Are Christians Persecuted in the United States?

Are Christians Persecuted in the United States? March 3, 2014

The answer, of course, to the question posed in the title is obviously “yes.” People of every possible view get persecuted in some way in every society, especially if one defines persecution broadly enough to include things like “being called stupid by a complete stranger on Facebook.”

But since by that definition every category of people is persecuted, then clearly Christians are not being singled out.

We could easily add that there are liberal to moderate Christians who find themselves bullied, harrassed, and losing their jobs in the United States. But since the perpetrators are conservative Christians, it may be inappropriate to put “persecution of Christians by other Christians” into this category.

But if we narrow the question, to ask whether there is a state-sponsored attack on Christians or curtailment of their rights, other than in instances in which the restriction is protecting the rights of others, then I think the answer is clearly “no.”

P. Z. Myers shared this chart spelling out how to tell:


Bruce Gerencser took a different approach, pointing out that, in a context of organized persecution of Christians on a societal or governmental level, this car would not be able to drive around without being seized and confiscated:


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  • They want to keep putting that saddle on our backs and ride us, and will use any subterfuge to get back their power.

    “May it be to the world, what I believe it will be, (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all,) the signal of arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security of self-government. All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to Roger C. Weightman, June 24, 1826 (in the last letter he penned)

    • On the other hand (after watching the trailers):

      Culture War politics in the US are becoming so rancorous that they’ve been compared to the years before the Civil War. Some folks are even calling for a civil war.[1,2,3] The battle lines are being drawn along similar fashion to the Finnish Civil War.

      Guess which side was killing evangelical ministers during the “Terrors.”

      I don’t think the fears in the trailers are totally unfounded.

      “Finnish society was reunited through the social compromises based on long-term culture of moderate politics and religion.”

      We had better start doing those compromises right now. Bigotry has got to go. Anti-gay bigotry has got to go, and anti-gun owner bigotry has also got to go. We’re all Americans, and the whole Bill of Rights, not just the parts we like, is our social contract.

      1. ” It will require a domestic civil war against the gun lobby and against interpretations of the First Amendment…It could be as bloody.”
      The Coming Civil War Over Guns
      Jim Sleeper, Lecturer in Political Science, Yale University

      2. “Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. … Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that ‘prying the guns from their cold, dead hands’ thing works for me.”
      Des Moines Register Editorial Calls for Killing Gun Owners

      3. “The NRA…worthy of the firing squad.”
      WV Professor Christopher Swindell Calls for War on the NRA

      • Jackie Heaton

        I don’t own a gun. Family members do and they fill their tags every year. I’d just like to make sure that the folks who have the guns are reasonably law abiding, reasonably sane, store their guns safely and don’t post selfies of themselves holding a baby who is treating a semi automatic pistol like a pacifier. But, since there are almost as many guns as people in this country and as long as somebody with cash can find someone with a gun to sell they’ll get it so all of the above are probably too much to hope for. The guns are a symptom not the disease and until we can heal the holes where our souls should be there will be guns and there will be casualties. Sorry to vent.

        • Anti-gay bigots like to vent too, using exactly the same language.

          As the neglect, abuse and sexual sins continue, more holes are punched in the emotions, and the previous holes become bigger and bigger. Eventually a person feels so unclean inside—so unworthy and rejected—that he or she seeks affirmation through prostitution, a gay lifestyle or even through drugs.

          Holes in the Soul | Charisma Magazine

          • arcseconds

            I see your point!

            ‘I want gun owners to be law-abiding [and] reasonably sane’

            is totally the same language as

            ‘Gay people are sexual sinners, are unclean inside, feel unworthy and rejected, and end up in a gay lifestyle or prostitution’

            How could I not have noticed this before?

          • Jackie: the disease…holes where our souls
            Charisma: so unclean…Holes in the Soul

            Can’t read much?

          • arcseconds

            Ah, true, I missed that.

            However, the differences are still more notable than the similarities, no? Jackie is fine with people owning guns. It doesn’t sound like she thinks owning a gun is in itself problematic, or always or even mostly a sign of something wrong with the person.

          • Bigots will often say things like “I have a friend who is black” or something to absolve themselves. Then they get right back to parroting their bigotry talking points. No bigot is without a good argument and a multitude of facts to justify their bigotry. They’re still bigots.

          • arcseconds

            Is it possible to disagree with you and think that the US could do with better gun control and not be a bigot, do you think?

          • Can one make proposals to “better control” gays or “better control” blacks and not be a bigot?

            “Like Americans, the Swiss have an entrenched gun culture,” as PBS says of America’s gun culture.

            It is a culture. It’s a proud culture. It’s a peaceful culture. And for all the talk about loving multiculturalism on the left, the American Gun Culture is the one culture they absolutely can’t stand and they want to destroy it.

            I often get accused of being a liberal for my free thinking ways out here in America’s Gun Culture, and I’ve been a card-carrying member of the ACLU for years, but I joined the NRA last year, simply because I couldn’t stand the putrid attacks on my neighbors.

            I’ve come to appreciate our social contract more, because of my study of anthropology. What I’ve found is that the Second Amendment is one of the finest examples of egalitarian power sharing in any modern State society. Egalitarianism is a liberal principle that I value.

          • arcseconds

            Last I checked, guns aren’t people. Controlling inanimate objects isn’t quite the same thing, is it? And those objects, in the States, kill people with quite alarming statistics.

            We don’t generally have as many problems with things that aren’t culturally entrenched as we do with ones that are. And your style of argument would seem to work against anything that’s culturally entrenched:

            “Drinking is culturally entrenched. Drinking culture is a culture, it’s a proud culture, it’s a peaceful culture. If you argue for control of the sale of liquor, you’re a bigot!”

            “Burning fossil fuels is culturally entrenched. Car culture is a culture, it’s a proud culture, it’s a peaceful culture. If you argue for fuel taxes, your’e a bigot!”

            “Christianity is culturally entrenched. Christianity is a culture, it’s a proud culture, it’s a peaceful culture. If you argue against prayer at city council meetings, you’re a bigot!”

            In fact, you often talk about consevative christianity in far more strident terms than Jackie does. Doesn’t that make you a bigot?

          • It’s never been about “gun” control. It’s about people control.

            You don’t want to get rid of guns, you just want the power of the gun, not shared, but concentrated into higher, tighter hands.

            “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun…Our principle is that the Party commands the gun…” ~Mao Tse Tung (The Little Red Book, 1964)

          • arcseconds

            There are few people who actually want to ban guns altogether. Most pro-gun-control people are fine with hunting, range shooting, and so forth, and everyone recognises that guns are not going away completely.

            The gun debate is not about ridding society of guns, but moving their availibility and traceability away from the alcohol and condomns end of the spectrum and more towards the car end of the spectrum. Gun control advocates recognise this. Why can’t you?

            While people complain about the DMV, you don’t see very many people howling about the necessity to have a license and registration. No-one’s crying that the evil Government is taking people’s cars away, or branding pro car safety people as ‘bigots’.

            This ‘share the guns for freedom’ thing is a complete fantasy. Your freedom is not guaranteed by you owning a gun. The government can always out-gun you, no matter how many you have. If the law or the government decide that you’re a menance to society, then the only thing your arsenal does is mean that you’ll die in a firefight rather than ending up in a prison.

          • Actually, a complete ban is the admitted goal.

            Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on CBS “60 Minutes”: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in — I would have done it.”

            And incrementalism is the tactic.

            Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
            Schakowsky: We’re on a roll now, and I think we’ve got to take the–you know, we’re gonna push as hard as we can and as far as we can.

            Mattera: So the assault weapons ban is just the beginning?

            Schakowsky: Oh absolutely. I mean, I’m against handguns. We have, in Illinois, the Council Against Handgun… something [Violence]. Yeah, I’m a member of that. So, absolutely.

            The DMV isn’t pushing to ban cars like Feinstein, Schakowsky, etal.

            The government can always out-gun you?

            Come and take them.

            That’s what Canadians told their government. After year and years and $2B trying to register them, Canada gave up.

            Canada Tried Registering Long Guns — And Gave Up

            Now Connecticut gun owners are saying the same thing as Canadians. 85% of them have refused to register their firearms.

            State Can’t Let Gun Scofflaws Off Hook

            > you’ll die in a firefight rather than ending up in a prison.

            Didn’t happen in Canada. You willing to test that in Connecticut?

            P.S. The Second Amendment is not about sporting or hunting. Nice try.

          • arcseconds

            My goodness, Brian, it seems you’re utterly unable to have a rational conversation about this.

            I mean, take this for example.

            P.S. The Second Amendment is not about sporting or hunting. Nice try

            What made you think I was talking about the second amendment? You were going on about the wonderful gun culture which is so fragile it’ll just die if they have to fill out a form or two to own a gun. So I said that most pro-gun control people aren’t out to stop hunting and rifle ranges. Nothing to do with the Second Amendment.

            I note that you’ve changed your original statement to something saner, but this is one of the rare cases when I’m not feeling charitable, because your original statement really does show something:

            > you’ll die in a firefight rather than ending up in a prison.

            You willing to test that?

            I mean, really, what, I’m the Federal Government now, and we’re going to duke it out? This would be amusing if it wasn’t so disturbing. So much for the ‘peaceful’ gun culture: you’re all about the violent fantasy life, like so many of your compatriots.

            You write about Canada as though it was the fact that they had guns that meant the government backed down. There’s nothing in that article that supports that, and there’s plenty of cases of people standing up to the government and winning without guns.

            (On the other hand, Front de libération du Québec had guns. Didn’t stop Trudeau from imposing martial law (using the army) and breaking the back of the organisation within a year after they killed the vice-premier.)

            And, in your enthusiasm with this ‘come and try it’ nonsense, you missed the rational argument this article is making: that registering long-arms is not effective.

            However, the article itself is in favour of regulating hand-guns in the USA:

            The bottom line is there are sensible things the U.S. can do to try and curb gun violence, including following Canada’s lead and passing strict regulations covering who can possess handguns — and jailing anyone found with one illegally. I believe most gun owners would agree to personal gun licenses, since hundreds of thousands of pistol owners have already gotten licenses. Most hunters also grew up in a culture of strict regulation, where any passing game warden can ask to see your license and inspect your semiautomatic shotgun to make sure it has a plug limiting it to three shells. Any more and you lose your guns.

            Why are you quoting an article written by an obvious bigot? Did you even read it? This is just like the creationists!

            Canada has reasonably restrictive gun control, as this article notes. Hand-guns and semiautomatics have to be registered per firearm, and automatic weapons are prohibited entirely. One wonders how they manage to have anything like a civil society under such conditions.

            Anyway, it’s bizarre to use Canada as an example of how gun-control has failed and possession of guns aids the holders in their political goals.

            I mean, really, your behaviour here is quite like the Christians who are crying ‘persecuted’. Your side has won the gun-control debate in the USA fantastically effectively, but rather than actually having a rational and honest discussion about it, you harp on about bigotry, do your own little Gish Gallop, indulge in strange fantasies, and quote-mine.

          • > This is just like the creationists!

            Obviously, you’re projecting your own inability to have a rational conversation.

          • arcseconds

            hmm, let’s see, chances are at least one of us is incapable of having a rational conversation on this topic.

            One of us started with a global ad-hominem against everyone who disagrees with them, and ended with a playground comeback dressed in fancy language – “what you say is what you are, full stop you can’t say it back”

            My guess it’s that guy.

          • Oh, so the States is now Mao-ist ?

          • Gary

            Being against the NRA doesn’t mean you are against owning a gun. I was a member of the NRA 30 years ago. I hunted (got American Hunter), and had lots of guns, from 300 WinMag to 223. Reloaded. Still have a few guns. But I dropped hunting. Got tired of killing things. Dropped the NRA. Got tired of their uncompromising, maniac view of being against all and any gun control. I don’t mind waiting, and having a background check to buy. I don’t like guns sold at gun shows, for cash, and no records, or questions asked. I don’t like Teflon jacketed bullets sold. I don’t mind a record of ammo sold to me. I think anyone who leaves ammo and a weapon on their bed stand were kids can get access, should go to jail. How’s that for me being un-American?

          • Well, I got got tired of the left’s uncompromising, maniac view of being for all and any gun control, and joined the NRA.

          • Except it’s absolutely true to say that guns available to the public usually means greater gun violence and more severe results from violent encounters due to guns being so readily available.
            Whereas there’s no verifiable proof of any negative result from allowing same-sex marriage.

          • A Servant

            Gays are an abomination to the Lord and this should be enough for any one to turn from it, but since God is no longer considered the own to render an account to people find it easy to call evil good and good evil. The fact remains that death is still one per person and after this the judgement and no matter how much any one tries to prevent this death it is coming nevertheless.

          • Anyone can declare anything an “abomination to the Lord” that they choose, but that cannot be a basis for lawmaking in a democratic society which safeguards the rights of minorities. Idol worship is criticized clearly in the Bible in a way that same-sex relations are not. Would you make it illegal to practice Hinduism?

  • Yea, and all who will live a godly life in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. ~2 Timothy 3:12