Friday, July 08, 2005

Myth: US Xians suffer persecution

The decisions the Supreme Court made on displays of the Ten Commandments on public property are being hailed as either victories and/or losses by both Xian fundamentalists and church-state separationists. Unlike Solomon, the court actually did cut the baby in half, deciding that some displays were okay and some weren't.

Would-be martyrs will soon be squealing about a less-ballyhooed decision the Supreme Court made this term, though: not to hear a Great Falls case involving a Wiccan priestess. They will be screeching to the highest heaven (if you believe in heaven) that they have been forbidden to use the word 'Jesus' in public. What they will not disclose is that the alternative to just using the generic term 'god' was letting clergy of other faiths take turns giving the opening prayer before the city council meetings. In other words, the government should give a public place for Christianity, but other faiths shouldn't be acknowledged.

Despite their claims of a society 'hostile' to Christianity, Christians have a place of privilege in our society, with contacts and passports that bypass other citizens. In a recent Frame Shop article, Jeffrey Feldman runs down an entire list of ways in which Christians enjoy exceptional benefits in America.

When my parents were missionaries in the Philippines, I heard from friends and relatives every time a Christian missionary was kidnapped there. There have been missionaries killed in Iraq during the current 'holy war' there. These folks suffered real persecution based on their faith.

Xian Fundamentalists here, however, are generally complaining because:
a) They are losing the special favortism they enjoyed in previous years,
b) Judges have been ruling that symbols of other faiths must either be included in the public square, or no religion's symbols should be displayed,
c) They aren't being permitted to treat other people badly any more.

Talk about feelings of entitlement! I don't know how many times I have read a letter to the editor, an article in the paper, or watched someone on TV announce that, because they are a Christian, they have the right to fire gays, deny Pagans employment, or deny services to non-Christians. If I were to insist that, since I am a Pagan, the government and businesses should both be closed on Samhain or demand reparations from the Catholic Church for The Burning Times, it would show up in the 'Weird News' columns instead of being taken seriously.

Isn't it time some folks got over themselves?

Sarah G


At 9:34 PM, Blogger Frank Glenn said...

The Kingdom of God was highjacked first by people who turned a Jewish prophet/sage into a god-man and then by a Roman Emperor named Constantine who wanted a compliant cosmopolitan religious group as a "glue" to hold his empire together.

The result, over time, was a religio-political cabal that has "ruled" the West ever since. Now it is losing its grip and it hates it. It is, of course, the Christian Church. It has been reduced to the "Religious Right" and its surrogates in the US and other countries. Like every other institution that is "entropying", it has been challenged by the harpies of the Third World who take the costumes and trappings of the former institution, but lack the rooting in the soil of history.

Don't worry about the assholes, daughter dear. The Kingdom of God, a rather large, open, and amorphous group as Jesus intended it, is subverting its doppleganger and relishing its overthrow. One of these days, pagans, Kingdom of God folks, and the rest of God-infused people around the world WILL overcome.




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