Monday, October 12, 2009

Among Us Hide...The Christians!

Okay, Christians, I know that some of you are out there. I'm hoping that maybe you can help me with this one, as I've been mulling this particular post in my mind for a few weeks now. After reading Andrew Nolan's latest post, I decided to finally write it. What I want to know from you, Christians, is if you feel that Christianity is under attack as some people will have you believe.

Now, I'm not talking about what's going on in other countries. I'm not referring to how Christians in Muslim countries are treated. I'm talking about this country here. While I realize that it's not all Christians who are saying it, there are a lot of them out there who are claiming that Christianity is under attack. Personally, I think that's a load of bull.

However, I'm willing to admit that I could be wrong about this. Obviously, since I'm not a Christian, I just might not be as sensitive to what's going on as I should be. Perhaps there's a lot going on that I'm simply not noticing. If I'm wrong though, I want to know it.

I don't know if anybody's going to respond to this, but just in case I do get a few responses, let's get a few things out of the way. The following arguments do not count, but if you do think that they count, then you'll need to explain why:

1. Prayer is banned in school. I've covered this before. Kids can pray; it's just that mandatory prayer is illegal.

2. The Bible is banned in school. Again, this is just a total lie.

3. The 10 Commandments aren't allowed to be posted in public places. Posting it would be a blatant endorsement of religion. Yeah, sure, there are the universal laws against lying, stealing, and killing. However, you also have laws about which god to worship and what his holy day is.

4. Religious displays are banned. Again, these are banned from public places, but you are still free to have your manger scene in your front yard. Also, displays are allowed so long as other groups can put their displays up as well. It's just that you don't get to have your religion and your religion alone on public property. In other words, you probably wouldn't want a big sign reading "The Bible is Mythology" in a public park, would you? Believe it or not, I wouldn't either. (That's because I respect the First Ammendment and all.)

5. People mock Christians for their beliefs. I admit that this probably does happen in some places. However, the price you pay for living in a free country is that sometimes people are going to mock the things you like. Think of how poor Celine Dion fans feel - they're ridiculed all the time, but they don't act like an oppressed minority. I also think that it's safe to say that nonbelievers are mocked as well - and what's worse, we're told that we're going to be tortured forever for our beliefs. (This is more true in some parts of the country than others - I don't really feel very mocked where I live.)

6. There are all sorts of atheists promoting their books/lectures/etc. See above. That's the price you pay for living in a free society. You get to praise Jesus, and I get to say that's silly.

7. This country was founded on Christian traditions. I could argue this one to death. If you really think that, read up on what Thomas Jefferson had to say about Christianity just for starters. He didn't have a whole lot of kind things to say, and he wrote the Declaration of Independence. But even if you're right, it still doesn't matter. The Constitution is the law of the land, and Jesus doesn't even get a mention.

I think that pretty much covers it. I'm really trying to be fair about this, but whenever I hear Christians complain about being "under attack" it's because things are being taken away from them that they shouldn't have ever had in the first place. If there's something I'm missing though, I'd really like to know.

This "Stan Lee Challenge" was inspired by Fantastic Four #45: "Among Us Hide...The Inhumans!"


Anonymous said...

have you seen Religulous with Bill Maher. It is an funny documentary.

Connie said...

Good luck with this one, Lance. I've argued this with some of my Christian friends until I'm blue in the face, and finally gave it up as a lost cause. As far as I can tell, the issue (in part) stems from the fact that Christians are called by their religion to proselytize/witness (including prayer in schools, public displays, etc), and non-believers (who call this "shoving your religion down my throat") want them to STOP. Ergo, they are being discriminated against (or "attacked") because they are not being allowed to properly "practice" their religion. Obviously not all Christians believe that they need to forcibly convert others, but those who do see it as their God-given duty and at the same time refuse to understand how it infringes on the rights of others. What we call "equal rights for all" they see as a personal attack on them. At least, that's my conclusion based on the conversations I've attempted to have on the subject.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Anonymous - yes, I have. It was pretty good, even though Maher engaged in some of the scare tactics that he accused the religious of engaging in.

Connie - you may be right. We'll see.

Bryan Thompson said...

Hey Mr. Johnson,
Bryan Thompson here!

I am a Christian,
so I guess I'm the prime candidate for responding to your blog!

I wouldn't really say that Christians are "under attack". Of course, there are many religious fundamentalists out there who would argue me on this statement, but that's their own crazy trip.

Honestly, I don't believe prayer and worship have any place in the public school system. I agree, people can pray and worship at their own will, but if we force people to worship Jesus then 1) it's not true faith, and 2) we're forcing people of other religions to worship a God they don't believe in (weather we as Christians believe we are right in worshiping Jesus or not). I know I would not like to be forced to worship any God other than my own.

As far as the Bible being banned... we read it in your class! haha! I mean, it wasn't for religious purposes, but I think that's fine! The Bible is a unique and amazing piece of literature. And weather or not you agree that the Bible is the word of God, it's something that has a lot to teach people from a more literary standpoint. Besides, how can you argue for or against something if you have no knowledge in what you are arguing?

Like you said, we live in a free country where people have the freedom of religion. That includes the freedom to disagree with a religion. Just because someone doesn't agree with me doesn't mean they're attacking me as a person or my faith as a whole. And even if they are, Jesus states very clearly in the Bible that if we choose to follow Him it will not be an easy road. We're going to be condemned for our beliefs in much the same way He was. Of course, He made the ultimate sacrifice for all mankind, but we're not free from ridicule and pain. That's just part of life.

I do have to say this though. One place I can see what could be called an "attack on Christians" is in the area of gay marriage. I don't want to talk about the politics on weather or not gays should be allowed to get married. Therefore, my beliefs on the politics behind it are irrelevant here, as are the beliefs of anyone else.
What I want to talk about are the cases where Christian churches are being sued for not marrying gay couples. It doesn't matter if gay marriage is legal or not, a church cannot (and should not) be forced to do anything outside of their own belief system and religious practice.

The United States, being a free country, gives the church the right to deny marrying anyone they choose not to marry. For example, the Roman Catholic church denies to marry any couple that is not of the Roman Catholic religion. Why don't we see a huge uprising of people wanting to sue because they aren't allowed to be married in a Roman Catholic church? Because they go elsewhere and get married where it will be accepted! If a gay couple wants to get married, they should find another place to do it where it will be accepted. Simple as that.

Like I said, that's the only way I could see people claiming an "attack on the Christian faith". Other than that, if you want to cry about people not liking you because of your beliefs then you need to rethink some major things in your life. Like they say in Zombieland, "nut up or shut up".


Lance Christian Johnson said...

Thanks, Bryan - that's some thoughtful stuff.

I have to wonder though - which churches have been sued for not marrying gay couples? I know that some people were afraid of that happening, but as you pointed out, churches already have the right to refuse to marry anybody that they want.

I'd be against suing a church for that reason, but I'm interested in hearing where that actually happened.

Nolan said...

It has never happened, and if it did, it would be thrown out. That was a scare tactic that was used during Prop 8, along with "They'll teach kindergarten kids to be gay." Unfortunately, a lot of people bought it.