Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

America Isn’t Growing Hostile Towards Christians, It’s Growing Hostile Towards Religious Bullies.

 

It seems like not more than a day or two goes by without hearing it from somewhere: America is growing hostile towards Christians.

A growing number of Christians– a shocking amount, actually– are convinced that America’s glory days are over and that Christians are now a marginalized group on the verge of having all of their rights stripped away. I recently saw an advertisement for a nation-wide Christian event prior to the election, and the advertisement boasted they would help Christians figure out what to do in a country that was growing hostile towards Christianity. Elsewhere, right-wing politicians and religious talking-heads like Franklin Graham are trying to convince people that “religious liberty” is not only being threatened, but on the verge of disappearing.

In some corners, it’s all out panic. Leaders are shouting it, and the simple-minded unquestionably believe it.

Except– and here’s the kicker– it’s not true.

Christians are not a marginalized minority in America, but the majority and the ruling class. In fact, some polls show that around 83% of Americans are Christians. That long line of U.S presidents stemming back to the founding of the nation? Well, except for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, all of them were professing Christians to varying degrees. And Congress? You know, the people who actually make the laws we live by in America? Well, that group of people is actually 91.8% Christian. And let’s not forget the Supreme Court, the body that decides which laws are constitutional and which ones are not– that’s predominantly stacked with Christians too, having two justices who are Jewish, and the rest entirely Christians.

If America were truly hostile towards Christians, that would be a massive indictment against Christians themselves— because America is near-entirely controlled by Christians.

The idea that America is hostile to Christians and that the liberty to practice Christianity is under attack is misguided at best, and a complete fabrication designed to control the fearful and ignorant at worst.

Like all distorted thinking, this idea that America is growing hostile towards Christians is rooted in a degree of truth– most broken thinking is.

However, here’s the part that’s true: America isn’t growing hostile towards Christians– it is growing hostile towards religious bullies, and there’s a big difference between those two things.

Few sane people give a hoot if one is a practicing Christian. There’s no movement to banish churches and put them under government regulation like in China. No one is stopping us from gathering together with other believers, from feeding the poor, or even from standing on the street corner with obnoxious banners that say “turn or burn.”

Religious freedom and free speech is alive and well in America. These freedoms aren’t just tolerated, but embraced.

What is not embraced, and what the majority of citizens (Christians citizens, mind you) are growing increasingly hostile towards, are fringe Christian extremists who are trying to institute their own version of sharia law that infringes on the rights and liberties of the rest of us.

There’s a massive difference between freedom to practice one’s religion in a pluralistic society where we all equally have that right, versus enshrining one’s extremist religious views in laws that are imposed on the rest of us. There’s a big difference between saying that you want to be free and not forced to marry someone of the same sex, versus wanting to deny that right to someone else you don’t even know. There’s a big difference between wanting the freedom to own a business and conduct commerce freely in the public square, versus demanding to run a business that discriminates and infringes on the basic rights and dignities of everyone else.

No one is trying to stop you from being a Christian. The country is not growing hostile towards Christians. It’s just growing hostile towards extremist, religious bullies, who are trying to hijack the nation and force everyone to live under their own set of morals and ethics.

Growing hostile towards that kind of nonsense is not the same thing as growing hostile towards Christianity. It’s not even close.

Perhaps the most amusing aspect of this quest for “religious rights” is the sheer hypocrisy of it all. When the LGBTQ rights movement first got underway, religious conservatives sounded the alarm bells saying, “They don’t want equal rights, they want special rights!” When those on the religious right realized that we have neighbors who are– gasp– Muslim, they say, “Fine, let them have a mosque in certain places we approve, but we have to fight against them trying to make us all live under their religious laws.”

And then, they turn from those discussions and do the very thing they condemned just moments before– they demand special rights, and demand that their religious code influence the laws that everyone else is governed by.

This is precisely the kind of thing that made Jesus throw up his hands and shout, “You hypocrites! You blind guides!” over and over again in the Gospels.

If our friends on the religious right think we’re growing hostile, it’s because it’s true. But no, it’s not because we’re growing hostile towards the practice of our own religion, or hostile towards religious liberty.

We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

Join the resistance: Subscribe for posts and updates from BLC!

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Post Comments:

    • In what way? Denouncing religion is not oppression. I myself don’t spend much time on it but the market place of ideas demands an open and level playing field. If someone says something or writes a book it does not infringe on your right. Your rights and mine start at actual harm.

    • “Evangelical Atheism”. Precious.

      You understand empirical process over mythology, right? Why do I even bother replying…

  • THANK YOU! My fiance’s mother is one of those christian conservatives this article talks about. I’ve been trying to articulate most of this for her for sometime.

  • They don’t only want to impose their American Taliban agenda, they’d love to murder their political enemies. They drool at the thought and it’s very easy to find examples of religious leaders with millions of tv and radio followers who say all liberals should be murdered.

  • Those rights that the religious bullies think they are losing are NOT rights. They are privileges. We Christians have been over privileged in our treatment by the government for pretty much all of our nation’s existence.

    • Thank you, sincerely. Thank you for being open to seeing what lays under the complicated world view of such an impacting, contentious issue and stating so simply the true issue at hand. Perhaps I am reading too much into this, but that one simple comment strikes me as honorably embracing the ideal of true belief and equality. You made my day.

  • I grew up in a Christian home, mostly. We weren’t huge church goers, but we certainly believed in God. I’m not huge on religion, I’d just as soon do without it. But I am starting to feel hostile. I don’t want religion of any kind pushed on me, whether I practice it or not. I don’t want it in our laws. It’s not right. There are, as far as I know, 313 different religions practiced in the U.S. So even if I were a practicing Christian, even when I was one, there are still other people who aren’t that those laws wouldn’t and shouldn’t apply to. What about that? Do they not matter? Are their religious beliefs not just as important? They are to me. I just want a level playing field for lack of a better expression. Why does one group need to be more important? It does no good to shove God down any body’s throat, because, just like me, they just get pissed off. Nobody’s getting “saved” that way. When someone wants religion they seek it out. That’s the way it should be. Our government should be completely neutral. You don’t introduce bills based on your beliefs. That is wrong. Personal beliefs should be irrelevant and restricted from law.

    • If what you say is true, we would not yet be a country. It took very strong religious beliefs to move many to create this country. There is no establishment of a state religion but the forefathers did feel it was important to this nation to keep us morally incorrupt. :Even the forefathers who were not Christian felt it was important to structure this county based on Christian principles or it would fall.

  • I’m sorry but just because people proclaim to be Christian doesn’t make them one. Many politicians are in name only and not in practice. There are many instances where the govt has stopped a lot of Christian outreach and practices because they don’t line up with the “world” as seen by politicians. Take for instance the Catholic Charities in IL. The Catholic Church has been aiding the widow and orphan before this country was founded and now in the state of IL, they are no longer allowed a license to foster and adopt children. Why is this? Catholics believe in the traditional family unit and will only foster and adopt to married couples – male and female. they will not allow cohabitating adults foster or adopt or same sex couples. They were told they had to direct those couples to other organizations that will do so and pamphlets were made and distributed but it didn’t matter, they didn’t fall into line by practicing what they preach and were not longer given a license to help the orphans…there is a lawsuit pending. Many businesses are being sued because they will not bake gay wedding cakes due to their personal religious beliefs or do the flowers for gay weddings because they believe it to be seriously sinful. these are small businesses and they are being sued and having many fines that put them out of business. Tolerance goes both ways but not if you are a Christian with a high moral practice. Even this article is condesending and treats those that follow the ministers you mention as less than . True Christians follow Christ not the world as it is seen today. LIke it or not, we are smart and intelligent and living among everyone and some brave souls are speaking up to the injustice we are experiencing. You don’t have to hold the same values as I do but if I am supposed to respect your beliefs, you need to respect mine and we both need to be able to live out our beliefs in our everyday life.

    • A pattern of discrimination by businesses or institutions that serve the public is not “a high moral practice.”

    • First of all, I’m going to ask you for some evidence of that ‘many businesses’ claim, because I know of a couple, where the story is really much more complicated than you’re trying to make it sound, but I seriously doubt it’s common.
      Second, I’ll believe it’s about upholding Christian values when they start openly refusing to do cakes for second or third or fourth marriages, or when they won’t do cupcakes for the raunchy bachelorette party, or they refuse to serve the couple who are cohabiting but not married. From what I’ve seen, they’re fine with supporting any kind of ‘sinful’ behavior, with one judgemental exception.

    • In the examples you gave, all that is happening is that businesses and charities have to obey the law. Belonging to a religion doesn’t put you above the law. As for the principle of tolerance, it has to go both ways.

    • Hmm…you seem to be judging a lot. I thought it wasn’t up to you to determine who a ‘real Christian’ is as that is an evaluation made by your god. In fact, it’s very possible for you to verbally practice what you preach here, but not fully accept god and you’re just as guilty as Jeffery Dahmer.

      “You don’t have to hold the same values as I do but if I am supposed to respect your beliefs, you need to respect mine and we both need to be able to live out our beliefs in our everyday life.”
      Well that’s the thing: you can practice your religion all you want and I’m able to tell it like I see it: mythology doesn’t dictate United States law. If you respect my beliefs, you can’t tell people that abortion is illegal, that homosexuality is destroying marriage and if I want to worship a particularly colorful rock as the custodian of the universe, you won’t judge me. By allowing abortion and gay marriage (among whatever else grievous sins you identify) it isn’t threatening your faith, just allowing others to not be dictated by it.

      If I read too much into your reply, I apologize.

  • Thank you. I’m not hostile towards Christians in general, but I am hostile towards people who use religion to bully, and I don’t particularly care what religion those people hail from. Christians who want to claim their way should be how the nation works — you can’t both claim the power of moral majority, including that you should be running things by virtue of this being a Christian nation, AND claim to be an abused minority. If you want to do the latter, you have to be solely restrictive and not appeal to others’ Christianity because they’re “Christian in name only.”

    I’ve had enough. Enough of being evangelized to, enough of people trying to deny service to those unlike them, enough of watching people be physically harmed (happens to gay people and transpeople with alarming regularity at the hands of “good Christians”), enough of the violence inherent in forcing someone to carry a pregnancy to term, enough of people telling me that my children in public schools should be forced to declare obesiance to a deity they have never believed in. The list goes on and on. As a person in the US with actual minority religious views, the argument that Christians are this poor oppressed minority doesn’t hold any water with me. When I see the actual rights of conservative Christians being violated, I do stand up for them. However, the vast, vast majority of the time, what these people want is the right to bully me and others.

  • it is being jeopardize it started when they to prayer out of schools because might offend the Muslim religion and that’s just the beginning. we were founded on Christianity principles by our fore fathers and just because foreigners come here to live were suppose to bow down to them and hurt there feelings . well if it does leave our country now. enuf said .

    • When did Jesus demand prayer in public institutions? Spoiler Alert: he didn’t.

      Jesus, that suspicious “foreigner,” sure is unpopular, huh?

    • The push to take officially sanctioned prayer out of classrooms began in the early 1960s or before. Your claim that it had anything at all to do with offending Muslims is just silly. It was all about keeping religion and state institutions separate, which is something Christians should be supporting wholeheartedly. Our faith was never meant to be an official legal position. Jesus never tried to put himself in charge of the government – quite the opposite, he said his kingdom was not of this world. Conflating the faith he gave us with the force of government control is stepping far outside anything he taught or stood for. He wanted your heart and mind, not your force of law.

    • “…it started when they to prayer out of schools because might offend the Muslim religion and that’s just the beginning….”?

      Wrong, Engel v. Vitale (1962) and Abington School District v. Schempp (1963) determined that, long before most Americans had any clue what or who Muslims were. Islam wasn’t even close to being the issue in these two cases.

      Learn something before you make a total posterior of yourself in the future.

    • This meme gets mentioned a lot – “we were founded on Christianity principles” – but I have yet to see one person list any of our founding principles that are unique to Christianity. Can you?

      BTW, administrator-led school prayer was found to be unconstitutional long before the erroneous idea of “because might offend the Muslim religion” was ever thought of.

    • People of different religions have lived in America since before the Constitution was written. Read George Washington’s letter to Hebrew Congregations of Newport, Rhode Island. http://www.tourosynagogue.org/history-learning/gw-letter

      Also here’s what Thomas Jefferson said about the 1786 religious freedom law of Virginia: “Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion”; the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

      Or read up on the Treaty of Tripoli, ratified unanimously by the Senate and signed by President John Adams in 1797, which states “…The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

    • I think it’s worth noting here that the case where administrator and teacher led prayer was determined to be a violation of the establishment clause was Engel v. Vitale, and it had nothing to do with Muslims. Three of the five plaintiffs were Jewish, so I guess you could complain about Jews if you want. I mean, xenophobia and bigotry is xenophobia and bigotry, after all…

    • If we had officially sanctioned prayer in schools, which version of Christianity should we use? I ask this b/c I used to watch my family argue heatedly about Lutherans vs. Catholics (etc) — each thought the other was wrong. Which version of the Lord’s Prayer should be used? (Etc).

      Not having officially sanctioned prayer in schools has nothing to do with “the Muslim religion”. That idea comes from the Religious Right (which is NOT a religious group but rather is a political movement) who has no problem misleading you (lying) in order to get you to vote a certain way.

      Lastly, unknown to almost everyone, the ideals of Rousas Rushdoony have been incorporated into seminaries for decades now. Who was he? A theologian who didn’t like democracy and thought our government should be based on Mosaic Law, including the death penalty for adultery, bearing false witness, lying about one’s virginity, rape and losing one’s religion.

      • A crazy irony about the removing/bringing back institutional public prayer in public schools is it was CHRISTIANS that played a big part of getting it taken OUT of public schools.

        I remember how our school mornings (1950’s) began with the singing along with the national anthem, reciting the pledge of allegience, to the flag,and bowing our heads while a prayer was read over the loud speaker that was in every room.

        Groups of parents protested the prayer reading on one or both of two grounds.

        One was the fear of communism and totalitarianism prevalent at the time. Institutionalized prayer was prominent in the indoctrination of school children in the Communist countries, the USSR and “Red” China. And indeed, the school prayers I remember DID including praying for ask asking God to bless our nation and leaders and soldiers.

        The second was religious objection that the wording of the prayers may not be consistent with the parents’ beliefs, as there is so much variation even among Christian denominations. The specific one I remember was not using the name reference to praying in the name of Jesus, but rather to just “God.” If they included Jesus name, then the parents of any Jewish children objected.

    • And for Americans born here, who have fought for this country… where do we fall in your ideology? Not all Americans are Christian, many of us are Pagan, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindi, Jews.

      My beliefs honor the rights of others to be themselves, in fact I care for a child who is not mine who’s grandparents are very conservative christians; they insist on his attending church twice every week, put crosses on him, teach him verse etc…he thinks he can bring the dead back to life with water!… It is very uncomfortable. However, I believe in the right to freedom of religion so much that I allow this, keeping my own religion out of his view until he is older so there isn’t conflict for him, as I believe is right.
      My beliefs say no child of five should be attending religious instruction, and certainly not in an environment of exclusion; his family has chosen otherwise and I will stand by this, even as it hurts me on a near physical level. Should the fact that my beliefs say it’s wrong to indoctrinate young children extend to you and others? What would you do in this situation?
      His mother (they were homeless and I took them in to live with me) embraces the idea of this child learning other ways of belief. She, and all the other 6 members of my home, believe I should ignore the families decision… prevent his church attendance and mandate that whilst in my home he will practice with my family…. Is that the right view? If I were Christian would it be ok to strip the rights away from a Muslim or pagan simply because I happen to support them financially? Is that how freedom and altruism are practiced? And yet I know that if I go to his school and try to start a club for Pagans there would be an outcry immediately. How is it wrong for authority figures in school to be prevented from endorsing Christian prayers and doctrines, but perfectly ok to constrain those of other faiths? If Christians have the right of it, are so secure in their beliefs then why do so many feel it’s necessary to obscure every other belief? Is the faith not truth enough to stand the test of outside ideas?

    • You know, except for the many times that the founding fathers(many of whom were agnostic) said that the US was NOT founded as a Christian nation.

  • THIS WHOLE ARTICLE IS INACCURATE HONESTLY. THERE ARE MANY WHOM CLAIM CHRISTIANITY THAT ARE FAR FROM IT. WHEN ONE CAN DISPLAY A CROSS IN URINE AND CALL IT ART OR TEACH ISLAMIC PRAYERS AND CULTURES IN SCHOOLS TEXTBOOKS, YET ANOTHER IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPENLY SAY A PRAYER BEFORE A BALLGAME OR COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY AND USE CHRIST’S NAME? HOW CAN ONE EVEN RATIONALIZE THAT TRUE CHRISTIANS ARE NOT BEING BULLIED. THINK THE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE HERE ON WHAT TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS. NO ONE CAN CODONE HOMOSEXUALITY NOR BE PRO-CHOICE AND HONESTLY BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN BECAUSE BOTH ARE AGAINST THE TRUE WORD OF GOD.

    • Public prayer (which your god told you not to do) led by government officials (such as the principal or coach of a public school) are unconstitutional.

      The only place abortion is mentioned in the entire bible is instructions on how and when to do it.

      You guys are always yelling about obeying Jesus’ commands; how about feeding the poor, huh?

    • HEY YOU, YELLING. I think you missed the entire point. You are exactly why those of us that are NOT religionists, can’t stand your presence. Keep it to yourself, as your God told you to in the magical bible. It will be safe as a personal thing but shove it down my throat and expect a response.

    • Here we go again with the “No True Scotsman” fallacy. If a person identifies as a Christian, they are a Christian. Just because they don’t subscribe to your particular brand of Christianity doesn’t mean they aren’t a Christian.

      Who is stopping you from saying a prayer before a ball game or commencement ceremony? You’re free to do that if you please. You are not free to impose prayer on the rest of the crowd, and neither is the staff. You should practice what your Lord says and pray in private, not like the hypocrites who love to be seen praying in public. Doesn’t Jesus say they had their reward (men patting them on the back for their public prayers) ?

    • Buy a dictionary and look up the following words: inaccurate, bully (both as a noun and a verb), research. After that, pick up a copy of the Constitution and read it. Use the dictionary for those words that you might not recognize, like rights, equal and numerous others. After that, see if you can figure out what does and does not constitute credible evidence and a credible source.

      Good luck. You have a lot to learn.

    • Just a hint, the all-caps thing doesn’t work in the real world–it just makes you look like a moron. In addition to everything you wrote, of course.

    • We don’t need more of this far right, fundamentalist, pseudo-Christian screed. And you, sir—like many if not most if not all fundamentalists—need to learn to tell the truth!

      Tell us: Are you really a “true Christian?”

      P.S. Where does Jesus explicitly speak of homosexuality or abortion?

    • And people (or trolls) like you are exactly what this article is about. Thank you for pressing the writers point.

    • >WHEN ONE CAN DISPLAY A CROSS IN URINE AND CALL IT ART

      Yes, because of freedom.

      >TEACH ISLAMIC PRAYERS AND CULTURES IN SCHOOLS TEXTBOOKS

      Students learn *about* Islam because it is a major part of world history and culture. Nowhere in the United States are students in public schools being taught Islam as religious truth. If you think there is, please name the school.

      >YET ANOTHER IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPENLY SAY A PRAYER BEFORE A BALLGAME OR COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY

      Public schools are government funded and so are not allowed to endorse a particular religion, to be fair to people of all religions. You are still free to pray to yourself all you want, you just can’t use government funding.

      >NO ONE CAN CODONE HOMOSEXUALITY NOR BE PRO-CHOICE AND HONESTLY BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN

      That is one religious belief. Other people have different religious beliefs.

    • “THERE ARE MANY WHOM CLAIM CHRISTIANITY THAT ARE FAR FROM IT.”

      And just who gets to say who is a “REAL CHRISTIAN” and who isn’t? You? Is it your interpretation of the Bible that determines “real” Christianity? You may think their interpretation of the Bible is wrong, but I’d assume they’d say the same about your interpretation of it. So who gets to say who’s right and who is wrong?

      “WHEN ONE CAN DISPLAY A CROSS IN URINE AND CALL IT ART”

      But… They’re doing that in private institutions, not in public ones funded by the government. That’s the difference. You can say all the prayers you want in church buildings, standing on the street corner, or at Christians schools. You don’t get to demand that the government pay for it, which is basically what you’re doing.

      “TEACH ISLAMIC PRAYERS AND CULTURES IN SCHOOLS TEXTBOOKS”

      Where? Which schools? As Jeb Hagan stated, name some schools and provide evidence, otherwise admit you’re just making stuff up. Teaching ABOUT a culture is not teaching children to PRACTICE that culture. If you believe schools are teaching ABOUT Christian culture, then you’re completely ignorant about what is being taught in schools.

      ANOTHER IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPENLY SAY A PRAYER BEFORE A BALLGAME OR COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY

      Again… As Jeb pointed out, those are PUBLIC school events. They are funded by tax payer dollars and the Constitution states that the government will not establish an official religion. By allowing Christianity to be enshrined in public schools, they would be respecting the establishment of a religion, which is why it isn’t allowed. As yourself how you’d feel if a Muslim cleric got up on stage before every event at a public school and said an Islamic prayer. Would that make you feel comfortable? I’m guessing you and your friends would storm out in a rage.

      “HOW CAN ONE EVEN RATIONALIZE THAT TRUE CHRISTIANS ARE NOT BEING BULLIED. ”

      Because they’re not? Show me one place where laws are being made denying Christians the right to go to church, to pray, to help the homeless, to stand on the street corner condemning non-Christians to hell, to stand in front of Planned Parenthood facilities with posters depicting mutilated fetuses. Every time Christians have been taken to court trying to ban them from protesting in front of abortion clinics they’ve won. So every American that utilizes Planned Parenthood facilities has to walk through a hoard of Christian bullies waiving horrific images in their face.

      “THINK THE RESEARCH NEEDS TO BE DONE HERE ON WHAT TRUE CHRISTIANITY IS.”

      Again… How do you decide what is “TRUE” Christianity? Who gets to decide? Why do YOU get to claim YOUR version of Christianity is true, while that of others is not?

      “NO ONE CAN CODONE HOMOSEXUALITY NOR BE PRO-CHOICE AND HONESTLY BE A TRUE CHRISTIAN BECAUSE BOTH ARE AGAINST THE TRUE WORD OF GOD.”

      Who says? You? Again… What makes you the authority? Why do you get to cherry-pick verses that you like and discard those you don’t, while others can’t? Do you eat shellfish? Where mixed fabric? Do you deny women the right to speak in churches? Are you pro-slavery? Or do you discount those as being a product of the culture in which they were written? I wonder…

    • THERE ARE MANY WHOM CLAIM CHRISTIANITY THAT ARE FAR FROM IT.

      Here’s the flip side of that coin, though: Once you are going to claim that most people who claim membership in your religion are not actually part of your religion, you lose the power that comes with those numbers. You don’t get to claim that this is a Christian country, not really now or ever since I’m guessing many of the Founding Fathers and many of the residents of the US at the time were probably not the sort that meets your particular interpretation of the religion. So…why should the rest of us kowtow to YOUR minority religious views?

      WHEN ONE CAN DISPLAY A CROSS IN URINE

      Yes, amazingly we have freedom of speech in this country. That’s probably good for you, actually, since it means that you can blather on about your religious views as long as you’re not claiming that they represent the government’s view.

      OR TEACH ISLAMIC PRAYERS AND CULTURES IN SCHOOLS TEXTBOOKS

      Are they teaching the religion or teaching about the religion? The former is not okay and I would fuss. The latter is fine. I would get angry, actually, if my kids weren’t taught at least a little about cultures in predominantly Muslim areas, as such an omission would leave them uninformed about a large portion of the global population.

      YET ANOTHER IS NOT ALLOWED TO OPENLY SAY A PRAYER BEFORE A BALLGAME OR COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY AND USE CHRIST’S NAME?

      Students are allowed to gather of their own accord and do this, as long as they’re not hijacking school resources and taking advantage of the captive audience. If I were to hijack the PA system and start each game with a pronouncement that there is no god or a Muslim were to use the PA system to lead a Muslim prayer, I bet you’d be very, very upset. The prohibition is not on students’ ability to pray, the prohibition is on endorsement.

      As for who is Christian and who isn’t, I’ll let those of you who claim Christianity duke it out. Personally, I don’t care as long as you’re not infringing upon others, which it sounds very much like something you would like to do and continue doing.

  • Not against christians, just against making christianity the law of the land. Your religion does not belong in OUR government. Keep your mythological nonsense to yourself. It does NOT belong in a secular, pluralistic government.

    • LOL the LGBT “bullies” who demand YOU step out of their way, and stop imposing your religious beliefs on them?

    • LGBT Bullying would be if someone forced you to be gay, or forced you to marry someone of the same sex. Asking that people treat each other with basic human respect and tolerance is not bullying. Asking for freedom to be yourself and have everyone mind their own business is not bullying.

  • Welp, that’s a nice way to impose your extremist left wing beliefs! Mr. Benjamin Franklin 😊😄

    • You said exactly what I was thinking! I am so thankful to you, that I am not the only one to recognize this liberal garbage! Wish you were on my Facebook!
      Thankyou!

    • No, Dr. Corey didn’t force you to read his thoughtful commentary. If you have a valid counter-argument, I wonder why you fail to offer it.

    • How is saying “You have the right to practice your beliefs, but not to force everyone else to practice them” imposing extremist beliefs? Can you explain?

  • I love this article and here is why;
    1. my kids public school has bible club after school. led by an outside volunteer. prayer is allowed in school led by students not officials. homework can discuss religion if the child chooses, but it cannot be forced to. However when a teacher says during class time to my daughter’s friend that her religion is not REAL christianity (the child is mormon). This has crossed the line, no I did not tell on the teacher, or bring a lawsuit, I discussed with my kids why this crossed the line.
    2. I did the women’s march, the pro life march the following day has all these people who claim because I am liberal (not personally about me, but about liberal women) and did the women’s march I am directly against them, against stay at home moms ect…. frankly I think stay at home moms are great and am sick of the right wing media misrepresenting my beliefs.
    3. Religion has been used throughout history to manipulate people, we would be very wise to remember that.
    4. if we want to base laws on religion, be ready for the same to be used against you when your religion is no longer what is represented. You remember something about the creation of the King James Bible right?

  • As i observed before, how dismal it is to see Americans yearning for the same state mandated religious orthodoxy that their forebears fled to the New World to escape!

    • Some of them came here to CREATE that kind of orthodoxy. The Puritans, for example. (Irony of ironies: The Pilgrims’ churches evolved into the United Church of Christ, and the Puritans’ into the Unitarian Universalist Association.)

  • Good article, thanks for sharing. We do live in interesting times that is for sure. Our light can’t shine if we are angry, aggressive, and insensitive to the rights of others. Hmmmm I might be a progressive christian (gasp!!!!!)

    • It is sad that such traits now now tag us as “progressive” or otherwise outside the “mainstream” Christians.

  • Typical. A left-wing article on ‘religious bullies’ that fails to even mention the word ‘ISLAM’, by far the biggest religious bullies of the lot.

    As usual, the ignorant delusion of the left is only exceeded by their hypocrisy.

    • Please provide a list of all of the elected Muslim politicians and describe, specifically, what they have done to limit American religious freedom.

    • Do you think sexual acts between same-sex adults should be illegal, the way it was in some states until 2002? Many Christians used to support such laws.

      • Do YOU think sexual acts between same-sex adults should be punishable by stoning, or being thrown off the top of a tall building? Just like millions of MUSLIMS do?

  • Wow, I am sorry you think standing up for our basic rights and using the democratic process to advocate for transcendent truth constitutes “bullying.”

    Many Christians in this country are frankly Christians in name only, who are under the impression our religion is mainly about being nice and finding happiness and that doctrine cramps their style.

    I would add that, yes, we are in some places being prevented from feeding the poor. Have you not heard of people getting in trouble for breaking anti-homeless ordinances?

    • The issues in ordinances restricting and regulating the feeding of the homeless is not in any way a Christian vs The World matter. It is a matter of addressing problems the practice causes for citizens of that town or county. A major heavily populated city and county near me present the problems of providing unregulated food, shelter, and other needs of the homeless. The practice create places where the homeless congregate and hang out, not just at these places, but for many blocks around. They openly urinate and defecate in homeowners’ yards, around businesses, and in nearby parks. Many consume alcohol and drugs, harass people for handouts.
      Last year, a little boy on his way home from school was stabbed to death by a homeless man, for no reason.

    • IME, doctrine cramps the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to fulfill the Law, not impose a set of legalistic doctrines (which I have to surmise since you didn’t specify your flavor of doctrine). My relationship with Christ isn’t static because I need to grow & change. The Body of Christ has many members, and each with their own purpose. Parts will interpret the body differently according to their function. That doesn’t mean they’re “in name only” or that someone without the capability to “look on the heart” is in any position to judge them.

    • You really miss the times when you could beat gays up and burn them alive don’t you?

      “Many Christians in this country are frankly Christians in name only, who are under the impression our religion is mainly about being nice and finding happiness and that doctrine cramps their style.”

      Whereas people like you believe Christianity is about being an arsehole and having the correct cognitive formula.

      Honestly, how pathetic.

  • Respectfully- Who are the bullies, though? I mean, everybody could think someone is a bully if we have no details… Are you talking about the militant Army of God, abortion clinic killers, who are murderers? Or how about the old lady who scowls at me on Sunday morning because my shirts not all the way tucked in and I sat in ‘her’ pew? As a libertarian, the issue I have with this kind of article is it employs what I call left sentimentality, but never gets specific enough to convince me your bullies are the ‘real’ bullies, the ‘orthodox’ bullies. Maybe. But other bullies seem alive and well, like the ones who shut out poor people or look down their noses at Southern Baptists because they speak with a country accent.

    • There’s also extremist left-wing bullies too, particularly in the SJW crowd, who hurt anybody they they think isn’t ‘progressive’ enough for them (by doxing, harassment, and a lot of other things on and offline) and who are also Dominionsts wanting to impose their will over anybody and everybody, using the progressive causes of the day as a cover.

      • You need to research dominionists and what political leanings they have, they are as far away from the left as the sun from the middle of the universe

      • Ted Cruz is progressive? LOL, darlin, you might want to re-think that.
        Actually, Bobby, I think you know exactly what a “religious bully” is. If not, think about it for a while, and it will come to you.

    • Yeah that’s why people look down on Southern Baptists, it’s because of their “country accent” and nothing to do with their ignorance or bigotry. LOL

  • So the Christian left can lead the way by stopping its bullying and imposing it’s extremist view that killing babies is a religious and civil right and the extremist view that marriage can be redefined and that having accomplished those lunacies that those who continue to be orthodox Christians need to stand up and cheer or be called bigotted religious bullies. You are really missing the point. When you alter the biblical truths and then say we must use our skills to support gay marriage YOU are being the extremist bullies. When you demand that we call the laughter of innocents a human and civil right and tell us to shut up and not “Resist” the evil of it but accept it as tolerance then you are being the extremist bully. You are correct the secularists are not against all Christians. The a re only against those they cannot manipulate. If Podesta can manipulate it oyu into apostasy then you are not a bitter clinger and in fact imposing your views is fine, but if you happen to remember the truths about not killing the innocent or calling evil good then you are opposed. According to the left it is OK to impose your views if you are JIm Wallis or Al Sharpton or Joe Biden or Nancy Pelolsi or Bill Moyers. But if you are Archbishop Chaput or Paul Ryan or Mike Pence then using your faith in public life is bullying. What hypocrites. GIve me break., Stop calling killing the unborn an human and civil right and stop calling what is not marriage marriage then we can talk about whose bullying whom.

    • When you are forced into any of those things… rather than imposing yourself into what does not affect you personally… we can talk. Please let me know when your forced to marry a man, I will fight it as I would fight any forced marriage. Please tell me when your wife or daughter is forced to have an abortion of a child, I will fight that. When you or those you love are strapped down and forced to use birth control, I will defend you and just as soon as heterosexual marriage is outlawed, particularly if there are threats of violence to you and yours, I will be right there to fight for you. When the potus decides to deny entry into our country because your a Christian, I will be right in it. Until then, I will support your right to free speech even when I disagree with your stance.
      So far though…. christians are not being made to hide their views for fear of violence, your certainly allowed to procreate without forced abortions, no one mandates that you use abortion or contraception, only that it be available to those who wish to use it. No one has forced you to give up heterosexual marriage or infringed on it at all. However unconstitutional, the potus has publicly endorsed special treatment of christians in immigration, is intent on removing political restraints on churches, and turned a blind eye to the bad deeds of christians, and regrettably white nationalists.

      I think your safe.

    • Interesting take on bullying. So is the “Left” forcing women to have abortions? Is the left forcing men to marry men or women marry women? There is no forcing or bullying going on, only the attempts to “allow” people to make decisions for themselves and not have religious nutcakes force them to have babies or deny them to love whom they want to love. Now, on the other hand, the Religious Right has made it very clear that they wish to impose (that is force) a certain Biblical interpretation on Americans, to intact laws that constrain personal freedoms, levy punishments and place women once again under the control of White males. No thanks to your bullying!

    • No, you can believe what you want as long as it only effects you. You do not HAVE TO GET an abortion, but you have no right to say others can’t have one. You don’t have to enter into a gay marriage, but you have no right to prevent another from entering one. That is the problem. You’re beliefs only apply to you. You want them to apply to everyone. If a person is an atheist, why would it matter if your beliefs say gay marriage is a sin. He doesn’t believe in your religion. Why would that law apply to him? I don’t care what you believe. You can believe anything you want. Just leave the rest of us out of it. I don’t need your help to get to heaven.

    • Poor Peter. You missed the point entirely, darlin. You can be against all those things; you can preach, pontificate and yell about all you want. What you cannot do is force on others who do not agree with your religious beliefs to follow them. And yeah, we don’t want to hear all that pious, sanctimonious blathering from hypocritical politicians who claim to be christians, when none of them have ever, ever followed a single teaching of your Jesus.
      By the way, no one is forcing you to marry someone of the same sex; have an abortion; deny your so-called religion, or any of the other things you seem to believe you are so oppressed about. You really aren’t being bullied about any of these things; you are just mad because you can’t control those things in everyone else’s lives.

    • So me calling the bond made in a courthouse between me and my wife ‘a marriage’ is bullying you how, exactly?

      Me having had an abortion 29 years ago is bullying you how exactly?

      See, that’s where you are so very very very wrong. My private life has no bearing on yours. You don’t have to agree on how I live and love, nor do I have to agree with how you live and love. But we can agree on that each of us has the right to do it according to your own morals, values, principles and beliefs. What we can not agree on is that your morals, values, principles and beliefs are more important than mine and that therefore you get to determine that the way I want to live is not ok.

      That is the difference between you and me. You want me to live according to your rules. But I don’t want you to live according to mine. That makes you the bully, not me.

    • What about the Biblical truth of caring for the less fortunate, the widow, and the fatherless? What about the Biblical truth of accepting refugees? What about the Biblical truth of what you do for the least of these, you do for Me? Those are Biblical truths as well. However, Christians like you just seem to espouse the Biblical truths that will help you control others or deny rights to others. If you don’t like abortions (which have gone down) make sure birth control is affordable and available. As far as gay marriage goes, who cares? It isn’t your place to tell others who they can love.

    • Don’t believe in abortion? Don’t have one. Don’t believe in gay marriage, don’t marry a gay person. Otherwise, what other people do is really none of your business.

      • Minor problem to your logic – marriage is by nature a public act in which society recognizes a relationship, You can do whatever you want with whomever you want between adults but don’t redefine marriage to make me second it as something good. Like same sex relations do whatever you want but don;t make me stand up and cheer or call it equivalent to marriage. See it is a private decision whom to marry but it is inherently a public act. So your statement fails. As for abortion that would be fine except it includes another human being so your statement is analogous too don’t like murder don;t kill someone but don;t stop anyone from doing it, don;t like rape, don’t do it, but let me do it. DOn;t like kidnapping don;t do it but stay out of it if I want to. Once again the left fails because it fails to understand basic logic.

  • I don’t know if this has been already pointed out—I’m not about to comb through more than 1900 comments—but there are actually three Jewish Supreme Court justices: Breyer, Ginsburg, and Kagan.

  • Well stated Benjamin Corey. Cramming one’s own beliefs down anyone else’s throat will inevitably lead to a negative reaction regardless of how well intended the messenger or the purity of the message. My opinion here – it seems that the evangelical movement especially some TV personalities have created an impression of Christianity as a hateful exclusive club of some type. Jesus could have forced everyone to believe in him if you truly believe in him and therefore understand the power he had at his disposal. But he did not. He was the most powerful but yet he was the servant to all of us. He led by example not by condemnation or forced subjugation. Jesus showed that if you want to lead and save the sinners of the world you must serve not subjugate.

  • I’ve been reading this argument about what is a “true Christian” and an atheist, it all sounds incredibly stupid. Like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, or what is “art,” or if Peter Pan could really fly. Quoting the Bible is the classic circlular argument. I will never understand how people can use the beliefs of goatherders who didn’t even know that the world existed beyond the Middle East as a moral guide. Don’t bother telling me I will go to hell; that doesn’t exist either. Morality exists separate of religion, and the most moral thing one can do in life is be good to other humans.

  • Thank-you, Mr. Corey. Some folks suppose *being more than a bit paranoid* that everyone else is “out to get them,” or the Christian religion. No. But we DO want to make sure that the hypocritical, Pharisee, religious fanatics that spew the kind of garbage that they do know that we are on to their little game, and they are busted in their lies and hypocrisies. God hae mercy on your sick souls, for you did what you did out of greed for attention and lust for power. SHAME on you!

  • The Supreme Court currently consists of 5 Christian (all of whom are Catholic Christians, btw) and 3 Jewish judges (Kagen, Ginsburg, Breyer).

  • By the logic of this post, Europe in the 1500’s wasn’t hostile against early Anabaptists, either. After all, far more than 83% or 91.8% of Europeans were Christians according to the definition you’ve accepted in this post. Therefore, those Christian Europeans (whether Catholic or Protestant) could certainly not have been hostile against Anabaptist Christians! Obviously, the Anabaptists must have been religious bullies.

    A more accurate analysis: There are indeed religious bullies in America–both Christian and otherwise. And there is indeed growing hostility from many quarters against true Christians. Both realities are cause for concern, and neither reality can explain away the other.

  • The basic problem is that we cannot run a business without being forced to do things that are a violation or religious beliefs. Medical professionals are expected to provide transgender (sex change) operations, the morning after pill and in some cases are expected to participate in an abortion. Why would people want to sue a florist who won’t serve a same-sex wedding, a baker who won’t make a cake for a gay wedding, a musician who won’t serve at a gay wedding when there are so many other business people who would be glad to provide their services?

    There is no compelling reason to force those of who believe those things are wrong when there are so many other business people who would be happy to provide those services.

    This is a bait and switch “No one is trying to stop you from being a Christian. The country is not growing hostile towards Christians. It’s just growing hostile towards extremist, religious bullies, who are trying to hijack the nation and force everyone to live under their own set of morals and ethics.”

    It is actually the opposite: the country is not willing to let us work and live in society as business people if we don’t participate in what we believe is sin. Christian educational institutions who are teaching Christian values should not be forced to hire people who violate those moral values. There are plenty of other places they can work, A Catholic school is entitled to have a morality clause such that if an employee violates Catholic beliefs they can be terminated. You define evangelicals and fundamentalists as “extremists” as a disparaging term and by doing so you are painting us as unreasonable and a threat to others (we use the term extremist to identify those who are violent).

    The truth is there is no such thing as an actual Christian church that is “LGBT affirming”, abortion affirming, sex outside male-female marriage affirming or any of these crazy examples of cognitive dissonance such as transgenderism. They may self label as Christians but they don’t practice Christianity and obey Jesus. Those folks are the apostate chaff that Jesus was talking about.

    It is really quite disgusting: these “so called churches” teach so many things that scripture prohibits and they tickle the ears of people to tell them what they want to hear. They call abortion, homosexuality “good” (just like the Bible says they would) and they call those of us who try to obey “evil and hateful”

    You have it backwards

  • “If our friends on the religious right think we’re growing hostile, it’s because it’s true. But no, it’s not because we’re growing hostile towards the practice of our own religion, or hostile towards religious liberty.
    We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.”

    This is a perfect description of the “lawlessness” that is also pointed out throughout the bible. People who disobey the Commandments today do not want to be told that they are doing so. They want to be told their behavior is not lawless and that what they do is perfectly ok. But it is not. Those that point this aberrant behavior out are supposedly the problem. You can re-interpret the Commandments as often as you like but it will not change their meaning. They have been in force since the foundation of the world and will continue forever. They are not ambiguous and not hard to understand. For example, if the world would suddenly decide to keep just one commandment, say not to lie anymore, then our world would be dramatically better in an instant. But it won’t. Today fewer people are willing to stand up and point out bad behavior because they are labeled “racist, homophobic, zenophobic” and worse (sound familiar). Others who teach people to disregard the Commandments of God have lost their perspective just as the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. Everyone in the “greatest country on God’s green earth” is free to live their life as they please because others have sacrificed for that freedom and this includes commentary that disagrees with those who would teach error.

  • Well said. I hope this will help push the dialogue in regard to the separation of church and state which too many Christians don’t understand.

  • It’s good to see a website run by smart Christians. They seem to be such a tiny minority compared with all the dumb Christians.

  • Exactly. Worst thing is it is tarring all Christians. Perception of Christians as loving, caring people, turning to Christians as hating, angry people. Sad.

  • “We’re just growing hostile towards hypocrites and religious bullies who aren’t content to just live their lives the way they please, but who instead seek to impose their extremist beliefs on the rest of us.”

    Huh. So what are your opinions on muslims?

  • Yet up to five years ago, “right-wing Christians” like Hillary and Obama believed gay marriage was against Biblical doctrine. While I personally am for gay marriage, I am aware of many Christians who are attacked by the left for simply expressing dissent.

  • Absolutely we do have a problem with religious bullies in this country, and these bullies exist in the Christian faiths, and the Jewish faiths, and in all the religious faiths. Absolutely no religion is filled with 100% perfect people, so no religion is “God’s only chosen people.” I do so hope we soon end the seemingly religious, actual war profiteering banker’s, wars soon.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hfEBupAeo4

  • Nicely written and absolutely correct. Christmas and Easter would recede into private and Church observation but that’s all this Atheist is hostile about. If one is acting in a humanitarian sense, and doesn’t push their nonsense on me, then I really don’t care what their thoughts on God are. Should they bring them up they’d better be prepared to hear my reasons for why their thoughts are silly.

  • If you have a public business, holding out that you do business with the public, you cannot deny services to someone based simply on your interpretation of the Bible. This is a well-established point of law (public accommodation) that dates back hundreds of years. If you don’t want to serve the whole public, don’t have a public business; work as a private club or by subscription only. But if you are going to take advantage of the public roads, utiltities, etc., then you will serve the public equally and without prejudice, or you will suffer the legal penalties associated with breaking the law. Religious belief is not an excuse to break the law.

  • Nice life you’ve got going there, apparently, but If you want to experience the heavy hand of government on the rights of religious free speech, try working in the military, or in academia, or in public education or in the federal government. Military chaplains, especially evangelicals and Catholics (who actually do represent the majority culture of soldiers) are now constantly looking over their shoulders for fear of being accused of prejudice or religious “hate speech.” For a glimpse of the future, try being a conspicuous Christian professor on a college campus. It’s way past time to shelve the idiotic notion that “ruling class” Christians are in charge of our culture and its institutions. What monastery have you been sequestered in for the past 50 years?

  • So a business saying I don’t want to participate in a ceremony that , at least to my reading, the Bible unambiguously states is sinful is imposing my beliefs on someone else? That is bullying? From my perspective the bullying is coming from those who seek to use the force of Government to make someone violate there conscience in an effort to force everyone to accept their belief that Homosexual marriage is normal and good. Lets face it that is what is going on here. The effort is to impose on everyone the belief that homosexuality is normal. To get the holdouts to disregard their belief that Homosexual conduct is a sin. That may not be hostility to Christianity in general but is certainly hostility towards traditional Christianity.

  • So in other words America isn’t hostile towards Christians it is just that our intolerance has been exposed. Look I am not in favor of abortions generally, but I am willing to let God be the judge and not force my beliefs on others.

    Rather than churches and religions saying you have to follow my rules to be a Christian, we should create an environment where people want to be Christians.

  • Benjamin, you have to realize that of that 83% or 91% you quote about the leaders of this country, and I really hate to sound like I’m defending the conservatives because I’m not a conservative, but you realize that many of those people are cin oh, or Christian in name only. And that would be true regardless of what definition you use of a Christian. The question for you is, and it’d be great if you could address this, but why are so many young people – the Millennials and even the 30-somethings attracted to these churches that are popping up here and there that are basically conservative Baptist Churches (I give you Mars Hill in Seattle as one example even though the pastor fell from grace before that happened that church had several thousand members at three or four locations in a very liberal City) quite conservative Theology, and these are the places that are holding steady or even growing, good sized churches with Progressive theology are few in number and those that exist are not growing.

  • Religion is mythology, just like Zeus, just like L. Ron Hubbard’s nonsense. Christianity is not supposed to be represented in or by government. Add the fact that morality and equality, (e.g., same-sex marriage), issues are moving forward in spite of the blow-back from religious dogma, and you have a group of people who feel they aren’t getting their due respect, on the pedestal on which they place themselves in society.

    It’s okay to be an atheist. There are approximately 56 million atheists in the U.S. today. 56 million people who don’t want Ted Cruz’s Bible thumping, and who do want religion OUT of government. We need to start declaring ourselves politely and consistently. It’s okay. You can be a good, moral, happy person and be an atheist.

    • I’d like to see supporting documentation on that 56 million. It would be nice if it were true, but Other != atheist.

  • There is some truth to the notion that Christians exaggerate the level of hostility towards Christianity. But at the same time, the Christians that are hated are not simply the bullies, but also those who simply want to live consistent with their own ethics without forcing themselves onto others. While one can debate the merits and levels of non-discrimination laws, much of the current conflict revolves around LGBT rights. When people can not exercise their own personal conscience when it comes to matter of marriage in some states, then there is an encroachment onto the lifestyle of Christians. When a bill was being brought up in California that would place restrictions of religious exemptions to private Christian universities (before it rescinded after controversy), that is the case of the lawmakers becoming potential bullies. When North Carolina creates one (bad) law that overturns a city law that would institute public places with a particular way of doing thing, and then other states along with businesses boycott.

    But moving away from LGBT rights, when religious organizations have had to fight in the courts for the right to exemptions from laws that mandate support for birth control/abortion, then you have a case of force by the other side.

    And when there is a major groundswell for revoking religious tax exempt status to churches because it is presumed the majority of them are simply profit making schemes, or after the Obergfell decision, it was talked in some op-eds as an option to keep churches in line, Christian expression is genuinely becoming a victim at times.

    Whatever merits or demerits of non-discrimination and freedom there are, the only difference between a righteous force and a bully is whether you agree with the goals that the force and threats are used for. But in these instances, it is not Christians who are the *only* ones trying to force themselves on others.

    The statistical numbers on Christians in America is also misleading, because Christianity in America is more frequently affiliation rather than about theological beliefs and behavior. But a particular brand of Christian praxis is being threatened.

    This isn’t to say that Christianity is being severely persecuted; it simply isn’t. But it is forgetful at best, disingenious at worst to suggest it is only “Christian bullies” that are being targeted. There is a cultural war in the US to which one side (The so-called moral majority) was the main aggressor yes, but the other sides has become increasingly hostile in the media and culture of the years. Perhaps one might say that some Christians are victims of the stereotypes due to the bullying Christians, but

  • The government of the U.S. is trying to turn everything upside down in America. There is not a shred of truth left to be read or viewed within the sham of news print. Religion is being targeted along with women and blacks and freedoms and basic common sense. It is all a deliberate manipulation of the masses to cause division and chaos. There is nothing good left about America because the bad have taken over control and they are most malevolent of all.

  • I’ve been saying. Keep your beliefs out of government and it’s your business. So don’t get me wrong, but I have to dispute one point.

    The Founders (here, the 7 or 8 men most responsible for the content of the DoI and the Constitution) were emphatically not Christians, and the United States is emphatically not a Christian nation and never was.

    “The founders of our nation were nearly all Infidels, and that of the presidents who had thus far been elected [Washington; Adams; Jefferson; Madison; Monroe; Adams; Jackson] not a one had professed a belief in Christianity….
    “Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism.”

    — The Reverend Doctor Bird Wilson, an Episcopal minister in Albany, New York, in a sermon preached in October, 1831, first sentence quoted in John E Remsberg, Six Historic Americans, second sentence quoted in Paul F Boller, George Washington & Religion, pp. 14-15

    The Founders were Enlightenment Rationalists and dilettante scientists, weak Deists, some. Not Christians.

    That said, an 85% demographic that gets 20 billion per year from the office of faith-based initiatives has no business considering itself persecuted. If you can’t float your ideas with that kind of head-start, you probably need better ideas.

    Edit: BTW, the quote originated from Positive Atheism’s Big List of Quotations, no longer available at the same source. Would love to find it still live http://www.thinkatheist.com/forum/topics/1982180:Topic:478

  • When I see these megachurch millionaire preachers gaming the system for their nontaxed profits…. I get nauseated with the whole syndicated business of religion!

  • You implicitly compared Christian extremists to Moslem extremists when you wrote: “…what the majority of citizens (Christians citizens, mind you) are
    growing increasingly hostile towards, are fringe Christian extremists
    who are trying to institute their own version of sharia law that
    infringes on the rights and liberties of the rest of us.”
    You have obviously never learned much about Sharia law if you could make such a comparison. The difference is stark and supremely important. Christian extremists might give you a headache, but Moslems following sharia law will literally slice your head off, and they will quote the Koran and Muhammad while doing it. Talk about religious bullies!

  • Hi, Benjamin. I’m a new reader of your blog; this article was linked by a friend on Facebook.

    I just want to say “thank you” for this column. I’m an ordained minister who calls myself “a follower of Jesus’ teachings” rather than Christian … because, frankly, I don’t want to be associated with those who have co-opted that word and made it into the ‘Who Would Jesus Hate’ club.

    I appreciate your perspective, and will be a regular reader from now on.

  • Bullying Christians is not a surprise.
    When I was in middle school I left the church I was raised in; a Seventh Day Adventist and started to search for where I felt more religion more me I suppose would be the best way to say it. I went to six or seven churches of different denominations. The last straw for Christianity was Methodist, I stood up in the middle of the sermon because they started calling SDA a cult, I stopped him and said they are not an occult I was raised in that church and know that what you are saying isn’t true. I was told to “sit down be quiet and they’d talk to me afterwords.” I left and stopped going to anything christian, if Christians of different denominations can’t get along and let each follow how they believe how can it be expected that they would accept any other religious group. A vast majority of Christians want to be right by all means, prove others wrong and play a victim.
    I have met many nice, wonderful and real Christians but their numbers don’t over ride the bullies.
    Many times people can’t understand my objection even when I give many valid points and then start calling me names and preaching at me or in one case I was exercised online for a comment that this country isn’t a christian nation they didn’t like that and started to exercise me. One big thing people forget about freedom, while it goes for everyone it doesn’t shield us from the consequences. So when we stand up to these bullies they are going to outcry that they are the victims that they are being persecuted and their rights being taken away. Sadly I don’t think there is much that can be done about it it’s sad but as long as there is discord in their own religion about the different denominations there will always be the outcry that they are being persecuted. It’s all a political and power play. Makes me very sad.

  • Incorrect on Lincoln: his writings pretty much show he was a Christian or at the least a Deist and someone who had paid attention in Bible studies. However, his disdain for bullies and blowhards is evident, too.

  • As always, lurking in this thread are people who hold a litmus test of what they consider a “Christian,” and it is almost always the “confessional faith” brand that comes with fundamentalist baggage.

  • The problem isn’t standing up to religious bullies. The problem is that the forces of radical secularization – which by the way INCLUDES a lot of modern Protestants – are defining and redefining “religious bullying” more and more widely and targeting the label at more and more strains of religion than ever before.

  • Do you have anything nice to say about Christians, or is it all “how evil thou art” rants?

    I wonder, if God hates it when people are judgemental against those who don’t serve God, what does God think of people who are judgemental against those that do serve God, or at least strive too?

    I realize that you think you’re the righteous one, judging all other Christians in righteous wisdom, but the reality is, you’re not conforming yourself to Christ. You’re conforming your Christianity to today’s liberalism.

    Your question is not, “What does God think about this? I shall search the scriptures, seek out Christ for wisdom, and then conform my opinions thusly.”

    No, instead your question is, “How does Christ agree with me, and those things I have already decided to believe, those things I have been taught to believe?”

    The very first hint that you’re wrong should have come from the fact that you’re working for an entity that doesn’t allow you the freedom to post things antithesis to today’s ideological left, as if God’s will conforms to ideology, much less one that so predictably stands in defiance of His Word.

    If you actually looked at what Christians believe about these different things instead of blindly judging them for your paycheck, you’d realize that our stance is one of supporting freedom and our First Amendment rights.

    You know it’s crazy when you can claim to be Christian, and are unable to look at those who are Christian from a more objective standpoint. It’s like you claim to be one of the Christian family, but still look at them as though you’re an outsider.

    For one thing, homosexual marriage was already allowable under the law before Obama passed his executive order and before SCOTUS ruled on the matter. It just wasn’t termed, “marriage.” But nobody could have prevented a homosexual couple from calling it a marriage and even drawing up contracts that stated their mutual living arrangement and what would happen to their stuff in the event that one of them passes away or they decide to move away from each other.

    But when that union is deemed marriage by the law, you then face the situation where you are forcing Christians to either violate their conscience before God or honor God by breaking the law. Do you propose to dictate to other Christians what is and is not defiance to God, and then support legal ramifications if by practice they do not agree with your opinion? I realize you think you have a handle on the appropriate way to interpret the Bible, but many Christians don’t agree with your personal interpretation, and you don’t have a right force them by law to accept your interpretation. And when you violate their First Amendment rights to keep a clear conscience before their God by imposing the penalty of law when they do so, that is by definition persecution.

    So, when Kim Davis decides to honor her God and not sign those homosexual marriage papers, what right does the state have to tell her that she is wrong, that it’s not sinful in her God’s eyes to put her signature there? Isn’t that between her and God? Isn’t it God who should be left to judge that. Yet, she is jailed?

    Now, as for the persecution of Christians. When a Christian believes abortion to be murder, and you force them, by law, to provide a means to commit that murder, I realize that by you interpretation of “thou shalt not commit murder,” there’s nothing wrong with that, but most Christians tend to believe that if you kill a human being who is innocent, that their God believes that to be murder.

    When Christians declare publicly that they will not support homosexual marriage, and they are fined with such a stiff penalty that it would render them destitute without help, simply because they said it publicly, not because they actually refused, they just said that they would. That is persecution. Jailing someone because they refuse to put their name approving an abomination before their God, that is persecution. And if you think that’s okay, then you clearly don’t understand why the U.S. ever even came to exist in the first place. You clearly don’t understand what drove so many to fight so hard for their independence.

    You see, it’s always the non-violent persecutions that happen before the violent persecutions. But make no mistake, it is still persecution.

    You should open your eyes. Many Christians had the same cold-hearted calloused attitude towards others that you have right now towards other Christians shortly before Hitler took over and started persecuting, first with non-violent violations of rights, then with slander and accusations, like you’re doing now, and then with violence. And Hitler was not content with just persecuting the Jews. Christians became violently persecuted as well . . . that is unless they renounced their faith by their actions following Mine Kampf as their Bible.

    God gave us this free nation of the U.S. for a reason. God ensured that it formed under God-fearing people for a reason.

    It’s because God wants us Christians to have a freedom we have never ever had before, the right to influence our government towards the will of God. And when you fight against that, you might as well live under a king because you effectively make it the same. In your world, it’s as though God never even gave us this level of power and influence over a nation that we could directly influence it for the better, collectively.

    If we don’t use this freedom that God has given us to directly affect our nation towards the will of Christ Jesus, then what in the world was even the point of giving us such power?

    Yeah, the Puritans, were the first in human history to find a workable lasting freedom.

    And in the midst of our rejection of Christ, not even 60 years from our sexual immorality revolution, and here we stand on the precipice of losing most all of our individual liberties, our economic liberties, our economy stands on the edge of collapse with every economic swing. You and so many like you can’t even comprehend how that same power that seeks to deprive Christians of their right to a clean conscience before God will one day turn on you and those that think like you as well.

  • I was one of these Christians you speak of. I’m happy to say that I am not anymore. After attending many different Christian churches. And finding faults in all of them. The “clicky” groups. The message that we somehow own this country of ours. But for many years I bought that. With much soul searching. I’ve seen the error. I think many Christians have taken it to extremes when we are taught to spread the Gospel. It did not say we were to push. shove and force others to have to live the way we chose to. Remember we were born with free will. It’s taken me 33 yrs to get to this point. But I am at peace with it. I no longer look at the government of our country to be obligated to make laws according to my faith. I get now what it means to have separation of Church and State. It makes life so much easier and peaceful. I still pray for unbelievers. And pray for our Country. And when God presents a place to share his word I will. I have found others are much more responsive when we let God lead us to do so. And not chasing others down like it’s our job to meet some sort of quota. It’s a freedom to enjoy my life without always feeling I’m doing something wrong and alienating others around me. And I’ve actually found that people don’t feel so threatened when they learn I am a Christian. They ask more questions about my faith. As my father always taught me. It is actions that speak louder than words.

  • Books from BLC:

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