The Christian Victim Complex
As noted by Media Matters in a whole bunch of articles, the Christian right has started on a campaign to try to convince the Christian majority that they are somehow victims under assault in America.
For instance, Catholic League President William Donahue is been on the offensive blasting Macy's for using the term 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas' in their stores. And here, I'd heard people use Happy Holidays for my entire freakin' life and no one thought it was anti-Christian, until all of a sudden now. I always thought it was meant to cover the entire holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Year's, and also Channukah. It was a term meant, as far as I knew, to be inclusive, not exclusive. How did I, an atheist God hater who follows Satan, not get the memo from my anti-Christian overlords that Happy Holidays was our new evil plan to bring down American Christianity? I feel so left out.
And Donahue also has his panties in a bunch over Target not allowing Salvation Army to solicit outside their stores. Of course, the actual story, which Donahue conveniently omits, is that Target gets requests from hundreds of groups to solicit outside their stores, and has decided to implement a blanket policy of not allowing any of them to do so. They aren't targeting (heh, get it?) the Salvation Army. They just don't want to be in a position of choosing some groups over others and getting flak for it. But, of course, Christians squeal like pigs not when they are being discriminated against, but when they aren't given special privilege. That's what's happening here.
Reason Online has a great article about the culture of Christian victimhood here. The author notes that, despite the cries of Christians that they are "being oppressed," it is pretty well known that there are essentially no atheists in public office because they are unelectable by the Christian majority. He also notes that liberals on the left, such as the ACLU and this blog's gentle owner, believe in religious freedom and stand up for Christians when they are genuinely being discriminated against, but are then stabbed in the back by Christians like Jerry Falwell who ignore the real position of the left in order to create a straw man of leftist Christian hating.
The agenda is obvious to anyone who wants to see. I have said it before, and I will say it again: turning this nation into a Christian theocracy. Only by creating an atmosphere in which the majority Christian population feels discriminated against can the Christian right convince the majority of Christians, who are generally centrist and moderate, that a Christian theocracy is necessary to protect their religious beliefs. Since Christians are in no way, shape, or form under assault in this country, since Christians control all three branches of the Federal government as well as every governorship in the nation, the only way to convince those in power that they are actually a minority facing discrimination is to lie, lie, lie. With some occasional distortion and misrepresentation thrown in.
I live in Massachusetts, the so-called bastion of the godless left. There are at least five churches within walking distance of my apartment. My state senators and representatives are all Christians. My federal senators and representative are all Christians. My neighbors, by and large, are Christians. I have driven by churches on Sunday morning. They are not empty. They are filled just as much as the churches in Texas.
The only difference between Christian religiosity in Texas, where I used to live, and here in Massachusetts, is that here there is more respect for religious freedom. Note I said more respect. In neither Texas nor Massachusetts is religious freedom universally respected. I have faced intolerance in Massachusetts as well as in Texas.
But, in Massachusetts, there is a greater respect for the idea that one's religion is a personal choice and it is not anyone else's job to aggressively attack non-Christians in the press, nor to try to convert non-Christians in every public venue, including on freeway ramps, malls, and by going door-to-door. In Massachusetts, it is generally accepted that everyone has a right to go about their business without someone else standing on the corner telling them they're going to go to hell every five seconds.
And that's all religious freedom really is. How threatening is that?