When Did "Christian" Become Pejorative

When did “Christian” become a pejorative? When did the label “Christian” become an insult?

When people refer to President G.W. Bush as a “Christian” they seem to suggest he is narrow-minded and solicits advise from Jesus and not from C. Powell, C. Rice, D. Rumsfield, D. Cheney, A. Greenspan, etc. When a politician - at least an American politician - is called a Christian, it means that he or she is anti-Evolution, anti-Science, anti-Jew, anti-Arab. In a similar manner, when a scientist is called a “Christian” it means he or she clings to the Bible, ignores the scientific method, and can not accept any things that conflicts with Bishop Usher.

Well, I think it started around 40 AD, before the conversion of Constantine…

How many elected American officials can you find who don’t voluntarily apply that perjorative lable to themselves come election time? Double points for ones who don’t substitute “Jew”.

Actually, I don’t think anybody should call Greenspan a “Christian” since he’s Jewish.

That said, you ask a valid question because that is how a lot of people, myself included, often use it these days. I’ll try to explain why I think it is, but I can’t speak for anyone else.

In addition to all the stuff through the ages that have been the result of narrow minded, often atrocious oppression of other groups by the church, in the 1950’s a group was formed with the intent of infiltrating the highest levels of power, to eventually dominate politics with their bizarre brand of Christian ethics. There happens to be an article in last month’s issue of Harper’s about this group, if you want to read up on it. Anyway, this group hides what they do, telling members and associates not to talk about what they do. They claim any media attention will disrupt “God’s Plan.” These are fundamentalists–they have “no denomination” and the only thing they preach is Jesus and their agenda.

Anyway, the plan has been successful, which is why you have people like John Ashcroft, a man who has twice annoited himself in a ceremony that he believes demonstrates the blessing of God, “like King David,” upon being elected. He is a rabid anti-abortionist and a nortarious civil rights offender. There are a hundred like him in the adminstration, Bush included, all members of this group and its agenda. Their numbers have been increasing since the 1950’s, and as a result, we have a lot of mouthy, controlling fundi freaks shouting down anyone who might have a more moderate stance of faith. We simply don’t hear from moderate Christians anymore, between the televangelists (who are all friends with the Washington Christian group) and the fundi politicians. It’s sort of like how all Europe is able to see is Texas and gross consumption, so that is their opinion of the States. They know not all Americans are like that, that indeed it’s a small minority given the size, but that is all they see. I know not all Christians are fundi freaks on par with Islamic fanatics–they even use terrorist tactics, like bombing abortion clinics and assasinating doctors–but since that’s all I see, I have little choice. These people want to make sure everybody is working with them in their crusade of God’s, and their willing to legislate “sin” out of our lives, only they get to decide what “sin” is.

Anyway, like I said, I’m guilty of this one too, but I try to recognize it and have tried to change my habit to “fundi Christians” to differentiate between them and more loving, less hateful, less judgemental Christians who follow the real path of Jesus, which is a good and tolerant example to follow. I hope that helps.

I think you’ll have to provide some examples of someone using the word pejoratively.

For the same reason some people will stereotype Muslims and consider them all bad.

That is, ignorance/stupidity.

SLASH-is a lifelong agnostic.

I agree. Seems like all our politicians do these days is talk about being Christians, but they’re trying to use it as a selling point. So in answer to the question “When did it become pejorative?” - it never did.

Well. This is obviously newbie bashing. Somebody start a thread. Be sure to blame the mods. Was it that my post was short or that I’m not Diogenes? Seems to me I made that point earlier…

Hey, blowero, when did Joseph Lieberman ever talk about being a Christian? Greenspan?

[mumble]My perfectly good post took that into account[/mumble].

I think you’ll find that most people who identify Bush as a Christian do so as a complement, because Bush has so identified himself. The only times I recall hearing the word “Christian” as pejorative are when words like “fanatical” or “fundi” appear in front of it.

GWB gets his advice directly from Satan.

Therefore, even more proof that Satan hates Saddam.

Does that mean god loves him? :wink:

Nah. Jesus at least seems to take a dim view of people like Saddam and Osama.

Too short and too subtle.:wink: But I’m more than happy to concede that you are the Official Originator of the PointTM. Please don’t hurt me…

The voices in my head tell me you are forgiven. They also cry out for toast, but that’s a side issue.

Very insightful, presidebt. But I think there’s more to it than that. While McCarthyism was alive and well in the 50s, the Xian right as you describe it – the Christian Coalition, built from the ashes of the Moral Majority – didn’t really begin until the 80s.

But I remember the term being derogatory before that. In my youth (and back then, we were all Christians), the term meant “Goody two shoes”, “Milk drinker”, or “Pat Boone fan.”

2trew I got it when I read it, very clever. The OP should have been “When did ‘Christian’ become pejorative, again?”



Even though this is the Pit, that seems just a little overboard to me. Besides, I always want to see supporting documentation of hidden cabals and secret movements.

DIOGENES WROTE: “I think you’ll have to provide some examples of someone using the word pejoratively.”

Sure. Look at some of the comments posted on threats like “What is the Dumbest Thing A Christian Has Ever Said” or “What is the Dumbest Thing An Athiest Has Ever Said.”

Then there are the comments that disparage President G.W. Bush for being “Christian” “born again” or having “prayer meetings” at the White House.

I really have no opinion on the matter. I was just wondering when calling something or somebody “Christian” became a snide remark.

I still don’t think the word “Christian,” per se, is being used pejoratively, certainly not on any kind of a large scale. There’s a difference between ridiculing specific statements and behaviors by some Christians and using the word, itself, as an insult. This message board is probably atypical anyway in its ratio of Christians to non-Christians. I don’t think that it’s very represenative of how American religious views really break down. Most of the time the Christians outnumber the heathens by a pretty wide margin. If it’s really that pejorative, then as 2trew pointed out, why do so many politicians hasten to apply that word to themselves? In society as a whole, I’ve heard words like “atheist,” “pagan” and “Jew” used far more pejoratively than I’ve ever heard Christian.