Evangelicals and Their Strange Definitions of Persecution

Evangelicals and Their Strange Definitions of Persecution August 8, 2015

The Daily show recently covered “anti-Christian discrimination.”


Do you know what that video brought to mind? I recently spent an evening at our local county fair, and happened to overhear the band playing on the music stage. It was right there, by the cow barns, the prize cucumbers on display, and the stands selling corndogs and cotton candy. The man with the microphone was sharing the gospel, explaining to those listening that they needed to cling close to Jesus. The band struck up a song about Jesus and salvation. And so it went, song after song.

I live in one of the bluest areas of my red state, but there are still churches on every corner. I barely have to leave town to see billboards urging me to repent to avoid hell. The idea that Christians are persecuted is surreal.

Of course, I grew up in an evangelical home and I remember believing that Christians were persecuted. How? Well for one thing, disagreement is often interpreted as persecution. Loss of privileged status is also seen as persecution (it is in this way that things like the removal of Christian prayers from local school board meetings are termed “persecution”). And finally, bans on discrimination are treated persecution, because they will prevent Christians from discriminating against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

And if that’s not a strange definition of persecution, I don’t know what is.

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