French intellectual Régis Debray, a veteran leftist who fought alongside Che Guevara in Bolivia, has observed that anti-Christian persecution unfolds squarely in the political blind spot of the West — the victims are usually “too Christian” to excite the left, “too foreign” to interest the right.
As a contribution towards erasing that blind spot, let’s debunk five common myths about anti-Christian persecution.
Myth No. 1: Christians are vulnerable only where they’re a minority
Myth No. 2: It’s all about Islam
Myth No. 3: No one saw it coming
Myth No. 4: It’s only persecution if the motives are religious
Myth No. 5: Anti-Christian persecution is a right-wing issue
Okay, those are the myths as identified by Allen. Now, go read how he fleshes them out. It’s a keeper.
A little hate-chaser: thanks to the NY Times.
. . .priests’ wives should beware a religious tradition that views them, in the words of Damian, as “the clerics’ charmers, devil’s choice tidbits, expellers from paradise, virus of minds, sword of soul, wolfbane to drinkers, poison to companions, material of sinning, occasion of death … the female chambers of the ancient enemy, of hoopoes, of screech owls, of night owls, of she-wolves, of blood suckers.”
In our family we have a rule: you can argue with another once you can accurately articulate your opponent’s views back to him. This Times Op-Ed — which apparently was not opened for online comments — couldn’t manage it, and apparently did not want to be told so. Carl Olson tells them, anyway, in no uncertain terms.
And a Palate Cleanser to wash it all down with:
For almost all of her 40 years, a Suffolk-born psychiatric nurse-turned published poet and passionate atheist felt little but contempt for Catholicism. But then, in less than a year, after a springtime epiphany she was received into the Church. This is her journey.
I was most struck by her harrowing description of trying to find an open church in London:
I tried to find a church to stop in. St Patrick’s in Soho was closed for renovation. Churches around Liverpool Street were being used as art galleries or were only available for private hire. People were drinking out on the streets outside bars, in the early evening heat. I had never felt more hungry. I knew I couldn’t be a Quaker, sitting in a circle, untouched. I knew I couldn’t be a Protestant, pretending a wafer was the body of Christ.
I walked down street after street, feeling, for once, a foreigner in London. There were no churches open. The miracle of finding an open door with a lit candle at the tabernacle was suddenly nothing small. I was already attending Mass in Italy and praying through Communion, often in tears, sometimes simply awed. The most important part of all this, I realised, was being with Christ, was the liturgy itself. I walked for an hour without hope even of a Mass, just wanting to sit by the Blessed Sacrament (I hadn’t yet heard of adoration) but every church was closed, or given over to some other denomination or purpose.”
The nightmare of not being able to find an open church. Coming soon, to a place near you.