reblog if you miss someone or are illicitly running a pelican breeding ring out of your aunt’s garage
Submitted by Guest Writer -Felecia Studstill
If you look out the window anyone can obviously see this is “The Winter Vortex’s War on Christianity”. Not to make light, I just take issue with the term “War” on Christianity which has been bandied about quite frequently of late. Particularly in the context of United States social culture, it indicates a shallow understanding of both terms.
Since January 1, 2014 in Nigeria alone, there are reports that 244 Christians have been shot, hacked, blown up or burned to death in 7 different religious attacks.
A Christian high school student in Egypt refused to cover the cross tattooed on his wrist, and in an act of defiance uncovered the crucifix around his neck. He was beaten to death by his teacher and two other students.
In an environment of increasing religious intolerance, 78 Christians were killed when an historic church in Pakistan was bombed.
Conversely, those being “punished” for Christian beliefs in the U.S. are:
An airman claims abuse in the form of an uncomfortable work environment created by his lesbian commanding officer.
Court clerks, counselors, bakers and photographers are being sued or penalized for not offering their services for gay weddings.
A child isn’t allowed read his bible at a public school during the school day.
A Florida group distributing food under a USDA grant, is asked to removed religious artifacts and information from the area of distribution so as not to conflate proselytizing with food distribution (which was in fact a requirement of the agreement in the first place).
That these inconveniences can be perceived as acts of war is an example of the privilege Christians have had in this country since its establishment.
As a Christian, I have never at any point in time in any of the 30 states I’ve visited in this country, been in physical danger for practicing my religion. I can close my eyes and bow my head at will. I own multiple bibles and have them openly visible in my home. I’ve never had trouble finding a house of worship in my faith and have multiple choices available to me to when I travel here. I have never received a suspicious look for wearing a religious symbol on my person; and because my faith and culture coincide, my clothing has never warranted a second glance from anyone.
We are midway between the national cultural celebrations of St. Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day excesses, neither of whom were figures for any non-Christian religion. In fact, no other religion can boast that in this country. Most people in this country have never been granted a paid day off for Eid, Ramadan, Purim or Hanukkah and would be hard pressed to describe those holidays or their origins. Another sign of privilege: people of other religions are not only encouraged if not forced to join the Christian celebrations of our culture, they are inundated with the meaning and message behind those holidays. Christianity is assumed normal and everyone is expected to have some knowledge of it and level of compliance even if they don’t believe.
A few years back few employees (I among them) approached the partners of our employer, diverse in age, race and gender, all Christian, with the suggestion that the breaks (including Christmas Eve, the day after Christmas and the ½ day off for Good Friday) be available to all employees as floating days off, so that people could apply them to holidays or events that might mean more to them since not all the staff was Christian. Among us were a couple of non-religious people, a Jewish man and a Buddhist at the time. The woman of Muslim upbringing had already left the company. The request was dismissed out of hand, given no consideration whatsoever. Had it resulted in a reprimand or lawsuit, I’m certain the owners would have felt confused and set upon. Christians are in no way expected to recognize the schedules of other religions—privilege.
There is no war on Christianity. The U.S has a Christian culture and the Christians within that culture experience benefits and comforts not afforded those following other religions. There is now more freedom for those who don’t practice it to demand some of those accommodations for themselves. As with all groups of people, the threat of lost privilege causes considerable discomfort. This does not equate to war. The consequences are not the same. And since Christ didn’t call us to be comfortable in the culture, but to change the world, it is in fact this co-option that poses the true danger to Christianity as the radical game-changing teachings of Christ. That’s the real war on Christianity.
“Scores Are Killed by Suicide Bomb Attack at Historic Church in Pakistan,” Ismail Kahn, Salman Masood, New York Times, September 22, 2013
“Islamic Terror Attacks on Christians,” TheReligionofPeace.Com, updated February 28, 2014.
“Christian Airman Punished by Lesbian Commander Faces Possible Court Martial,” Ken Klukowski, Breitbart, September 6, 2013
“Christian Air Force Veteran Punished by Lesbian Commander Could Be Court Martialed,” Heather Clark, Christian News, September 7, 2013
“Fox’s Starnes Fearmongers About Christian Groups Being Denied Federal Food Assistance,” Meagan Hatcher-Mays, Media Matters for America, September 11, 2013
“Are Christians in America Under Attack,” Dr. James Emery White, Crosswalk.com, undated approximately March 2012