Are Christians Persecuted in America?

Some evangelicals and other Christian conservatives in the United States often complain that they are persecuted constantly by liberals, the public, and the government. As an evangelical, I hear it all the time and I am sure you do too.

Jean Léon Gérôme, The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer

Is it true? Are Christians the victims of wide-spread persecution? I say we are not. Are we sometimes objects of anger, resentment, and defiance? Yes we are, but this is not persecution.

Loss of Privileged Status is not Persecution

Some Christians complain that they are shut out of public schools; prayer and Bible reading are not allowed. It is true that public schools cannot sponsor these Christian symbols, though certainly Christian students can bring their Bibles to school and they can pray, and this is different from the way it used to be. I was in public school when we still read the Bible and prayed every day as a class before beginning our studies. We can no longer do that.

However, while these Christians want to return to the days when Christian ritual was standard in public schools, the loss of that privilege is not persecution. It is only the result of refusing schools the option to favor a religion. Loss of a privileged status is not persecution.

These ‘persecuted’ Christians are not at all interested in allowing Muslim, Buddhist, or other religious practices in the school; they only wish to regain the privilege for themselves.

The same is true of other attempts to retain privileged status in the public square such as the 10 Commandments in schools and courthouses or nativity scenes on public property. The goal is not religious equality but Christian dominance. Some Christians even become angry when private retailers choose to wish their customers a happy holiday instead of a merry Christmas.

Push Back to Condescension and Aggression is not Persecution

Some Christians have a habit of expressing disagreement with others using extremely arrogant and hateful attitudes. Whether it is against gays, evolutionists, atheists, liberal Christians, or others, these Christians act as though only they have the truth, so everyone else must conform to their judgment. They wish to force their beliefs and values on everyone—by law if necessary.

People are tired of Christian bullying and condescension.

Instead of discussion, many Christians prefer drawing battle lines, defining the enemy, and attacking them with every resource they have. Where is the love of Jesus in this?

Of course this produces push-back from those who are attacked, and the push-back can be fierce but it is not persecution. Christians are aggressive in their attacks and then whine about persecution when there is push-back. Every question, disagreement, or challenge is considered an unfair attack on Christianity.

Denying that the United States is a Christian Nation is not Persecution

The United States still has symbols of civil religion; there are references to God in our pledge and on our money, and high level politicians often engage in prayer or religious references. Yet Christians are concerned that these symbols will disappear, and they declare that we are moving from our foundations as a Christian nation.

This is not true. We were never a Christian nation, though we were once primarily a nation of Christians. Christians are still in the majority today, but we are not, and never have been, a Christian nation or a theocracy; we are a nation of free citizens. Denying that the United States is a Christian nation is not persecution.

The Thaw Video – A Call to Battle

Recently, a video was produced by Christian young people expressing this attitude of persecution. Take a look at this short 5:38 video and tell me: Are these people persecuted or are they a Christian army out for domination?

And we wonder why unbelievers are not responsive to the good news of Jesus!

Click here to see the Thaw video

Image Credit: Jean Léon Gérôme, The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer via wpclipart
Your observations and comments are welcome below.
If you enjoyed this or found it helpful, please sign up for updates in the column to the right (email, RSS, Facebook, or Twitter) so that you don’t miss future posts. Also consider sharing this post using the buttons below. Have a great day! ~Tim
This entry was posted in persecution. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Are Christians Persecuted in America?

  1. Marc says:

    A thoughtful post Tim. Although I look forward to living in the Kingdom of God, in this fallen world living in a country that protects freedom of religion is about as good as it gets. Although I have grave concerns about the developing government tyranny, the Constitution of the United States of America has preserved our freedom of religion thus far.

    Like

    • Yes, Christians may not be popular among a lot of folks, and religion as a whole is not as favored as before, but we are not being persected.

      I also have concerns about government interference in our lives, but this is not limited to Christians or to religious issues.

      Like

  2. I think you are right Tim that the so-called “persecution” we face in the US and the UK amounts to no more than low-level discrimination and marginalisation. To currently call it “persecution” is, in fact, somewhat insulting to the majority of Christians who face real and serious persecution.

    Like

    • I agree Mark, there is REAL persecution of Christians in our world, but what we experience in our countries is not the same thing. If we want to be partners in debating ideas, we do not help ourselves by playing the unfair persecution card.

      Like

  3. Rachel says:

    I watched the video….actually, I’m proud of these kids for standing up for what they believe in. If only the whole church was like them, and willing to make a stand again, instead of falling for the lies of humanism.

    Like

    • Peggy in Fallon, NV says:

      No, these kids are being trained to be bullies themselves. I still remember my public High School had a Christians on Campus group and they were the biggest bunch of bullies. They tormented any kid who wasn’t a “Christian”, because they knew that that kid was “going to hell.” Nope, I won’t pray for that movement. I will pray that God’s love will open their hearts to the reality of Jesus’s teachings and not this Calvinist wet dream.

      Like

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Peggy, I also pray that God’s love will open their hearts to the reality of Jesus’ teachings. Thanks for sharing what you recall from high school. It was the same for many of us.

        Like

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Rachel, I too am proud when kids stand up for what they believe, but in this case they have been indoctrinated and misguided by adults around them. Unfortunately they often do become bullies as Peggy in Fallon says (thanks Peggy!).

      I imagine that some will become embarrassed about this when they grow older and better informed. And some will not.

      Like

      • rosedoucet says:

        Indeed they will. I know many young people who were aggressive in pushing so-called Christian values who are embarrassed by their immaturity and lack of grace. They went to several “popular” Christian training schools across Canada and the US. Unfortunately, many of these same kids have turned their backs not only on the church, but have also closed themselves off from ever wanting anything to do with Christianity.

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          As I moved away from fundamentalism, I also was embarrassed by my old behavior. However, discarding harmful religious baggage did not include abandoning Jesus in my case.

          Liked by 1 person

          • rosedoucet says:

            Oh, yes, I’m in the same boat. I’m from a prophetic, charismatic background where fundamentalism was relegated to the “other” even though we were just as prone to it as anyone else.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Siobhan Green says:

      replace every instance of “Christian” with “Muslim” or any other faith tradition, and then see how the video reads. You may find it really insulting to your faith.

      Like

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Siobhan, if this video was produced with the same message, but with Muslims instead of Christians, the outcry of rage from some Christians would be deafening! Thanks for the suggestion.

        Like

    • Amy Haiken says:

      Rachel, I watched this movie, and it scared me to death. They are pretty much saying that Christian prayer is the only prayer that should be done in school. If you think that a country should only have one religion, what are your thoughts about Christians in let’s say a Muslim country? Many are being persecuted and in fact one pregnant woman has been given the death penalty for her Christian beliefs. This is an extreme case of the Government and Religion being one in the same. It becomes a very dangerous environment for those that don’t share the same beliefs. This country was founded on freedom of religion, not one select people decides on the religion of the nation. If parents really want to have their children pray in school, what’s wrong with the parents bringing them to school and praying in the car before they get out to walk in the building?

      Like

  4. Amris macAnFhiach says:

    Thank you for a thoughtful and thought-provoking blog.

    I am not Christian. I haven’t been for 39 of my 59 years. I follow a pre-Christian faith based on traditions of old Ireland. This is not to say I’m anti-Christian or anti-Christ. I respect much of what Christ said and did. I firmly believe we are all on parallel paths, moving toward union with the divine, whatever you may call it: Heaven, Nirvana, or enlightenment. Christians say and do some wonderful things in the name of their Savior. I cannot deny that. I certainly would not dream of denying them the right to worship or believe as they see fit.

    I only want the same right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Amris, you are so kind! Yes, everyone has a right to their own belief, as you say. That applies to Christians and everyone else. But none of us should cry persecution when we cannot dictate to other people.

      What is your religious tradition? Are you Druid?

      Like

  5. Pingback: Faith in God vs. Superstition | Jesus Without Baggage

  6. will9baker says:

    I was raised a Christian and was a born again/evangelical/fundamentalist one by choice from my mid-late teens till age 25. I moved on from it about ten years ago[I’m 35 now} I am now theologically a Panen-Deist{a deist god became a panantheistic universe/multiverse} and a Luciferian. Yes, you hear me right, Luciferian. FYI: Luciferianism is NOT a form of satanism, it is NOT Illuminati{nor is the Illuminati what many falsely think it is ie:The NWO elites} or a tool fo the NWO elites. It is not reverse christiaity or devil worship. I won’t go into great detail here, but I invite anyone who wishes to understand what it actually IS to visit my blog “The Peoples Luciferian”{you can google it} or visit this link= http://thepeoplesluciferian.wordpress.com/ to read more about it.

    Anyways, I digress. I used to believe as these privelaged fundamentalists who have a delusion of being persecuted believe when I was one of them for about ten years. From where I stand now, I am very much still a fan of Jesus Christ{especially of the social gospel Jesus, ie: empathy} and other factets of him, and obviously I still believe in God[divine mind; thoygh from a Panen-Deistic persepctive rather than a trinitarian or monottheistic,etc, perspective} and I have no ill will against Christianity in and of itself[I sometimes even defend it and christians from those that stereotype all christians and all of christianity by what the fundamentalists are and do and defend it and Jesus from the false representations that pseudo-christian fundamentalists present of him/it; basically in short I appreciate so-called “liberal” christianity for I find they act so much more Christ-like than do fundamentalists}.

    I want to thank you for this article. It is very refreshing tos ee an evangelical christian whom uses reason{especially in context of the claims of christianity being somehow especially persecuted as opposed to privelaged in the west}. I very much appreciate your thoughts in your article, and want to thank you for being Christ-like as opposed to paying him lip service yet acting the opposite of how he did and would{as most fundamentalists, evangelicals, and born againsers of both most protestant and most catholic sects in the west these days tend to}. Thank you, it brought a smile to my face. Blessings and love and light to you for speaking the truth and reason and being Christ-like when so many others who call themselves evangelical/christians do not. 🙂

    Will “The Peoples Luciferian” Baker

    Like

    • Hi Will,

      I am glad you liked the post! I looked at your article and the Wikipedia article on Luciferians. I think I have seen reference to this belief, but I didn’t know much about it before. Thanks for sharing with me!

      Like

  7. Charles says:

    As an atheist, I am proud that there are Christians out there who know and understand the fact that they are not persecuted in this country, and refuse to claim that they are; I cheered out loud when I stumbled across this post and saw that you are in fact Christian. However, as I’m currently writing my own piece on this very topic, I came to (maybe) understand why some christians will assume this–2 Timothy 3:12 and John 15:18. Without a way to find true persecution, they will claim it wherever they can because the bible tells them to watch out for. Thank you for being a voice of reason; the world needs more christians like you.

    Like

    • Thanks Charles!

      You are right that certain biblical passages cause some believers to expect persecution. The fact is, there was considerable persecution among the early believers. First the Jewish authorities, then pagan culture, and finally the Roman authorities opposed those ‘new ideas’ that upset tradition. Believers were harassed and killed just for what they believed, so it entered into the discussions of that time.

      Of course, this continues in some places around the world, but it is not true in America as I indicate in the article.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  8. Pingback: Fortunate are the Powerless and Disadvantaged | Jesus Without Baggage

  9. Generally, I share your views expressed here, but would like to offer the suggestion that American Christians who are most authentically attempting to behave Christianly (like Jesus) are indeed persecuted – not for “being Christians” as they might culturally identify, but for expressing their faith most authentically through defying empire, war, imperialism, etc. Consider those being tortured in prison for exposing America’s war crimes, for example.

    Like

  10. Pingback: My Most Popular Posts of 2013 | Jesus Without Baggage

  11. Thanks for every other informative site. The place else could I am getting
    that kind of information written in such a perfect
    manner? I have a challenge that I am simply now working on, and I’ve been at the look out for such info.

    Like

  12. Jackie says:

    I stumbled upon your blog after a few hours spent debating friends on Facebook about the Christian persecution complex. I am an atheist but very much appreciate a Christian like you who stands firm in his beliefs but understands that not everyone agrees with him. Well done!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s