Persecution (cont’d.)

In comments to this post below, Todd points us to this George Will column, in which the bespectacled one bemoans that "The state of America's political discourse is such that the president has felt it necessary to declare that unbelievers can be good Americans."

Limbaugh

The president had to make such a statement, Will notes, because so many other things he has said and done have strongly implied that skeptics, freethinkers, Episcopalians and other nonevangelicals cannot be good Americans. In Will's phrase, "He and his party seemed to have subcontracted governance to certain especially fervid religious supporters." Which brings us to the core of his piece:

Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning things such as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

Will doesn't use terms like "cultural hegemony," but that is what he describes in the rest of his piece, citing as examples things like the popularity of The World's Worst Books.*

Todd also asks a fair question:

… what Christian claimed actual "persecution," be it at "Justice" Sunday or elsewhere? … You say: "They dare to use that word." Would you be so kind as to provide the who, what, when, and where of this? Who actually "dared to use that word"?

David Limbaugh has in recent months made himself the standard bearer for the use of this word by American Christians in reference to themselves. It's the title of his latest book, "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity."

He's made the rounds of the right-wing echo chamber, and wherever he goes his use of the word has been uncritically adopted (see, for example, this glowing review from Human Events).

The media emperors of the religious right have given Limbaugh an even warmer welcome.

"If you think Christians are only persecuted in other countries, think again," says the Focus on the Family blurb for the CD of James Dobson's two-part interview with Limbaugh, titled, "The Modern War Against Christianity."

That interview was originally broadcast on the more than 3,500 radio stations that carry Focus on the Family's programs.

Many, many more examples can be found in the loonier fringes of the religious right Check out, for example, almost any comment thread at worldblog (of the highly subsidized right-wing, Southern PresbyGothic World magazine) — particularly those on the great evolutionist conspiracy against Christianity.

There's much more if you want to wade into the murkier, deeper waters at the crazy end of the pool — "Persecution of Christians growing in the United States"; "Persecution of Christians in America" — or spend some time browsing sites like Renew America or Worldview Weekend.

So, yes, the word is actually used, and the idea has taken hold. It is, as Will says, unbecoming and unrealistic, but many, many American evangelicals believe that they are "persecuted." Don't take my word for it — ask them. Go ask Ned Flanders next door, or ask that Very Nice coworker who once gave you a copy of the "Four Spiritual Laws."

These same evangelicals also believe, presumably with a different compartment of their brains, that America is "a Christian nation."

It's difficult to reconcile these two ideas — persecuted hegemons? (One theory is that the cognitive dissonance produced by simultaneously believing these contradictory notions is so violent that it results in physiological damage, actually altering their brain chemistry. But that's just a theory.)

Anyway, the discussion in comments to the earlier post is worth scrolling through in its entirety. I'm reposting a couple of choice rants from there here on the main site because they're too good to leave buried in comments.

First is this from Alex:

The glamorization of "persecution" is a component — and a vital one–of the culture "wars". It allows a participant to view himself (or herself) as a "soldier" carrying out God's work — and losing.

This is the important part.

If you're losing your struggle, you get to break the rules, cheat, lie, do anything to win. Winners have to play fair, but if you can somehow twist things so you become oppressed, you are granted moral license to do, well, anything.

It's the glow of martyrship without the ickiness of actually being martyred.

And that feeling, that shock of indignation, that swell of righteous anger: it's addictive. It's a sure-fire hit on the crackpipe of certainty. It's why all fanatics sound the same — their leaders all use the same tools.

And this glorious example of the Art of Rant from Merlin Missy:

Of course Christians are persecuted in the United States. After all, everyone knows Christians can't marry other Christians (except in one state but nobody recognizes Christian marriages anywhere else and it's not like those are real marriages anyway), can't adopt ot become foster parents after they truthfully answer the "Faith" question on the questionnaire, can be denied housing and jobs for being Christians, and are regularly the butt of jokes where practitioners of other religions (especially Jews) are portrayed as kind and giving. In many parts of the country, Christians are afraid of walking down the street because they know people will shout at them for being Christian. They don't dare walk into some bars, knowing that their conservative clothing or a slip in conversation might make them a target for "beat the Christian in the backroom." When a Christian commits an act of terrorism against an abortion clinic, Christians lock their doors in fear of retaliation by complete strangers. Doctors who practice and promote Natural Family Planning are listed on websites with "Wanted" posters and regularly receive death threats. Halloween and Beltaine are paid days off regardless of a person's faith; anyone who asks to take a vacation day for Christmas or Easter is grilled suspiciously by coworkers and managers. Schools for other faiths are everywhere; there are only one or two Catholic schools per state and they don't advertise after three were firebombed in one year. The ruling party and all three branches of government have dozens of people who have made public statements that Christians are destroying this country and that the practice of Christianity should be banned by the Constitution. Christians are barred from military service. Every Christian has a friend or relative who was killed or imprisoned during the last world war because they were Christian. When Christians complain about the treatment they receive, they're told to move to another state / country with their own kind. People regularly picket the funerals of Christians with signs that read "The nameless forces that randomly shaped the cosmos into an appealing pattern hate Christos!" The word "christian" is used as an independent adjective to describe something stupid and/or undesireable. Christian girls who ascribe to Paul's teaching that women must keep their heads covered when they pray are suspended from schools for violating the "no hats" policy. The only movie most people have even heard of that features Christianity is "The Faith," a horror film that shows teenaged girls praying for bad things to happen to their classmates and committing cannibalism (using a phrase made trendy by the movie: "Body and Blood of Christ"). Politicians regularly end statements with "And Allah bless America," and when called on it, they claim they mean all gods when they say Allah. "In YHWH We Trust" is written on our money. Teenagers who tell their parents they're interested in Christianity, or believe they might be Chrisrians, are told they're "going through a (rebellious) phase" and are often sent to counselling to "fix" them. The first response people often make when they hear someone's family member is a Christian is to say "I'm so sorry." Christian clubs at colleges don't advertise their meetings because atheists regularly show up and hand out copies of "On the Origen of Species."

Or you know, not.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - -

* In discussing the phenomenal sales of the Left Behind series, though, Will repeats a confusion that LaHaye and Jenkins themselves have promoted. The LB books have been surpassing the sales even of the wildly popular novelist John Grisham. Will, like many others, cites this as an indication of the triumph of the evangelical over the secular.

But since when was John Grisham "secular"? Grisham had a No. 1 best-seller with the extended parable of The Street Lawyer and followed that up with Testament — a pervasively sectarian book that bordered on proselytization. The contrast of L&J and Grisham is not religious vs. secular, but a matter of different kinds of Christian religion. The Southern Baptist Sunday school teacher who wrote Testament should not be made an example of "secularism."

  • schwa

    I really hope I’m not the first person in this discussion to bring up Richard Hofstadter’s essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, but just in case I am, I will.
    Believing that you are persecuted, with an attitude to the evidence which is not so much defiant as wilfully ignorant, has been fundamental to some people’s political identities through the ages. Christianity’s just the latest mass movement to catch it* — not that this makes it any better.
    *. Well, you could always find some Christians who took this attitude; say rather that it’s spread to the point where it’s significant.

  • schwa

    I really hope I’m not the first person in this discussion to bring up Richard Hofstadter’s essay, The Paranoid Style in American Politics, but just in case I am, I will.
    Believing that you are persecuted, with an attitude to the evidence which is not so much defiant as wilfully ignorant, has been fundamental to some people’s political identities through the ages. Christianity’s just the latest mass movement to catch it* — not that this makes it any better.
    *. Well, you could always find some Christians who took this attitude; say rather that it’s spread to the point where it’s significant.

  • Anna in Cairo

    Amazing. George Will wrote a responsible, sober article for a change. I thought he had permanently sold his soul to the Dark Side several years ago.

  • Sophist

    I thought he had permanently sold his soul to the Dark Side several years ago.
    Even Evil has standards. I mean, there’s Evil, and then there’s Evil.
    Everyone has their limits.

  • none

    Christianity’s just the latest mass movement to catch it
    I personally would say that organised christianity jumped the shark at roughly the same time it became a mass religion, if it wasn’t the various demons and satans and pagans trying to destroy christianity, it was heretics or jews or papists or protestants that were poised to undermine a christian’s beliefs in the almighty.
    Of interest was a program I saw recently about Colonel william blood, an extremist puritan during the 16th and 17th century who is best well known for stealing the english crown jewels.
    Of real interesting note, is that one of the many dissident, anti-catholic, anti-government groups he belonged to held a belief that the end of the world was coming and that england was god’s chosen holy land, and thus protected by god’s grace. This basically required that england’s holy resolve be defended from the various catholic conspiracies that threatened to weaken the country’s holy resolve and to kill catholics and any rulers seen as supporting catholics (by not ordering the mass slaughter of the irish and stealing all their land for instance).
    Not that that sounds familiar or anything…

  • matt

    There was an old “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live where the newscaster had a story about Scientologists being persecuted in Germany. The punchline was that the German authorities stated, “This is Germany, don’t worry, when we start persecuting you, you’ll know it.” The fact that these types of Christians are complaining about being persecuted is incredible since most of them have no idea of what real persecution actually is.

  • Abby

    As an Episcopalian, I love the bit about it not being possible for me to be a good American, although I’m starting to wonder whether there isn’t some element of truth to it. I’m a little ashamed of some of our more prominent members. Everybody knows that Donald Rumssfeld is an Episcopalian. S is C. Boyden Gray, the man who’s devoted to pushing through GWB’s judicial nominees, although he’s less interested in banning abortion than he is in gutting environmental regulations.

  • Scott Parkerson

    1. I have no joke here, I just like to say “Southern PresbyGothic”.
    2. Seriously, I think I’m only two degrees of separation from Joel Belz of World Magazine (my cousins and aunt live in Asheville, and are friends with the Belzes). Mysteriously, I even got a trial subscription to World magazine. At the time, my daughter was into ripping and shredding paper, so each issue provided her with plenty of enjoyment.
    3. Sayth Alex: “If you’re losing your struggle, you get to break the rules, cheat, lie, do anything to win.” Such an example might be throwing out accursed liberals from your church congregation (possibly making an illegal political statement in the process).
    4. On an unrelated note, The second Simpsons episode (aired 8:30 EDT Sunday 8 May 2005) poked fun at “Left Behind” mercilessly.

  • 12xu

    Yeah, the persecution meme is out there, and it’s being used for all sorts of crazy things.
    The owner of the company I work for is an anti-tax lunatic. He has preached for years that the income tax is unconstitutional. If he practices what he preaches, he has never paid income tax (I don’t really know).
    He is currently under investigation by the IRS, duh. The IRS stormed in to the company one day several months ago and herded everyone into the cafeteria while they collected accounting records and hard drive images. Our fearless owner was out of town at the time, but when he returned, he called everyone together to talk about it. He claimed that he was being persecuted for his religious beliefs. He didn’t explain how not paying taxes was a religious issue.

  • Fernmonkey

    He didn’t explain how not paying taxes was a religious issue.
    Well, definitely not a Christian religious issue, unless Matthew 22:15-17 and Mark 12:13-17 aren’t in the Bible anymore.

  • Jami

    Thanks for calling the “persecution” meme to my attention. Worrisome.
    Let’s turn it around, shall we? Christians want skeptics off television, radio, benches, out of schools and government and medical offices.
    So nah, it ain’t Christians bein’ persecuted here.
    Unfortunately, because we who don’t believe Jesus was born of a virgin are so terribly frightened by what’s happening, we tend to lash out rather than show respect. We have to stop with the name-calling and condescending and try to understand where the “other side” is coming from. It’s just good diplomacy in any fight to respectfully try to understand. It’s why people who could admit that America exploits the rest of the world in the name of more-for-us would have been better leaders post-9/11 than one who would say “they hate our freedom.”
    Understanding counts.
    So. We think it’s wrong to put God in a science classroom. God is certainly one possible explanation for “the magic dust motes that just were already there” that all my physics teachers have believed in so far.
    It is fine science to ask if God could explain where the motes (and the magic primordial pool lighting) came from, but until there’s good math and experiments behind it, it’s AWFUL science to say that it is. It’s fine religion, but doesn’t belong in a science text.
    Even Einstein never found what he was searching for when he went “looking for the thoughts of God.” But Einstein nonetheless believed in God. And you could call Einstein anything but “stupid.”

  • Jami

    Thanks for calling the “persecution” meme to my attention. Worrisome.
    Let’s turn it around, shall we? Christians want skeptics off television, radio, benches, out of schools and government and medical offices.
    So nah, it ain’t Christians bein’ persecuted here.
    Unfortunately, because we who don’t believe Jesus was born of a virgin are so terribly frightened by what’s happening, we tend to lash out rather than show respect. We have to stop with the name-calling and condescending and try to understand where the “other side” is coming from. It’s just good diplomacy in any fight to respectfully try to understand. It’s why people who could admit that America exploits the rest of the world in the name of more-for-us would have been better leaders post-9/11 than one who would say “they hate our freedom.”
    Understanding counts.
    So. We think it’s wrong to put God in a science classroom. God is certainly one possible explanation for “the magic dust motes that just were already there” that all my physics teachers have believed in so far.
    It is fine science to ask if God could explain where the motes (and the magic primordial pool lighting) came from, but until there’s good math and experiments behind it, it’s AWFUL science to say that it is. It’s fine religion, but doesn’t belong in a science text.
    Even Einstein never found what he was searching for when he went “looking for the thoughts of God.” But Einstein nonetheless believed in God. And you could call Einstein anything but “stupid.”

  • Andrew Cory

    From the Human Events site:
    “Students in one school participated in a pagan Mexican ritual that involves worshipping the dead”
    Are they referring to the Mexican Day of the Dead? That, is—can they really have confused the Mexican celebration of a Roman Catholic Holy Day (All Saint’s Day) with a pagan celebration? I suppose I could grant that it is roughly as Pagan as Christmas or Easter—Pagan inspired celebratory styles of wholly (and holy!) Christian events. Gods, what fools those mortals be…

  • Beth

    It is fine science to ask if God could explain where the motes (and the magic primordial pool lighting) came from
    No, Jami, it isn’t. That’s a completely untestable hypothesis and therefore lousy science. God simply has no place in science. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist or scientists must be atheists. Love has no place in mathematics either. Mathematicians can certainly believe in love and even love math, but if they include a statement like “x approaches y because it’s in love with it,” in a mathematical proof, they’re lousy mathematicians.
    Einstein believed in God. He even went looking for the thoughts of God. But he never included the concept of God in any of his scientific theories because that would have been stupid.

  • Jesse Crockett

    I’m confused by the Merlin Missy stuff. Is it a curveball? Was it written to be sincere? Ironic? Is Merlin Missy a blog? You should give a link for something like that. Is there a link?

  • R. Mildred

    Can you test god, the belief in god, or even whether god had a hand in something you can test? no. That’s what theology and comparative religion is for, do they teach the scientific method in comparative religion classes? If you want to teach science, you can’t start going on about god because god can do anything, therefore the simplest explanation to any scientific question becomes “god did it.”
    Religious types who get their knickers in twist because of science can shut up because there really isn’t a conflict between the two except in their heads, god made the world, god can also invent a system of evolution and lots of time in which it could take place and he doesn’t have to give his working out either, nor did he at any point say clearly “oh, btw, the earth is a bit over 5000 years old” unless you count the ability he gave us to date how old rocks are.
    Science = God given ability too

  • J. Michael Matkin

    The worry that a lot of people have is that attributing things to divine intervention is a lousy heuristic tool. This is one of the prime arguments offered against Intelligent Design with its dependence on instances of ‘irreducible complexity’ as evidence of a Designer (of some kind). The concern is that, rather than keep banging away at a seemingly intractable problem, scientists will label a system as irreducibly complex and move on to something else, failing to do the hard work that precedes discovery. If nothing else, how someone approaches this problem (of defining questions for further research) reveals their stance, conscious or not, vis a vis an entire host of assumptions about the nature and boundaries things like evolutionary theory.
    Still, I don’t think that it’s entirely tenable to say that God has no place in science. Many of the earliest naturalists were clergy; look at the observations of spiders written by the very young Jonathen Edwards. I can personally attest to the fact that feelings of gratitude towards the Creator, combined with awe and simple curiousity, can be a powerful stimulus to scientific inquiry. Wasn’t it Kepler who called science “thinking God’s thoughts after him”? So, deep religious faith can be an ally, not an enemy, of scientific discovery.
    What ties this into the topic of persecution is a feeling, whether real or illusionary, that the gatekeepers of the scientific community are hostile to the religious impulse. To put it another way, many scientists have acted as if science were a kind of religious metanarrative all its own (Carl Sagan’s Contact dealt with this issue). Men like Huxley (“Darwin’s bulldog”) happily took every opportunity to draw a line of distinction between religion and science, and cultivated the mythology of a war between the two that was almost nonexistent.
    The stereotype now is of a conflict between atheistic science and irrational religion. Both have their representatives, but they are largely caricatures. It’s one of the most obvious testaments to the power of perception to create reality; imagine that you are being persecuted by those dastardly scientists/religous zealots, and lo and behold that’s what happens.

  • Stacy

    You should submit this for the Skeptics Circle. Pharyngula is hosting and PZ is begging for entries.

  • anon.

    I always cringe when someone says “Einstein believed in God” without mentioning what Einstein meant by God. Einstein used the terms “God” and “religious” to signify the order of the universe and his faith that there was indeed a rational order. In this sense, even Richard Dawkins could be considered religious. Sorry for going on about this; it’s a pet peeve of mine.

  • anon.

    I always cringe when someone says “Einstein believed in God” without mentioning what Einstein meant by God. Einstein used the terms “God” and “religious” to signify the order of the universe and his faith that there was indeed a rational order. In this sense, even Richard Dawkins could be considered religious. Sorry for going on about this; it’s a pet peeve of mine.

  • Ol Cranky

    Is anyone else endlessly amazed at how the “Christian majority” keep pointing out that this is a Christian Nation and anyone who doesn’t want Christianity forced on them can move elsewhere based on the “we’re the majority” attitude are also the ones who complain about Christians having their religious rights infringed upon in non-Christian countries? If it’s OK to impose the will of the majority here, why is it not OK for a different group to impose the will of their majority elsewhere. I guess only good, evangelical Christians can be persecuted.

  • Temperance

    I liked the “Origen” of Species … as Origen was a complete wingnut who castrated himself (back around 300 A.D. or so) in order to get rid of the lustful thoughts that Jesus told him were as bad as actually having sex with someone he wasn’t married to.

  • Merlin Missy

    liked the “Origen” of Species …
    Yeah yeah. Take this as a warning, all and sundry: run your rants through a spellchecker first.

  • McDuff

    Unfortunately, because we who don’t believe Jesus was born of a virgin are so terribly frightened by what’s happening, we tend to lash out rather than show respect.
    If you don’t mind me being rather frank with you here, respect is earned. I am no more “lashing out” at the cognitive dissonants who desire to replace science and liberal democracy with their own small minded theological agenda; here in England, I merely swat at them like the annoyances they are. Over there in the States, where they exert much more power, people must step up to the plate and defend what they believe in when they see it under threat. I rather think that what you would call “respect,” I and most other people would call rolling over and getting walked on.
    And, no disrespect intended, it is obvious from the remainder of your post that you fail to understand both current scientific understanding of the origins of the universe and the basic tenets of scientific reasoning itself. That’s a poor place from which to pass haughty judgement about what scientists should and should not allow into their journals.

  • BillyBob

    I dunno…while Grisham certainly has a spiritual/religious dimension, he is certainly made to look secular compare to extremists like Lahaye (just like Falwell is too secular compared to Rev. Phelps). Perhaps in this context sacred vs. secular is often use sloppily when meaning “firmly entrenched in the language and values of the evangelical Christian subculture” [Lahaye] vs. “even though it might have a spiritual dimension, you don’t have to be a card-carrying member of the evangelical subculture to understand and finding meaning in” [Grisham].
    Okay, I’m just thinking out loud…at 1am…so this is for what its worth…

  • Mnemosyne

    I can personally attest to the fact that feelings of gratitude towards the Creator, combined with awe and simple curiousity, can be a powerful stimulus to scientific inquiry. Wasn’t it Kepler who called science “thinking God’s thoughts after him”? So, deep religious faith can be an ally, not an enemy, of scientific discovery.
    Part of the problem, of course, is that it’s not “religious people” who have a problem with science. It’s a very small but vocal group of a particular sect of Christianity who are too occupied with what’s going on in their mundane lives to take a moment to look at the wonder of the stars.
    I feel sorry for them, actually. To not be able to step away from your own concerns for even a minute to look around in awe at the universe that surrounds us … that’s a sad way to live.

  • jr

    How can you have 3,500 radio affiliates and “be persecuted”

  • Lu

    Favorite Robertson Davies quote:
    [Fanaticism] is overcompensation for doubt.
    So is an unfounded persecution complex, I would bet.

  • j swift

    Fudie persecution has risen to the surreal. Most issues the fundies squeal about are really means to proselytize. In other words, it is persecution if you don’t let us convert you.

  • Dahne

    These same evangelicals also believe, presumably with a different compartment of their brains, that America is “a Christian nation.”
    It’s difficult to reconcile these two ideas — persecuted hegemons?
    Hmm. That sounds eerily like the definition of doublethink to me.

  • Scott

    Yea, these people are persecuted….
    http://www.bushfish.org/index.html

  • Beth

    Actually, the “Christian nation” concept provides a excellent basis for the “persecuted Christians” concept. Think about it. America was created by Christian (1) founders on Christian (2) principles and has a majority Christian (3) population and is, therefore, legitimately a Christian nation. Despite all of this Christians (4) are denied complete hegemony over our laws, the media, and our schools. Therefore Christians are being persecuted (5).
    Footnotes:
    (1) Christian – Anyone who at some point in their lives attended church and/or never publicly disavowed the divinity of Christ.
    (2) Christian – Any law or principle which can be found in the Old or New Testament, whether or not it’s specific to Christianity.
    (3) Christian – Anyone belonging to any of the multitude of religions which identify themselves as “Christian”.
    (4) Christian – Anyone who subscribes to the beliefs of an off-shoot of Christianity known as Domionism. (See ‘Dominionist’)
    (5) persecuted – Not being treated with sufficient deference.

  • Scott

    Another book in the Limbaugh vein:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590524683
    The Criminalization of Christianity : Read This Book Before It Becomes Illegal!
    Book Description
    There is a war going on for the future of our country. Most people know that. What they may not know is that if Christians lose, the result won’t merely be enduring public policy we disagree with – it will be a prison sentence for those who oppose it. We’ve all seen the attack coming. First the Supreme Court said kids can’t pray in school. Then the Ten Commandments were ripped from the classrooms. Now pastors are being removed from their pulpits and put in jail for speaking out against homosexuality (Sweden). And things are only getting worse. How in the world did we get to this place? And why is it that Christians are singled out in this assault on morality? Serving as a wake-up call for America, this book will expose the truth that Christianity is being criminalized – and that we must stand up against it now .

  • Scott

    Another book in the Limbaugh vein:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1590524683
    The Criminalization of Christianity : Read This Book Before It Becomes Illegal!
    Book Description
    There is a war going on for the future of our country. Most people know that. What they may not know is that if Christians lose, the result won’t merely be enduring public policy we disagree with – it will be a prison sentence for those who oppose it. We’ve all seen the attack coming. First the Supreme Court said kids can’t pray in school. Then the Ten Commandments were ripped from the classrooms. Now pastors are being removed from their pulpits and put in jail for speaking out against homosexuality (Sweden). And things are only getting worse. How in the world did we get to this place? And why is it that Christians are singled out in this assault on morality? Serving as a wake-up call for America, this book will expose the truth that Christianity is being criminalized – and that we must stand up against it now .

  • Hysteria

    Okay…in my last post in this, I said that persecution of Christians still goes on.
    I’m gonna stand by that, but for a different reason, that being that saying something “never” happens is deliberately blinding yourself.
    Currently, though…I’ve got to agree, thanks in no small part to that chilling description of “the persecution mindset.”
    I’m embarrassed that I didn’t catch on sooner, but there you have it…so long as a group believes that they’re the underdog, for some reason breaking the rules is okay. Great theory, except that it didn’t hold for Al Quaida on 9/11, and it doesn’t hold for Christians, either.
    So yes, defining “persecution” a lot more tightly makes good sense now, mainly because it’s harder to be righteously indignant if you aren’t persecuted.

  • http://ilx.wh3rd.net/thread.php?showall=true&msgid=5750780#5781667 I Love Everything

    Scopes Monkey Trial, Round 2: “Evolution is going on trial in Kansas.”

    more fun here:
    http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/05/persecution_con.html
    The glamorization of “persecution” is a component — and a vital one–of the culture “wars”. It allows a participant to view himself (or herself) as a “soldier” ca…

  • http://ilx.wh3rd.net/thread.php?showall=true&msgid=5778221#5781669 I Love Everything

    “Do you believe President Bush is doing The Lord’s Work?”

    more fun here:
    http://slacktivist.typepad.com/slacktivist/2005/05/persecution_con.html
    The glamorization of “persecution” is a component — and a vital one–of the culture “wars”. It allows a participant to view himself (or herself) as a “soldier” ca…

  • Steve
  • rose

    Persecution is an absolute necessity if you ascribe to the rather shaky doctrine promoted by the left behind folks among others. Persecution comes before the rapture, no persecution, no rapture. People have been doing this for hundreds of years. Every one always seems to think the end days are now. Revelation requires persecution in Jesus name.

  • Fernmonkey

    Persecution comes before the rapture, no persecution, no rapture.
    Splendid. Might I suggest that they go to Saudi Arabia to set up a Fundigelical Megachurch there? That should REALLY bring the Rapture on.

  • Fernmonkey

    Persecution comes before the rapture, no persecution, no rapture.
    Splendid. Might I suggest that they go to Saudi Arabia to set up a Fundigelical Megachurch there? That should REALLY bring the Rapture on.

  • Nell

    If the Koufax awards continue, Alex and Merlin Missy are getting nominations from me for Best Comment. Thanks for bringing those to attention, Fred.

  • drieux just drieux

    But how can the president of the United States of America engage in persecuting christians in the middle of the WhateverOnWhomever? Isn’t the President suppose to support the president to support the troops?
    Mein Gott Im Himmel!
    Does this mean that the President is Abandoning his post in a time of “More@WAR”???
    Clearly the nation is DOOMED if the president no longer accepts his holy duty as the One True And ONLY Vicar of Christ to the World, Defender of the Faith, and final arbitor of God’s One Ture and ONLY divine will! How will we survive?
    What next those whiney evil liberals demanding that some law of man should replace the Law of God and that the President is not President for Life because of God’s Divine Election!
    Oh How shabby a state of affairs that the nation has fallen into under the brutal jackboot of repressive Liberal Culture!!

  • http://www.wetware.com/drieux/PR/blog2/PoliSci/Rel/2005a.html#id3199000543 drieux’s blog

    Victimhood or Persecution?

    Slacktivist has been tracking the scary persecution complex, here and here, that appears to have infested ‘american christianity’. But the real question is whether this is an actual persecution complex or has the VRRK ( Vast Rightwing Religious Konspir…

  • Scott

    FYI, I stole your quote from Alex for a posting elsewhere: Abu Ghraib is an ongoing evangelical Hell House.


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