You think Christians don’t say they’re persecuted? Take a look at a recent entry on Christian Voice, where the claim is made that Christianity itself is being ‘criminalised’ in the UK. Visit American Christian blogs where they insist they’re being persecuted. Listen to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey, complain ad nauseam that Jesus’ followers today are marginalised and mistreated.
And why do they feel this way? Usually because they don’t like being told they should stop persecuting gay people. It’s their religious right, they tell us, to ‘live according to conscience’ and to bash (if only verbally in this country at least) a maligned minority. And any attempt to stop them from doing so, they say, is an infringement of religious liberty. Hatred of homosexuality has become such an integral part of the Christian faith these days.
Suggest to Christians in the West that they’re not experiencing persecution at all, but only a fair and reasonable attempt to make them treat others as they themselves would be like to be treated (didn’t Jesus say that?) and they respond, as a Christian Voice supporter did the other day, by sending you a link to the site of the Christian Liberty Council. Here’s the proof that Christians are really the victims! Go to the link and what you get is, yes, a list of believers who’ve been cautioned for abusing LGBT people. It’s so unfair! And that’s it, that’s their evidence.
If Christians were prevented from gathering together for worship, imprisoned for their belief in Jesus, stopped from talking about their faith, denied the means of praying together and so on, then perhaps they could reasonably say they were being persecuted. As it is, they’re the ones doing the sniping – and whining when they’re chastised for it.
In fact, their saviour tells them in Matthew 24.9 what to expect when any real persecution or ‘criminalisation’ comes along. They should, he says, whinge about it at length, even if it’s only a very remote possibility.
Oh, no wait, that’s not it; see it as a gift, he tells them, and pray for those doing the persecuting (Mark 10.30 etc). Problem solved! As ever though, they choose to ignore him. They much prefer to hang on to their prejudices and see themselves as the real victims.
Picture shows, clockwise:
Pat Robertson, US TV evangelist, who says gay people want to destroy marriage and the church itself.
Yoweri Museveni, Ugandan president and evangelical Christian who this week approved a bill toughening penalties and punishments for gay people.
George Carey, former Archbishop of Canterbury, who complains about how dreadfully Christians are treated in Britain.
Scott Lively, American evangelist currently facing a lawsuit for ‘crimes against humanity’. Influenced the anti-gay laws recently introduced in parts of Africa and, possibly, in Russia.
Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, which officially condemns homosexuality, whatever conciliatory noises Frankie himself appears to make.
Stephen Green, operator of Christian Voice, which insists Christians in the UK are being criminalised for their intolerance.
Caption suggested by an article on the excellent Joe.My.God blog.