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Christian Persecution May 8, 2011

Posted by jetson in Personal.
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5 comments

Are Christians being “persecuted” around the world? Or maybe in one part of the world, like the U.S.? That’s what some Christians would have us believe. For example, one friend told me that not allowing the Ten Commandments to be hung in a U.S. Courthouse is active “persecution” or restriction of religious freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Removing prayer from public schools is another restriction on religious freedoms. But they are completely missing the point of religious freedom.

There is simply no rule or law that say’s a person cannot pray in a public school. No one in the government is telling people that they are not allowed to practice their religion in a courthouse. What is actually going on, is the removal of government endorsement of a specific religion. That’s why the Ten Commandments cannot be hung in a government courthouse. That’s why public schools, funded by tax paying citizens, cannot endorse a specific religion, by opening school each day with a Christian prayer.

To be sure, there is evidence through recent surveys that people are leaving their religions at a faster rate than in the past. Non-belief is growing, and switching denominations is more popular as well. Younger people are not attending church at the same rate as in the past as well. But I see that as a reflection of personal decisions and values from people who don’t seem to have a need to be told by a church, exactly how they should be living their lives. It may also be the result of the Catholic Priest pedophile scandal, as well as the 9/11 bombings, and resulting ten year “war on terror”, which seems laced with religious ideology as a basis for hate.

One common reply on this issue is that the United States was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and morals. That the founding fathers were Christians, and even held religious services in the Capitol Building long ago. But I say that doesn’t really matter. If we want to stay true to the spirit of this country, we must never allow a specific religion to be endorsed by our government, or in any way forced upon citizens who are not Christian. It makes no difference how many people in this country claim to be Christian. If the founding fathers wanted this to be a “Christian Nation”, they would have explicitly stated so, and they would not have provided a platform where religious freedom was a central idea.

Religion does not make a person better, or morally superior, to others. That takes personal responsibility, courage, and the willingness to accept that we each have a right to be here, and to enjoy our time on this planet without the fear of being looked down upon by someone who claims a moral high ground. This country is great because it allows everyone to believe, worship, and pray to whatever idol they so choose. We’re even allowed to invent a religion if we so need to. It’s time that those Christians who think they are being persecuted, to look in the mirror, and ask themselves what it really means to be a Christian, and stop whining about persecution. Not to mention there are 400,000 Christian churches dotting the United States that prove otherwise!