Christian victimization and freedom

You may have heard about a bill that passed recently in Indiana. It’s called The Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It enumerates that a person’s religious freedom shall not be “substantially burdened.” The immediate problem is that what constitutes substantial burden is never defined.

But there’s another, broader problem with this law, and it’s all in the name. “Religious Freedom Restoration Act.” As if somehow Christians weren’t free to practice their religion before. This branding, this idea, fits perfectly with a common thread throughout the Christian narrative: victimhood.

You hear it all the time. “The war on Christmas.” Evolution being taught in school. Mean atheist bullies like Richard Dawkins. Wouldn’t you know it, Christianity is always under attack! Poor Christians.

But is this representation really true? No. Just look at the facts. 78% of Americans identify as Christian. Moreover, 73% of Americans believe that God created the world in 6 days or that he directly guided human evolution. These aren’t small numbers or a simple majority. This is an overwhelming part of the population. And Christianity is firmly entrenched in the political system. In fact, 92% of congress is Christian.

So obviously, Christianity isn’t going anywhere, and Christian freedom is hardly in danger of being diminished, given that the whole system is populated by Christians. You can’t turn around anywhere in this country without seeing the Christian influence. So what’s really going on here?

It’s all marketing. That’s it. It’s an image, an idea crafted specifically for mass consumption. The overall goal here is to provide justification for forcing Christian beliefs onto everyone in this country. Because ultimately, it isn’t about giving people more freedom, it’s about taking it away and replacing it with the Christian agenda.

And that’s what this bill in Indiana is really symptomatic of. This bill would justify the denial of goods and services to people who didn’t agree with Christians. That’s not freedom, that’s called discrimination.

There’s a very long list of similar attempts to legislate Christianity in this country, with a lot of recent attempts and victories. There’s the Hobby Lobby ruling. There’s the fact that atheists are outright barred from holding public office in 7 states. There are numerous laws against abortion and proposed constituinal amendments banning same sex marriage. There’s even a lawmaker in Arizona who proposed that church services should be mandatory for all citizens.

None of these laws are about freedom. These laws are all about control. They deny people rights while forcing them to adopt or adhere to Christian values. The only freedom that these laws grant is the freedom for Christians to openly discriminate against and persecute those who don’t agree with them.

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3 thoughts on “Christian victimization and freedom

  1. Very well said Ryan. I also thought of blogging about the subject based upon this Betty Bowers graphic. She’s hilarious. I love her sarcasm. šŸ™‚

    Yeah, it’s really upsetting how completely biased this country is towards Christianity and how in the face of all this bias, they cry persecution. It’s a little bit concerning really how well the argument appears to be working too. Clearly what we have here is that white Christians enjoyed so much privilege that equality feels like persecution. I think the U.S. is becoming more secular overall and they fear the erosion of what they see as morality given by God, yet although crime statistics across the board decrease as we become more secular they try to sow fear in the hearts of Christians of any outside influences, whether secular or from other cultures and/or religions. These things always tend to surface more strongly when there is large amounts of income inequality, weak economy, failing infrastructure (particularly a weaker education system as the government invests less and less money into the next generation) and try to relive the glory days of our militaristic past and imagine themselves the world power they once were. Personally I don’t think we’re done for, it’s just every once in awhile you have a step back for two steps forward. We’ll get there, it’s just taking longer than it ought to with Fox News and the Republicans shouting persecution from the rooftops. There argument, in the end, is empty and will not win.

    1. I think you’re right. The numbers definitely reflect an increase in non-affiliation, agnosticism, and atheism. Although I’ve seen a lot of posting lately from Christians about how people who are born and raised atheist aren’t likely to stay that way. I find that amusing, because they appear to be cherry picking data.

      Also, “clearly what we have here is that white Christians enjoy so much privilege that equality feels like persecution,” might be the most hard hitting line I’ve read in awhile. You succinctly sum up my entire argument with that one, glorious (and wholly accurate) sentence šŸ™‚

  2. Yeah, I agree that is a lot of cherry picking, or rather wishful thinking. Of course if you are going to church, all you notice are the converts, and cast off the one’s who left not thinking about them again, so I think their anecdotal evidence is skewed.

    Good to know I still have the knack for summarizing your blog posts so succinctly. Now if I only I could do that for my own blog posts. lol

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