Why Do Christians Feel So Victimized - Defined Edition

Please read the OP of that thread for the basis of the discussion.

Here, we are defining “persecution” based off of statements of persecution of Christians in places such as the middle east, as well as off of wikipedia:

(If there’s going to be any discussion over what the definition of persecution is, it should probably mostly be about that last sentence, or some other definition put forward by any major open organization claiming Christian persecution.)

Keep in mind that what matters for this discussion is not whether or not they are actually persecuted, but why they think they’re persecuted (if they actually are within the USA, that’s welcome as well).

That definition is squishier than a trash bag full of cotton. If your idea is that you are going to end the debate over the definition, you are sorely mistaken.

I’ve already touched on what I suspect is the key element underlying American Christians’ claims of persecution: their declining influence. While they remain numerically superior and politically powerful, there’s no real debate that the last fifty or so years have seen the dominance exercised by American Christians erode. It is that delta, that change, that I suspect they are reacting to.

So: are Christians actually subject, in the United States today, to treatment that produces objectively severe suffering in any systematic way? No.

Some think they are; objectively they are not.

I just “Binged” the sentence “Are Christians persecuted in America” and got 5,930 hits(and I’m sure variations of that sentence would bring forth many more hits.) From the first five hits(lest someone think that I had to hunt for these opinions) things that are labeled as “persecution” are the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from a public school, the teaching of evolution, the separation of church and state, the supposed secret campaign of homosexuals to ban Christianity, abortion, the supposed outlawing of prayer in school, any backlash for anti-Islamic campaigns, the supposed war on Christmas-basically, anything that goes against the beliefs of certain Christian sects is seen as persecution of said Christian sects.

Well, it could be worse. Like, a lot worse.

Perhaps they didn’t have the benefit of your particular, narrow definition of the word “persecution,” when they wrote those thoughts. Maybe they used the OED.

I think I’ll just stick to discussing the actual topic of this thread this go round. Thanks anyway.

From this site:

Now, maybe I just haven’t visited the reply pages enough times when such guests are on television shows, but it seems to me that any visitor not agreeing with the viewpoints of Christian guests are quickly shouted down by supporters. Is this just my imagination?

Well, if the OED is too hoity-toity to use the correct term (“butthurt”) for what these people misidentify as “persecution”, that’s their problem.


But this thread suffers from a problem: it attempts to confine the definition of the word “persecution,” to a particular variant, and then asks why people in the rest of the country, who have not read this thread and are not aware of the confining definition, are using the word to describe their experiences.

In simpler words: how can anyone dispute a claim of “persecution” made by someone who hasn’t read this thread by insisting that the only valid claim is the definition provided in this thread? How can those folks yelling that they’re persecuted be expected to follow the rule the OP laid out for this thread?

From your link:

It seems that author Michael Youssef did not read this thread and get the word about what definition of “persecution” he was supposed to use.

According to several religious groups, making ‘So help me God’ optional in the Air Force Academy oath constitutes an attack on religious liberty. That is the sort of thing they believe constitutes persecution.

A term I see repeated on websites claiming that there is rampant persecution is “True Christian”, and that the “True Christians” are the ones being persecuted because they do not compromise with those that believe differently, be they Muslim, Jew, atheist…or even other Christian sects.

But that’s not persecution (per this thread’s definition).

What, specifically, is your thesis? What argument are you advancing?

Yes, it appears they do.

But it’s not persecution as defined here.

I think every neutral observer would agree with this.

Oh I totally agree. Just providing an example of certain groups of Christians thinking they are being persecuted as mentioned in the OP.

Thesis?? I am linking to cites to show what some Christians are calling “persecution”.

Perhaps they feel “victimized” by temptation; there seems to be so much more of (certain kinds of) it, right out in public, than there was in the days of the American “Christian Consensus.”

I’m going to declare ANY sniping between the warriors from the last thread to be out of bounds here. Discuss the topic at hand. A return to prior issues from the previous thread will draw warnings.


I think a lot of Christians believe that their religious freedom means that they are entitled to use their majority status to have their religious heritage honored in public places and their prayers to be said by public school students. Since the courts have not allowed them to dominate the public landscape to the extent they would prefer, they feel persecuted. The mythical “war on Christmas” illustrates that mindset. Since others say “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas”, they feel that their religion is being mistreated. I don’t see the logic in feeling harmed by other people acknowledging that not everybody is Christian, but they look for any excuse to feel persecuted.

Some of it may be due to the tradition of the old Christian martyrs, being martyred was a pretty good path to sainthood so maybe some feel the need to identify with the old martyrs by claiming persecution.

The vast majority of Christians don’t feel persecuted, I think it’s a vocal minority that aligns with the right wing of the political spectrum that feels the need to claim oppression. Most Christians want to live and let live, as do most Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, etc.

Of course, people not knowing what a word means does not in any sense legitimize their complaints. See, this was the biggest problem with your definition in the previous thread - if that’s the definition that these Christians are actually using, then they still have no grounds to complain about persecution because literally everyone else gets it much, much worse (and that’s ignoring the groups that actually suffer from widespread disenfranchisement, discrimination, violence, or the like - you know, actual persecution). Of course, given how often we’ve told you this, I don’t think one more time will matter, but I think it’s nice for anyone who missed the last thread to hear this. Of course, if your definition of “persecution” includes “losing long-held but baseless advantages that you really should never have had in the first place”, the problem is clearly not that other people are defining the term too narrowly. Of course, actually determining how Christians define “persecution” is a bit of bitch, ain’t it?