Christians Are Not a ‘Hated Minority’

CNN’s John Blake has a controversial article up about the strange idea that Christians may constitute a “hated minority.”

It’s a strange idea because Christians (as a whole) aren’t hated and they’re in no way a minority.

What’s Blake’s referring to is the Martyr Complex Mentality displayed by conservative evangelicals like Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, a group that routinely disparages homosexuals, spreads lies about them, and prevents them from getting equal rights. They say they’re hated because people disagree with them and say so out loud!

But why would anyone have anything against Christian love?

Sprigg, a senior fellow for policy studies at the council, wrote in a council pamphlet that homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are straight men. He also wrote that gay men are also afflicted with a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases and mental illness as well.

Sprigg says he does not believe homosexuality is a choice and that “personal testimonies” and “clinical experience” show that some people “can and do change from gay to straight.”

“Maybe we need to do a better job of showing that we are motivated by Christian love,” Sprigg says. “Love is wanting the best for someone, and acting to bring that about.”

Peter: No one hates you because you hold unpopular opinions. They hate you because you force your religious views on other people through bad legislation. There’s no “love” in what you do; you tell lies based on faulty “science” and your own brand of bigotry, dismiss claims from LGBT people who say sexuality isn’t a choice, and pretend like everyone is out to get you when they voice disagreement.

This is the reason Sprigg’s group is called a hate group while evangelical churches that preach similar beliefs about gay people are not:

[Spokesman Mark Potok] says the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t designate the Family Research Group a hate group because they view homosexuality as a sin or oppose same-sex marriage, Potok says. There are plenty of Christian groups who hold those beliefs but are not hate groups, he says.

A group becomes a hate group when it attacks and maligns an entire class of people for their “immutable characteristics,” Potok says. The Family Research Council spreads known falsehoods about gays and lesbians, he says, such as the contention that gay men are predisposed to abuse children.

“That’s a lie,” Potok says. “These guys are engaging in straight-up defamation of a very large group of people. There are not many things much worse than you can say in America about somebody than they are a child molester.

Even atheists at their most extreme tend to think “Christians are wrong,” not “I hate Christians.” We just focus our energies on the ones whose beliefs lead to horrible social policies based on lies and myth. No one’s stopping Sprigg and the FRC from voicing their opinions. No one’s filing lawsuits against the FRC because they said something “unpopular.” They can revel in their own filth all they want. To be sure, much of the self-described “hate” they talk about comes from other Christians, angry that people like Sprigg are using their Holy Book to justify bigotry.

Sprigg confuses hatred against Christians with stubbornly clinging to ideas that are so outdated and awful that the majority of Americans are finally coming around to the right side of the issue.

If some Christians are afraid to say they disapprove of homosexuality — which, let’s be honest, just means they feel icky thinking about gay people having sex and that’s why, in their minds, no one else should be allowed to have it — then I’m glad we’re making them think twice before they say it out loud. They can spout hatred from the pulpit or through press releases all they want; no one has to take them seriously or accept their lies at face value.

Here’s what’s probably happening: The FRC, and Focus on the Family, and other Christian groups that have built their legacies on demonizing the LGBT community are losing members and donors fast. They can’t accept that they’re saying or doing anything wrong. Instead, they’re blaming the “liberal media” or President Obama or evolution or, in this case, “hatred against Christians.”

Eventually, their views will become so abhorrent, even in Christian circles, that they’ll be forced to adapt or go extinct. It’s sweet justice to think of how fast their power will fade because they can’t evolve quickly enough.

On a side note, CNN has the worst discussion format on the Internet, with no ability to sort through thousands of comments. For shame, CNN…

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.