Sunday, May 11, 2014

Anti-Christian bullying

Apparently it happens. For some reason, we don't hear about it as much as we about, say, anti-LGBT bullying.

22 comments:

John Moore said...

I'm not convinced that this is a real issue. Maybe a few misguided teachers tell students not to pray or not to write papers about God, but all we have to do is inform them about the law, and then they'll stop. Even more important, we must inform Christians about the law so they know they have every right to pray privately in school and express their religious beliefs, as long as it's personal and not an official school-sponsored expression. That way, Christians can stand up for themselves without making fools of themselves due to their ignorance of the law.

People don't call Christians bigots because of their faith in God. They call them bigots because of their bigotry. There's a difference, and you would think Christians would know that. Faith in God is not bigotry, but when you push your faith on others or deny others their rights, that could be bigotry.

When actual bullying occurs against Christians, it's like people calling you a "Jesus freak" and shunning you. This might happen because Christians sometimes wear their faith on their sleeves and flaunt it too openly in mixed society. Not that that's bad or anything, but you can understand how it might annoy people. The same thing happens to gay people who are too flamboyant in a mixed setting.

It's just a good rule of etiquette that people should tone it down when there are others around who disagree with you, like in a public school or other public occasion. This isn't to condone the bullying, though.

BenYachov said...

John Moore

What you are describing sounds ideally what the truth should be and if the problem was solely from Christians behaving badly I as a Catholic Christian would be the first to call out Christians for it. Judgement begins with the house of God and all that.

But the reality is that lefties are waging a war on Faith. New Mexico, a Christian photographer refuses to attend & photograph a lesbian wedding is fined $6000 for the refusal. WTF!!!! If an Orthodox Jewish photographer refused to photograph a JEWS FOR JESUS event should he be fined? O being forced to bake a cake for a gay wedding or face jail time? I am not taking about refusing to sell a ready made generic cake to a gay couple but being forced to craft one taylor made for a wedding?

Don't tell me if the shop owners simply refused to offer services claiming they where busy without citing their religious beliefs that they would have been left alone.

All it takes is some lefty civil rights commission to audit them and find out they never serviced gay weddings directly & they would be hit with fines.

I don't for a second believe the lefties will leave them alone.

Rather then make excuses John if you are a good liberal and love liberalism you should be out in front denouncing this awful behavior. If only for the sake and integrity of true liberalism. Speak out against these pseudo-liberals.

John Moore said...

Well, this question about businesses is a different matter. The thing about baking a custom cake - that might fall under artistic license. On the other hand, we must avoid any comparison with those racist lunch counters refusing to serve black people in the 1950s. So this is a more complicated issue than school prayer.

Crude said...

People don't call Christians bigots because of their faith in God.

Yeah, they're called idiots and faith-heads for that.

They call them bigots because of their bigotry.

No, they call them bigots because it's politically valuable to paint one's opponents as bigots regardless of their reasoning. You may as well say 'Westboro Baptist doesn't dislike gays for their homosexuality. They hate them because of all that child molestation they engage in.'

The same thing happens to gay people who are too flamboyant in a mixed setting.

So it's perfectly acceptable to call someone a "faggot" for 'being too open about their sexuality'?

This isn't to condone the bullying, though.

Sure. Also, you have nothing against queers. Really, if they'd keep what they do in the closet, they'd probably be better off.

Victor Reppert said...

John's point about not comparing bakers who refuse to serve gay weddings with the Lester Maddoxes from the civil rights movement days is worth noting, as it often goes unacknowledged by people on his side of the issue.

Victor Reppert said...

I think the word "faith-head" is the atheist equivalent of the n-word, and should be recognized as such.

Crude said...

as it often goes unacknowledged by people on his side of the issue.

It goes further than 'unacknowledged'. It's rejected. I didn't have to go far to find 'progressive Christians' explicitly comparing the desire to not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding (even if the baker was entirely comfortable with serving gay customers otherwise) to flat out nazism and klansmen antics.

It's intellectually dishonest. Straightforwardly so, even. But unfortunately, intellectual dishonesty has paid off in spades for the people using it. Why stop?

Dustin Crummett said...

Come on, Victor, you're better than this. In a society where Christians have been dominant for hundreds of years, and in many ways continue to be (what are the odds of an atheist being elected president? a Muslim?), it's *not possible* for there to be an "atheist equivalent of the n-word." Your experience if someone calls you a "faith-head" is in no way comparable to that of a black person being called a racial slur.

As for the "some reason" we don't hear about this as much as anti-LGBT bullying, consider the following quote from the genuinely hilarious video in the linked article:

In public school, I'm called lesbian or gay for not kissing, or for wanting to save myself for marriage.

If one of the worst forms of anti-Christian bullying is *comparing people* to gay kids, doesn't it seem like the gay kids probably have it worse?

Incidentally, a few other highlights from the video:

Why can't I pray in school?

You can.

No one would *dare* not to stand, place their hand over their heart, and recite the pledge.

"Oh, wait, there's also a third commandment. Make people pledge fealty to America. It doesn't matter whether it's genuine or not, so try to instill abject terror if you have to."

People who do not believe in God have stolen our country.

Here, I thought all this was the result of gradual social change and the actions of elected officials and duly appointed judges. Of course, I forgot the place in the Constitution that gives ownership of the country to conservative evangelicals.

In seriousness, though--obviously, bullying, by anybody for any reason, is awful and ought to be opposed. But acting as if modern American Christians are somehow signs of contradiction whose suffering is comparable to that of genuinely marginalized groups is ridiculous and harmful.

Victor Reppert said...

I understand your points, Dustin. And I agree that there is a certain amount of right-wing nuttiness in the article. But there is a systematic attempt afoot to marginalize Christianity.

I also think that there is an attempt to equate moral resistance to homosexual conduct as equivalent to racism, and that concerns me, even though, for example, I voted against our state's anti-gay marriage bill.

Dave Duffy said...

Unfortunately, this is the way we now argue our ideas in American culture. Blacks, who really did get screwed, and had great leaders to demand equality have been supplanted by childish grievance groups. I'm supposed to believe Harvey Milk is the same as MLK? Good Grief, women are an oppressed minority? Sam is Jackie Robinson?

Christians should avoid this line of BS.

Crude said...

Come on, Victor, you're better than this. In a society where Christians have been dominant for hundreds of years, and in many ways continue to be (what are the odds of an atheist being elected president? a Muslim?), it's *not possible* for there to be an "atheist equivalent of the n-word."

First, how are Christians dominant? Arguing that an outspoken atheist couldn't get elected president? Indications are that an outspoken Christian couldn't get elected president either - and if you point to Obama as evidence to the contrary, I'll have a good laugh.

Second, using 'society' as a comparison is silly, since the 'domination' that's relevant is far more local and situational. Are Christians dominant in academia? In urban centers? In Hollywood? In the tech industry?

So no, it's entirely possible for there to be 'an atheist equivalent of the n-word'.

If one of the worst forms of anti-Christian bullying is *comparing people* to gay kids, doesn't it seem like the gay kids probably have it worse?

First, what does 'having it worse' have to do with anything? The fact that group X 'has it worse' doesn't prove group Y is not being persecuted. Second, there's an easy explanation for why 'being called gay' wouldn't be a knock against gays: because it's targeted specifically at people to whom it doesn't apply, and may object to it.

To use an example: is 'Santorum' a knock against gays? It describes a filthy aspect of sodomy. And yet it was promoted by LGBT activists.

Here, I thought all this was the result of gradual social change and the actions of elected officials and duly appointed judges.

So much for the 'dominant' canard.

In seriousness, though--obviously, bullying, by anybody for any reason, is awful and ought to be opposed. But acting as if modern American Christians are somehow signs of contradiction whose suffering is comparable to that of genuinely marginalized groups is ridiculous and harmful.

So tell me something, Dustin. Can a joke like this be directed at LGBT people with about as much of an outcry in response, and in as public a manner?

Let's say the joke was 'Wow, there are a lot more people here than I remembered!' "That's right, Stewie. We're in a world where homosexuals don't exist. That means there was no AIDS epidemic, so more people were able to survive and add to the population." Would Family Guy be on the air next week after a "joke" like that?

Crude said...

Dave,

Christians should avoid this line of BS.

There was a time I agreed with you. Unfortunately, the course of action I take you as advising - 'just man up and don't complain, roll with the punches and try to be above it all' - looks like a great recipe for increased marginalization and hatred.

Crude said...

And I suppose if we're going to make this personal...

Dustin, you're better than this. I know you may find conservative Christian's political positions distasteful, but downplaying and denying the bullying they experience should be beneath you. Trust me, you can both oppose LGBT bullying AND oppose Christian bullying. If you've hit the point where you feel as if you can't acknowledge Christian bullying without insisting that 'someone else has it worse', I suggest something has gone wrong with your reasoning.

Papalinton said...

From Fox news?

Enough said.

Dustin Crummett said...

Indications are that an outspoken Christian couldn't get elected president either - and if you point to Obama as evidence to the contrary, I'll have a good laugh.

George Bush?

Second, using 'society' as a comparison is silly, since the 'domination' that's relevant is far more local and situational. Are Christians dominant in academia? In urban centers? In Hollywood? In the tech industry?

So no, it's entirely possible for there to be 'an atheist equivalent of the n-word'.


Okay. At those Hollywood studios where, a few decades ago, atheist actors were lynching Christian ones, maybe there's an atheist equivalent of the n-word.

First, what does 'having it worse' have to do with anything? The fact that group X 'has it worse' doesn't prove group Y is not being persecuted.

"For some reason, we don't hear about it as much as we about, say, anti-LGBT bullying."

So tell me something, Dustin. Can a joke like this be directed at LGBT people with about as much of an outcry in response, and in as public a manner?

No, probably not. But, of course, being a Christian youth doesn't, say, drastically multiply your chances of winding up homeless due to being kicked out of your home:

http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2012/07/12/515641/study-40-percent-of-homeless-youth-are-lgbt-family-rejection-is-leading-cause/

Nor does it make you several times more likely than members of any other group to suffer a hate crime:

http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2010/winter/anti-gay-hate-crimes-doing-the-math

So, you know. Trade-offs either way.

Dustin, you're better than this. I know you may find conservative Christian's political positions distasteful, but downplaying and denying the bullying they experience should be beneath you. Trust me, you can both oppose LGBT bullying AND oppose Christian bullying. If you've hit the point where you feel as if you can't acknowledge Christian bullying without insisting that 'someone else has it worse', I suggest something has gone wrong with your reasoning.

I agree that we can, and should, oppose bullying of members of any group. Many of the supposed instances of persecution mentioned in the video--why can't we teach creationism, etc. etc.--are not in fact instances of bullying but rather instances of failing to get preferential treatment. Nonetheless, I agree that unfair treatment of Christians--and probably especially conservative Christians--exists and ought to be opposed.

The fact that other people have it worse, however, is relevant because of:

1) The fact that Victor explicitly brought up as points of comparison LGBT youths and minorities who are called racial slurs, and

2) The hilariously apocalyptic tone of the article and video Victor linked to ("We are at war," etc. etc.)

Victor Reppert said...

At the risk of bringing up Dawkins, can we all agree that this passage is an incitement to bullying"

I have from time to time expressed sympathy for the accommodationist tendency so ably criticized here by Jerry Coyne. I have occasionally worried that – just maybe – Eugenie Scott [of the NCSE] and the appeasers might have a point, a purely political point but one, nevertheless, that we should carefully consider. I have lately found myself moving away from that sympathy.

I suspect that most of our regular readers here would agree that ridicule, of a humorous nature, is likely to be more effective than the sort of snuggling-up and head-patting that Jerry is attacking. I lately started to think that we need to go further: go beyond humorous ridicule, sharpen our barbs to a point where they really hurt.

Michael Shermer, Michael Ruse, Eugenie Scott and others are probably right that contemptuous ridicule is not an expedient way to change the minds of those who are deeply religious. But I think we should probably abandon the irremediably religious precisely because that is what they are – irremediable. I am more interested in the fence-sitters who haven’t really considered the question very long or very carefully. And I think that they are likely to be swayed by a display of naked contempt. Nobody likes to be laughed at. Nobody wants to be the butt of contempt.

You might say that two can play at that game. Suppose the religious start treating us with naked contempt, how would we like it? I think the answer is that there is a real asymmetry here. We have so much more to be contemptuous about! And we are so much better at it. We have scathingly witty spokesmen of the calibre of Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. Who have the faith-heads got, by comparison? Ann Coulter is about as good as it gets. We can’t lose!

This is a strategic attempt by atheists to get people to use the bad feelings people have about being the butt of contempt to persuade them to accept the position Dawkins wants them to take.

This isn't even supposed to be directed at people who are too expressive about being a Christian. This is directed at fence-sitters who are not going to be expressive about their beliefs.

I didn't necessarily say that Christians have it as bad as gay people. I was thinking about this because I saw a poster at ASU West that said "End LGBT Bullying Now: Stop the silence." Of course I don't disagree with the intent behind it, but isn't LGBT bullying wrong because bullying is wrong? Why is LGBT bullying a special type of bullying that especially needs to be stopped? If people are bullied for something else, like being a Christian, is that OK?

I also get concerned when equivalences are drawn between moral disapproval of homosexual conduct on the part of Christians (or others) is equated with racial prejudice. It bothers me that someone who gave $1000 to supporting prop 8 in California was forced out of his job with Mozilla, even though I would have voted against prop 8 had I been a Californian.

Bob said...

I see nothing wrong with critiquing or even mocking someone's beliefs. Christianity is a belief system. That is quite different from being gay or having black skin. People can't change their ethnicity or sexual orientation. However, they can change their belief system.

Looks like the kids in that video want to force their belief system on others. They are even declaring "war" on those who disagree with them. Sorry, but I see no reason to sympathize with their beliefs.

Also, they make a number of false claims in that video. Isn't lying a sin in Christianity?

Hugo said...

Victor, the quotes symbols were missing from your comment so I Googled the first sentence and ran into this: http://www.naturalism.org/Against_contempt.htm
Interesting read...

Victor Reppert said...

Yes, I like the "Against Contempt" essay. though I'm not a naturalist, to say the least.

Dave Duffy said...

Crude,

I think there is a difference between "roll with the punches" and "turn the other cheek." The former is a secular fatalist nightmare, the latter a realistic view of a fallen world.

Crude said...

Dustin,

George Bush?

How many years ago, in a cultural context of what type? Was it one where you could fire someone for merely opposing gay marriage?

Okay. At those Hollywood studios where, a few decades ago, atheist actors were lynching Christian ones, maybe there's an atheist equivalent of the n-word.

Oh, so only the organizations that organized lynch mobs in the past are at fault? Wonderful, that excludes... uh, most of them.

No, probably not. But, of course, being a Christian youth doesn't, say, drastically multiply your chances of winding up homeless due to being kicked out of your home:

It does, however, dramatically increase your chances of having your outright state-sanctioned death and persecution largely ignored by the media and culture at large:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/shocking-figures-reveal-105000-christians-martyred-each-year-50976/

Nor does it make you several times more likely than members of any other group to suffer a hate crime:

Just out of curiosity, Dustin - would you classify my aforementioned Family Guy joke as a 'hate crime'?

How about being fired because of your religious beliefs?

Many of the supposed instances of persecution mentioned in the video--why can't we teach creationism, etc. etc.--are not in fact instances of bullying but rather instances of failing to get preferential treatment.

A bit like how same-sex marriage isn't about marriage equality, but special rights for gays, right?

The fact that other people have it worse, however, is relevant because of: 1) The fact that Victor explicitly brought up as points of comparison LGBT youths and minorities who are called racial slurs, and

Victor's only initial statement was that it happens, but we hear about it far less.

2) The hilariously apocalyptic tone of the article and video Victor linked to ("We are at war," etc. etc.)

Funny you should mention that, Dustin - since they're just using the same sort of rhetoric that gets thrown at them by progressives:

This is a war, folks. It’s always been a war. It was a war when the evangelicals said the Bible supports slavery. It was a war when they said the Bible supports denying women the vote. And it’s a war when they say the Bible condemns homosexuality.

Bob said...

105,000 martyred for their faith?

Hardly:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-24864587