Rob Bell in Jesus Wants to Save Christians (via)
Most of the Bible is a history told by people living in lands occupied by conquering superpowers. It is a book written from the underside of power. It’s an oppression narrative. The majority of the Bible was written by a minority people living under the rule and reign of massive, mighty empires, from the Egyptian Empire to the Babylonian Empire to the Persian Empire to the Assyrian Empire to the Roman Empire.
This can make the Bible a very difficult book to understand if you are reading it as a citizen of the the most powerful empire the world has ever seen. Without careful study and reflection, and humility, it may even be possible to miss central themes of the Scriptures.
Eugene @ A Life in Juxtaposition: “Unimpressed Martyrs“
If there is one thing I’m consistently irked by it’s the Persecution Envy of modern Western Christians. They live in a world where they have more religious freedom than at just about any time in history and yet you wouldn’t know that just by listening to them. Somehow this privileged group considers itself the most persecuted group in the world. They keep finding more and more ridiculous reasons to feel “persecuted.” Schools teaching evolution is not persecution. Someone calling you a bigot because you said gays were abominations that will destroy civilization as we know it is not persecuting you. Neither is someone who doesn’t agree with your view that everything will be perfect if only we got rid of democracy and got a Christian Theocracy instead.
How did we come to a point where criticism = persecution? That’s an insult to everyone who has ever been actually persecuted — for instance the countless Christians who were robbed, beaten, tortured and killed for their faith through the ages. Two thousand years ago persecuted Christians had to face lions, now they just have to face facts.
There are people who claim to want “dialogue” with us queer folks when what they really want is to shut us up and/or shut us down. Take, for example, the evangelical counter-protest against the Day of Silence, formerly called “Day of Truth” and now renamed “Day of Dialogue” even though both the message and the method of this protest have changed very little.
Still, I’m willing to believe that even the purveyors of that nonsense are acting in “good faith,” insofar as they are doing what they believe to be right. After all, what’s a little disingenuousness here and there if it leads people to The Truth, right? Heck, I can even believe that some of them aren’t being disingenuous at all, that they honestly think there’s somehow a parity of opinions that makes respectful dialogue possible, and/or that they’re just truly not aware of how they’re hurting folks with their words and actions.
… A lot of us “social justice bloggers” will debate whether and to what degree intent matters in particular scenarios, but pretty much everyone can agree that, if you hurt someone, then you are responsible for having hurt them regardless of whether you meant to or not. Evangelicals, apparently, seem willing to suspend this when attacking us queer folks: to them, their intent is all that matters — the Lord looks at the heart, after all! – and so we should never be angry or unkind to them regardless of how they hurt us, because, well, they didn’t mean to.