Thursday, June 26, 2008

Throwing Them To The Lions

Rich, privileged, free, American Christians have no idea what real discrimination and persecution is. Seriously. Oh, sure, there are psychopaths like Sam Harris out there, and ninnies like Richard Dawkins, who make fun of something they believe is Christianity. There are the occasional instances of some person or other being teased about the way he or she dresses, or the school they attend (I can remember wondering about the kids who went to the Catholic elementary school in my town when I was a kid). True martyrdom, however, is something that American Christians know nothing about.

Except in their own minds.

Exhibit "A" comes via Sadly, No!, where Jillian highlights a woman in high whine mode about an anti-discrimination law enacted in Colorado that includes sexual orientation as a protected category.
The Ku Klux Klan can march. The Nazis can hand out brochures. Skinheads can do whatever it is that Skinheads do. But in the state of Colorado, the only group who is NOT allowed to be heard is … the Christians. They're the ones who disagree with same-sex marriage, cohabitation, and believe the biblical view that homosexuality is a sin. But if they voice that objection from now on, it had better be inside the four walls of a church. If not, they'll be staring at the four walls of a prison cell … for up to a year.

Since the text of the statute has standard anti-discrimination boilerplate that includes sexual orientation as a protected class, one might wonder why a self-professed Christian would worry that something they would say might be considered legally objectionable. See, Christian are supposed to be about love, and openness, and all that gushy liberal stuff. Except, it seems, towards teh gay who threaten our very survival with the planes they crash in to our office buildings and all the IEDs they put on the roadsides . . . .

Wait, no that's insurgents in Iraq and Al Qaeda.

What's the threat to our civilization posed by GLBT folks? I can't think of it right now.

Anyway, it seems to this humble Christian that Janet Folger needs to worry less about getting arrested for fag-bashing in Colorado than about what Christianity means to her.


Exhibit "B" comes via ER. First, as I wrote earlier this week, James Dobson has attacked Barack Obama for his expression of his Christian beliefs. Now, this is a certified case of faith-based attack. Obviously. Yet, it seems that Kirbyjohn Caldwell, a United Methodist minister (I love their ubiquity; I'm so partisan) has a website called You can go and sign up, give a testimony. It seems Dobson doesn't like all that sauce for the gander. I would urge everyone here to go and sign and read the testimonials of those who refuse to have an unelected spokesman in the form of a bad child psychologist.

There have been times over the past 2000 years when Christians faced the prospect of violent death because of their faith. The Romans didn't take kindly to folks who refused to make room in their religious beliefs for emperor-worship, so bunches and bunches of Christians ended up in the stomachs of lions, or cut down defenselessly as people cheered. During the late Middle Ages, various radical sects had Crusades proclaimed against them, including the Cathars in southern France and the Waldensians in Italy. Jan Hus, one of the national saints of the Czech Republic accepted a free pass promised by the Pope, which lasted long enough for him to get to Avignon and be burned at the stake. During the Reformation, the term "Anabaptist" was coined to make fun of people who declared their Roman rite and Lutheran and Reform baptisms insufficient. See, what these groups did to the "Anabaptists" was tie rocks around their wastes or necks and toss them in rivers and lakes, baptizing them again.

The Puritans, hyper-Calvinists who were ultimately the losers of the English Civil War were not only booted out of England, but out of The Netherlands as well. Huguenots were burned, raped, and other wise murdered by the hundreds and thousands in France. Thomas Muntzer ended up in a bad way because he honestly believed that Christianity called people to live out their faith in a radical way. The Peasant Revolt in the various German states that made up the inaptly named Holy Roman Empire claimed as many as 100,000 lives. This particular bit of Christian fratricide was encouraged by Martin Luther.

We should never forget the hundreds of Christians the Nazis murdered because of their faith.

Here's the thing. Real martyrs don't whine all that much about how they're picked on. They live out their faith the best way they know how, and take the consequences while refusing to denounce their beliefs even at the point of a spear, gun, or burning torch about to be placed in a pile of sticks at their feet. Call me unimpressed with the complaints from these pampered folks. When they end up sport for lions before a cheering public, I might pray for them. Otherwise, I wish they would shut up.

Virtual Tin Cup

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