Get out of the way black people!
Dry your eyes, gays and lesbians!
Nice try, immigrants.
Not today, transgender person
What is the most persecuted group of people in the United States today? Taking that coveted spot, evangelical christians. It’s so rough being them. I mean, check out this video from March. In it, three pastors are arrested in front of their congregations for the simple crime of preaching. Come on, don’t you know that’s illegal? Gawd.
Well, the arrests aren’t real, as the Akron Beacon Journal pointed out, but whoever thought that fake “Cops” parody was a good idea should be locked away. The whole thing was a ploy that the Akron police curiously played along with to demonstrate just how perilous and at great personal risk it is to preach Christianity.
I mean, it is rough for Christians these days. So rough that on Monday the Supreme Court of the United States, or rather, the men of the Supreme Court had to intervene. In that ridiculous Hobby Lobby decision, written by that charmer and national head-shaker Samuel Alito, the court decided that Christians, again so hard being them, have to be protected, protected so much that even their views that affect others (that is, a woman’s right to contraceptive) is sacrosanct. Well, everyone from Hillary Clinton to Seth Rogen saw this as simply f’d up. And if Rogen sees a problem with it … I mean, he even saw the value in that Barbra Streisand road movie script. So …
Yes, times are indeed a-changin’. But what fuels the evangelical persecution-mania that has come to dominate religious discourse these days? First, a fact, Christians in the United States make up close to 75 percent of the population. So, you may ask, WHY does that large a group feel so bullied all the time? Well, it’s not exactly all of them, more the right-wing groups that we see in the above video. Those like Mike Huckabee and Family Research Council. The latter posted this rather hilarious and certainly unscientific poll on its website following the Hobby Lobby ruling:
Three options for voting. Read them carefully.
But still, what accounts for this persecution complex? Issues surrounding contraception may well just be scratching the surface. Many scholars point to personal crises in masculinity and whiteness.
Let’s look at two major cultural shifts occurring in the United States in the past decade. Two shifts that shake the very foundation on which evangelicals have laid their framework: The election of the first African-American president and gay marriage becoming more and more mainstream. Southern Baptists, those most evangelical of evangelicals, see their very roots in opposing abolitionism. Today, gay marriage seems to be their focus. Curiously, some 30 years ago, for many evangelicals the issue was divorce. Then Ronald Reagan came along, a divorcee, so that issue had to go.
Once at the head. Evangelicals see their place at the table moving further and further down to where their anti-science and rigid social views have them practically sitting on the floor in the kitchen. And this does not bode well. Instead of saying, “Yes, OK … I could be persuaded if …,” they snivel and bury their heads further in the sand.
But they may be just desserts.