Future Senator Tim Scott: ‘The Greatest Minority Under Assault Today are Christians’

In South Carolina, Rep. Tim Scott will soon take over Senator Jim DeMint‘s Senate seat. (Sorry, Herb Silverman!)

While it’s not surprising that Scott holds conservative views like both DeMint and Governor Nikki Haley (who appointed him), it’s worth looking into his views on church/state separation…

Turns out he doesn’t give a damn about it.

Rep. Tim Scott

When he was on the Charleston County Council in the late 1990s, he posted the Ten Commandments outside their building, only to be sued by the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. At the time, Scott was willing to waste an unlimited amount of taxpayer money to defend his actions:

“I’ve always said and remain in this position: Whatever it costs in the pursuit of this goal (of displaying the Commandments) is worth it,” Mr. Scott said.

Thankfully, after a court sided with the good guys, the County Council settled so they wouldn’t have to pay more money in legal fees.

Earlier this year, Scott spoke at a South Carolina Tea Party conference and recalled that incident, adding that Christians are under attack:

Over the last 17 years of public service, I have seen the concept of faith tested time and time again. The greatest minority under assault today are Christians. No doubt about it.

When I was on county council in 1995, I posted the Ten Commandments. And the ACLU and the folks for separation of church and state all came and attacked us at Charleston County and said we were wasting taxpayer dollars.

Think about where we are today, 17 years later. We are in desperate need of a compass, a moral compass that tells us the difference between right and wrong. And I believe that you can look no further than the word of God to find that compass.

Josh Glasstetter at Right Wing Watch puts it well:

Never mind that Christians aren’t a minority. Never mind that Christians control every branch of government at every level. Never mind that Christians aren’t under assault in any conceivable way.

Still, Scott feels that Christians are a minority under assault because Christians like him are being prevented by the Constitution and other Americans — Christian and non-Christian alike — from forcing everyone to live in accordance with their extreme views and beliefs.

There is no bigotry against Christianity. What you have are a select group of Christians who want to break the rules and a growing number of people (including some Christians) who want everyone to play fairly. That’s not “assault.” That’s equality.

You know, if anyone ought to understand the concepts of being a minority and knowing what it’s like to be discriminated against, you would think it would be the first black Republican senator from the South in over a hundred years. But he doesn’t have a clue.

The fact that he, a conservative Christian, just got appointed to one of the most elite clubs in our nation hurts his own argument. It’s not like an open atheist was even seriously considered for the seat.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Tainda

    Minority?  Really?

    In what world does this guy live?

    • Willy Occam

       You’d think a conservative black Republican would understand the concept of “minority.”  That’s got to be a pretty small club. 

      • Profdobro

        Especially since he is the only black Republican in the entire GOP membership in Congress

      • Tainda

        My thoughts exactly

      • RobMcCune

        He couldn’t talk about it even if he did.

    • C Peterson

      In what world does this guy live?

      That would be the world where, even when you have the biggest piece of the pie, you feel that you are discriminated against because you don’t have the whole pie to yourself. The world where “plurality” is synonymous with “minority”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

    Do these drama queens get all giddy when they think about being persecuted or something? 

    • http://www.facebook.com/richard.tingley Richard Tingley

      In a word, yes. People want to be special and receive the special treatment that goes along with that. You can’t be special if you are part of an overwhelming majority so politicians try their damnedest to make the majority feel like a minority. If they can make them feel like a persecuted minority it is even better.

    • Writzer

       Because everybody cheers for the underdog.

      • Guesty Guest

        Uh, a disturbing number of people actually like to kick the underdog.

        • coyotenose

           That doesn’t stop them from imagining themselves as the “actual” underdog. Everyone considers themselves to be the hero of the story.

    • Stev84

      Jesus said they should expect it, so yes. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and it makes them feel closer to their zombie lord

    • http://www.facebook.com/matt.bowyer.75 Matt Bowyer

      Persecution complex, pure and simple.

    • Coyotenose

       They do. It’s a built-in component of Christianity, used to grow it as a cult way back when, that followers would be persecuted martyrs. It’s a manipulation of basic human psychology.

      • Coyotenose

        Heh, that may not have come out quite right. I mean that Christianity was designed to convince people that they’d be persecuted martyrs *because they had special wisdom* (which translates into “better than the crowd” no matter how humble one is or pretends to be).

  • K_wiktorii

    Persecuted minority?  …First they claim that this is a “Christian Nation” because the majority population is Christian and it was founded on “Christian principles”  (their opinion, not mine).  Now they are claiming to be a minority, and a persecuted one at that.  Well, which is it?

    • NotTHATguest

      Consistency has never been one of their strong points.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mobi-Mktg/100002118545853 Mobi Mktg

        If anyone can take anything from the movie “Miracle on 34th Street”, they should remember the line “Faith is something you believe in, when common sense tells you not to.” That is the crux of guys like this – they somehow believe if they have faith, they don’t NEED any common sense -

    • RobMcCune

      Well it’s republican party doctrine, so that means both are true at once without contradiction.

    • PoodleSheep

      When faith is rooted in a book that is itself inconsistent, you can’t expect them to be consistent in real life.

  • Highlander

    Don’t these right wing xtians ever get tired of being manipulated by politians?  No, wait, you’d have to actually do some thinking for yourself to realize that you’re being manipulated.  Good thing for the politians the church goes to such lengths to stamp out that independent thinking.

  • Russian Alex

    It’s straight white Christian males who has it the worst, I tell you. That’s something just about every redneck in the South will passionately defend. You, Mr. Scott, sound just like them, though; keep up the good work.

  • C Peterson

    We should call Tim Scott what he is: an anti-American, a liar, a traitor who will perjure himself when he swears to defend the Constitution. And in appointing this criminal, Nikki Haley is the same. He should be impeached, found guilty, and imprisoned.

    • 3lemenope

      Uh…what?

      • C Peterson

        Perjury is an impeachable crime. These people swear an oath to defend the Constitution, and that includes the First Amendment. Their interpretation is so far from what the courts have defined as to be indefensible. It is as if I claimed my interpretation of the laws against murder allowed for me to kill my own children, and that such an act was therefore legal. My interpretation would not be accepted by society, and neither should society allow politicians to interpret the Constitution in a way that entangles church and state.

        Impeach. Convict. Imprison.

        • CultOfReason

          I’d be satisfied with impeach, but I get your point.

        • 3lemenope

          SOCAS has been the reigning interpretation of the Establishment cause for only a small proportion of the total history of its existence. I personally think it’s the right one, but I am not such an ass as to suggest that a person who disagrees with the prevailing interpretation should be considered a perjurer and locked away.

    • Lurker111

       You mean an Uncle Strom?

    • Guesty Guest

      If you impeached every elected official who had substantial material disagreements with how the courts interpret the Constitution and acted on those disagreements through legislation and/or executive action, you’d have to impeach them all.

      This is not an indication that they are all perjurers and traitors. This is an indication that you know jack and shit about the interplay of legislation and judicial action and fail to understand the dynamics underlying shifts in constitutional interpretation. Under your implicit theory that the court simply says what the law is and that’s the end of it, the vast majority of actual history of American Law would be completely inexplicable.

      But, hey, what do I know. Use your gut to feel your way through to the result you like, as the religious do. Carry on! Round them all up! Throw ‘em in the clink!

  • http://profiles.google.com/sfjetland Serge Fjetland

    i MIGHT agree that the greatest MAJORITY is under attack…

    • Coyotenose

      Not quite. The greatest majority is having its aggression challenge.

      Much as I hate to Godwin things, Aren’t Scott and his peers using a Nazi propaganda tactic here? Paint the helpless minority as powerful aggressors so you can convince the majority to harm them in faux self-defense?

  • Blacksheep

    If he’s speaking about America, he’s wrong. Globally, a case could be made.

    • cathouseumbrella

      He’s not speaking globally.

    • WoodyTanaka

      Oh, bullshit.  Get off the cross and open your eyes.

  • Octoberfurst

     I had hopes that when DeMint left that someone less extreme would be put in his place. But I see I was wrong. Scott is a Tea Party favorite and raving loon. He may not come right out and say it, but he wants a theocracy in this country. He has said he wants our nation run by “Biblical values.”  Such people are dangerous.  
      And I have no idea where he got the idea that Christians are an oppressed “minority” in this country. Last time I looked Christians made up at least 75% of the population. It reminds me of hearing racists say that “the White male is the most oppressed person in America!” Uh-huh. Riiight.

  • Robyman4

    Mr. Scott is in dire need of a few basic Xmas presents. First, we need to send him a dictionary so he can understand the meaning of the word “minority,” and we also need to send him a calculator or at least an abacus so he can learn to count (the calculator may be too much for a man of such limited intellect). Provided that he can read, let us also throw in a link to the previous post on this site, regarding the study which revealed that 1/6 people are not religious. And thus we return to the word minority…

  • DougI

    I hope someday I’m oppressed like these Christians, being appointed to United States Senator.  Is there some relief fund we can donate to that will aid these wealthy, powerful persecuted Senators?

    • Coyotenose

      *checks list* Band Aid, Live Aid, Farm Aid… nope, I don’t see a group called Privilege Aid, or even Ass Aid.

  • The Dread Pirate Rogers

    I want to make everyone who says they’re prosecuted for their religious beliefs take the test this good reverend put up: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-emily-c-heath/how-to-determine-if-your-religious-liberty-is-being-threatened-in-10-questions_b_1845413.html

  • SeekerLancer

    I know as I drive down the street this time of year and see almost every house on every block lit up with Christmas lights, the first thing I think of is “those poor persecuted minorities!”

  • Jmonarchy

    Mr. Scott, 78.4% of Americans profess to be Christians. That, my friend, is no minority. Learn your math and don’t be a token black man and mouth piece for a party that no more cares about you except for the credibility you may lend the party for your black constituency and perhaps swing a vote or two their way.

  • Godlesspanther

    Tim Scott: Perhaps you are unaware of this, but recently an invention called a “dictionary” has come to be. Fortunately, this amazing new device is widely available, and I’m sure that you will have no problem accessing one of them. 

    When you have procured, for yourself, one of these handy-dandy gadgets — you may find it to your advantage to use the contraption to educate yourself on the definition of the word “minority.” 

    Best of luck, 

    Godlesspanther

  • jdm8

    In which universe? Christians pretty much run the US. I thought a minority was supposed to mean less than half. Christianity is still a majority. How a ruling majority is being so persecuted, I don’t know.

  • Miss_Beara

    If you need a god to be your moral compass, you have some issues. Which part of “the word of god” will he follow? Or is it just the usual cherry picking and ignoring all of the horrible things in the bible. Perhaps the Old Testament doesn’t count. 

  • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

    Minority…

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • WoodyTanaka

    Is there any christian in this country who isn’t a stark, raving moron?

    • coyotenose

       Of course. They just aren’t the ones in charge of the organizations representing them. As the author of the Subnormality comic once wrote:

      [This is] why everything sucks:
      Power goes to those who want it the most.
      Sociopaths want power the most.

  • Aspieguy

    I read recently that some 40% of Americans regularly attend church. 6% of the population are atheist. Christians regularly attack and vilify atheists as well as non christian religions. Hell, they attack each other regularly. Where is the “persecuted minority”? I speculate they really want god to award them the “martyrs crown”.

  • roberthughmclean

    In an unusual move, the christan spokespersons are lying, telling fibs, porkies. After a millenium or two telling fibs they are quite good at it. Bit like what they call “the good news”, that stuff about believing and eating bits of the baby jesus will save you from some sort of fabicated nastiness, or that the baby jesus loves you. The baby jesus is now no more than a small pile of dust, having been dispatched by his dad all those years ago. The jesus dude aint loving no one. Lies, lies, lies, it’s all they’ve got.

  • Guest

    Coconut.

  • Popo

    Culturally, millions of people claim to be Christian because they like the way it feels when they attach it to their name. But a large majority of people who say that they are Christian don’t fully follow Christ at all. You have to go beyond the surface of his statement to understand it. Real Christians, the ones that are open about the love of God and the power of the Blood, the ones who don’t endorse anything against the Word, the ones that pray fervently and worship fervently, the ones that are actively helping others in need, are right now very scarce in numbers, and when they are known they are labeled nut jobs by “Christians” and everyone else. That’s the minority that he is trying to address, and the fact that there are vastly more modern day Pharisees than real disciples is the reason why the atheist really came in to play. Because the Christian has failed to represent Christ for who He really is.

    • coyotenose

       Atheism predates Christianity. And implying that we’re closet believers who just haven’t been approached right is smug and condescending. Behavior like theirs and yours has nothing to do with whether we believe in your religion, but it most assuredly colors our opinion of Christians when they come here and claim to know what we “really” think.

      Please Google “No True Scotsman”.

      Also, no, he is not trying to address a tiny minority of “Real Christians”. You are making that up. The context is clear. There is a lot of history and baggage attached to the language these people use.

  • swampland

    “I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment — asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong. I know that He will guide us. He always has, and He always will. And I pray his richest blessings on each of you in the days ahead.”

    Barack Obama, National Prayer Breakfast, February 2, 2012

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/national-prayer-breakfast-president-obamas-speech-transcript/2012/02/02/gIQAx7jWkQ_story.html


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