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Extraordinary Claims => Religion General Discussion => Christianity => Topic started by: stromboli on October 18, 2013, 12:18:21 PM

Title: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: stromboli on October 18, 2013, 12:18:21 PM
http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-r ... ersecution (http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/myth-christian-persecution)

Quote
When Senator Rand Paul took the stage at last weekend's Values Voter Summit, it was clear he needed to up the stakes. Alongside a handful of other 2016 presidential contenders, Paul was auditioning for the far right’s support in a speech to the annual conference of Christian conservatives hosted by the Family Research Council at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Making his task far more difficult was that fact that one of his rivals had just hit a home run.

Ted Cruz, the Republican senator largely blamed for orchestrating the government shutdown in a last-ditch effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, left the podium after a barn-burner speech punctuated by yells of protest from a handful of immigration activists who had entered the conference incognito. Each time the protesters interrupted Cruz’s speech, the audience throbbed with exhilaration and rage. Cruz—who would go on to win the 2016 presidential straw poll—paced the stage like a charismatic preacher, pronouncing amid thunderous applause, “The greatest trick the left has ever played is to convince conservatives we cannot win.” It was an appropriate tack for a man who’s been widely criticized for leading congressional Republicans into an unwinnable shutdown crisis. At least in Cruz’s mind, victory was still possible.

The air was much stiller after Paul took Cruz’s place behind the microphone. But the Kentucky libertarian plunged in, dispensing with a few boilerplate jokes about the Senate Republicans’ upcoming meeting at the White House before shifting to another conservative bête noire: Christian persecution in the Middle East and beyond. “Across the globe, Christians are under attack, almost as if we lived in the Middle Ages or under early pagan Roman rule,” Paul said, referring to the waves of violence against Coptic Christians, who were targeted following the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. “This administration does nothing to stop it. And it can be argued that they’re giving aid and comfort to those who tolerate these crimes.”

The global war on Christianity is a perpetual topic on conservative talk shows, but it might seem like an odd choice for a politician like Paul, who's made his name as a libertarian Republican opposed to any kind of military intervention. As the Values Voter Summit unfolded over the next day and a half, however, it was clear that Paul was stepping onto a powerful rhetorical bandwagon. Throughout the summit, speaker after speaker bemoaned Christians’ status as an embattled people, fighting everything from Islamic radicalism to a shadowy “war on football.”

At least four speakers—from Ted Cruz to Matt Krause, a first-term Texas state legislator—placed themselves and the assembled crowds in the shoes of another embattled minority: Jews at the time of the Babylonian exile. “Like Esther, you were called for a time such as this,” Cruz told his audience, echoing a line from the Book of Esther, the Biblical story of the queen who rescued the Persian Jews, a religious minority in exile, from the genocidal machinations of the king’s adviser, Haman. It’s a weird analogy, not least because it casts Obama (who is, of course, also a Christian, although that fact was not mentioned at the summit) as Haman, a member of the Amalekite tribe, the Jews’ ancient foes. The allusion has other disturbing implications: At the end of the Book of Esther, the Jews, with the Persian king’s blessing, roved throughout the kingdom, slaughtering their enemies.

The crowds ate it up. But why would messages about martyrdom and victimhood be so galvanizing to a group of people who are, by almost any measure possible, objectively not being persecuted? The president is Christian; Congress is overwhelmingly Christian; although there are no Protestants on the Supreme Court, a majority of the justices are Catholic. Even Paul’s claims about a global war on Christianity ring false. Muslims who use the Internet—who make up about 18 percent of the global population, although this number varies widely from country to country— are increasingly likely to have favorable views of the West and Christianity, signaling that as Internet access expands, Muslim attitudes will grow friendlier.  Two-thirds of Muslims worldwide share concerns about Islamic extremism.

The longer I am an atheist the more disgusted I am by this type of thinking. As a Mormon there was a constant  "we are the sons of martyrs" mindset, and what I refer to as the "circle the wagons" mentality. Christianity is no different. Using the Old Testament and the Babylonian captivity is so typical of the backward mindset these people have. I was one of them. Can't tell you how good it feels not to be anymore.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Solitary on October 18, 2013, 12:35:08 PM
Better late than never. =D> What has any mythical stories have to do with anything now in reality. Religion is like trying to progress with ignorance instead of knowledge and it shows.  :roll:  Solitary
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Poison Tree on October 18, 2013, 01:36:29 PM
I was raised SDA and was constantly told that it was only a matter of months (years, if we were lucky) before "they" would pass a global Sunday-worship law and round all of us Sabbath-keepers into concentration/death camps.

The first step for me realizing how bizarre this line of thinking actually was was to stop and think "If this needs to happen before Jesus can return and take us all to an eternity in heaven, why are we trying to prevent it from happening? Shouldn't we be trying to hurry the end times?" OF course, I now know that there are some people trying to hurry Armageddon, people in multiple religions.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Hijiri Byakuren on October 18, 2013, 01:41:27 PM
(http://http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Christian_03bafd_2788880.jpeg)
(http://http://amptoons.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/christian_oppression_pie1.png)
(http://http://www.ooblick.com/weblog/files/2012/05/anti-christian-bigotry.gif)
(http://http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/BibleOKwith.jpg)
(http://http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hZyupTXuXyw/TY9cR-0vfgI/AAAAAAAACF8/Obx7K_1aE_Y/s1600/ChristianJewishMuslimClothingSidebySide.jpg)
(http://http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-23mAGmZeL80/UPt1tSNQEWI/AAAAAAAAAII/y2XTpreLq5g/s320/01-religous-oppression-e1281814240141.jpg)

Christians with an oppression complex need to go sodomize themselves with a cactus.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on October 18, 2013, 03:42:11 PM
I have a better idea. Let's gather this bunch up and allow them to be real examples of persecution and actually feed the motherfuckers to real hungry lions.

Note: I don't have a problem making them martyrs.. :)
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: AlwaysLearning on October 18, 2013, 07:47:01 PM
Yea, I would definitely say that Christians in America (and quite a few other countries) are not persecuted, hated but not persecuted, and it's sad that politicians use it as a way to help build their campaign. But there really is persecution going on in some places. You could get killed, tortured, or arrested just for claiming to be Christian. I've had friends go to other countries for missionary work and they would write us emails or letters to keep us in touch and they had to use substitute words for things like God, Holy spirit, gospel, Christ, and so on because they ran the risk of being arrested if they were caught.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: AllPurposeAtheist on October 18, 2013, 07:59:12 PM
Like waterboarding and being left to rot in Cuba? :-k
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: aileron on October 19, 2013, 12:29:49 AM
Quote from: "AllPurposeAtheist"
...actually feed the motherfuckers to real hungry lions.

Even the Christian persecution in ancient times, though real, is wildly exaggerated.  After a few Christians became martyrs, a lot of brain-fucked coreligionists saw martyrdom as a one way ticket to heaven and did all they could to become martyrs.  One Roman governor even told them in exasperation if they wanted to die there were plenty of cliffs for falling and ropes for hanging.  Romans for the most part didn't go out of their way to find out who was a Christian and do anything about it.  There were ongoing, mostly localized persecutions that probably claimed a few thousand lives, but nothing like an organized hunt and roundup of hundreds of thousands as early Christian writers describe.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Shiranu on October 19, 2013, 01:41:57 AM
Quote
...that Christians in America (and quite a few other countries) are not persecuted, hated but not persecuted...

Hated as in the government tries to put their beliefs in school? Hated as in if you "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", the media loses its collective mind? Hated as in they are tax-exempt even when they become political cheerleaders?

I have hard time seeing this hatred.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: aileron on October 19, 2013, 02:08:06 AM
Quote from: "AlwaysLearning"
I've had friends go to other countries for missionary work and they would write us emails or letters to keep us in touch and they had to use substitute words for things like God, Holy spirit, gospel, Christ, and so on because they ran the risk of being arrested if they were caught.

I don't have a problem with Christian missionaries going to such places to proselytize, but I have a big problem with the "send in the Marines" attitude when they get arrested in some jerkwater country.  If they want to take the risk, it's their risk to take.  I have no patience for people who would endanger the lives of our troops (not to mention the local population) to save a few foolhardy people who knowingly put themselves in danger.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Hydra009 on October 19, 2013, 02:52:11 AM
Quote from: "Shiranu"
Quote
...that Christians in America (and quite a few other countries) are not persecuted, hated but not persecuted...

Hated as in the government tries to put their beliefs in school? Hated as in if you "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas", the media loses its collective mind? Hated as in they are tax-exempt even when they become political cheerleaders?

I have hard time seeing this hatred.
Hated as in mildly disliked by other groups.  Sometimes bordering on aversion.  Or whatever word expresses an incredibly mild form of aversion.  Annoyed?  Annoyed works.

And it's usually just the extremely preachy people who get that sort of reaction.  The standard rank-and-file Christian is not at threat whatsoever.

What is happening is that using that the Christian Right is slowly losing steam and turning off a lot of young people.  And as such, the same ol' blustering isn't quite as effective anymore.  Naturally, they interpret this shrinking influence as persecution.  *plays world's smallest violin*
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Minimalist on October 19, 2013, 10:50:37 AM
I highly recommend Candida Moss' "The Myth of Persecution."  Not that it will stop grandstanding shits like these republicunt assholes but there is little actual historical support for this poor, poor, xtians crap.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecut ... ersecution (http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecution-Christians-Martyrdom/dp/0062104527/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382194192&sr=8-1&keywords=myth+of+persecution)
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: stromboli on October 19, 2013, 11:43:57 AM
Quote from: "Minimalist"
I highly recommend Candida Moss' "The Myth of Persecution."  Not that it will stop grandstanding shits like these republicunt assholes but there is little actual historical support for this poor, poor, xtians crap.

http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecut ... ersecution (http://www.amazon.com/The-Myth-Persecution-Christians-Martyrdom/dp/0062104527/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1382194192&sr=8-1&keywords=myth+of+persecution)

This. The xtians gettin' all misty is based on a load of BS, period.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: jublebeans on October 19, 2013, 11:01:33 PM
Every time I have an argument with my mother and I tell her my reasons for not believing in her god she always pulls the "Stop disrespecting by beliefs" bullshit.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Minimalist on October 20, 2013, 01:41:59 PM
Personally, j/b, I love to shove this cartoon right up the ass of people like that.

(http://http://madmikesamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/atheist-cartoon-1-794x1024.jpg)
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Jorjor on October 20, 2013, 03:27:09 PM
Not getting your way 100% of the time = persecution according to Christian logic  #-o
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Colanth on October 20, 2013, 10:27:31 PM
Quote from: "jublebeans"
Every time I have an argument with my mother and I tell her my reasons for not believing in her god she always pulls the "Stop disrespecting by beliefs" bullshit.
Tell her that respect is earned, and Christianity hasn't yet earned even derision.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: ApostateLois on October 21, 2013, 11:56:19 AM
I like to point out all the things Christians can do in the United States, and in pretty much any Western or European country:

They can go to whatever church they like.
They can attend Bible study services.
They have gift shops and music stores just for them.
They can go to whatever school they want to, and send their kids to school.
They can preach on street corners or go door-to-door, proselytizing (at least in the States)
They have TV and radio stations broadcasting their favorite preachers.
They can decorate their homes and persons with crosses or pictures of Jesus.


All this and more, without any fear whatsoever that the police are going to bash down their doors and drag them away to prison. They aren't treated like second-class citizens just because of their religious beliefs. They can do all the normal, everyday things that non-Christians do (buy a house, get a job, send their kids to school, attend college, etc.) without authorities demanding to know their religion and making them feel uncomfortable or threatened if they give the wrong answer.

 So where the hell is the persecution? It is all in their heads. Rather than focus on all the good things they have and regarding them as blessings from God, they choose to focus their energy on problems that don't even exist. They CHOOSE to think of themselves as pathetic, miserable victims of society; and when you make that decision, all of life seems bleak and hopeless. The way you see yourself affects how you behave, and that affects how others see you, so it is no wonder that Christians are being viewed as whinging crybabies with a persecution complex and a sense of entitlement that they don't deserve.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Hydra009 on October 21, 2013, 12:11:49 PM
Quote from: "ApostateLois"
I like to point out all the things Christians can do in the United States, and in pretty much any Western or European country:

They can go to whatever church they like.
They can attend Bible study services.
They have gift shops and music stores just for them.
They can go to whatever school they want to, and send their kids to school.
They can preach on street corners or go door-to-door, proselytizing (at least in the States)
They have TV and radio stations broadcasting their favorite preachers.
They can decorate their homes and persons with crosses or pictures of Jesus.
And in the US, there's also a large amount of "ceremonial deism".  Christian crosses/displays set up at governmental buildings, God in the pledge, In God We Trust on the currency, some governmental meetings start with "non-denominational" prayers, Christian holidays are national holidays, many states have Blue Laws restricting "immoral" activities during the Christian day of worship, state laws establishing a religious test for office (essentially making Christian belief a prerequisite for holding state office), etc

Oh yeah, they have it rough.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: josephpalazzo on October 21, 2013, 12:33:03 PM
Quote from: "ApostateLois"
I like to point out all the things Christians can do in the United States, and in pretty much any Western or European country:

They can go to whatever church they like.
They can attend Bible study services.
They have gift shops and music stores just for them.
They can go to whatever school they want to, and send their kids to school.
They can preach on street corners or go door-to-door, proselytizing (at least in the States)
They have TV and radio stations broadcasting their favorite preachers.
They can decorate their homes and persons with crosses or pictures of Jesus.


All this and more, without any fear whatsoever that the police are going to bash down their doors and drag them away to prison. They aren't treated like second-class citizens just because of their religious beliefs. They can do all the normal, everyday things that non-Christians do (buy a house, get a job, send their kids to school, attend college, etc.) without authorities demanding to know their religion and making them feel uncomfortable or threatened if they give the wrong answer.

 So where the hell is the persecution? It is all in their heads. Rather than focus on all the good things they have and regarding them as blessings from God, they choose to focus their energy on problems that don't even exist. They CHOOSE to think of themselves as pathetic, miserable victims of society; and when you make that decision, all of life seems bleak and hopeless. The way you see yourself affects how you behave, and that affects how others see you, so it is no wonder that Christians are being viewed as whinging crybabies with a persecution complex and a sense of entitlement that they don't deserve.

Yeah, but once in a while they are confronted with a poster like this one:

(http://http://i243.photobucket.com/albums/ff277/josephpalazzo/atheismthis.jpg) (http://http://s243.photobucket.com/user/josephpalazzo/media/atheismthis.jpg.html)

AND THAT'S REAL PERSECUTION.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Savior2006 on October 21, 2013, 12:42:07 PM
Quote from: "Minimalist"
Personally, j/b, I love to shove this cartoon right up the ass of people like that.

[ Image (http://http://madmikesamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/atheist-cartoon-1-794x1024.jpg) ]

That was my avatar for a long time as BleedingHeart of Christian Forums. Only one of the people there took it well.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Jorjor on October 21, 2013, 02:21:23 PM
Quote from: "ApostateLois"



 So where the hell is the persecution? It is all in their heads. Rather than focus on all the good things they have and regarding them as blessings from God, they choose to focus their energy on problems that don't even exist. They CHOOSE to think of themselves as pathetic, miserable victims of society; and when you make that decision, all of life seems bleak and hopeless. The way you see yourself affects how you behave, and that affects how others see you, so it is no wonder that Christians are being viewed as whinging crybabies with a persecution complex and a sense of entitlement that they don't deserve.

American Christians should take a little field trip to the middle east, get a taste of what REAL persecution is.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: mediumaevum on October 23, 2013, 02:55:27 PM
I know some Christians, they are perfectly nice people and don't believe in punishment, but rehabiliation, not even rehabilitation with the bible, but scientic methods, approved by psychologists, social workers etc. who may or may not be Christian, and they disagrees with the nationalists, they are against anti-intellectualism and they hold very intellectual political opinions. They generally keep their Christian beliefs to themselves, unless outsiders ask them about their beliefs.

These Christians hold these beliefs because Jesus explicit saying said that religion should be kept away from civil life is what correlates well with their own personal opinions.

Quotes supporting this:

Quote from: "Matthew 22:17-21"
Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.”


Quote from: "Matthew 6:1-34"
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. ...

Quote from: "Matthew 6:7"
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.


The fact that the vast majority of Christians go and pray in Churches and other large crowds and worship symbols (like Jesus on the Cross or just the Cross itself) is hypocrisy and isn't really Christian in the strict sense of the meaning of being Christian: Which means to be anti-violence, pray in secrecy and keep religion and politics kept away, and stick to your own conscience.
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: azharrison on October 23, 2013, 03:15:09 PM
Quote from: "Minimalist"
Personally, j/b, I love to shove this cartoon right up the ass of people like that.

[ Image (http://http://madmikesamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/atheist-cartoon-1-794x1024.jpg) ]

Yep, that cartoon is perfect!
Title: Re: The Myth of Christian Persecution
Post by: Solomon Zorn on October 27, 2013, 02:47:27 PM
A lot of Christian sects view their own group as the only TRUE Christianity. Therefore they are in the minority because the rest of Christianity doesn't count as Christian.

If you want persecution, try being a sci-fi geek teenager in the 1980's. :wink: