown to us! And all the while trying to disguise it as another Chronicles of Narnia, whose obvious Christian leanings do nothing but enrich the souls of all children who go and see the many films we plan to produce.”

    Clearly, they don’t see the hypocrisy. If you’re going to tear one of them out, you need to tear the other. They are each other’s answer to the other.

    Also, from the sounds of things (and I didn’t see it), Hitchens wasn’t attacking God. He was attacking Falwell. Falwell deserved it. He isn’t going to Heaven, so he won’t know.

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  • Paul

    Sounds like the CADC dropped their pacifiers. I feel sorry for those in the New Life Church, but the rest of this list is pathetic whining.

  • Maria

    I’m surprised Kathy Griffin’s comment didn’t make it on there…….oh wait, it got censored…..

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Regarding Pullman (and I know we’ve already talked this to death, but oh well), I liked this comment by another pastor friend of mine regarding the books:

    As an atheist, Pullman is asking the kind of questions we would want him to ask as a seeker. And I don’t mind at all the exploration of these questions in fiction. My only concern has been about the fact they are children’s books. The other day my daughter brought home the Left Behind for Kids which she got at her public school library. I gave her the same talk I would have given her had she brought home Dark Materials (the trilogy which includes Golden Compass). “Honey, feel free to read it, but understand that may not be exactly how we believe.” (Or at least how her father believes.)

    I like my friend’s openness to letting his kids be exposed to views that different than what their family believes, and that he trusts his daughter enough to think for herself and make up her own mind regarding the Golden Compass, Left Behind, etc.

  • Richard Wade

    I can see Kate 11′s point about trivializing the real persecution that people elsewhere in the world suffer for their views especially when the term “persecution” is tossed about carelessly. With the exception of #1 this is bashing, and that is what it should be called. She is correct in saying that we should not be distracted from the important problems of persecution in other countries.

    However that does not make bashing unimportant.

    Her other point that lists such as this fuel antagonism is possibly correct but I think that it is important for everyone to be aware of the antagonism that is actually out there in this country going in both directions. To be ignorant of it is to foster its growth. How people respond to learning about incidents of slander and bigotry depends on their character. They don’t have to respond to antagonism with more of the same; they can instead respond in constructive, rational ways.

  • Vincent

    (accidental post deleted)

  • serena

    s sigmund freud
    c christian
    i ?
    z german nazi
    o french
    p ?
    h hitler
    r russian
    e ?
    n ?
    i ?
    a aryian

    when you hear of christian bashing do you not wonder why people hate them? adenine thymine cytosine guanine blue print anno domini doesn’t get translated to urasil with a christian calendar being used now for 2007 years. muslim and jewish execution is every day that a christian celebrates on this before christ calendar. URASIL is a german nazi russian prison on “earth” meaning christ ian hitler is listening in your ear.
    christian aryian satan has never been catholic a day in their lives like all of us non aryian muslim and jewish across the world.


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