By T. Steelman | 13 September 2015
All this talk of “religious liberty” and “persecution” got me thinking… how can Christians tell if they are being persecuted? I mean, maybe they are and don’t know it? There has to be a way to know for sure?!
We here at Addicting Info are here to help. Because nowadays, with the Supreme Court saying that gays are actually people who have rights in America, “religious freedom” is so hard to ascertain. Why, one can’t even bully a gay couple anymore without being called a bigot! And all of those
dirty sluts women using birth control — how dare they think that they can control their own reproductive health? Not being able to tell others how to live infringes upon the “liberty” of American Christians, right?
Maybe no, maybe sí… Below, are seven tell-tale signs that you are being persecuted. Just answer the question. If you answered “yes,” you’re NOT being persecuted. If you answered “no” to any question, contact your local ACLU chapter.
Are you allowed to go to a religious service of your own choosing? If you are, then you are not being persecuted. If you still think you are being persecuted even though you can meet with others of your faith wherever you wish, think again. In other countries, such as North Korea, Christians cannot meet with other Christians. If they do and are found out, they may be tortured or executed. Maybe you should meet with your prayer group to discuss.
Are you allowed to pray in the privacy of your own home? Lucky you! In many Islamic countries, praying — even at home — can be punished. Maybe send up a prayer of thanks that you can pray whenever you like in your own home. Without worrying about being arrested.
Can you purchase, read or possess religious books or material? You can walk into a Barnes & Noble anywhere in America — and beyond — and buy a Bible. So many kinds of Bibles, too! 5,675 in an online search at the B&N website. And you can even have them sent to you or download them! You can keep them safely in your home, too. You can even have other religious material: books, video, music, coloring books. In North Korea, that’s another infraction that can get you killed. The Gideons (those nice folks who provide those Bibles in your hotel room) have a list of countries (pdf) in which the Bible is banned. Go read your Bible in good health and with no threat of death.
Is your religious group allowed to build a house of worship in your community? Do you have a church building? Did anyone protest its being built? Were there “fixes” in at City Hall to hold up or deny the building permits for it? No? Then consider yourself lucky. In Saudi Arabia, churches are forbidden (yes, Sean Hannity got one right). Even here in America, some faiths have considerable trouble in building a house of worship, if it can be done at all. On September 10, 2015 the city planning commission of Sterling Heights, Michigan voted 9-0 to deny the construction of a mosque. Crowds cheered the decision. Funny how there are a lot of churches there, yet not one Muslim protested any of them. So next time you head to church, think about how great it is that you have one.
Can you teach your children about your faith at home? Good deal! Many Christians do this without complaint, understanding that home and church is the place to provide this education. Others think that they can impose their religious beliefs on the public schools. In Texas, Fundamentalist Christians have forced their beliefs — religious and political — into the very textbooks that are used in most public schools. This is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. Because public schools are paid for by the public (hence the “public” part), and not everyone is Christian (gasp!), public monies (aka taxes) cannot be used to teach Christian beliefs. Or any other religion’s beliefs. So, teaching your kids about your religion at home and at church should be good enough. If you can do this, you are not being persecuted.
Is your religious group allowed equal protection under the establishment clause? That is to say, is the government taking their side against you? All religions are protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution. The government is not allowed to give any one religion preferential treatment. Of course, we know that Christianity has, in the past, received such treatment merely by brunt of numbers. But, in the 21st century, we are holding the government to the letter of the First Amendment. This is why we expect all religions to be treated the same under the law. This came as a big surprise in Oklahoma when, in passing a bill to allow religious monuments on state property, all religions had to be given this right. So when the Satanic Temple pressed the issue, the Oklahoma legislature tried to gut their own state constitution. So Remember, if the government promotes one religion over yours, that’s bad. If the government enforces the law in regards to other religions being equal to yours, that’s good. And it’s not persecution.
Are you threatened with violence/injury/death in your country? Were you grabbed by a mob and whipped because of your beliefs? In some African countries, Christians were beaten and killed (pdf) this year: over 2,400 in Nigeria alone, over 4,300 total. Here in America, violence against Muslims has skyrocketed since 2001. On average, 100-150 violent crimes against Muslims occur in the U.S. every year. In Papua New Guinea, at least 2,100 people who were accused of being witches have been killed since the turn of the century. When you lock your door before your bedtime prayers tonight, send up thanks that you don’t have to worry about an angry mob or state police kicking that door in tonight.
All over the world Christians are actually being persecuted. Here in America, people of other faiths — mostly Muslim — are being persecuted. The claims by certain pseudo-Christians that they are also being persecuted are false and self-serving. These claims are nothing more than the childish whining of people who are finally learning that the Constitution doesn’t give them preferential treatment.
“Religious liberty” does not mean the right to dictate the law of the land. It does not mean that you can bully, badger or otherwise worry individuals based on their not following your faith. It does not give you the right to stop doing your government job because of your beliefs (looking at you, Kim Davis).
You are not being persecuted if you are called a bigot because of your beliefs; freedom of speech doesn’t exclude you from the consequences of practicing that right. You’re not being persecuted if you are not allowed to drag your religious beliefs into the public schools. Or build a 10 commandments monument on government (read: public) property.
American Christians seem to think that not getting their way is “persecution.” For American Christians to claim that they are being persecuted is a huge disrespect for those who actually ARE being persecuted in the rest of the world.
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