Home > Political Ranting > The Long War on Christianity

The Long War on Christianity

June 26th, 2005

Haven’t you heard about this war? Christians in America have been persecuted, put down, and kept from practicing their faith for a long, long time now. It’s a wonder that any Christians are left in America, after having their beliefs quashed so thoroughly.

For Christ’s sake.

This unbelievable canard was brought up yet again by conservative Representative John Hostettler, when Democrats protested against coercive proselytization at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Hostettler said:

“Mr Chairman, the long war on Christianity in America continues today on the floor of the House of Representatives. It continues unabated with aid and comfort to those who would eradicate any vestige of our Christian heritage being supplied by the usual suspects, the Democrats.”

Liberal Representative David Obey–a Catholic–demanded the words be struck from the record, withdrawn by the speaker.

But this illustrates something I have spoken about again and again: a group of people with unparalleled power and influence crying in outrage about how they have been so unfairly persecuted and marginalized. And its always the same groups: white males, Christian fundamentalists, and conservatives. White males crying that their well-deserved superiority in all things is slipping, bled away in the form of “special privileges” to minorities and women; Christians, mostly but not all fundamentalists, crying about how persecuted they are because their religion cannot permeate every corner of public life; and conservatives, weeping in rage that they only have the presidency, the Congress, the courts–but those nasty, selfish Democrats are denying them five percent of their court appointments! All three groups–though all too often they are the very same people–have unprecedented power and influence in the United Stated, and represent what might be called a privileged super-class. Crying persecution is incredible, and yet they somehow actually seem to believe it’s true.

By the way, remember Dean’s recent statement about the Republican party being the party of “White Christians”? It occurs to me that while the GOP might be a slightly bigger tent than that, the white Republican Christians are the cross-section that runs through these powerful, inveterate whiners. One thing you cannot deny, white Christians certainly dominate that party.

Maybe if we stopped persecuting them so badly they’d shut their yaps.

Categories: Political Ranting Tags: by
  1. tmkane
    June 27th, 2005 at 03:53 | #1

    This is one of the many things I find to be a disturbing reflection of the Nazi’s in the modern Neocon Republican party. The myth of a persecuted majority. The others are the myth that this “persecuted majority” was the group that created the nation to begin with. The Nazi’s developed all sorts of pseudo-intellectual stories about how the Arian’s formed the German nation.

    (by the way direct ansceters of Arians are actually Irish (Eiranne is the native word for Irish), Iranians (hence the name), most Afghanis, Kurds, Indian’s north of the Deccan plateau (all non-dravidian Indians – which would be a majority and include Pakistan).

    The so called persecuted Christians like to say that the founding fathers were all religious fundementalist and the the nation was hijacked by secular humanist. The founding father’s were a bunch of deist and calvinist – and Calivinism from the get go distrusted government in politics, Calvin thought that German Prince’s had distorted Lutheranism and so his theocratic descendents largely ran the religion out side of state. This includes Scottland, where the King was told that Scottland was going to be a reformed state. The concept of separation of church and state is one of the greatest inventions in our society and was fine only until about 12 years ago.

    There are a bunch of other nasty parallels – the “stab-in-the-back” rhetoric: Vietnam was a failure because of liberals, jews and media – just like Germany lost world war I for basically the same reasons. Well, as I wrote in an earlier post, Graham Green predicted America’s folly in Vietnam as early as 1951 or 1952. So blaming the liberals for what was seen as inevitable before things got really started is just a pratice in the politics of hatred. The German conservatives got another go at righting the out come of World War I twenty years later, this time with all the jews and liberals safely locked up in concentration and death camps and slave labor factories. In the first war the Germans won in the east but lost in the west – but managed to come out of it in reasonable shape. In the second go around the Germons won in the west but lost in the east – but this time their nation was reduced to ashes. The nice biproduct of that was the massive discrediting of the far right in Germany.

    The problem is, when a persecuted majority, spouts stab in the back rhetoric, the real problem is that they may use their majority status at some point as license to “stab back”, which the German’s did to horrific effect.

    Freedom of Religion give us all freedom to worship. I am glad to see that a catholic stood up. I still have faith in Jesuit discourse, but Catholic’s too have their own fundementalist.

    I draw one’s attention to the Neocon movement, which once to creat something like Saudi Arabia here. A strict, vehiment fundementalist religious controling the masses and a wealthy elite – free to do whatever they like runing things. Its a Banana Republic on steroids. I bet that if someone researched it, the source of all the money for these fundementalist groups, at least at their foundation, comes from wealthy Neocons. Much of it is centered right there in Colarad Springs, not that far away from Golden Colorado, the home of Uber Neocon’s the Coor’s family. And Down river (the Arkansas River) is another uber Neocon Family the Koch’s of Witchita Kansas. A massive oil, gas and energy concern that is privately owned. These people are laying warfare on America as we knew it growing up and the Christian Fundementalist who seem oddly unchristian are the brown shirt storm troopers of their movement.

    Nobel Lauriete and Economic Historian Douglas North (my professor of History of Property Rights in Law School) says that experience shapes belief systems, but belief systems and idiology shapes institutions. What these guys are after is changing the belief systems so that they can change the institutions. This is important – because its not the Constitution on paper that makes the system work, its the belief systems of those who work under. This is why the Bush Administration has basically undermined ever institution it comes across, including separation of church and state, separate but equal branches of government etc…

    All this stuff is popping up, but its popping up from someplace and light needs to be shined on that or America will become the next Saudi Arabia. God, I wish I didn’t live here. I much prefer to observe this from far away.

  2. Morgan
    June 27th, 2005 at 11:57 | #2

    I am not Christian…however, I agree with the basic idea that Christians, caucasians, WASP’s, whatever you wish to call them are, are “persecuted” in the broadest sense of the term. There are numerous examples of this to choose from:

    – removing Christmas displays from public parks, schools, universities, even some stores, for fear of “offending” the few (“majority rules” apparently is losing its meaning here in our country). All this while symbols of other faiths, like a menorah, or Muslim crescent, are displayed with no one making a peep.
    – school teachers being suspended for wearing a crucufix around her neck in her classroom.
    – demogogues like Al “cokehead/ liar” Sharpton and Jesse “the playa” Jackson making racist statements about Jews and caucasians with hardly a negative word from anyone in the media or government, yet John Rocker, white baseball player, makes disparaging (although true) comments about NYC and is called a racist (nothing in his NYC commentary was racist), is berated by the mayor of NYC, and is removed from his major league baseball team. Blacks can say “nigger” to their hearts content but let a white person say it, and they must go to Hell (or sensitivity training…modern parlance for brainwashing).

    It’s interesting when libs talk of our country as becoming a “theocratic state”, as if we’re like Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc… We are far from “theocratic”. Nor is there some evil, Christian movement afoot bent on turning us into some Savonarola-esque culture. What Christians (the majority of Americans) are looking for is equal treatment, something libs give much lip-service to but rarely practice. The “war” is real, in many parts of our culture (especially academia). Libs ought to quit whining about how bad Christianity is, about how out-of-date the concepts of morality and ethics are, and trying living up to some of those ideas. None of us will ever achieve the absolute moral and ethical high-ground, but we can all try for it.

    As for the issues of the Air Force Academy and the apparent need of some cadets and instructors there to proselytize, those involved need something more to fill their time. If they have enough time on their hands to preach the word of God, they’ve not been given enough homework. Perhaps a dose of what it means to be in the military (grunt work) might bring them back to reality. Of course, if they wanted to be in the military, they would’ve joined the Army and gone to West Point.

  3. BlogD
    June 27th, 2005 at 13:29 | #3

    – removing Christmas displays from public parks, schools, universities, even some stores, for fear of “offending” the few (“majority rules” apparently is losing its meaning here in our country). All this while symbols of other faiths, like a menorah, or Muslim crescent, are displayed with no one making a peep.Give me examples, please, with citations. I’ve never heard of other faith’s symbols being presented and there being no problem, except as an all-faith display which also includes Christianity. But I believe that your examples are urban legend or otherwise bogus–after all, if there is no “peep,” then how did you hear about it?

    As for “offending,” that’s not the issue. The issue is the state endorsing a single religion over others. All-faith displays, where icons or examples from many (or at least more than one) of belief systems are included are just fine (see this), even if they contain nothing representing agnosticism and atheism. This is because such a display would not be endorsing a single belief system. Ergo, the idea that religion is being attacked is untrue; religion is fine. One religion, above others, is not.

    As for “majority rules,” the very nature of the bill of rights is to protect the minority from the majority–including the First Amendment, which mandates exactly what you’re complaining about.

    – school teachers being suspended for wearing a crucufix around her neck in her classroom.Some states, not all, have specific dress code regulations concerning religious garb and accessories. Regulations usually state that such items are acceptable if they are worn beneath other clothing–the crucifix, for example, would be acceptable if its chain were long enough to drop it below the neckline of a shirt. Again, the applies to all religions, not just Christianity, and concerns any kind of proselytization; teachers are representatives of the state and models for the students.

    – demogogues like….Sorry, this paragraph is so full of BS I won’t even respond to it. Educate yourself, dude.

    It’s interesting when libs talk of our country as becoming a “theocratic state”, as if we’re like Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc… We are far from “theocratic”. Really? When the president must be a Christian or he won’t be elected? When the Congress tries hard as hell to enforce theocratic laws, and is working even now to subdue the Supreme Court because when they pass such laws they are shot down by the courts? When the party virtually in full control of government is eager to please its core base of fundamentalists? When constitutional amendments to make America officially a “Christian Nation” have been introduced more than once in the past? When Catholic politicians are denied communion because of how they vote on laws? When the current president says that “God instructed him” to go to war? With pressure from the party in power to introduce a school voucher system that would in essence convert half the schools in the country to religious schools? With all of these and countless other examples of religion encroaching on government, continuously, throughout our history?

    Yeah, we could never become a theocratic state.

    The pressure to make government religious in nature has been constant throughout our history, and currently we are at one of the high tides of such pressue. I’ve seen comments from people similar to yourself, who would wait until religious indoctrination became mandatory in public schools before beginning to protest the oncoming theocratic state–at which point, of course, it would be far, far too late. You don’t wait until the house has completely burned down to call the fire department, you call them at the first sign of smoke.

    What Christians (the majority of Americans) are looking for is equal treatment, something libs give much lip-service to but rarely practice.Bull. “Equal” treatment? Equal to whom? What belief system has more representation in our society than Christianity?

    Libs ought to quit whining about how bad Christianity is…Again, bull. In this instance and in most, the complaint is not how bad Christianity is, it’s how bad the attempt to merge church and state is. But some Christians, especially fundamentalists, are all too often eager to see anything not Christian as anti-Christian, anything intended to be secular as anti-religious. You say you’re not religious, but you sure have their talking points down pat.

    Do some research on the subject, actually study the issues and cases involved. Go to your Social Sciences instructor (if you’re still in school, otherwise see if you can make an appointment with one at a local school even if you’re not), and ask them about the subject. Study the history of religion and state, why the original settlers came to this continent, what the founding fathers were doing. When you hear the stories you mentioned here, check them out and discover the particulars involved and study the case law behind it. Don’t allow your own beliefs to control whether you listen to or discover only certain evidence, and not countering or balancing evidence. Your post betrays a pretty notable lack of understanding on several fronts. You don’t understand, for example, that members of an ethnic group often transform epithets from outsiders into words used regularly within the group as a form of control and of irony (consider you living in Mexico and calling fellow expatriates “gringo”); I’ve seen that happen here in Japan as well, with the term “gaijin.” That and many other points in your reply tell me that you don’t understand the topics of which you speak. In addition to being blindly biased, of course.

  4. Anonymous
    June 28th, 2005 at 08:20 | #4

    “Libs ought to quit whining about how bad Christianity is…”

    Well I am a liberal and I am a Christian. I love Christianity, and I arrive at by free choice. Your statement assumes that all liberals are not Christian. Let me rebut then: All conservative are not Christian. They are, at best Neo-Jewish, emphasizing the hate, fire and brimstone and exclusivity of the old testement, where it also draws its sexuality from than from the three synoptic Gospels. I hear from so-called conservative Christains all kinds of tripe about the ten commandments but not a peep about the beattitudes, or the fact that Jesus threw out the ten commandments in favor of two.

    Since most conservatives don’t know thing one about being a true Christian, in my estimation, I don’t want to hear from them or be badgered from them in the errant ways on Christianity and I especially don’t want them using the power of the state to shove their flawed view of Christianity down my throat.

    Most Christians recognize that conservative Christains aren’t Christians at all. Suck on that statement for a while.

    Your rebuttal becomes a matter of opinion, meaning what you and I think of as Christians is pattently different things.

    Or better yet, how would you like the majority of true Christians like me shoving our views down your throwt and using the power of the state to do it.

    A famous theologan once said “in the final analysis we are all our own Doctor of Divinity.” There are more than 300 different christian sects in the United States today. Which one is correct? Let me tell you, as far as I am concerned, mine is correct and yours is wrong. And if you don’t like it I’ll meet you after school in the school parking lot and we can have it out. I should warn you though, I turn the other cheeck.

    A democracy without a culture of restraint or a democracy where it lacks a culture of restraint becomes a tyranny. And a society that is a democracy can still have tyrannical pockets. What destroyed German dictatorship in the 1930s was its lack of a culture of restraint and majority rule gave over to massive tyranny – because they lacked a developed cultural muscle of restraint. Political correctness seems trying at times, but it creates a culture that allows democracy to thrive because it gives ample room for minorities to thrive. It is an act of cultural restraint.

    As a christian I am comforted by our traditional system of separation of Church and State. As a true Christian I know I must advocate as such because Jesus commanded his followers to separate church from state. As one who is sympathetic to Christ suffering I consider it an insult to him and his name to drag his name through politics. I am quite certain that by the time he was hanging on the cross he was no great enthusiast of Human politics. Human politics are what drove the nails into his hands and feet and set him up on the cross. Christ was a political death and so not separating church and state is an obvious act of rubing christ face in the very thing that murdered him. Given the naturing of Christ’s suffering Christians should be excessively sensitive to this. True Christians are, fake Christians obviously are not.

    Finally as a Christian, I know that Christ gave us all the blessing of free will, and he does not want followers coming to him via means of coercion. I am not honoring him or his act of creation if my actions work to undo his act of giving us free will. Those people at the Air Force Academy are not in the service of Christ, they are quite obviously working contrary to Christ.

    In the Church of my upbringing we sang a song with the words, “They will know we know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they will know we are christians by our love…” What I see coming from right wing extremist fundementalist Christians, like those at the Airforce Academy is not love, but hate.

    Nor is there some evil, Christian movement afoot bent on turning us into some Savonarola-esque culture.

    Actually there is an athiest movement afoot that is bent on overturning the existing culture using religion. It is the Neocon movement. They are athiest who believe that only economic elites are fit to rule, and that the masses must be kept down and controled by religion. Notice that the rightwingnutfundie religious are all about control, religion, especially Christian religion is not about control, it is about empowerment, liberation, hope and generosity. The insipieant Neocon Christians are anti hope, faux liberation (tyranny of the majority), anti generosity, unless its about taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

    If Neocon’s message were the original message of Christianity in the 1st century a.d., no Roman’s would have converted, and there would be no Christianity today. They were compelled to Christ by his message of kindness, empowerment, liberation and hope. Furthermore, Christ almost never mentions or even infers to religion in the Gospels. Knowing us and how we think you would think, and knowing how important religion is to us, you would think that Christ would have brought it up more often. Again fundies have to reach back into the old testement or rely on St. Paul, who inturn relies on the old testement to whip up their sexual repression.

    Freedom of religion allows all to find their own way to God, and in the final analysis, the state can not over turn the fact that we are all our own Doctors of Divinity. But it ought to recognize that fact, and the constitution does.

  5. Marvin
    April 18th, 2006 at 11:36 | #5

    Mankind has a long way to go before the animal Man will be intelligent enough to act in his own best interest. Until then mankind is like all the rest of the animal kingdom, snarling and attacking for any sliver of meat on the bones.

    Relax, have some fun, and if you to want to play the war game then attack anybody that moves. Only insane people try to make war a noble thing. But on the other hand there is good money in the war game, if money is a game you want to play. But killing is a natural thing for all animals it seems and some animals really enjoy it. Thanks be to GOD and God save us from the religious.

  6. Betty
    January 21st, 2007 at 04:13 | #6

    Exactly who is a “Christian” The term is used too broadly. Many claim to be Christian but there is no evidence to convict them. I believe in Jesus Christ as my salvation. My life is committed to try to live according to His teachings without politics. People persecuted Jesus so I can accept the same keeping in mind this world is not my home. I am just passing through waiting for the day to be united with Him where there will be no more strife and sadness. When persecution arises God has promised to handle it for me. I am greatly blessed!

  7. Luis
    January 21st, 2007 at 10:25 | #7

    Betty: good for you and I wish you luck with your journey.

  8. clemcykul
    November 3rd, 2007 at 00:50 | #8

    christ in me i definitely have no cause of alarm!

Comments are closed.