Are American Christians Persecuted?
There are a lot of Christians in America right now who think they are being persecuted for their faith. I want to ask the question, are they really? Is this persecution real or merely perceived?
Same-sex marriage has turned up the volume on persecution talk.
This sort of talk has been around for awhile, but I have started hearing a lot more of it recently. I think it has become especially prominent following the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage.
Whether you think this was a good idea or not, I want to ask the question of Christians, “In what way does the right to marry for same-sex couples equal persecution for your faith?” Does your faith require forcing everyone around you to act like you? If so, you might want to rethink what you believe, because forcing others to live like you is not Christianity.
Some argue that the Supreme Court’s decision has laid the groundwork for future persecution, because now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land, pastors refusing to marry same-sex couples will be subject to legal problems.
This argument is a little better, but really, I think it is misguided. The reason anyone might even want to give Christians a hard time in the first place is because we have mistreated them. Christians have demonized members of the LGBT community for a long time, and it’s no wonder some of them don’t like us.
We should remember that there is a difference between recognizing something as being outside of the way God wants us to live and attacking/shaming someone for it (I explain this further here). We should also remember that Jesus spent most of his time with prostitutes, sinners, and tax-collectors. The more someone was living outside God’s will, the more he loved them. In contrast, the more we think someone is living outside God’s will, the more we attack them. See the difference?
The most that we can say is happening now is that we are losing our favored status.
American Christians have had it pretty good for a long time - especially when it comes to money. Perhaps, more than anyone else, we benefit from non-profits being tax-exempt. But, do we deserve this? Should churches be tax-exempt? Even if they were to lose their tax-exempt status, what has really happened except a return to churches being just like ever other business? (Whether a church should be a business at all is a whole other issue).
If we compare how we are faring as Christians in America to how Christians are doing in other countries right now, I don’t think we have anything to complain about. There are places right now where Christians are being killed for their faith. Are we really going to cry about a slightly higher tax burden (i.e. equal to everyone else)?
Honestly, the way Christians are acting reminds me of a spoiled child who throws a fit because he doesn’t get his way. If you think about it, we’re kind of acting like Dudley from the Harry Potter series who throws a fit because he doesn’t get as many presents on his birthday as the previous year.
I really think American Christians need to stop whining so much. We have it better than just about everyone else in the world (and instead of complaining that we don’t have more, perhaps we should think about how we can help others). If this is what you think persecution is, then frankly you need to man up! - or, if the case may be, woman up!