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January 25, 2013
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A lot of Christians seem to be fond of crying about the oppression they experience in American society. My first response is to laugh, but a lot of these people take themselves very seriously so I feel like I should give them a semi-serious answer to some of the claims I've heard. By "semi-serious", I mean I will include some facts but I will still have a deriding attitude. I can only try so hard. Now usually, I don't like formatting a question-answer session against an imaginary opponent since it seems unfair, but this isn't really an imaginary opponent. All of these statements or questions have been put to me before so, as far as I'm concerned, they are fair game.


"Christianity is becoming endangered."


Honey, this is America. Christians are the vast majority in this country. A 2007 poll places the percentage at 78.4% Christian [1]. The vast majority of our politicians and even our president identifies as Christian. The fact that people were shocked at the possibility of a Mormon president indicates that we are used to a very homogenous religious identity for our Commander in Chief.


Christians are not endangered. Their number might be slowly dropping, but I'd say that's a failure on the part of religious folks, not a hostile secular environment. Maybe if there were better spokespersons for the religion in the spotlight and a better face on the movement people would flock to the churches when bad things happen instead of running away. Passing out tracts isn't going to help that reputation, by the way. You'll have to actually get off of your asses and make a change. Sorry.


"Christians face more discrimination than gays."


Really? You really want to argue that? Let's look at the numbers. According to FBI statistics on hate crimes in 2011, less than 2% of offenses were motivated by anti-protestant or anti-catholic bias [2]. In comparison, 20.8% were motivated by sexual orientation bias. That's 117 incidents against Christians and 1,491 incidents against gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. There were 17 incidents against heterosexuals. Of the incidents against Christians, only 15 were identified as crimes against the individual (assault, intimidation) and there were no murders or rapes. The rest of the incidents were crimes against property (theft, vandalism, etc). In contrast, 1,124 hate crimes comitted against LGB people were crimes against the individual, including 3 murders and 2 rapes. These statistics don't even account for crimes motivated by gender identity bias for which there is no category.


"But that's not-"


Shush. I'm not done yet. You want even more perspective? As horrible as these statistics are, racially-motivated hate crimes dwarf crimes motivated by sexual orientation at 46.9% with 72% of those being against blacks. Religious bias took third seat after sexual orientation with 62.2% of those crimes being comitted against Jewish people and 13.3% comitted against Islamic people. Catholic and Protestant bias put together would make up 8.9% of the religious crimes.


And that is just hate crimes. Consider that, as of 2007, only 20 US states and Washington D. C. prohibitted employment, housing, and private business discrimination on basis of sexuality [3]. I believe that number is 21 states now, but I could not find a reliable source to be certain. Religion and creed is a protected class in every state. Still feeling the discrimination?


"I am. Just try discussing Creationism in the classroom of a major secular university."


Okay, don't claim that Creationism is the same thing as Christianity. There are many Christians that choose to believe modern science and it is insulting to combine Christianity and Creationism as one, as if you can't believe one and not the other. As for your "discrimination", I expect that most modern scientists don't appreciate their class being deviated from a discussion of scientific theory to a discussion of a religious story. You probably wouldn't appreciate it if someone interrupted a church service to talk about how to convert to Satanism. It just isn't that you hate pagans, but it isn't the time or place to discuss it. In the same way, a science teacher is not going to appreciate you interrupting their class to discuss religion.


"But the majority of discrimination isn't reported in the anti-Christian media."


My statistics up there have nothing to do with media. This is the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the laws on the books in your states. Please, find a reputable source if you want to rebut me instead of claiming that the entire media is in the pocket of secular activists. It's not.  We have Fox News.  Case closed.


"Even so, our religious traditions are under attack by organizations like the ACLU."


Listen, your religious traditions should end at the border of your home and your property. No one is going to walk into your home and tell you to stop praying or to take down your tacky light-up Christmas nativity. However, if you want your religion to be the sole one represented in public property, policy, and education, you are going to have to duke it out with our founding fathers. They are the ones that advocated for a government that would not establish a religion, nor prevent the free exercise thereof [4]. Yes, sometimes that means things change and some traditions have to be altered, but change really isn't all that scary once you get to know it. In other words, feel free to worship however you please whenever you please, but don't expect the government advocate it.


"It is more socially accepted to hate Christians than any other group in America."


This statement can't really be discussed factually because it is purely an opinion. It might have some merit, but that's hard to objectively ascertain. I would point out the hate-crime statistics above, but that is only crimes, not actual public opinion. I will agree that there is a lot of bias against Christianity, but I have found most of that bias is against the intolerant, ugly facade that many associate with it, not the actual people. From my personal experience, I've only been treated rudely once for mentioning my religion (and that wasn't even in the USA). On the other hand, my gender has earned me several rude or cruel comments, my sexual orientation has earned me many, and my political ideas have earned me the most. It seems to me that people respond harshly to things that they perceive to be hostile or threatening. So consider this: if you are getting that much hate, maybe you're presenting your religion poorly.


"But what about all of the anti-Christian laws being enacted? Abortion, gay marriage, etc?"


Laws that you disagree with are not discrimination. Being required to abide by laws that everyone else has to abide by is not discrimination. Every citizen dislikes something about the way our country is run. That doesn't mean that they are being discriminated against. Discrimination is unequal treatment, not "thing that I do not like."


"But these laws will make me look like a bigot!"


Maybe you are.


You know, I think the thing that bothers me the most about these people who complain about the discrimination they face as Christians is that there ARE Christians facing persecution in the world. These people probably find the idea of a religiously welcoming society, run by Christians and with a church on every corner amazing! What a wonderful country this must be, where religion is not persecuted, but embraced by the majority of the population!


Oh, but we can't teach Creationism in schools.


I know that the thought of being persecuted must be attractive for Christians at a time when our numbers are dropping. It's much nicer to blame outside factors and secular hostility for the failing and dwindling of religion than to point the finger at ourselves. But honestly, that is dishonest. It is disgustingly, enormously, mind-numbingly dishonest. When innocent Christians in other countries are being persecuted, and when Christians in this country are persecuting innocents, crying over your own discomfort is selfish and pathetic. American Christians are not under attack and they are not persecuted. Stop crying about it. It makes you look like a douche.


Oops, I said a bad word. I'm probably persecuting you.


References



[1] religions.pewforum.org/reports


[2] www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/…


[3] www.irem.org/pdfs/publicpolicy…


[4] The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Look it up.

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:iconlolitheleopard:
LolitheLeopard Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconjonstewartplz::iconsaysplz: You seem to have mistaken 'A War on your Religion' for not always getting what you want.
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:iconearthtalon:
Earthtalon Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2013  Student Digital Artist
It is only real on the internet.
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:iconmadammichi:
MadamMichi Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Satanists ain't pagan. Ok well I have never met a Satanists who consider themselves a pagan and they are usually excluded from neo-pagan lists.
Ehem anyways. That was a fantastic read. Also the most "acceptable to hate" category , I read in some poll study that it was Atheists, even Muslims outrank them, which was shocking.
And I really don't think christian numbers are dropping because of terrible secular society. I think the bigotry and hatred of science that in prevalent in so many denominations makes the younger generation stop and think , also non every ex-christian is a atheist (as so many christian stupidly believe) plenty of them have converted to Buddhism , Hinduism, and neo-pagan faiths among other, ya know religions that aren't about shoving said religion into everyone's face :grump: kinda says something doesn't it. I honestly think proselytizing is the number one reason the christian population is dropping, the younger generation hates it no matter what religion they are.

The younger generation questioning, being exposed to more religions/irreligions due to globalization, and the older generations dying off, all contribute to there decline. Notice that persecution aint on that list :dummy:
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013
Whoops, sorry about the Satanism/pagan thing. I thought they were included but I will readily admit I really don't know much about it so I will trust you. I was going to put "Wicca" in there, but I just had such a hard time imagining someone going into a church to try to convert people to Wicca that I kept laughing. :lol:!

I agree that Christianity is dying out because people have access to enough information to actually make an informed decision. When people get a chance to see that there are other options and the Christian option looks so ugly and bigoted and... well, assholish, the younger generations flee. I may be a Christian, but in many ways, I want old Christianity to die off or dwindle at least. I think, if the religion is going to continue to have any relevance, it needs to abandon it's old ideas of total domination. Back when Christians actually /were/ persecuted, they had to have a very different attitude. When you're in the minority, you don't try to oppress others: you try to make yourself look good and treat others well. That would be nice, don't you think?
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:iconmadammichi:
MadamMichi Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Forgive the obnoxious spelling erros; typing on ipods sucks :lol:
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:iconmadammichi:
MadamMichi Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That would be so funny I'd piss my pants laughing.

Yes my my biggest reason for leaving where bigoty , my adoration of science, and when I learned about other religions/world view out there. And I surprisingly found one that fit alot of the things I already beleive (neo-paganism :dummy:) , I think belonging to a religion that shoved "we are the only ones going to heaven; everyone else is going to hell" also contributed. I mean the idea horrified me. I belonged to a denomination that said if you didn't constantly proslytize then you weren't fufilling the Lord's great commision and where gravely sinning ono" I fucking hated proslytizing even as a christian. I thought it was annoying that when I did volunteer work (soup kitchen , mission trips, ect) I had to talk about Jesus, I couldn't just help them.
Yeh proslytezing is the worst.
Though it works , Christianity is the fastest growning religion by converts per year (in the undeveloped world though) it had like 25 million new converts in 2012 and the birth rate is keeping up. So globablly they aren't declining , in the developed world maybe but not else where. I should try to find those studies again. I was shocked at the results
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2013
Wow, that's pretty amazing. Yeah, I never liked "witnessing" to people either and I felt guilty about it for a long time. I kept thinking I was failing my commission but it never seemed appropriate to just force "hey, do you want to talk about Jesus?" into a conversation. I went on a mission trip and I loved working on fixing peoples' houses, but then they wanted me to go around door-to-door and pass out tracts and invite people to a sermon and I just felt awkward because... why would they want to come? I also felt weird that we chose the poorest, roughest neighborhood to go around and try to preach in. It felt like we were auto-judging these people like "oh, there's a lot of ex-convicts and rough people in here, so they MUST not be Christians and they MUST need our patronizing guidance to a better life." It just felt so... judgmental and shallow. I decided to just entertain the kids that were hanging out on the playground and let other people do the preaching. The kids liked that.

I understand why people want to convert others to Christianity (you'd be kind of an ass not to if you think everyone else is going to HELL) but I think that's become way too much of a focus. If you honestly think you have the truth, why not lead by example, give to people, help others, and then mention your religion WHEN PEOPLE ASK instead of just leaving people with a tract and then patting yourself on the back about it. Honestly, that's how I had always thought things were supposed to be, but my religion was so focused on "witnessing" that they neglected to teach me to do other things. I hate how a lot of Christians talk about "don't cast your pearls before swine" as an excuse not to give their money to people that they think will waste it or don't deserve it. I had to break that mentality down in my own head because I realized, if I can afford to buy myself a starbucks coffee once a week, then I can afford to buy that homeless man over there a meal. Who the fuck am I to think I deserve what I have more than he does? And no, that meal doesn't come with a tract and doesn't require him to listen to me blather on about Jesus. For all I know, he might be a much more devout Christian than me, or regardless a much better person than me (yes, people in the gutter MIGHT BE BETTER PEOPLE than all those church-going pansy-ass Christians) and whether he is or isn't, he deserves just as much from me. I don't feel like this should be that profound, but it seems to have been lost on American Christians.
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:iconmadammichi:
MadamMichi Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I LIED :iconwthamiseeingplz: It was 25 million new Christians all together, 2 million where converts. The Christian population is right around 2 billion , it is expected to reach 3 billion by 2050 if you use it's current birth rate and conversion rate. Found here [link] ; not sure if the website is reliable though. However I have heard from multiple sources the conversion rate in Christianity is obnoxiously high.

UGh I love you so much. I can see proselytizing working in many areas of the globe and working on CHILDREN. But other then that, in this country, teens and adults are going to get annoyed with Christianity not interested in it. Especially since this country is 70% christian, there is a church everywhere, god is in the pledge and motto, every politician prays at one time or another on tv broadcast events. ect.
It amazes me that some Christians actual think it is even possible to not know who Jesus is in this country.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013
AHAHAHA YES I find it HILARIOUS when Christians pretend like Americans might not know about Jesus. I remember watching this God-awful movie that some of my mom's Christians friends recommended to us (dear sweet Jesus it was bad) and at the beginning this preacher gets pissed at the neighbor boy for throwing a ball and hitting the pastor's car, I think it was. Well, at the end of the movie, the pastor is a better person, of course, and when he sees the neighbor kid again, he tells him "I forgive you" and then takes his hand and is like "Do you know who Jesus is?" and the kid looks all serious and shakes his head. And I literally just snorted at the TV screen by that point because what sort of backwards parallel universe is this where an American kid has never heard of Jesus???? That kid should have been like "dude, you're weird and creepy and I'm telling my mom." That would have been awesome.
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:iconmadammichi:
MadamMichi Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
You don't need Jesus to forgive a child of a stupid mistake :stare:
That movie sound ridiculous, more ridiculous then Christmas with a Capital C
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