Christian victimhood

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"Christianity, properly understood, is a religion of losers [1]"

"Christianity [...] the victory of chandala values, the gospel preached to the poor and base, the general revolt of all the downtrodden, the wretched, the failures, the less favored"

Friedrich Nietzsche

"Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness [...]"

Matthew 5:10 Bible-icon.png

Contents

Suffering as a virtue

The New Testament was written when Christians were a persecuted minority group. This historic victimhood has been transformed to a blessing and badge of honour by Jesus. Pay a greater penalty than is imposed on you by legal judgements Matthew 5:40 Bible-icon.png. Do not resist evil, turn the other cheek Matthew 5:39 Bible-icon.png. It is better to be defrauded than to dispute a case in court 1 Cor. 6:7 Bible-icon.png. This is justified because personally persecuted and victimised as a good thing, according to Jesus. Matthew 5:10-12 Bible-icon.png

Based on this teaching, Christians should not complain about being persecuted. Christians should not revolt against unjust rulers or laws. They should ask to be persecuted more! (Note: we do endorse the persecution of anyone but rather point out the absurdity of the New Testament.) Søren Kierkegaard argued that suffering for Jesus could not properly occur unless Christianity was a minority religion.

"While according to the Christianity of the New Testament the Christian has all the effort, the conflict, the anguish, which is connected with doing what is required, dying from the world, hating oneself, etc., he has at the same time to suffer from the relationship of opposition to other men, which the New Testament speaks of again and again: to be hated by others, to be persecuted, to suffer for the doctrine, etc. In "Christendom" we are all Christians—therefore the relationship of opposition drops out. In this meaningless sense they have got all men made into Christians, and got everything Christian—and then (under the name of Christianity) we live a life of paganism."

Søren Kierkegaard [2]

Pretending to be victims

Christians are the dominant religion in many countries, including the US. However, various commentators claim that Christians face significant discrimination for Christians, and restrictions on Christians to practice their faith. This manifests in various ways, including the supposed war on Christmas.

"Make no mistake; we are in a war for religious liberty. [3]"
"The greatest minority under assault today are Christians. No doubt about it. [4]"

"[...] many Christians are now worried - even fearful - about mentioning their faith in public."

— Fiona Bruce, MP in the UK parliament[5]

While some discrimination may exist, its extent is grossly exaggerated in some countries. For example, in the US religious believers are free to worship, speak, publish, associate and believe as they wish. Government positions are dominated by Christians or other Christian friendly theists. Religious freedom is protected by legal and constitutional measures. Many stories of alleged Christian persecution are simply myths, such as the death of Cassie Bernall. [6] Apologists sometimes struggle to name a single instance of persecution. [7]

"using the resonant rhetoric of religious persecution, bolstered by often-bogus stories of purported anti-Christian activities, the Religious Right has attempted to tip this balance away from pluralism and accommodation to a legal system that allows individuals and businesses to broadly exempt themselves from policies they disagree with – even when that means trampling on the religious rights of others. [6]"
"the right to hold to a particular world view is not damaged by the reduced popularity of that world view [8]"

"When you have any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word persecuted very chastely. Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. I am always very uneasy when people sometimes in [the UK] or the United States talk about persecution of Christians or rather believers. I think we are made to feel uncomfortable at times. We're made to feel as if we're idiots - perish the thought! But that kind of level of not being taken very seriously or being made fun of; I mean for goodness sake, grow up."

— Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury[9]

Religious freedom must be balanced against other freedoms. It is not absolute. Challenges to religiously motivated prejudice has been interpreted as religious persecution by some Christians. However, this is better characterised as a rebalancing of freedoms with other people who are equally as deserving. A similar situation exists for religious arguments or views being taken seriously in former times but now are considered outdated or wrong. Everyone can have an opinion but no one has the right to a specially privileged or unquestionable view. Erroneous views of persecution are used to justify introducing "freedom of conscience" legislation, which effective legalizes religiously motivated discrimination.

"Many of the cases of supposed discrimination amount to Christians wishing to retain a right they had until recently to discriminate against others. [10]"

In contrast, there are some regions where Christians really are significantly persecuted, such as in northern Nigeria. [11]

References

  1. [1]
  2. [2]
  3. [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. 6.0 6.1 [6]
  7. The Young Turks, Christian Persecution? It's Everywhere. Can I Name One Example? No. (Hilarious Video), 14 May 2015
  8. [7]
  9. [8]
  10. [9]
  11. [10]

See also

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