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A lot of Christians seem to be fond of crying about the oppression they experience in American society. My first response is to laugh, but a lot of these people take themselves very seriously so I feel like I should give them a semi-serious answer to some of the claims I've heard. By "semi-serious", I mean I will include some facts but I will still have a deriding attitude. I can only try so hard. Now usually, I don't like formatting a question-answer session against an imaginary opponent since it seems unfair, but this isn't really an imaginary opponent. All of these statements or questions have been put to me before so, as far as I'm concerned, they are fair game.


"Christianity is becoming endangered."


Honey, this is America. Christians are the vast majority in this country. A 2007 poll places the percentage at 78.4% Christian [1]. The vast majority of our politicians and even our president identifies as Christian. The fact that people were shocked at the possibility of a Mormon president indicates that we are used to a very homogenous religious identity for our Commander in Chief.


Christians are not endangered. Their number might be slowly dropping, but I'd say that's a failure on the part of religious folks, not a hostile secular environment. Maybe if there were better spokespersons for the religion in the spotlight and a better face on the movement people would flock to the churches when bad things happen instead of running away. Passing out tracts isn't going to help that reputation, by the way. You'll have to actually get off of your asses and make a change. Sorry.


"Christians face more discrimination than gays."


Really? You really want to argue that? Let's look at the numbers. According to FBI statistics on hate crimes in 2011, less than 2% of offenses were motivated by anti-protestant or anti-catholic bias [2]. In comparison, 20.8% were motivated by sexual orientation bias. That's 117 incidents against Christians and 1,491 incidents against gays, lesbians, or bisexuals. There were 17 incidents against heterosexuals. Of the incidents against Christians, only 15 were identified as crimes against the individual (assault, intimidation) and there were no murders or rapes. The rest of the incidents were crimes against property (theft, vandalism, etc). In contrast, 1,124 hate crimes comitted against LGB people were crimes against the individual, including 3 murders and 2 rapes. These statistics don't even account for crimes motivated by gender identity bias for which there is no category.


"But that's not-"


Shush. I'm not done yet. You want even more perspective? As horrible as these statistics are, racially-motivated hate crimes dwarf crimes motivated by sexual orientation at 46.9% with 72% of those being against blacks. Religious bias took third seat after sexual orientation with 62.2% of those crimes being comitted against Jewish people and 13.3% comitted against Islamic people. Catholic and Protestant bias put together would make up 8.9% of the religious crimes.


And that is just hate crimes. Consider that, as of 2007, only 20 US states and Washington D. C. prohibitted employment, housing, and private business discrimination on basis of sexuality [3]. I believe that number is 21 states now, but I could not find a reliable source to be certain. Religion and creed is a protected class in every state. Still feeling the discrimination?


"I am. Just try discussing Creationism in the classroom of a major secular university."


Okay, don't claim that Creationism is the same thing as Christianity. There are many Christians that choose to believe modern science and it is insulting to combine Christianity and Creationism as one, as if you can't believe one and not the other. As for your "discrimination", I expect that most modern scientists don't appreciate their class being deviated from a discussion of scientific theory to a discussion of a religious story. You probably wouldn't appreciate it if someone interrupted a church service to talk about how to convert to Wicca. It just isn't that you hate pagans, but it isn't the time or place to discuss it. In the same way, a science teacher is not going to appreciate you interrupting their class to discuss religion.


"But the majority of discrimination isn't reported in the anti-Christian media."


My statistics up there have nothing to do with media. This is the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the laws on the books in your states. Please, find a reputable source if you want to rebut me instead of claiming that the entire media is in the pocket of secular activists. It's not.  We have Fox News.  Case closed.


"Even so, our religious traditions are under attack by organizations like the ACLU."


Listen, your religious traditions should end at the border of your home and your property. No one is going to walk into your home and tell you to stop praying or to take down your tacky light-up Christmas nativity. However, if you want your religion to be the sole one represented in public property, policy, and education, you are going to have to duke it out with our founding fathers. They are the ones that advocated for a government that would not establish a religion, nor prevent the free exercise thereof [4]. Yes, sometimes that means things change and some traditions have to be altered, but change really isn't all that scary once you get to know it. In other words, feel free to worship however you please whenever you please, but don't expect the government advocate it.


"It is more socially accepted to hate Christians than any other group in America."


This statement can't really be discussed factually because it is purely an opinion. It might have some merit, but that's hard to objectively ascertain. I would point out the hate-crime statistics above, but that is only crimes, not actual public opinion. I will agree that there is a lot of bias against Christianity, but I have found most of that bias is against the intolerant, ugly facade that many associate with it, not the actual people. From my personal experience, I've only been treated rudely once for mentioning my religion (and that wasn't even in the USA). On the other hand, my gender has earned me several rude or cruel comments, my sexual orientation has earned me many, and my political ideas have earned me the most. It seems to me that people respond harshly to things that they perceive to be hostile or threatening. So consider this: if you are getting that much hate, maybe you're presenting your religion poorly.


"But what about all of the anti-Christian laws being enacted? Abortion, gay marriage, etc?"


Laws that you disagree with are not discrimination. Being required to abide by laws that everyone else has to abide by is not discrimination. Every citizen dislikes something about the way our country is run. That doesn't mean that they are being discriminated against. Discrimination is unequal treatment, not "thing that I do not like."


"But these laws will make me look like a bigot!"


Maybe you are.


You know, I think the thing that bothers me the most about these people who complain about the discrimination they face as Christians is that there ARE Christians facing persecution in the world. These people probably find the idea of a religiously welcoming society, run by Christians and with a church on every corner amazing! What a wonderful country this must be, where religion is not persecuted, but embraced by the majority of the population!


Oh, but we can't teach Creationism in schools.


I know that the thought of being persecuted must be attractive for Christians at a time when our numbers are dropping. It's much nicer to blame outside factors and secular hostility for the failing and dwindling of religion than to point the finger at ourselves. But honestly, that is dishonest. It is disgustingly, enormously, mind-numbingly dishonest. When innocent Christians in other countries are being persecuted, and when Christians in this country are persecuting innocents, crying over your own discomfort is selfish and pathetic. American Christians are not under attack and they are not persecuted. Stop crying about it. It makes you look like a douche.


Oops, I said a bad word. I'm probably persecuting you.


References



[1] religions.pewforum.org/reports


[2] www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/…


[3] www.irem.org/pdfs/publicpolicy…


[4] The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Look it up.

Okay, I indulged in some snark here. I'm probably going to get some crap for it, but I couldn't resist. American Christians that fuss about how "persecuted" they are make me laugh and sneer at the same time. I'm aware that there are plenty of people with anti-Christian attitudes or crimes against Christians (that is addressed in this essay) but wide-spread persecution? Don't make me laugh.

As I said above, I don't make a habit of the fake question/answer format because most people who do this try to make the opponent sound like a moron and misrepresent their arguments. However, all of these questions/statements have been put to me in the past, so it's GAME ON, persecuted Christians!

As always, keep it civil, I will block, blah blah. Otherwise, enjoy a chuckle!
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:iconmusa-the-guardian:
Musa-the-Guardian Featured By Owner Edited Aug 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Words can't describe how much I love this!

Oftentimes, I feel that those who complain about not being able to teach Creationism in school, etc and feel that just overall different opinions towards them as persecution obviously haven't seen persecution in other countries (I don't mean the Middle East because those always get the most attention).
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015
Glad you enjoyed it!  :)
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:iconcodygallo:
CodyGallo Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
See, I get this xD I was raised up full on Christian but I had friends who were good people that were against Christianity and when I found out why, I was put into another perspective. Christianity is about loving others, not hating people who aren't Christian. I just think "Show me the part in the Bible where Jesus says 'I love everybody except gay people'"
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2015
You'll find a lot of things in the bible, some that make sense and some that don't, but I don't think you'll find that.  I'm glad that you see things from another perspective.  :)
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:iconquick-5:
Quick-5 Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2015
Good to see Christians looking at things logically. ;) (Wink) 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015
:D  I'm not actually a Christian anymore, but hey, any logic is good.
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:iconle2:
LE2 Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2015
I read somewhere that a persecution complex is often caused by reinforcement of a belief that events are affected or controlled by an outside force. Sound familiar?
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2015
It does!  I actually just went through a spat with my family and it strikes me how helpless their language is.  They say "you are deceived" or "we can't do that" or "you are under the influence of a dark spirit" or "we are bound to our convictions" "we couldn't have done anything else" etc.  In their weirdo worldview, everything just /happens/ to you.  It seems like they feel they and I have very little say in anything, there is no responsibility, no accountability, no agency.  It's a handy get-out-of-jail-free card for them, I think, and it helps them reconcile all sorts of strange and illogical things to their worldview.
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:iconmaiden-of-wolves:
Maiden-of-Wolves Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much for this. This 'issue' has irked me ever since I first started seeing it frequently in the news. (Unfortunately my parents watch Fox News... >.> I stick with Daily Kos and the BBC; a sad day was when I realized that the most reliable news on the US actually came from Great Britain...)

I know a handful of christians that are wonderful people and I know that if the majority were like them, there wouldn't be any persecution at all. But, alas, so many more use it as a mask for bigotry and hate.

And then there's the bible itself... I could write a book on the issues with it alone. Particularly when it applies to modern society. I don't know if you know this or not (and I apologize if you do and I'm simply blabbering away) but the famous "turn the other cheek" line from it? In that culture, if you were slapped by their right hand, then turned your cheek -- it would force them to slap you with their left if they wanted to do it again. That was the hand that was considered 'evil' and was used for the sordid things like cleaning up after oneself after eliminating. You simply did not use it against another. It was a very intelligent and pacifistic way of protecting yourself against further attack.

There are many other examples of things that have been taken completely out of context and warped, though I'm sure you know of many of them. Teachings are one thing, but once you begin using them to justify things like slavery, murder, discrimination and bigotry... then we have a problem.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2014
You are welcome.  I'm glad that you appreciated it.  I think the issue with the Bible is that people have given it the distinction of being perfect and having ultimate power over every aspect of life.  If any document is given that sort of authority, there are going to end up being a myriad of different possible interpretations, because everyone needs the document to support them in order to consider themselves in the right.  And loads of people will set themselves up as having ultimate knowledge of the document because the document holds the key to power over so many people.  Imagine if a group of people decided that your middle school science text book was the One and Only Document that held All Truth for All Time and was written by god.  People would be falling over themselves to study it.  They would try to decide if different depictions were metaphors for how to live.  Is evolution supposed to be a parallel to the development of civilization?  Is the word "igneous" actually code for something besides rocks?  Is god revealing himself through the descriptions of natural phenomena or is he revealing something about humanity?  Then they would form different sects based on which edition was the right one (especially since newer additions had some changes and clarifications) and there would be traditional "Fun with Science"ists and reformed "Fun with Science"ists and everything in between.  And then you'd have the Physicists and the Biologists that believe that only their portion of the book is the REAL truth.  And even if everything in that book had been completely factually correct and innocent (which cannot be claimed for the bible) the very nature of the SIGNIFICANCE that we gave that book would result in horrible distortions, misconceptions, and divides.

I see the bible, at this point, as just a collection of historical records, stories, myths, and letters.  It is interesting, but there is nothing divinely inspired about it.  Indeed, the moment that we approach it with the opinion that it must be the Ultimate Truth, then we HAVE to distort it.  We will HAVE to distort it to fit our idea of what truth or goodness is, rather than simply viewing it the way we would view any other document.  As such, can we say for sure that Jesus intended for "turning the other cheek" to mean letting yourself get slapped again or trying to find a pacifist way to protect yourself?  That's difficult to say.  Different people will interpret it differently depending on their idea of what they WANT Jesus to have been saying.  In my opinion, there's no way to know, but both possibilities are interesting.
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:iconryu238:
ryu238 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2014
The part about the ACLU taking away religious freedoms is a joke really: www.aclufightsforchristians.co…
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:iconproperfessor:
Properfessor Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Professional Photographer
Oh for chrissakes
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:iconade-doodles:
ADE-doodles Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
I'd agree that "persecution" is not the word to use with respect to most Christians. Many Churches are in contact with Christians around the world where serious persecution has and is going on.www.persecution.com/
In the west, When it come to Psyical attacks and many aspects of life, it's just not there ... yet. But i can name  incidents where Christians have been attacked physically for their beliefs in the west, often it's in a political context.  But it's really not that wide spread.

But when you go beyond the physical aspects and the word is understood in a more social, political and metaphorical context. the term begins to have more reality.

All of you "admissions" show, at nearly each point, that you justify the treatment. after you belittle or minimize the complaint.  It seems your saying it's a forgone conclusion that people should be getting ugly push back for their Christian opinions.
•They shouldn't have those opinions, they should keep it their homes and not try to influence others,
•They just have to obey the laws that force them to do things against their faith,
•Social put downs of Christians only count if it's personal, the media's constant attacks on various aspects of Christianity, radio-TV-shows, universities, attempts to shut down peoples careers and businesses if they don't agree with certain views ....well i won't comment on that and it just opinion anyway, plus it's probably deserved,
•By default we all know that no aspects of creation is science (and it's not even really a part of Christianity (?)) and nothing a science teacher ever says to your children should be challenged in anyway so your trouble here is justified.
....

it Seems like your telling Some Christians,
"it's not that bad, just change your views and actions and you won't have any trouble anyway."

the fact is that in the country Christians In general enjoy tremendous freedom as do those of all other faiths. And in many areas of social life Christianity,  in general, is embraced. but it use to be MUCH moreso. There were no taboos or outrage against any traditional christian doctrines. Most aspects of Christianity were accepted by default generally true.

But today those that have the the loudest voices and have the most influential positions in media, gov't and education are AGAINST large sections of clear Christian/Biblical thought and practice.

And those against those aspects of Christianity see little problem with tearing down the rest or trying to. And assume that Christians should get rid of the "bad" parts. By their definition of course.  just do what everyone else does... or else.

Many people are sensitive to verbal attacks or portrayals that are offensive to, Buddism, Islam, Jews, Minorities, homosexuals,  they should not have to be offended.
But honestly when they last time you heard anyone seriously care if a Christian was offended?

Everyone in the west is suppose to promote free speech and people can cuss, make the rudest jokes, put on shows, music, display art that says the harshest most vile things, publicly make veiled threats against Christians even "not enough lions" all in good fun i guess? But if a Christian quotes a Bible verse they are, by default, considered a bigot, hate filled,  dangerous, should be tried for "hate speech, and her business or career shut down until they conform and/or recant.

Maybe "persecution" is a hyperbolic a term, I'd give you that, but to claim that there's NO real issue here is a dismissive lie.

peace
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Most people who aren't zealots aren't seriously concerned if a Christian is offended because Christians are still the majority in this country and still hold the majority of the power and thus offense against Christians has very little practical effect.  The same cannot be said for other groups that are minorities and have to struggle daily to overcome legal, social, and physical barriers erected by Christians in order to live their lives.  And, by the way, most Christian Bible verses are completely okay to quote.  People quote Bible verses all the time with no problem.  If you want to quote a verse that marginalizes or insults a minority and disfavored group (like quoting a verse that promotes the death penalty on homosexuals or tells women that they are inferior) then YES you should be treated disdainfully... just like anyone else, religious or not, who uses their personal beliefs to treat another group shamefully.  Sure, this can happen to Christians, but most often, it occurs FROM Christians against minorities, because Christians are still the vast, vast, vast majority in this country.  Just look at the HARD FACT statistics I offered.  As such, I find it a little laughable that some Christians seem to think that they are being persecuted in the US.

Yes, Christian beliefs used to be mostly unquestioned.  That is NOT a good thing.  Would you like to live in a society where only one system of beliefs are accepted and completely unquestioned if you didn't happen to hold those beliefs?  I don't think so.  The rest of us feel the same way about your supposed eutopia of Christiandom.

The United States doesn't accept your views as absolutely perfect and wonderful anymore.  No one has to change their views if they don't want to.  All you have to do is accept that you live in a nation where your views aren't the ONLY views that are accepted.  I think a lot of Christians have a problem with this idea and want to call it "persecution" despite the fact that Christians have historically (and still are) persecutors.  If you are willing to accept that your views aren't the only ones that are and SHOULD be accepted, then we have no problem.  If you can't accept that... well, I'm glad that you will be left behind as the world moves forward.

By the way, your claims that there was NO taboo against Christian doctrine or beliefs in the past is hilariously inaccurate.  In early colonial America, Catholics were strongly persecuted by Protestants, having their civil rights restricted, suffering banishment from Puritan colonies, and even being hanged.  After the US became independent , there were still laws that prevented Catholics from holding office in some states without renouncing the Pope.  Anti-catholic sentiment continued to brew, even after religious tests were barred by the founding fathers.  Anti-baptist sentiment was also strong, resulting in many assaults and vicious persecution by Anglicans in some areas.  Discrimination was not uncommon.  This continued with the massacre and expulsion of Mormons in the 1800's as Christians refused to accept the new school of Christian thought.  In other words, at NO point in our history was there a wonderful period of "no taboo against Christian doctrine".  There were ALWAYS taboos... it just depended on which particular doctrine was in favor.
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:iconade-doodles:
ADE-doodles Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Professional General Artist
"..Most people who aren't zealots aren't seriously concerned if a Christian is offended because Christians are still the majority in this country..."

sooooo it's OK to be offensive willy nilly…. to a majority group?
 Seems to me a better view is to be kind and respectful to everyone.
Am i wrong here?

"...and thus offense against Christians has very little practical effect..."

What "practical" effect are you looking for by being offensive?
Again it seems to me that your justifying being offensive to Christians , and not only that but using it as a tool for… what?

You say others have to struggle under oppression , but a Christian who's business is attacked because he's trying to obey his faith is NOT under attack? is not in a struggle? And your willing to "...leave her behind..." because you don't like their beliefs?  You want them to change their beliefs or  "be left behind" socially and legally. Do you want Jews to be left behind if they don't do what you like?
Double standard much? It doesn't sound like your looking for equity or peaceful coexistence but a country where the oppression of certain Christian beliefs and people is the status quo.

am i overstating the case?

As far a majority vs minority go. while in many cases numbers do matter, power ins't always found in the numbers. Apartheid in South africa was a minority rule state. where the majority were opposed by a small group in power. there are other examples of the same around the world and through history.

Concerning Christian beliefs being a good or bad thing. I say it's a great thing, it's why you even have a vision of EQUAL rights (skewed as it may be). In the west equal rights and Human rights is a Christian concept. Most of the good values in western democracy come from Christian beliefs worked out into law.
Slavery was beaten in England by a 20+ year steadfast dedication of Wilberforce and crew, devout Christians. The anti slavery movements in the US were started and fueled by Christians not secularist. The underground railroad was made up of devout Quakers, Baptist etc..  John Brown a crazy Christian. Equal rights for women was spearheaded by Quaker women Lucreia Mott and Susan B. Anthony.  The 1st Progressive movement in the U.S. was Christian based. Martian luther King promoted equality and civil rights among races, other virtues because of the Bible's clear teaching of the equality of Humanity. The Red CROSS, the Salvation Army, the YMChristian'sA, Catholic and Protestant hospitals around the globe.  If your going to honest, all that hate against historical Christian wrongs in pass has to be set against the far weightier good planted by Christian ideals and actions. You mentioned the Catholics troubles here in the Us. In Europe there were wars over the Christian faith at times but Christians are the ones that realized the clear Bible teaching and codified the idea that God gave humans have a right to believe based on their own conscious and NOT be FORCE to believe or not to believe certain views. It was the clear teaching of Christ from the beginning.

While in contrast, when the ideals of equality are un-tied from the christian moral base and the Bible you end up with a French Revolution, a Communist Russia and Maoist China. Each were some people are considered more equal than others, to the point of killing off whole groups for the good of the state.

lastly i guess, your comments on which Bible verses Christians can or cannot say should clearly show you how you really want to MUZZLE free religious speech. Much like the people you complain about who ran off the Mormons and Catholics. Tell me whats the real difference?  

There are NO Christians advocating the killing of homosexuals. But i can find people commenting on this page that are advocating killing Christians. the Bible also says heterosexual Adulterers should be stoned? in your world, are we allowed to quote that verse? You may want to hear only the worse possible motives behind every Christian that reads a verse aloud, but I pray we don't replace the mild .. yes mild.. pressure against non Christians .. (who still have more freedom here than a lot of places on earth) with the full on religious oppression i think i hear you advocating under your breath.

You didn't address the real pressures coming against Christian in your response, again you justified them, under the banners of "progress", your version of real equality and the idea that it's OK to oppress the "majority".

Of course you think your right, but don't we all? it doesn't mean we get to treat other like crap. at least that's what my Bible tells me.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
I never said it's okay to be offensive to any group.  I did say that offense to different groups has different consequences.  I don't support being an asshole to anyone.  But it's worth recognizing the inherent power differences in our society... especially when the group in power wants to silence the group out of power by claiming THEY are the victims.  It's worthwhile to call bullshit on that.

By the way, if certain Christian beliefs result in the oppression of other people then yes, I do believe they should be left behind, legally and socially.  That's why we no longer allow slavery.  There were Christians on both sides of that issue, and there still are.  But we've decided that those who supported it with their beliefs were wrong and we have left that behind.

I never was interested in debating whether Christians are good or bad.  They can be both.  You say there is more good than bad.  I say it's probably equal.  Billions of lives have been lost in the name of Christianity and many saved as well.  It is of no consequence to me whether Christianity is "good" or "bad" because I have no interest in outlawing it or anything of the sort.

I am not muzzling any free speech... you pulled that out of your ass.  I think everyone should be welcome to say whatever disgusting bigotry they want, so long as it doesn't cross legal boundaries (such as viable personal threats or blackmail).  There should be no legal barriers to that.  That doesn't mean that society shouldn't reprimand and reject bigotry.  We generally consider it unacceptable to consider blacks inferior to whites.  It's not illegal to believe they are or even to say it.  But such people are generally considered unacceptable.  That is not muzzling free speech.  Please read the 1st Amendment if you don't believe me.

"There are NO Christians advocating the killing of homosexuals"  That is just the most mind-boggling lie.  Jesus had something to say about lying, you know.  I have actually had my own Christian cousin threaten to kill homosexuals (followed by many other Christians backing him up and talking about "letting them kneel and pray if they want to and then shooting them execution-style").  Christians in Uganda are killing homosexuals.  Parents have killed homosexual children.  Christian leaders have advocated for the killing of homsexuals.  Your claim is so laughably false I don't even know where to start with it.  MOST Christians don't advocate for the killing of homosexuals, but there are plenty who still do.  To claim otherwise is disgusting and a lie.

I have no interest in causing Christians problems, so long as they don't cause anyone else problems either. I like religion.  I have absolutely no problem with people being religious.  But right now, Christians are legally, politically, socially in power, and as such, calling them "persecuted" is disingenuous.  The fact that you have to resort to such blatant falsehoods as "you are muzzling free speech" and "no Christians advocate killing homosexuals" to try to argue this is just pathetic.

Finally, you have repeatedly made assumptions about my position that are simply not true.  I do not advocate for oppression of religion, removal of free speech, or treating Christians like assholes.  I'm very pro-religion and also pro-atheism and really pro-everything that doesn't hurt people.  If a religion requires you to hurt people, well I'm sorry, but you're allowed to believe it but that doesn't give you a right to hurt people.  That's how freedom of religion works.
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:iconade-doodles:
ADE-doodles Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014  Professional General Artist
In my 1st reply i mentioned that the word "persecution" might be hyberbolic at this point. but i went on to say that there r however  real issues and some christians have felt oppressed for and lost jobs, businesses  etc for holding onto their beliefs.

In both of your replies now you've not acknowledge any serious harm done to ANY Christians while in both replies you've pointed to issues you suffered personally as significant. Look I'm sorry that you've been through that. I have no problem agreeing with you that you've had to deal with some idiots that claim religion to back up their BS. But you can't seem to acknowledge that treating Christians badly because they believe and promote the Bible has been real problem for anyone.

In both replies you allow for it, and say it's deserved for some.
So how's that really that different from what your condemning?

As I said I do not support and No Christians who's following the Bible supports oppressing, threatening, hurting or killing homosexuals. To be consistent they'd have to do the same to the heterosexual adulterers and others as well. But even then they'd have the Biblical check Of Jesus's and Paul's words to forgive, and help those that have fallen NOT to KILL or threaten.

 As you mentioned Some minority who say they are Christians sadly advocate harm of people but that's MORE sinful than the sin they think they are correcting. As you said MOST christians do not support that type of thing. I've been a christian for some time and I've never heard a popular Christian leader (expect for the nut that went around the country) call for  attacks on or the killing of Homosexuals. pat Robinson? No. James Dobson? No.  Jerry Falwell? No, Billy Graham? No, Joel Olsten? No, James Roberston? no, T.D Jakes, No. Those are some of the most well known but i can personally Name at least 40-50 nationally known preachers in conservative and pentecostal circles, not to mention Catholic, that have nationwide or international Christian audiences with television and or radio ministries. WHO'VE NEVER advodted violence or harm of ANY kind in 25 + years. However some of them have had their worked censored for simply saying what the Bible says, ...marriage is for men and women only... and that homosexuality is a sin.
But whens the last time you've heard ANYTHING other than a stand for traditional marriage being proposed by any legit Christians leaders in the U.S.?  It's Clearly part of the faith. Some homosexuals have decided... in the last 30 years... that now somehow it's the hieght of all evil and bigotry for Christians to agree with Jesus that a Man and Woman should be the only ones that marry.
I've talked to enough homosexual marriage advocates to know that they are generally unwilling to see it from any perspective but their own. And they've labeled it bigotry rather than what it is, simple adherence to the faith.
The same faith that says "Don't lie." which you just encourage me not to do. Are you a Bigot for telling me to obey the Bible? Why do you get to decide what part is the "good part" of Christianity. especially when homosexuality is never described as good.

It's always a odd to hear folks from your prespective encouraging others not to lie, not to kill, to be loving, because the Bible or God says so but when we want to obey God in the area of supporting traditional marriage we've suddenly become fanatical bigots, no better than the klansmen who should be shunned and outliers in the community. But in your mind that's the RIGHT thing to do. and is NOT really to be considered "persecution".

Christians have tried very hard gently (and not so gently) point out that homosexual acts are simply sin as is adultery or lying or stealing or gossip even. And Christians cannot in good faith support any of those things. Much less celebrate them. Are those sins "normal"? well Lying is "normal", but it doesn't make it right. Is it bigotry to say lying is wrong?

in some peoples minds it is. and there's the impasse.
2 different perspectives that cannot seem to be bridged. Frankly if you and others say we HAVE to change our Biblical opinions or else be marginalized.
...Well... Christians around the world have had to deal with that since the beginning. you say your pro Christianity, I hope you'll consider that many/most Christians do not want to "oppress" or hurt ANYONE. we just want to live in peace and be free ---in love and truth--- to tell people that we all are sinners. and we all need to RUN from our sins into God arms who knows the whole story, and loves and forgives all unrighteousness through Jesus's sacrificial death and his Resurrection.

The story of Jesus with the woman caught in adultery is the model, I think, is right for Christians approach to sin . The woman was about to be stoned because adultery is Sin. But Jesus said

"Let he who is without sin throw the 1st stone". ..
And everyone starting from the oldest dropped their stones and left.
 the rest of the story which is often left off says
Jesus asked the women "who are they that condemn you?"
She replied. "No one LORD."
Jesus said "Neither do i condemn you. Go and sin no more."

Jesus still flatly calls the act sin, A sin he wants her to completely abandon. But he's not advocating violence against anyone.

But maybe Jesus was a hateful bigot.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
Alright, I think the confusion we're having here with our viewpoints is this: you think that Christians should be able to dictate what other people get to do with their lives if that's a part of their faith.  I disagree.  Take the idea of marriage equality, for example.  If you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, fine.  I don't care.  If you don't want to marry same sex couples in your church, I don't care.  I have never met another gay person who cares about that!  The problem is when you want to tell me that your personal belief about RELIGIOUS marriage gets to dictate whether or not I get to have my SECULAR marriage.  Religious and secular marriage as NOT the same thing.  I had to limit my options of where I could apply to graduate school because I was not willing to live in a state where my marriage would not be recognized.  The reason is that I would have no legal protections for my family if my wife and I chose to adopt a kid.  My family is very hateful towards my wife for marrying me, and if I were to die, I fear that they would try to take our child away from her.  Is that fair?  Is it acceptable for me to not even have a CHANCE to access the rights and protections that you already have?  Is it okay for my child to be unprotected from having the only parents he/she has ever known taken away?  How about the fact that, if I'm in a state where my marriage is not legally recognized, I can't make medical decisions or even be in the same room as my injured partner if something were to happen and she were unconscious?  How about the fact that, to get this legal protection, I would have to pay anywhere from hundreds of dollars to ten thousand dollars to try to get documents written (which my wife and I don't have right now)?

Oh I see.  It's a "simple adherence to faith" to tell me that I'm not allowed to access the same rights as you.  Lovely.

Now, how about I mention some other things that some Christians seem to want the laws to dictate?  As I said, I can be fired from my job, evicted from my apartment, and kicked out of a business for being gay.  As a Christian, you CANNOT be treated this way because religion is a protected class.  This doesn't mean that you can't be kicked out/fired/evicted for making a nuisance of yourself, just like anyone else, but it can't happen simply because someone finds out you are a Christian.  I DO NOT HAVE THAT PROTECTION largely because Christians want to have the right to discriminate against me.  Is that good?  Is that fair?  Is it good that I was afraid to make friends with any of my co-workers for the first 2 months of a new job because I wasn't sure if I dared mention in their conversations about their wives and husbands that I was getting engaged?  Would I have to make up a male name for her?  Would I accidentally slip up on pronouns at some point and give myself away?  Was this job a safe place for me, or might my job be in jeopardy?  How about our apartment... should we go together to see the place we wanted to rent, or would that result in getting denied if we seemed too much like a couple?

By the way, I wouldn't uphold Pat Robertson as a good example of someone who has not advocated violence against gays.  While I am not aware of any time that he outright said "go hurt someone who is gay", he has told people that gays are going to cause (and have caused) terrorist bombings, earthquakes, and will eventually maybe cause a meteor to wipe out the entire country, and also said that gay people wear special rings that they use to infect innocent people with AIDS through a handshake.  So he is certainly contributing to hate and abuse of homosexuals by Christians by telling Christians that their very lives are threatened by gays.  Can you not see how that is a problem?  Oh, and Pat Robertson did actually advocate for assassinating someone (not a gay person) so I can't say he hasn't called for killing either.  Oh, and how about James Dobson, who you mentioned, who blamed the Sandy Hook shooting on gays?  And also said "homosexuals will destroy the earth?"  How is that not inciting hatred and feeding violence?  For some other examples, consider the pastor that told his congregation that if a child was seen "dropping a limp wrist" you should "snap that wrist?"  Or consider on the extreme end, Scott Lively, the US pastor who is credited with bringing about Uganda's "Kill the Gays" law, by going overseas and telling the faith communities there that all gay people are pedophiles, killers, and intrinsically evil and must be removed permanently from society?

Now, these people are certainly in the minority and I don't think the majority of Christians would necessarily agree with them (although a LOT more do than I like to believe).  I'm also not saying that someone is not allowed to have these beliefs or even voice them.  However, it is my hope that the decent people of society (Christian and non-Christian alike) are starting to realize that these sentiments and the idea of barring people from legal rights is NOT acceptable, regardless of the religious beliefs of the person advocating this.  As such, people who tell horrific lies about a marginalized group of people, who advocate for trampling on their rights, and who want to make their lives miserable will hopefully be left behind by society, just like we are trying to leave racists and xenophobes and neo-nazi's behind.

If you believe that your brand of Christianity supports marriage as being between a man and a woman, I really don't care.  I don't.  Most gay people don't.  But there are other Christians (YES there are lots of Christian leaders that support gay rights and marriage) and non-Christians who support same-sex marriage.  They should be allowed to marry the same sex, just as you are allowed to marry in the way that seems right to you.  No one is forcing you to change your beliefs or forcing your church to change their doctrine.  We just want the right that you already have: to live our lives the way we see fit while hurting NO ONE in the process.  If your group of Chrisitans can't accept that, then I hope that society will soon leave them in the dust.
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:iconade-doodles:
ADE-doodles Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
in a moment I'll address some of the above directly.
but please notice that in this your 3rd reply you still make no acknowledgements of any troubles suffered by Christians, and again justify it. Should the Jews mentioned the holocaust yes of course. Does that excuse their poor treatment of the Palestinians , no it does not. Wrong is worng, you don't justify bad treatment to any innocent group or person. Or compae peopes beliefs you don't agree with with nazism or the klan. Have Christian burned a crosses on your lawn, beaten you at rallies? Have they put homosexuals in gas chambers or put them in camps or called of it? Your being hyperbolic now. and making excuses for bad behavior

OK, now the one thing i think we could come to complete agree on is your complaint about medical treatment and access for people you care about. If homosexeuals and other want to petition the gov't and the law profession for the right to low cost binding medical powers of attoneies and medical visitation rights. I'd be for that homosexuals are not alone in this problem. Older people living living orphans. People without families, or families far away or families that for various reasons are against there wishes or whatever. t
This should not be a problem. medical power of attorneys and access should be binding and affordable in all states to ANYONE (equal treatment) who wants it. A person could ask a lawyer, a neighbors, or friend be the designated with all access and medical authority rights etc..
it doesn't have to be a "lover" or a spouse or immediate family.

I was designated such by my grandmother, it didn't cost 10,000 bucks. If there's a cost barrier to it. the legal pros or the gov't need to break it. But i do believe anyone outside of the immediate family would need to have it writing and with  3rd party witness. to protect the elderly and those that might take advantage.
But there's no perfect world, there's problem no matter what in that situation.

Concerning jobs, that's an issue that's sadly more than few groups have to deal with. but it's also something that works in favor of various groups in certain professions. do you think being a  conservative christian in Hollywood is something you want to advertise on the job. And i've read - it may be wrong- that as a group homosexuals have a higher income than the national average. So i'm not sure how that plays out day to day for people. i'd suspect that there's more social tensions than outright discrimination in most cases.

Concerning real estate, This is something that again reminds me of the days when heterosexual couples started openly "living together" out of wedlock became an issue. Many did not rent or sell to them either. Again the cultural Christian values were at play. Was it hate or bigotry then? Or just a clear moral tradition. On a practical level I don't think anyone at this point can honestly say that out of wedlock marriage and living together has HELPED the nations women, children or communities. It' has in fact caused more problems. Just as Christians predicted. The studies are coming out now concerning homosexual relationships and children of such. generally it's not positive. You won't like this, but is it wrong to say that your apartment building is a NON-SMOKING apartment? It has to do with activity and action? Are they bigots?

Concerning Pat Robertson, Dobson and the others you've mentioned , do you have list of quotes where they've said treat homosexuals with kindness and don't hurt people. It'd far outweigh the indirect , and supposedly atmosphere making stray (out of context?) comments  here and their that are often sited as "WHAT THEY REALLY MEAN". But honestly, does saying 'premarital sex is wrong for everyone', make people want to harm those who do it? Does saying that gossip is wrong? Adultery? Of course some idiots might use it as an excuse but in every case i've heard any chrsitans leaders speak on the issue they are always very careful to point out that EVERYONE should be treated with kindness and respect. Seems to me that  people making jokes about "to many Christians not enough lions" is much more direct a call for violence against Christians than any i've heard any Christians make leaders or otherwise. and rarely is the lion comment rebuffed by those who a very sensitive to  comments like it against them.

Concerning Homosexuals 'not caring' whether or not Churches allow homosexuals to marry in the Church. then what is this about? Millionaire Gay Couple Sues to Force Church Wedding UK.
www.chelmsfordweeklynews.co.uk…
It seems like some homosexuals are suing Christians all the time for not working in, supporting or celebrating their marriages in every venue on and off church property. In the Church i attend a women mentioned a homosexual cousin who she dearly loves is getting married. But she's not going to attend the wedding and her cousin is not just disappointed their INCENSED. the Church member still dearly loves her cousin she grew up with but just can't bring herself to "celebrate" and acknowledge what she understands as clearly being sin.  the cousin clearly does care, and the church member hopes the cousin will still be close but she's afraid they won't be.

We are not going to agree on many issues here. but lets be clear, your a human being just like me and i don't NOT want to see you in pain or rejection or suffering. but we are not going to agree on  how some issues  work out. I've got  no animosity toward you at all.
And hope that you'll find you way with God.

peace
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2014
You know, you keep complaining that I am defending Christian persecution, but you've never given me many specifics about this supposed systematic oppression that Christians receive in the U.S.  I have already said I don't support people being assholes, but my view is that there is no systematic oppression.  You have not given me a single piece of evidence to back up the opposing viewpoint, except one anonymous stranger on the internet saying "too many Christians not enough lions" which is an assholey thing to say but NOT systematic oppression, and bringing up pushback that some Christians have had about gay marriage (which I have fully addressed) and is also not systematic oppression.  So, if you want to convince me that the premise of my argument in the essay above and in the comments since is wrong, you are going to have to actually make explanations that back you up.

And you know, for someone who is complaining that I am rationalizing away bad behavior (which, as far as I'm aware, I have not done) you spend a LOT of time rationalizing away bad behavior.  "Job discrimination?  Eh, just go to Hollywood, I'm sure they will hire you there!"  Which doesn't address that discriminating against Christians is still ILLEGAL while discriminating against gays or transgender people in most states is still LEGAL.  Oh, and how about "I'm sure most discrimination is just social tensions" which you have not one shred of fucking evidence for, is completely dismissive for no reason at all, and I'm not sure what it's even supposed to mean.  And it doesn't change the situation that I have to live in a place where I am afraid of being fired from my job because firing gay people for being gay is LEGAL while firing Christian people for being Christian is ILLEGAL.  Apparently, you think that's totally fine, so yep, you're part of the problem.

You know, if you love the idea of freedom to discriminate so much, you should probably go after your OWN protection from discrimination first and dismantle that (since you are protected in all 50 states) rather than trying to tear down MY protections that I only have in 20-some states.

Also, studies show that homosexual parents are, in fact, JUST AS GOOD at parenting as heterosexual parents, so that makes your 5th paragraph another lie... specifically a lie often used by Christians to defame and discredit homosexual people and families in attempt to ban them from adopting or to try to forcibly take children away.  You should really be careful about that "do not bear false witness against your brother" thing that Christians are supposed to do.  Falsehoods like this HURT people who are already vulnerable to hatred and discrimination... can you not consider that before you write unsubstantiated lies?

Ah, I see.  It's totally okay to occasionally say things like "homosexuals cause terrorist attacks" as long as you include with with things like "but don't hurt them."  No.  Homosexuals are already about 200 times more at risk of hate violence than you are as a Christian, which is WHY it is so important NOT to say horrible lies like this that stokes this hatred.  I suppose that if I went to a Middle-Eastern country where Christians were persecuted and started saying things like "Christians are the cause of all of your problems" but then added "you should still be loving and kind to them" you would probably tell me I'm a horrible evil person.  And rightly so, because there is a culture of violence and oppression against Christians in those nations and I am fanning the flames by feeding people toxic lies about the group they hate.  Saying "but don't hurt them" is NOT enough to prevent my actions from potentially causing pain, violence, and death.  Well, guess what... there is a culture of violence and oppression against homosexuals here, which is why these "Christian" leaders are acting in a disgusting and immoral manner when they spread hateful lies about homosexual people.  Homosexual people are at higher risk of bullying, suicide, homelessness, abuse, hate-crimes, and discrimination than heterosexual people.  So, whether you want to admit it or not, your words can either help ease those problems, or worsen them.

The U.K. has different laws than the U.S. regarding churches, so what happens there is not likely to happen here, and my essay was about persecution of Christians in AMERICA.  People are not getting sued "all the time" there have been a few high-profile cases that involved businesses and places of public accommodation refusing to serve gay couples in spite of anti-discrimination laws.  Remember, most states don't even have anti-discrimination laws for gay people, but those that do should uphold them.  Clearly you think that discrimination against gay people should be legal.  I do think that churches should be allowed to choose whether or not they marry a gay couple.  And in America, they are completely free to do that.  No church has ever been forced to marry a gay couple here by law.  EVER. (And in case you dredge it up, the case where the lesbian couple wanted to use a gazebo owned by a church was specifically because they church had filed their taxes stating that the gazebo was a place of public accommodation, which would cause it to fall under the non-discrimination law.  After the lawsuit, the church changed the way they filed those taxes and they were then free again to refuse service under their religious exemption).  There is no lawsuit in anywhere on the horizon that might make that so.  If one does surface, I am certain that it would fail, and I would support its failure, because I think people should be able to keep their places of faith exclusive if they want or inclusive if they want.  But public places are public places and they should be subject to non-discrimination laws.

I feel sorry this woman's gay cousin.  It is very painful to have family members refuse to attend one of the most important days of your life.  My own family refused to be present at my wedding (after they emotionally abused me and then kicked me out of their home for being gay a couple of years prior... a common "Christian" thing to do) and it sucked.  It is, of course, their choice.  But I think you're being terribly unfair not to recognize the pain of having someone who is so close to you refuse to come to your wedding.  I mean, how would you feel if one of your closest family members said, for example, "I love you, but I simply can't come to your college graduation because I don't believe that it is god's will for you to be in school and I just can't celebrate it with you."  You invited them to be there for a super-important milestone in your life, so it hurts to be rebuffed.  Sure, you can't make them come and you can understand why they won't, but that doesn't mean it won't hurt and it might not destroy the relationship, depending on how the refusal was worded and a lot of very delicate things.  I'm sorry, but "this is my belief" just doesn't make everything better.

In closing, I understand that you don't desire to see me in pain or suffering, nor do I wish that on you.  But the things that you are espousing and defending (such as barring my access to CIVIL marriage, supporting freedom to discriminate against me, and spreading lies and supporting people who spread lies about me) cause me pain and suffering.  Regardless of whether or not you WANT that to be the case, that is simply the way it is.  And as such, if you want to say "I don't want you to be hurt" but you continue to support things that hurt me, it just doesn't mean much.  I've been abused, kicked out of my family, feared for my job, feared for my home, feared for my life, and been limited in my life opportunities because of the way Christians treat gay people.  And I'm lucky, because I'm not one of the many people who was physically or sexually assaulted for it, I didn't actually lose my job, I was not evicted from my apartment, I narrowly avoided homelessness (unlike one of my gay friends who was left homeless by his Christian family), and I'm still here.  That's what oppression looks like... it's not some random asshole comment by an anonymous person on this internet.  It's an entire system of culture and laws that systematically dehumanizes, degrades, and discriminates against a group, usually perpetuated by the majority against a minority, resulting in disparate negative effects for the victimized group including heightened risk for poverty, violence, instability, homelessness, and reduced access to commodities offered to other groups.  THAT describes oppression of homosexuals, not Christians.  And that was my whole point.
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:icongreatkingrat88:
Greatkingrat88 Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Silly biddy, don't you know the real victims of today are white, straight christian men?
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Oh, obviously.  I almost forgot.
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:icongreatkingrat88:
Greatkingrat88 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2014
You know, 'cause majorities holding most positions of powers are soooo exposed.
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:iconproperfessor:
Properfessor Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Professional Photographer
so many christians . . . so few comets
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:iconproperfessor:
Properfessor Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Professional Photographer
So many christians . . .  so few lions
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:icongoddragonking:
GodDragonKing Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
This would a good read. The Christian groups that cry that they're being persecuted are part of why I'm, largely, not of organized religion, among MANY other reasons.
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:iconmissmuffintop:
MissMuffinTop Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014   Writer
This. 

You win an internet, if not like two and a half internets and some apple pie. 
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
Yum!  Internet with a side of pie!
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:icondeltahd:
DeltaHD Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2014
one part of this is wrong, The Number of true Christians are Declining.
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:icongoddragonking:
GodDragonKing Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
Could you define "true Christians?"
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:icondeltahd:
DeltaHD Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014
christian whofollow the bible and have read it from end to end.
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:iconlovemystarfire:
lovemystarfire Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I love this article. The Christians running around screaming that they are being persecuted are the often very people who have persecute others for hundreds of years. If you look at history the Christian have been responsible from some of the most atrocious behavior... witch hunts and the Crusades spring to the font of my mind. Christians are also often in the front line against racial integration and LGBT equity. The really sad thing is that Christianity is a beautiful religion, but these people have hidden their hate behind the title for so long that, for the oppressed, Christianity has almost become synonymous with oppression.  I still don't understand how people think that freedom of religion means that I have to live by their definition of "religion" Inst that exactly the opposite of "freedom of religion". Religion should be used to regulated one's own life and one's own family NOT everyone they know or meet. These people have no clue what real persecution feels like and they look like narcissists when they run around talking about how me loving someone of the same gender affects their lives. I firmly believe that, unless radical changes are made to the churches treatment of people,  someday Christianity will kill itself.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2014
In many respects, American Christianity is killing itself (given the mass exodus we are seeing from religion) but I don't think that's truly a bad thing.  Don't get me wrong... I have no desire to see Christianity disappear.  But I am hoping that, once Christianity has culled some of its more ugly ideas, the parts that remain will be better and also more humble.
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:iconlovemystarfire:
lovemystarfire Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I think the worst part of the whole thing is that Christianity is actually a very loving and accepting religion. Somewhere along the line the "Devil" that they so like to refer to. Has crept into the church and is sitting in the rafters laughing. Church is no longer about faith it is about looking good in the community and following the preacher like blind sheep. The people that I know who I would call true Christians don't even attend a local church because of all the politicking and begging for more money. As far as Christians claiming persecution they have been responsible for some of the most atrocious acts against people who have different views. For instance Witches have been turned into villain throughout recorded history and Salem is just the end of that whole massacre. Muslims are persecuted because of 9/11. The crusades is just a bloody mess that they "forget" to remember, and that is all without even touching on the slave trade and the churches stand on civil rights. The church has done nothing but try and hold back equality for all and I believe that is exactly why our forefathers drafted freedom of religion into the Constitution.
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:iconopinionsprofile:
OpinionsProfile Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
My take on the subject. opinionsprofile.deviantart.com…
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
Commented there.  Thanks!
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:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
I really, really like this, except one line:

"Listen, your religious traditions should end at the border of your home and your property."

I think I know what you meant, but the sort of person you're trying to convince isn't being victimized would leap on this line and say "that's ridiculous, being a good Christian means it has to influence your whole life--religion isn't just for Church and the home, it's for wherever I go because I don't stop being a Christian when I step out the door". A better way of saying this would be

"Listen, your ability to impose your religious traditions on others ends at the border of your home and your property."

(Not that I'm saying your point was "wrong" just that the way it's stated leaves it open to an easy counter-argument, and we all know that leaping on one single line and refuting it is a classic tactic for ignoring the whole big thing.)
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013
Gotcha.  Thanks for the helpful critique!  I see your point and will probably eventually reword it.  I'm glad you enjoyed the piece!
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:icondifferentshirley:
DifferentShirley Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2013
I don't like labeling personally. I was raised in a household that didn't ever talk about God, and I didn't even know of the existence of Christianity or anything else until I was in 4th grade. But, even if I don't understand religion on a personal level, I never disrespect someone for their believes. I have many friends that are from all walks of life from furries to Christians to Mormons to LGBTs and I respect them all for what they believe because they respect my beliefs as well. But I have to say that I have a personal low opinion of religion because of family history and personal experience. I could never believe in anything that is often used to fuel bigotry or hatred.

So yes, I agree that Christian Persecution is absolutely ridiculous, but I can understand how Christians could believe that Christianity is under fire because lately I've noticed that Christianity and other religions have been painted in a bad light in the news and in general.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013
Christians that believe that they are being persecuted in the USA need to be given a sense of perspective. Yes, it is often painted in a bad light, but that is because there are many bad Christians giving them a bad name. That needs to become unacceptable enough that they become just complete fringe. Christians need to start cleaning up the name of Christianity and that's just not really happening.
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:iconkilrjoey3:
kilrjoey3 Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013
I myself am an atheist, and I have mixed views on the subject. I believe people should not be hated or persecuted for really any view, be it sexuality, religion, or anything else.I despise how much of that still exists today, and try to be accepting of everything. But Christianity annoys me. Religion in general, but Christianity has some really annoying bits. 1 Christianity leaves no room for other religions. If you have a different religion, you are a monstrous demon worshipper and will go to he'll. 2 Christians seem blind in their faith, seeing everything meant to be, and their god as some benevolent, omniscient deity that created the entire universe in a few days. Huh, if he was so omniscient and benevolent, wouldn't the world be less terrible? So many plot holes that vex me. 3 they believe that praying will do anything, that somehow the basics and fundamentals of science are actually controlled by their god without the scientists noticing. 4 they call their deity God. God. Capital g. Just to further scream at you, OUR GOD IS THE ONLY REAL GOD SO YOU ARE WRONG IF YOU DO NOT BELIEVE. Note that I have little against Christians, just a lot against Christianity.
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:iconmenollysagittaria:
MenollySagittaria Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Heh, it's funny, I was just musing about the "capital G God" issue a while ago. It does portray a sense of, "we know who God is and no one can disagree." That's why I often refer to zem (not him or her) as Yahweh or Elohim. Just that difference in words gives a sense of same footing with other religions that have names. Our conception of the creator/oneness/individual-spirit-fragments should have a name, too, because this view is how we personally relate to zem. :)

I haven't looked into it, but I suspect Jehovah's Witnesses may have a similar, if less inclusive or tolerant reason for adopting that title. I like the name Jehovah too, but I avoid it to save confusion about my denomination.

Anyway, I think most religions have some truth to them, I was simply brought up seeing one fragment of the bigger picture.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
There are many forms of Christianity and many ways that someone follows their faith. It is often a very personal thing. Yes, a lot of Christianity has been this way throughout history, but saying they believe "praying does anything" and "fundamentals of science are controlled by their god" or that they are "blind to their faith" is just not true of everyone. I've seen SO many different shades of faith from super-conservative-violent to super-pacifist-nearly-agnostic to everything in between.

Out of curiosity, why do you find calling the deity God wrong? If you believe something to be true, why would you call it anything else? If a pagan talks about the gods, is that any different? If you didn't believe it was true, you wouldn't believe in it. I think it is perfectly acceptable and right for humans to call their deities by the names/titles that they believe in. That doesn't mean that anyone else has to believe the same thing. Just curious about that comment. Thanks for writing and reading! =)
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:iconkilrjoey3:
kilrjoey3 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
I merely feel it elevates God to greater levels, and levels no room for others. It's just personal opinion, but I feel that it says that all others are meaningless.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
Well, you are right that it does say that all other gods aren't gods, but... that doesn't seem like such a strange thing to say. If you believe there is only one god, then you must believe that all other gods are false. If you believe in only 10 gods, then you must believe that all other gods are false. If you are an atheist and believe in 0 gods, then you must believe that all gods are false. That's not arrogance, simply honesty about what they believe to be true.

For example, I don't believe in ghosts. I have friends who do, and that's okay, but I'm not going to pretend I believe in something I don't to avoid confronting the fact that we believe different things. If my lack of belief makes them feel offended or insecure in their beliefs, they need to learn to be more tolerant of different beliefs/lack thereof. Differences like these ought to be celebrated and explored rather than feared.

I do understand where you're coming from, but I think it is unreasonable to expect people to be dishonest about what they believe in order to avoid disagreement. Disagreement is a good thing, as long as it is handled maturely... like this discussion. Thanks for reading! =)
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:icongoldshroom:
goldshroom Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2013  Student Writer
I haven't been persecuted. Well, not in person. The anonymity of the Internet has a way of bringing out the worst in people of any creed, so I overlook the rare mockery of my convictions.

At any rate, I have gay friends and I have done nothing but treat them with the respect any person deserves. Whatever the Bible says, or how we interpret the words (I've lost count of how many denominations there are these days), I know that one key teaching is that God is the ultimate judge, not us.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
Yes, I've gotten a few nasty comments for my religion on the internet, but I also dismiss it. I get heckled for anything and everything under the sun on the internet, so I can hardly consider it religious persecution. What makes me laugh (or sneer) is when American Christians seem to think that they are being systematically persecuted by law and by little minority groups, like gays or atheists. It just sounds laughable to me, but some people are honestly convinced they are in a war zone.

Haha yes, you'd think with all of the denominations of Christians we have out there, we'd realize that truth is not so simple to find and two people can seek it just as hard and come to opposite conclusions. But instead of listening, learning, and admitting "I believe this, but I understand why you believe differently" some people would rather brand every other denomination as "not Christian" which, I might add, goes against the teachings of the Bible.
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:icongoldshroom:
goldshroom Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student Writer
On the contrary, I understand that "war zone" feeling. I don't think it's a stretch to see the world as an ideological battleground, whether one is Christian or not.
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:iconeternalgeekexposed:
EternalGeekExposed Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013
I can understand to an extent, but I don't really view it as a militant thing. I prefer an analogy of a constant discourse than a constant battle. But even so, there's a difference between an ideological war and a pathological need to paint oneself as a victim at the expense of others.
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:icongoldshroom:
goldshroom Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student Writer
Even with a "battle" mentality, I think we can agree that the church in general is not handling things well.
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