Sunday, June 12, 2005

Off-site Essay: Life In Our Anti-Christian America

I, honestly, don't have a problem with the majority of Christians in my country. In my experience, most people, of whatever faith, Christian or otherwise, have a live and let live attitude that serves the plurality of our culture well. Generally, people only take up religious arms when a hand-full of hot-button issues come up leaving religion to private considerations at most other times.

Unfortunately, there are vocal minorities who make it their mission to rake muck, nor am I singling out Christian groups. Trust me, there are atheist organizations out there that make me feel just as queasy as any of the strident Christian groups. Never the less, there is one tactic that Christian groups often employ that does especially set my teeth on edge: the tactic of claiming that Christians are a persecuted minority in the United States.

The claim is absurd on the face of it. According to the CIA Factbook, Christians comprise a good 79% of the population (77% if you want to exclude Mormons, though I don't see the logic of doing so). Atheists and other non-religious groups make up a mere 10% of the population. In spite of these figures, there are groups that insist that Christians are being persecuted by atheists. One imagines a lion claiming to be persecuted by a mouse.

To highlight the absurdity of this, Rob Berry created a wonderful bit of satire called "Life In Our Anti-Christian America". It is a very ironic list of the ways that Chrstians are being subject to discrimination and marginalization. It includes such items as:

  • Nearly all of our elected public officials are atheists; they even have to swear on a copy of Darwin's "Origin of Species" in order to take office.
  • All of our money has the atheistic slogan "We do not trust in God" printed on it.
  • While atheists hold huge rallies in 25,000-seat amphitheatres, Christians are so few in number that they can only dream of holding such rallies.
  • Most gravestones in America are engraved with pentagrams; those few graves which are engraved with crosses usually end up being vandalized.
The list has 218 entries and would have had more if Rob hadn't stopped taking submissions. It's been a while since it's been updated so some of the items may seem a bit dated and there are no entries for such current controveries as the Shiavo case. Never the less, the list is a rather stinging rebuke to the supposition that Christians are, in any sense, at the mercy of the atheist minority.

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