Here’s something you probably won’t hear at your church this week: you are NOT being persecuted (Christians who are genuinely being persecuted normally don’t whine about it…).
Around the world, conservative Christians love to think of themselves as being a persecuted minority. In some countries, of course, they are. But in so-called “Christian” countries, like the ones my family and extended family live in (America, Canada, United Kingdom and South Africa), conservative Christians love to feel persecuted, silenced and outcast. They’re not really – not in countries with freedom of speech and religion. Rachel Held Evans writes eloquently about this topic on her blog this week, specifically referencing recent issues in the USA. It’s a great read – on her blog, or an extract below.
For the sake of the gospel, drop the persecution complex
July 15, 2015 by Rachel Held Evans
Did you hear about the pastor who was arrested for not marrying a same-sex couple? What about the publisher that got sued for refusing to censor anti-gay verses from the Bible?
Both of these stories have been exposed as fakes of course, but that didn’t keep hundreds of thousands of conservative Christians from sharing them online this week. When I pointed out to a friend that the story he had just shared on social media wasn’t true, he replied, “well it might as well be. Christians in this country are under attack.”
It has become a familiar refrain. We hear it every Christmas when an unsuspecting store clerk wishes the wrong Christian “happy holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” We hear it whenever a high school drops its traditional pre-football game prayer out of respect for those students who may be Jewish or Muslim or non-religious. An entire industry of books and films has blossomed in the red soil of the American Christian persecution complex, with the first “Gods’ Not Dead” installment caricaturing and vilifying atheists and the second set to expose liberal efforts to “expel God from the classroom once and for all.”