Why Do Christians Feel So Victimized - Defined Edition

That quote is clever and deceptive. On the one hand, it’s being honest and admitting the obvious truth that REALLY bad things aren’t happening to Christians in America. But it’s trying to implicitly say “but hey, what’s happening to us is a milder form of the same thing”. Which it kind of is, I guess, if by “milder” you mean “WAY WAY WAY milder”. But even framing the discussion that way makes it “ok, how bad is it for Christians in America now, on a scale of 1 to 10”, which is already kind of accepting that Christians are the ones on the bottom of the power structure, with the question being how badly they are being treated. When in fact Christians are actively and substantively persecuting other groups in America right now FAR more than Christians themselves are being persecuted. But if the issue is framed as “ok, let’s go to our panel of experts, and we’ll discuss how vitimized Christians are”, then even if the panel of experts ends up agreeing that hey, really, Christians aren’t being all that victimized, at that point the Christians have kind of won because they’ve stolen the victimization hat, even if they can’t really convince anyone that it fits them very well.

I’ve asked Jonathan Chance to expand a bit on his admonition, and I’ll defer a reply until I’m a bit clearer on what is in-bounds and what’s out-of-bounds.

Cross-posted from the ATMB thread.

. . . is a flaming idiot.

Obviously, yes, some are. Therefore in those cases, the reason they feel they have been unfairly singled out is that they have been unfairly singled out.

It seems that the benchmark is that no one gets to complain about being treated unfairly unless it passes some arbitrary level. That’s fine, as long as it is consistent - nobody should complain unless there is an organized, nation-wide movement to put them into concentration camps. Or something like that.


Or nothing like that. No such benchmark has been hinted at in this thread.

Then: yes.

How negative those consequences are is up for discussion. My answer to that subsequent question is: not all that negative.

But non-zero.

People (I’m looking at you Fox News) have told Christians that they’re subjected to discrimination like “we can’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ anymore,” or “you can’t wear a cross to school,” or have a bible study club after school, or they’re taking the cross out of the LA City flag. Of course, you can say Merry Christmas to anyone you want, even on the Fourth of July. You can wear a cross wherever you want. You can pray anywhere you want. And, IIRC, Los Angeles refused to remove the cross from its flag.

But, if you didn’t know all that, you might think you’re being persecuted.

Can you give an example of this?

That’s somewhat of a strawman argument. The we in “We can’t say ‘Merry Christmas,’ anymore,” does not refer to the speaker, but to the larger society – the complaint is that saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is subject to opprobrium in 2014 that it was not in 1974.

And while you can literally wear a wear a cross wherever you want, the choice to wear a cross can produce some negative consequences, as Jonathan Chance coins the phrase: if you’re a student at Sonoma State and part of the student government, a supervisor can order you to remove the cross.

In that example, the University apologized for the supervisor’s misunderstanding. So I would say that the negative consequence was not severe. But it was not zero.

You can’t pray anywhere you want to – again (at least, not out loud) not without flouting rules. If you’re a school valedictorian giving his graduation speech, then the school rules require that you not pray – at least, not out loud.

But “butthurt” isn’t a word, according to the OED?

*Quick search results -
No dictionary entries found for ‘butthurt’. *


That may be a root cause for feeling beleaguered, but I doubt it directly leads to claims of persecution. Where I live older white people feel they have become a minority as Chinese and Indian shopping centers have opened up and politicians are beginning to reflect the makeup of the population. Yet there have been no claims of persecution, even privately as far as I can tell. Complaints about America becoming godless are directly motivated by the reduction in dominance, but the claims of persecution seem to be based on specific actions of government or business.

If not directly, then indirectly, but with a pretty clear causative trail.

Businesses that serve a monolithically Christian populace have no particular incentive to ask their employees to substitute “Happy Holidays,” for the eponymous traditional Christmas greeting. But when there’s an influx of non-Christians, and those non-Christians spend dollars, stores have an obvious motive to tread more carefully.

I’d like some also. And I would like to see which are actually examples of being singled out for a belief, and which are examples of being prevented from inflicting their beliefs on others.

A park fundraiser for a city park sells bricks to the community; the bricks can be engraved with an inscription chosen by the donor to be included in a neighborhood park walkway.

Does paying for the message “Jesus is the Cornerstone,” on one brick count as “inflicting their beliefs on others?”

How about wearing a cross while acting as a student government leader at a university function?

Elaboration on these events might shed some light.

But, that never seems to just happen to Christians in America nowadays; they get singled out only when they single themselves out, when they do something to attract attention.

I think the “made to remove a cross” is a great example, and instructive: when a Christian in the US is actually punished for the modest demonstration of beliefs, the punishment is:
a) very minor; and
b) revoked quickly; and
c) apologized for; and
d) so rare that it makes national headlines.

So yes, Christians in the US are persecuted, in the same way that owners of poodles are doubtlessly persecuted (I’m certain someone who owns a poodle has been unfairly targeted by some weirdo poodle-hater somewhere at least once in the past year), in the same way that I’m certain drinkers of sweet tea and people who drive Toyotas and people who wear red lipstick and people who have blond hair and people who eat with their left hand and people who read science fiction and people who vote for Democrats are persecuted. Christians are persecuted in the US in the same way that any segment you can identify is persecuted: once in a great long while, someone with a bug up their butt gets mad at a Christian and does something they shouldn’t, and it annoys the Christian.

My perception, though, is that when certain Christians talk about being persecuted, they think it’s a think beyond what science-fiction-readers and poodle-owners and blondes and all the rest experience: they think there’s a general hostility from large swaths of society toward them, and that that hostility manifests in actions that deny Christians their religious liberty.

Does everyone agree that that belief is out there among some Christians, and that when a Christian describes persecution in the US, that’s generally what’s meant?

If Christians were really persecuted, I’d feel guilty about hating* them so much.

I always root for the underdog.

  • I don’t really “hate” Christians. They do have some strange ideas though. Still, they’re no worse then the Mormons, I guess.

Substitute “pit bull” and you might have something there.