The 'offensiveness' of Christianity

Posted: Dec 05, 2003 12:00 AM

 It amazes me that people can still, with a straight face, deny that Christians are the subjects of systematic discrimination in this country. Every time I turn around there's more evidence.

 Since my book "Persecution" was released I've seen enough additional examples to give me a good start on a sequel -- not that I've decided to write one at this point. But I continue to encounter liberals who pooh pooh the idea that it is even possible to discriminate against a majority group.

 No matter how much proof you show them, they wave their hands dismissively and say, "those are just loony examples of kooks out there that certainly aren't representative of any widespread discrimination." Well, if that's the case, why do we keep seeing these cases in the news?

 Of course, it's not the case. There is an intrinsic bias in our popular culture against Christianity, and it's getting worse. The only thing that isn't clear to me is whether the liberal secularists who deny it are oblivious to the discrimination or are being deceitful. I actually think there is some of both.

 Remember, there are numerous aspects to this phenomenon. It's not just the scrubbing away of Christian symbols and expression from the public square, including public property, public schools, universities, efforts to muzzle Christian officials, the anti-Christian litmus test applicable to presidential appointees and anti-Christian discrimination in zoning regulations.

 No, it's not just about "separation of church and state," because the bias has now infected the private sector as well -- such as dress codes prohibiting the wearing of Christian jewelry, and the anti-Christian bias among the liberal media, Hollywood, and the cultural elite -- including their profane, anti-Christian art.

 Besides, if it were a matter of separating church and state, secularists wouldn't be twisting the government's arm to endorse anti-Christian values, from "comprehensive" sex education to pornography to homosexuality to New Ageism to Secular Humanism to the values of other major religions.

 And let's just dispense with this lie that the secularists are motivated by a desire to promote religious freedom and tolerance. Their constant barrages against Christian religious freedom and Christianity itself dispel that myth outright. Just one day this week I ran across three more examples -- and I wasn't even looking.

 The first involves the Meriden Public Library in Meriden, Conn., which banned five paintings of Jesus Christ, not because they were blasphemous or disrespectful, and not even because of ludicrously exaggerated concerns over church/state interaction.

 The images were disallowed under a policy that prohibits "inappropriate" and "offensive" fare. That's right: Jesus is offensive. Library officials were concerned that children might be disturbed by these images. What kind of mindset is it that sees offensiveness in portraits of the One who embodies pure love, and wholly ignores the egregious intolerance of those who want to ban them?

 You can't simply brush this off as a silly little incident. It represents an increasingly common attitude in the culture that Christianity, on its face, is offensive. That's a completely different proposition from saying that government shouldn't endorse religion.

 In the second example, the Supreme Court is about to hear a case concerning Northwest College in Kirkland, Wash., denying student Joshua Davey a $3,000 scholarship because he wanted to use it for the study of divinity. Thankfully the Bush administration is not infected with the anti-Christian virus. U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson pointed out that the denial of the scholarship shows a government bias against religion (the Christian religion).

 This isn't an isolated example. I document a similar case in my book, involving Michael Nash, whose academic scholarship was originally denied by Cumberland College in Williamsburg, Ky., when he declared that he would be majoring in philosophy and religion.

 The third example involves Islamic indoctrination in California public schools -- a subject also addressed in my book. Seventh-grade history students at Royal Oak Intermediate School in Covina, Calif., didn't just learn (BEG ITAL about Islam. They practiced the religion, by fasting to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The school clearly endorsed the religion: The teacher enticed students to participate by offering extra credit.

 It's one thing for Christians to argue that they should rejoice in their persecution -- that's even biblical. But it's an entirely different matter for us to stand by idly as our culture, of which we are supposed to be the majority component, institutionalizes the notion that our Savior is anathema. When is enough going to be enough? When are complacent Christians going to fight back?

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