Christian Persecution

Jason at the Wild Hunt has an interesting piece in which he focuses on the curious idea that so many Christians have that they are a persecuted minority fighting for survival. (It is a fairly lengthy post, and I invite you to read it here.)

Jason asks the question of where this persecution complex comes from, and never really comes to an answer, apparently dismissing it as paranoia and self-righteousness, or something. I think this does a bit of a disservice to Christianity, and the way that pagans think about and conceptualize Christianity.

Which leads me to two points:

1) Christianity is very frequently portrayed in a negative fashion in the popular media, despite its dominance in the culture at large. Aside from Seventh Heaven, how many popular television shows have portrayed Christians in any way other than stuffy kill-joys, self-righteous pricks, ignorant buffoons, or in the case of so many cop drama shows, vicious hypocritical predators? Seriously, think about how uptight Wiccans and other pagans get about how we are represented in the media. Imagine that you are a devout Christian and watching a normal prime-time line-up. Would those types of portrayal bother you? Might they make you feel like there were forces working against your faith?

2) Christianity is not a singular religion. As one of my Religious Studies professors so frequently said, “It should be Christianities, not Christianity.” There are thousands of sects of Christianity out there. And keeping in mind that Christianity does teach that it is the One True faith, many of those sects often regard the differences between them and other sects to be critical enough that they do not see members of the other sects as “True Christians.” So while Christianity is by far the dominant religion in the US, a particular sect may be an extreme minority, and may not consider other Christians to be “real” Christians (whatever that means), or even worse, may consider them to be “false” Christians who have been deceived by the Devil or whatever and are therefore working against them. And since those other sects may feel the same way about them, they just might be working against them …

So obviously Christianity is by far the dominant religion. But it shouldn’t be too far of a stretch to figure out why some Christian groups might cling to a narrative of persecution. Too fer pagans are willing to do what they demand of Christians, and look at the world from their perspective a bit.

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One response to “Christian Persecution

  1. You know, I had wondered about this for a while. I even brought this subject up with a friend of mine: why, despite there being about 2 billion Christians, they nevertheless feel that they’re victims. I might agree with Jason from ‘The Wild Hunt’ however the points you make are noteworthy especially concerning the Media Gods and the role they play in mass perception and whatnot. Not to mention the fact that Christians their own loonies to deal with like that group in Alaska that used baneful prayer on some Wiccan and were gloating of their results (and her misfortunes). I don’t think a good many Christians would agree with their methods or their entire disposition. That’s just one example of things that continuously crop up in various denominations of the Christian faith so, yea, they don’t always have it easy. In any case, good post. Blessings.

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