“The enemies of faith are persecuting us!....”
We are hearing that a lot from Christians these days. The notion of martyrdom, even if it has no basis in reality, is attractive to religious zealots because it appeals to their Christian mythology and to their fathomless, messianic narcissism.
The world is persecuting you? Really? Are we tying you to a pole and setting you on fire, like you people did to us in the Middle Ages? Dragging you off to the Vatican to torture you? And your faith in miracles, and your voodoo-like prayers for supernatural intervention and the assistance of dead saints, is obviously witchcraft and paganism – are we hanging you for idolatry like the pilgrims did?
Here’s what real persecution looks like. Just in the last few weeks, Jesus-impaired officials at America’s schools have expelled one girl for being a lesbian, fired one teacher for having an abusive husband, and thrown one female football player off the team for, you know, being a girl, which they somehow hadn’t noticed before. More legislatures are trying to throw atheists out of their high schools.
Real persecution looks like legislators trying to put both abortion patients and their doctors in prison, and even trying to make women prove their miscarriages were really miscarriages; legislators trying to force vaginal probes into women; putting our girls at risk for cancer by preventing them from getting HPV shots, and putting them at risk by denying them sex education; hospitals denying women treatment for reasons of “conscience”; carpet-bombing women’s clinics with so many regulations and fees that they are forced to close shop; making our kids stupider by impeding the teaching of real-world science; lowering the veil of ignorance by trying to ban books. Persecution is Molotov cocktails at abortion clinics and death threats against liberal legislators. It’s Kristallnacht in the twenty-first century, right here in America.
It’s trying to kill off gays by retarding AIDS research. It’s working to keep gays and lesbians from getting equal rights on insurance coverage, compensation for service-related deaths, income tax filing status and deductions, tax-free property transfers, Social Security, veteran’s pensions and disability, disabled vets tax exemptions, and relocation benefits for military families, survivor benefits and continuation of health care for surviving spouses, organ donor issues, next-of-kin status, parental rights, access to school records, alimony, child custody, adoption, foster care, homestead laws, water rights, VA benefits, housing assistance, educational loans, farm price supports, name changes, domestic violence laws, spousal privilege for criminal witnesses, prison and hospital visitation, conflict-of-interest rules, medical decisions, funeral decisions, condominium laws, bankruptcy, child support, shared property, prenuptial agreements, and wills and inheritance.
Real persecution is trying to ram new legislation down our throats week after week, on abortion, school vouchers, school prayer, intelligent design, putting the Commandments in courtrooms, stem cell research, euthanasia, cloning, civil unions, HPV shots, contraception, sex education, faith-based initiatives, banning books, and assisted suicide. It’s forcing atheists to pretend to be Christians to get elected into office. It’s hijacking the entire Republican party and forcing their leaders, on pain of primary challenges, to do things they know are morally reprehensible and destructive. It’s telling America that fear and hate are cool.
Real persecution is the Baptists declaring war on the Boy Scouts and closing troops because the Scouts don’t hate gays enough; it’s Baptists protesting military funerals because the rest of the country has rejected their homophobic delusions.
It’s trying to hang atheists in Bangladesh and jail them in Kuwait; it’s oppression across the Muslim world; it’s Catholic rules on divorce and contraception and abortion imposed on nonbelievers in Europe and Latin America; it’s rabbis impeding the marriages and divorces of the non-Orthodox in Israel; it’s riots and violence if Europeans draw a picture of Muhammad two thousand miles away from the Muslim world.
The real persecution is coming from Team God, not from us.
But when we say happy holiday so that everyone can share in the holiday season, or politely ask you to keep your Christian nonsense out of our schools and legislatures and our hospitals, then we’re the tyrants, right?
Anybody who disagrees with you must be declaring “war” on you. War on traditional America, war on marriage, war on Christmas….We’re not declaring war on you. We just want to take part in the same things you already have. We can share marriage without hurting your marriage, we can share the holidays without ruining your holiday…You’re mistaking “war” for “disagreement”. Our stubborn insistence on living our lives our way, and not yours. You believe that your religious liberty includes the right to take our liberty away, and not just on religion, on everything from law to education to medicine. Your religious liberty is just that, liberty of religion – not liberty to do whatever you like, in any area, and then force us to do the same, in any area.
So you don’t like being forced to play by the rules, when you spill over the boundaries of the religious world and try to impose religion on science and medicine and law? Be glad we’re not forcing you to pay your fair share in taxes.
Keep your religion in church on Sunday, and stop annoying the rest of us. It’s, you know, persecution. The real kind.
And by the way, screaming “censorship!” at anyone who disagrees with you, is called….censorship.