Thursday, November 17, 2005

The Whining Has Started

The Kentucky Kernel, the UK's student paper, has printed its first 'Xians being persecuted' letter of the holiday season. Sadly, I have discovered over the years that the Kernel doesn't really print letters from UK staff unless they happen to be faculty.

The letter, like most of its ilk, conflates the blocking of Christian creches on government property with Christians being forbidden to wear crosses, display a Nativity on their own property, or 'witness' to others. All three are still legal, although I tend to view 'witnessing' as the social equivalent of farting in an elevator. No one else enjoys it, and the farter usually doesn't want you to return the favor.

It also claims that, by preventing the displays of any faith on government property, atheism is being forced down the throats of the public. You don't need a degree in philosophy or religion to know that an error in logic is being made here. The absence of religious symbols does not equal promoting atheism. Banners stretched across the courthouse entrance reading "No Gods - No Masters" or "Religion Stops a Thinking Mind" would be promoting atheism.

A Truly Anti-Christian Statement

Expect to see letters whining about persecution in your local papers till after the holiday. There are too many Christians who would like to see themselves as 'persecuted' when they control the White House, Congress, and have a firm grip on the Supreme Court. I've commented on this canard previously, so I'm not going to run it to ground again - at least not today. Let me just repeat that people who aren't getting government favortism cannot claim persecution. They have no idea what persecution really is.

When you find such a letter in the paper, please write in to correct this cherished falsehood. It's good for you, the author (who will probably not appreciate your concern), and good for the public. And if any UK students are reading this, please send a reply to the Kernel about yesterday's letter. Faith, like gas, is personal and the government has no business favoring yours over mine.

Sarah G


At 1:32 PM, Blogger Frank Glenn said...

I couldn't agree more. In our very liberal (by Kentucky standards) church, I have been asked to vet all the hymns for those god-awful lyrics about being "saved by the blooood of Jeeeesus" from the gospel ABOUT Jesus (concocted by his fan club).

As you well know, I fully support the gospel OF Jesus (the Empire of God as a voluntary and constructive reality) expressed in his parables and aphorisms, but, when the importunate enthusiasts ask me if "I know Jesus as my personal savior", I generally tell (albeit gently), "No, and you don't either."

Your Dad

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell, if they're going to claim persecution anyway, why not give them some real ammo? I myself specialize in imaginative midnight rearrangement of the letters on those do-it-yourself marquees displayed in front of evangelical 'tabernacles'. Surreptiously inserting pagan figurines or purloined garden footmen or elves into church-displayed creches also gives me a giggle. Anybody know where I can find a pagan creche? You know, same visual pathos but with unmistakably pagan figures.

Persecution = criticism

Phil (Roadrage)

At 2:14 PM, Blogger Wanderer said...

While I don't discourage people from responding to such articles, particularly students of a school whose newspaper it is, I must caution that it really isn't that effective. The upside is that the original article isn't either.

These kinds of arguments rage through our local paper all the time, and if you surf the christian (sorry, never saw the point in respelling their belief system) sites you find much more of it. It will continue because, as you said, some like to play the persecution card.

In our paper there is constant argument about the holidays, intelligent design, and anything else one can think of. Every time someone drudges up an issue such as the one you indicated, a new argument goes into print. Those involved each being certain their three sentences solved the whole question, and it is everyone else who isn't paying any attention.

They are half right. Most of us aren't paying them that much attention. Not unless the representation of their views actually poses some threat that action will follow, which they usually don't.

So your average person goes about their daily life, and lets the fanatics hammer it out in the background while we save our energies and our focuses on the fights that need our attention. The governmental and civil rights issues that are actually on our plate and aren't some silly bantering in the background.

Just my two cents. (I apologize for the length. I do get a little verbose sometimes.)

At 2:43 PM, Blogger Sarah G said...

Hey, Wanderer, thanks for visiting my page! You make some pretty good points about the majority of people not paying attention to the editorial pages. I suppose that is why I feel compelled to call attention to them. That, or annoying LTEs are a pet peeve of mine. Okay, they definitely fall into the peeve category.

I tend to view the editorial page as one of the last places free speech in print exists (sorta kinda, anyway). :) It's also second only to the funnies in terms of amusement value.

Letters to the editor do serve a couple of useful functions: they let me learn what the other side is saying. Many political & issue-oriented groups use these pages as venues for 'talking points' and free advertising for their cause.

The other useful function: it's a good starting place for beginners to learn how to construct an argument or engage in debate. At least if they screw up, only tacky people like me will point it out.

Sarah G

P.S. I did pick up the Xian abbreviation from others, but I kept using it 'cos it's shorter. ;-)


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