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It’s On Us

G-Miller-Thompson-2 OPINION

– By G. Miller Thompson –

“The hour is late, and the need is urgent.  The eternal destiny of many souls—and the future of our great nation—are at stake.  Pray that we will turn from our wicked ways and that God will heal our land.”  -Dr. Billy Graham

As part of Billy Graham’s 95th birthday celebration, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association put together a phenomenal video series billed “My Hope America.”  In the series, Graham discusses the secular path on which our nation seems intent upon traveling.  However, Graham continues to present a message of hope.  Despite the chaos America finds herself in, Graham has hope for our country.

His hope is not in government.  His hope is not in celebrities.  His hope is not in medicine nor is it in business.  His hope is in Jesus Christ.

We live during an age when persecution of Christians is becoming more and more commonplace.  In fact, Christianity grows more and more irrelevant in modern society as the days pass.  We have witnessed attack after vicious attack to alienate us and ostracize our beliefs.  Too many “influential” Americans in the spotlight today find strength in themselves rather than in God.  Their self-centeredness gives them a sense of invincibility and they do as they please.

The Billy Grahams of the United States seem to be growing fewer and fewer.  Our once God-fearing nation has become uninterested in Christian teachings and more interested in self-advancement.  Great evangelicals within our Christian community have been replaced by anti-Christian organizations such as the Freedom from Religion Foundation, the American Atheists, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, and the list goes on.

These groups have taken control of the nation.  They have taken prayer out of schools.  They have murdered more than 50 million unborn children.  They have shoved homosexuality down the throat of America.  They have abandoned morality in the name of “freethinking.”

The bottom line is that Christianity is under attack in America.  Unfortunately, the reason behind these increasing assaults is the church.  The Christian church has become complacent in modern society and has allowed secular progressives to do as they please while we remain silent in the corner.  We cannot expect things to change if we continue to stand by.

The Bible teaches that Christians will face persecution.  Upon accepting Christ, one must accept this reality.  When fear of persecution silences the population, well, we have a serious problem.

Our answer is not found in government.  In fact, the government is not at fault for the actions it has taken.  The blame lies squarely with the church.  So long as we appease the Muslims and atheists and gays and other so-called “activists,” how Christians feel is not important.  This is the position in which we find ourselves after years of complacency.  We cannot expect change unless we are going to drive it.  Our hope is in Jesus Christ.

Dr. Graham has been estimated to have reached more than 210 million lives in his 60 years of preaching.  He understands that we cannot make the decision to follow Christ for anyone but ourselves.  We can, however, present the Gospel to the lost and allow them to make the decision for themselves.

I strongly believe that if each Christian in our nation would be as willing to come out of the closet we have locked ourselves in as the homosexuals are, a transformation would occur right here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.  We must not forget that the Constitution grants us freedom to worship as we please.  We have the sovereign right to worship the Creator of the heavens and the earth.  If we fail to step up to the plate, this right will be an element of history that generations to come will only be able to read about in textbooks.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Edgefield Advertiser.

Have something to say? Please leave your comments below.

 

100 Responses to It’s On Us

  1. Jay Scheinder

    November 13, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Yes, christians are being persecuted, not “the gays.” How many states can christians get married in? Oh, 50, compared to 15 for LGBT. More and more I cannot tell the difference between christians like this and the Westboro Baptist Church. Same message, less foul language.

    • Diane

      November 13, 2013 at 11:57 am

      the Strom Thurmond T-shirt really says it all, at least for me. Poor persecuted Christians, who are sheltered from paying taxes while they tell congregations who to vote for, who can go to church and preach whatever they like because they are constitutionally protected, who are not being killed for their beliefs. It’s unbelievable how Christians are treated in this country–so badly in fact, that Christians undergoing REAL persecution would give anything to come over here to get treated as badly as these “Christians” are being treated. *weeps*

  2. Jeremy Edwards

    November 13, 2013 at 11:32 am

    You are a pack of MORONS!

    • T. Ogden

      November 13, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Perhaps you should be more specific about whom you are referring to as “a pack of morons.”

  3. sharky

    November 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

    utter nonsense.

  4. Andrew David Reinholdson

    November 13, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I find it appalling when Christians say that they are persecuted today. It’s almost as though they do not understand the term. I think Paul or Stephen or indeed Jesus himself, all having been murdered for their beliefs, would agree with me.

    I think the author knows this, but just likes to throw the term ‘persecute’ around as many Christians do. This is evident here when the author spends one line saying how terribly Christians are being persecuted, and then spends the rest of the paragraph on how Christianity is becoming less and less relevant and people are relying more and more on themselves, which of course would have nothing to do with persecution, to say nothing of the fact that it is poor paragraph structure.

    The truth is that Christians in America enjoy every single advantage but their ideas are losing favor in the court of public opinion thanks to the increasing availability of the ideas of the opposition, and compared side-by-side honestly, the Christian ideas are found lacking and untrue historically, morally, and scientifically.

    And where does the author think all these people in the atheist and secular organizations are coming from, I wonder? They are former Christians who weren’t ‘persecuted’ into non-belief, they simply had a change of mind that led them to emancipate themselves from the sadomasochistic relationship that Christ demands. Love me because you fear me. It amazes me such a doctrine has survived as long as it has, honestly.

    I’m amazed further at how often I am forced to defend Christianity against itself. As an atheist it gives me no pleasure to have to defend the likes of Paul or the many who have literally suffered persecution in the name of Christ, but I despise ignorance and so I must. And so, until we start throwing you to the lions again, please keep the word persecute out of your mouth.

    • Kittylit

      November 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Bravo. Well said.

  5. Desertman

    November 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    If by “persecution” the author means not being allowed to impose biblical law upon others, I guess he is correct. Otherwise, as pointed out by others here, he does not grasp the definition of the word.

  6. kartos

    November 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    “In fact, Christianity grows more and more irrelevant in modern society as the days pass.”

    GOOD. The USA is not a theocracy and you don’t get to shove your beliefs down the throats of everyone who isn’t Christian any more. Deal with it.

    • Katwise

      November 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      The only accurate sentence in the entire piece.

    • tychabrahe

      November 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Also, the fact that his religion is less relevant is not a sign of persecution. We didn’t persecute buggy whip manufacturers when car owners decided to stop buying buggy whips.

      If you want to be relevant, you have to stay relevant. If you’re going to tell women their value comes from keeping their legs closed until marriage and that gays are evil, you’re going to become less relevant.

  7. wahoosam

    November 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Have to disagree with the claim that atheists have taken control of the nation. There are over 500 members of Congress that are Christian or Jewish, compared to one nontheist.

  8. Jesse Jarrell

    November 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Sorry if I’m not going to take a lecture about Christianity very seriously coming from someone proudly wearing a Strom Thurmond shirt.

  9. Heywood Jablowme

    November 13, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    It’s an opinion piece, and he’s certainly entitled to his opinion. His arguments however, are indefensible.

    • Opus

      November 14, 2013 at 11:54 am

      Here is a book that will shed some light on Mr. Graham’s record as a man of peace and an unimpeachable source of Christian morals! :O) The book is “The Prince of War: Billy Graham’s Crusade For A Wholly Christian Empire.” by Cecil Bothwell.

  10. Judson A. Vandiver

    November 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Over 78.4% of adults in the United States identify as Christian according to Pew Research. It is completely asinine to state that the majority of Americans are being persecuted against. Just because Evangelicals cannot run slipshod over the rights of others with impunity does not mean that they are being persecuted against. I really hope that one day you wake up and realize that it is in fact the Evangelical community who are actually the “bad guys” and the “bullies” who have been the greater detriment to Liberty.

  11. Eddie Right

    November 13, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    “The Bible teaches that Christians will face persecution. Upon accepting Christ, one must accept this reality.”

    To the point you have to go desperately searching for (and ultimately inventing) that persecution, right?

    • Doug Herlong

      November 13, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      Or the fact that statistically 20,000 christians will be put to death today over in countries like afghanistan, vietnam, saudi arabia, north korea or china. No need to invent anything.

      • Kevin Jackson

        November 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

        Do you have any documentation for that Doug? Are those same places not treating all citizens horribly?

      • MsMarieH

        November 14, 2013 at 6:36 am

        But this article is not about Christians in other countries. It’s about the persecution of Christians in America. Therefore apparently something does need to be invented.

      • Opus

        November 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

        Where are your citations to support your claim?

      • Eddie Right

        November 14, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        None of that was mentioned in the article. Thank you for supporting my point that the “persecution” he does mention is not persecution at all.

  12. Joel

    November 13, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    Behold the loss of Christian privilege! It feels so much like persecution!

    I’m a career prosecutor specializing in violent and sexual crimes. I don’t believe in god. I’m gay. I’m a citizen of this country and a contributing member of my community. I am NOT what’s wrong with this country.

    • xenubarb

      November 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      And I like you better than the Strom Thurmond fan here…

    • Doug Herlong

      November 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      He never said you were

    • Jess

      November 13, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      Exactly, loss of Christian privilege. You took the words right out of my mouth. People like the author are so used to being able to push their beliefs on other, that when we speak up and push back, they claim “persecution.”

      per·se·cute (pûrs-kyt)
      tr.v. per·se·cut·ed, per·se·cut·ing, per·se·cutes
      1. To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
      2. To annoy persistently; bother.

      Atheists are far more oppressed by the Christian majority in this country. I do not speak of my lack of religious beliefs at work because I am afraid of the potential consequences to my career. Although I would probably not go so far as to consider myself “persecuted,” being openly atheist certainly carries risk in this country, especially here in the South.

      • Jon Anderson

        November 16, 2013 at 7:53 am

        Yes being openly atheist in SC is like painting a target on your back in SC. I know from experience. See Anderson VS Chesterfield County.

  13. Kevin Jackson

    November 13, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    So many things to respond to.
    Strom Thurmond????
    You say Billy Graham’s hope is not in medicine. If that’s the case then we can eliminate any shortage of doctors by just asking you to live by those principals and using prayer instead.
    The whole persecution thing is so tiresome and ridiculous.

    There is some room for agreement. You said, “Christianity grows more and more irrelevant in modern society as the days pass.”
    You hit that one right on the head. Superstition loses sway when there are facts and understanding to take their place. Were it not for the indoctrination from birth to not question religion, it would be the latest Zeus or Thor.

    You did go right back to the hate though when you attack groups who seek nothing more than to have a society where all are treated equally and none are treated as special. That is the “persecution” you speak of. You want special privileges that you don’t deserve. None of the groups you condemn seek anything but equal footing in our society. You want to claim the right to control others based on your superstitions.

    To clarify- the Constitution took “organized school led prayer” out of schools. You have always had the right to have your beliefs; you just can’t force others to follow you down your misguided path.

    And finally some more agreement when you say “We must not forget that the Constitution grants us freedom to worship as we please.”
    Believe what you will, it seems only theists are trying to force others to live by their doctrines. The key word there is YOU. You don’t have the right to impose your beliefs on others.

  14. Sly Cotto

    November 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    If you repeat a lie often enough, you might start to believe it’s true:
    Christians are persecuted
    Christians are persecuted
    Christians are persecuted
    Christians are persecuted…

    Nope.
    It’s still a ridiculous claim.

  15. Ken

    November 13, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Pity the poor, downtrodden super-majority Christians. Their right to marginalize us non-Christians, and to cram their beliefs down our throats must be protected at all costs.

  16. Caroline White

    November 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Wonderful article! You are doing great things, Miller! True wisdom begins with the reverential fear of Almighty God.  The end of wisdom and the beginning of foolishness is the result of fearing other people instead of fearing God.  

    • Alphonze Rawling

      November 13, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Why the fear? I thought god was supposed to be a benevolent super magician. Is he really a mean jerk who hurts people?

  17. Edge

    November 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    “EIEIO”

  18. secularjew

    November 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    This Op-ed piece contains so much idiocy that it could make one lose any hope for this country. However, the replies here are so rational that it makes me feel at least a little better. Of course christianity is in no way under attack in this country. It is still the majority religion and nothing has been done to diminish that other than things that makes sense, such as preventing the use of government entities to push one particular belief structure. Prayer in school still happens, just not led by teachers or administrators. Nobody is “shoving homosexuality down anybody’s throat.” What we are doing is preventing one group’s religious beliefs from being used to limit the rights of any other group. That to me is the definition of freedom. If your religious message isn’t being accepted as fact by more and more people, that just means that more people are learning to think logically.

  19. Parson Stewart

    November 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    No true Christian is a capitalist–Franklin Graham and his ilk are bankers’ whores who abuse the name of Jesus and the gullible for political ends. The True and Living GOD is actively destroying the false Churches represented by “conservative” false Christians, and for that I give praise.

    • Keith T

      November 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

      Money changers in their temples!

  20. Clay Turner

    November 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I believe that this is written to Christians. As one, it makes sense that I have a responsibility to stand for what I believe. Todays church has become silent in our stance on biblical moral teaching. The author is writing from a christian perspective that many don’t agree with. THAT IS OK… are christians persecuted the way Paul was? Not here. But more and more are we told that we can’t have a voice because the teachings we follow are offensive to others. It is disguised as polical correctness. It can be seen in posts below… jonesboro, shoving beliefs, ignorant… why so harsh on us? Do we not have just as much right to have our beliefs as you?

    • Joel

      November 13, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      Clay, you don’t get to legislate your religious morality on others. You don’t get to enlist the government to help you control the lives of others based on your supernatural beliefs. Get it?

      • Clay Turner

        November 13, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        At what point did I bring up the gov’t? They can’t get anything right. I don’t want them in my faith!

        • Joel

          November 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

          Because it’s a short road from “biblical moral teaching” to having the government prohibit my marriage.
          What exactly is biblical morals? Genocide. Slavery? Animal sacrifice? Vicarious redemption? Homophobia?

          It’s your morals that are scary.

          • Clay Turner

            November 13, 2013 at 1:05 pm

            Wow… u sounding judgemental. Just because I don’t agree with your lifestyle choices, doesn’t mean I dislike you. This is persecution… when u can’t state how u feel without attack or misconceived judgement. You have the right to feel the way you do just like me. I am not trying to change your mind.

        • Alphonze Rawling

          November 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

          Clay while you may not be a theocrat, Billy Graham is. He has actually said, “I just want to lobby for God.” This is a fact. He and others such as the Family research council think it is their job to impose what they think their god’s morals are on all others. Trying to figure out what you god wants you to do and what he thinks is wrong and then making laws to enforce these things is the very essence of theocracy.

          Try to imagine what that looks like to others who have no god or whose god or gods seem to want other things. It’s crazy.

          Legislatures have regulated sexual positions and banned the teaching of biology because they think it is what god wants.

          Imagine if a bunch of followers of Zeus saying that we need to use tax payer money to give vouchers to people who want to go to private schools to learn how Gaea alone gave birth to Uranus, the heavens. Uranus became Gaea’s mate covering her on all sides. Together they produced the three Cyclopes, the three Hecatoncheires, and twelve Titans. This is how Bobby Jindal’s efforts to funnel public resources to christian schools appears to us.

          Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics, Unitarians, and people of other faiths simply want to be free from the theocratic elements of the religious majority. We don’t need Islamic Fundamentalism or Christian Fundamentalism, or any other form of theocracy.

          Believe what you want, just don’t use supernatural beliefs as a basis for legislation or public policy.

          • Clay Turner

            November 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

            So christians are not allowed to have a voice? Theocracy is rule by the church…. democracy allows everyone a voice… even christians

        • dan bruseth

          November 13, 2013 at 1:38 pm

          So Clay, you are perfectly fine with marriage equality, right? Because the only ones protesting equal rights for the LGBT community are the religious right.
          You are perfectly entitled to whatever you want , as long as you are not imposing your beliefs on others. I don’t give a rats ass what your Bronze Age fairy tales say, you can’t use them to restrict the rights of others, then cry persecution when the rest of the population tells you “no”.
          And what i truly think is hilarious about this regurgitated 700 Club commercial is that the OP put all these imagined horrors in America on gays, atheists, muslims, and progressives, the he goes on to whine about how Christians are sooooo persecuted. His argument is basically: anyone who isn’t an Evangelical is evil, and Christians are being persecuted for not being allowed to treat the evil people as second-class citizens.

          • Clay Turner

            November 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm

            Dan, personally, I do not agree with homosexuality. But I also do not call people names and insult people who do. The “right” does have the right to stand up and have their voice heard… just like the lgbt. The people spoke… I don’t have to agree. I choose to stand by my convictions without insulting or bashing.

    • Ed Silha

      November 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Clay Turner wrote “we told that we can’t have a voice”. A totally baseless claim. The ability of Christians to exercise free speech has not been infringed. The unconstitutional practice of using a government microphone (e.g., public schools) to spread their religious belief is being is being limited as more people recognize that involving government in religion damages both institutions.

      • Clay Turner

        November 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        The comments argue my point better than I could. I don’t want the govt to tell you who to worship, but a Christian should be able to speak as freely as anyone else.

        • Devious Soybeans (@DeviousSoybeans)

          November 13, 2013 at 1:23 pm

          And you can, Clay. But freedom of speech does not give any of us freedom from criticism, including you. We’re disagreeing — that’s not persecution.

          • Clay Turner

            November 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm

            I’m okay with your criticism. As a christian, if I criticized or called you names the way some have… would u be okay? People want the church to be tolerant, but nobody wants to tolerate the church.

        • Triscele666

          November 13, 2013 at 1:25 pm

          Clay I’d agree. Everyone should be on a level field. Christians should not however think they are entitled to the privileged status they have had. I don’t seek any special favors. I’ll argue based on evidence only. Christians should expect no less and no more.

        • Devious Soybeans (@DeviousSoybeans)

          November 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

          Regarding your reply to my reply: The point you seemed to be making, to which I replied, is “Christian should be able to speak as freely as anyone else.” Now it’s turned into whether or not people should be “okay” with name-calling? I’ve been called nearly every name in the book by various Christians, and for the most part, no, I’m not “okay” with that, if by “okay” you mean “fond of.” But I accept that people have the right to voice their disagreement with me, and so long as they don’t threaten violence, they have the right to call me names. Again, this is not persecution.

          Also, I think most non-theists are “tolerant” of “the church,” so long as the church, or any church, stays separate from the state. It seems that this is something you agree with. Does that make you intolerant?

          • Clay Turner

            November 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm

            Devious… I am sorry that christians have called you names or insulted you. Please don’t let that tarnish your view on all of us.

    • Jay

      November 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      Clay, you are right: you *should* stand up for the things you believe. Proclaim your alleged Biblical morals to all. You have that Constitutionally guaranteed right. But realize that we, too, have have free speech, same as you. And therefore we have the right to mock, ridicule, and call the “morality” you espouse exactly what it is: garbage. It’s funny to me that Christians like you cherry-pick whatever it is in the Bible you agree with while gleefully (and deceitfully) ignoring the rest. Do you think genocide is ever right? How about stoning a rape victim because she doesn’t cry out? Do you support slavery like Jesus did?

      Christianity has finally been exposed as a farce, untrue in morality, untrue scientifically, untrue historically. So, please, yell loudly, yell often. Mocking and exposing you and your ilk helps shed light on you and your beliefs.

      • Clay Turner

        November 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm

        Don’t recall cherry-picking any verses. Seems as though you have had some run ins with believers that were less than stellar. I urge you not to judge me based on your experience with others. Feel free to mock and ridicule. As for your beliefs about christianity, I am sorry you feel that way.

    • Robert Knight

      November 13, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I would like to disagree with you on a very important point, Christians are not being told that they cannot believe (at least not by the majority) far from it, if your beliefs make you a better person then by all means believe, The problem arises when Christians take those beliefs and think that they somehow have the right to judge a person as moral vs. immoral and dictate how someone else should live their lives. You are absolutely correct, Christians have just as much right to speak their minds and opinions as everyone else, the problem arises when (the extremist minority I admit) takes that voice and tries to attack others. Homosexuals, women, Muslims, etc, and act like they are somehow immune to any offense simply because they are stating something based on faith. Your faith is allowed, with out a doubt, but be prepared if that faith offends others.
      That is one of the costs of freedom, while you have the right and freedom to say what you want, you do not have the right to say that because you are saying it as something religious it cannot be offensive.

  21. Keith T

    November 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    But has Christianity ever *not* been under attack in America? Seems to me Christianity thrives on the notion of its own persecution. Even when Christians comprise 98% of a community, two gay people move into town and it’s “an attack on Christianity” and all the alarms are sounded. There’s always an attack on Christianity coming from somewhere, someone, whether it’s King George or Soviet Russia or Dan Savage.

    • Robert Knight

      November 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      It seems to be a martyrdom thing with Christians, they cannot simply be content in knowing that they have the super-majority, they have to have someone that is actively “out to get them”. Otherwise they could not feel like they are part of the rebellious “fringe groups”. They would suddenly realize that they are actually already in power and that all anyone else is trying to do is remove some of that power.
      Please allow me to clarify, my above comment is only directed at the extremist minority of Christians. As a whole there are many more good Christians who use their faith as a source of kindness than there are those who use it as a source of bigotry and hatred.

  22. RR

    November 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Dean Wormer, from the movie Animal House

    • Joel

      November 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm

      Zero. Point. Zero.

  23. Nic Hoffmann

    November 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Thanks everyone for confirming everything the author had to say in today’s article! As a fellow Strom Thurmond graduate I’m proud of everything he has to say and what he is doing!

  24. Nick M.

    November 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    I would like to ask the author four questions in relation to his assertion that Christians are persecuted in the US. 1) How many Christians have been beaten by mobs in the US due to their faith? 2) How many Christians have been killed in US due to their faith? 3) How many Christians have been driven from their homes/churches due to their faith? 4) How many Christians have had their homes/churches destroyed due to their faith? The answer is none. Christians are subject to these types of persecution in India, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, and Sudan, among other nations. Tens of thousands have been beaten and murdered, and there are hundreds of thousands that are now refugees due to the destruction of their homes or fear for their lives. That is persecution.

  25. ntechray

    November 13, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    We are a nation of liberty and that means the right not to have your beliefs shoved onto us. Keep your god in your church and your home and groups and we will be fine.

  26. Robert Knight

    November 13, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Just so I understand the point of this, he is saying that because Christians are unable to force their religious dogma down everyone else’s throats with impunity they are being persecuted? Am I really understanding this correctly? Can the writer of this article really be that obtuse? Forgive me, but there is a distinct difference between being attacked violently for what you believe, and being told that you must act humanly to others whether they believe what you believe or not. Also, the attacks on the Christians in this forum are simply astounding, you people are acting exactly like the Christians want you to. As atheists, it is our duty and responsibility to rise above the direct attacks against people simply for not believing as we do or we are no better than them. While it is acceptable to attack what they believe, please keep it only to their stated beliefs and not railroad them into the category which the Right-wing Christian extremists fall. For example stating that Clay Turner must follow things like Genocide. Slavery, Animal sacrifice, Vicarious redemption or Homophobia because he is an avowed Christian does little to allow for the humanity that he might believe in. I have met good Christians (most with almost Buddhist leanings admittedly), and I have met “bad” Christians who use the bible as a source of hatred. To these bad “Christians” I always try to teach them the correct understanding of their own books. For example, in Leviticus where is lists homosexuality as an abomination, the original word that was used is “Tovah”, which literally translated simply means “Ritually impure”, It is not “Zimah” which means simply wrong. Either way, it is wrong to assume that just because someone identifies as Christian they are going to side with the extremists.

    • Lee

      November 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      original word may well have been Tovah, but it still says directly afterwards they should be killed. I honestly feel if more Christians read the book they are supposedly living their life by, they would see it for the archaic drivel it really is. Wake up, stop wasting the short time you have on this planet and realise if you are a good person you can be good without it. Good people do good things and bad people do bad things. But for a good person to do bad things takes Religion.

    • clay Turner

      November 13, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Robert, although we don’t agree point for point, I certainly respect your civility. Disagreements should not immediately resort in name calling. I can discuss and agree to disagree with anyone. Name calling and hatred towards those who are different shows ignorance no matter from the keyboard or a pulpit.

  27. Phillip Lozano

    November 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Only in the United States could a religion that 73% of the population self-identifies with claim to be “persecuted” with a straight face.

    Being denied the “right” to persecute others who don’t share your beliefs is not persecution, genius.

  28. skylark

    November 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State (AU), is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Please explain how AU is an “anti-Christian organization” WITHOUT resorting to the No True Scotsman fallacy. You know, where you claim that “he’s not a REAL Christian”, meaning not YOUR kind of Christian.

  29. Karen

    November 13, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    There is no need to attack Christianity. It is imploding under its own silliness.

    • Infidel1000

      November 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      Absolutely. But I’d like to see its collapse in my lifetime. At this rate, it’ll be another 2000 years. But, as it erodes, it exposes its hard core. That’s a problem. These crazies won’t go away, and as they lose influence, their paranoia increases exponentially. And these are the gun-toting and most fundamentalist group. Doesn’t auger well for the future. It’s like the fall of the Third Reich. As it gets closer to the end, it gets more intense. With apocalyptic fundamentalist religious crazies jockying for political position in a world full of nuclear weapons, they could conceivably literally destroy civilization. If we really want to avoid that, here will come a time when secularists will have to put up or shut up, and deny, forever, political control of nations to these people.

  30. William Kruse

    November 13, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Wow. What utter rubbish. News flash kid, when 78% of the population share your belief in the invisible man in the sky, you aren’t the persecuted minority you claim to be.

    http://religions.pewforum.org/reports

  31. Ryan Burkhart

    November 13, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Dear author,
    Your opinion is severely misinformed.
    1. A majority of Christians want access to safe, legal abortions; and constitutional rulings agree with that right.
    2. Most abortion procedures are requested by and performed on Christians.
    3. Prayer is perfectly acceptable in public schools; school employees just can’t endorse the prayer – that would be unconstitutional.
    4. Your talk of “persecution” is laughable. It’s not persecution when people prevent you from forcing others to abide by your personal religious beliefs. Get back to me if/when Christians in America are being tortured and murdered for their religious beliefs – as Christians have done to gays, atheists, pagans, “heathens”, alleged witches, and “inferior ethnicities” for millennia, and continue to do, to this day, in many parts of the world.
    5. Christianity is becoming more and more irreverent, each day; and it’s largely due to the ignorant, bigoted opinions of Christians like yourself.
    6. People are not “lost and in need of being ‘saved’ by Jesus and people like you”; people need to be saved FROM people like you and your predatory, pompous, dominionist, misinformed, delusions of power and grandeur.
    Peace and reason,
    Ryan

    • Ryan Burkhart

      November 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Note: that should read *more and more irrelevant*. Sorry, phone.

  32. Infidel1000

    November 13, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    To all the religious fanatic theocrats:

    “Oh well I think mockery of religion is one of the most essential things. One of the beginnings of human emancipation is the ability to laugh at things.”

    -Christopher Hitchens

    Oh, and Strom Thurmand was a pig.

  33. jerold paquette

    November 13, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Rather strange. Christians are themajority. They, like all religionsare taxpayer supported (whether you agree or not) and take in as much tax deductible money as they want and pay no taxes andneed not tell me, the taxpayer being required to support the religion how much money goes in or how it is spent!

    How does this amount to persecution or disfavor?

  34. momintum33

    November 13, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    Religions are the stumbling block of humanity in any form

  35. John Murray

    November 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    This is dangerous thinking. Claiming persecution just because others are tired of you getting your way all the time is ludicrous! Non-christian Americans who stand up for their rights are not waging a war against religion. Non-christian Americans are not unpatriotic. Non-christian Americans are not trying to tear the country apart. Non-christian Americans are growing dramatically in number and political power. We, non-christian Americans,
    are simply trying to stop the religious from taking control over all of society.

  36. Rev. James K. Boodley

    November 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    I’m getting tired of evangelical / conservative / fundamentalist Christians who feel they represent all Christians. They do not. Those who feel persecuted are on the receiving end of healthy and justified push-back from the rest of society which insists that conservative Christians’ intollerance and bigotry are unacceptable. If you’re feeling persecuted because someone’s calling you out for your hypocrisy, that’s too bad. The conversation you’ll be having with Jesus some day will go much worse: “Did we not drive demons out in your name?”

    The Strom Thurmon fan-boy shirt doesn’t help your case, either.

    – Rev. James K. Boodley (UCC)

  37. Erik Parmeter

    November 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    This is typical of the hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty that are the true reason for the decline of Christianity’s influence in our culture. If YOU cannot be better than everyone else, then YOU are a victim. If YOU cannot impose your beliefs on others, than YOU are being persecuted. The writers absurd use of words such as “assault” and “persecution” demonstrate his utter lack of comprehension of the fact that he is not a victim, but simply a privileged person who sees that which he never deserved in the first place being taken away and so feels that he is being wronged. It is amusing that he feels that not being allowed to appropriate public resources to promote HIS ideology is somehow a threat to his right to worship freely, but expresses no remorse whatsoever about the actual discrimination against other groups that occurs every day. How many states have passed laws denying Christians the right to marry or hold public office? The old canard that somehow people are being denied the right to pray (in school or anywhere for that matter) is no less ridiculous now than it ever was. No one has ever been denied the right to pray to themselves ( you know, the way their savior instructed them to.) They have simply been prevented from using public resources to compel others to do so. If the writer would really like to understand why his faith is losing influence (which he somehow sees as “persecution” I would suggest he look in the mirror. HIS freedom is under attack because people have the audacity to disagree with HIM? HE is the victim of persecution because he is now being treated slightly less better than HE used to be (starting to see a theme here?) If he really wonders why people are turning away from his beliefs, he might start by examining his own vain, arrogant and self centered attitude. The irony of such a person decrying the fact that our society is becoming self focused is palpable. HE is right because HIS faith tells him so. He can hide behind the notion of serving “god” all he likes. There is no one in this conversation more obviously concerned with himself than him. His claims are not only demonstrably false, they are insulting to those throughout time who have genuinely suffered from religious persecution. People of all faiths (including his) are being tortured, imprisoned and killed in other parts of the world, and yet he doesn’t even mention this. Is he unaware of it, or just too focused on himself to bother? Would he care if he did know? Would he stand up for me if others of his ilk decided to “kill the infidels?” I doubt it. Small wonder his ideology is disappearing. Good riddance.

  38. christian thomas (@ksocreative)

    November 13, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Well…, when you stop preaching to me that i have to worship and pray through another human being to interact with the universe under the THREAT of eternal damnation, then maybe we’ll be on the same page. Until you can provide evidence that any of your relgious tenets are absolute truths of the cosmos versus temporary relative truths claimed by the bible (circular logic: it’s true because the bible says so) then you are being watched by the reasonable people of the world while you try and interject your beliefs into the rule of others. Don’t forget you live in a plural society.

    Prayer has not been removed from schools. you are allowed to pray. Schools are not allowed to endorse a particular religion over a class of children who may not all be christian! If you want prayer in school, go to a religious school where you can continue to teach children fallacies like one man ever came back from the dead along with all the saints who magically rose from the mount like a scene in Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s (SOME) christians who are self centered.

    what you don;t understand is that the Freedom from Relgion Foundation along with any entity fighting for the separation of church and state are doing you a favor! do you want a islamic church’s belief rulling over you!?! no! we don;t live in a theocracy!

    Christianity is dealing with globalization, aka as the spread of information. Once you understand evolution disproves the whole biblical assertion that two perfect humans were plopped down by god and that those two humans respsonsible for the fall of man never happened, you’ll understand why Jesus wasn’t “sent.”

    evolution does not achieve individuals no more than rocks take flight via free will.

    closing note: I agree with you. Church is the problem. Church refuses to study science. And, some people need more than Christ. Or, church for that matter.

  39. edwords

    November 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    The article does give us reason for hope.

    ” The Billy Grahams of the US are becoming fewer and fewer.”

  40. ultprinefan

    November 13, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    This entire article is nothing but pile of what u step in in a cow pasture written by someone infected by the disease of religion and suffering from the mental illness it causes. The sooner that Carolina piece of trash graham dies the better. 95 years babbling nonsense. What a wasted life.

  41. Lee Oates

    November 13, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Total nonsense.

  42. ultprinefan

    November 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Erik-great post. Thanks for saving me the time. I expect since we r “persecuting” them they “ll do like they have always done, kill anyone who disagrees with them, wash the blood from their hands and go right back to church. They still don’t understand that the decline of religion has been brought by religion and religious people. I look at them and say, “stop whining”, “It’s what u get, for what u gave”.

  43. placidair

    November 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Being blocked from continuing to persecute others is NOT the same thing as you yourself being persecuted. You let us know when you get fired for “being Christian”. You let us know when your basic human rights are in any manner curtailed because you’re “Christian”. Bearing false witness, as you have done here, is NOT Christian. Shame on you…. not for being “Christian”, but for lying about it.

  44. carl801

    November 13, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Can’t get past the Strom Thurmond t-shirt. A person who can’t see the absurdity of wearing that t-shirt and talking about “persecution of Christians” is not worth another second of my time.

  45. Nathan Marcy

    November 13, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I think you’re confusing “persecuted” with “unpopular” and “annoying”.

  46. ed-words

    November 13, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    The main reason for the decline of Christianity is that its
    beliefs are absurd.

  47. DJ

    November 13, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    @Clay – Having been raised in the church, I was taught to go out into the world and win people for Christ. Whether you want to admit it or not, that is the creed of most Christians, and is apparent in the article (although veiled). You are pretending that you’re only trying to worship as you please and we are persecuting you by telling you to stay out of our lives. Truth is – you want us to convert, and we want no part of that. That’s not persecution. That’s me worshiping (or not) as I please.

    • ed-words

      November 13, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Every 1-TRU religion has missionaries.

    • Clay Turner

      November 13, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      DJ, my belief does suggest that i should share with others, and I will if they allow. I have never pushed my beliefs on others. Worship, or don’t, as you please. My point throughout has been that the writer, whether right or wrong, in your opinion, should have a right to speak his mind without being called names or cursed at by those who disagree. I do not feel persecuted in general, but according to the def above, persecution is harassing someone based on their beliefs. per·se·cute (pûrs-kyt)
      tr.v. per·se·cut·ed, per·se·cut·ing, per·se·cutes
      1. To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.

      There is a double standard in which christians should accept being mocked, laughed at, criticized, called names for their beliefs, yet we are called intolerant when we dont agree with others.

      Christians are not perfect. Many christians do and say things that make Christianity as a whole look bad. I can only stand on my own merit, and hope that when I speak, you judge me as an individual and not group all christians with the crazies.

  48. Clay Turner

    November 13, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Let me rephrase, it doesn’t suggest, it commands that I share my faith, but I will not push my beliefs on anyone or continue to discuss with anyone who has no desire to hear it. When I share, I begin with “Do you mind if I tell you about my relationship with Christ?”…. if they say yes, I will share my personal testimony. If they say no, I say thats okay, lets talk about something else.

    • Erik Parmeter

      November 13, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      Clay, Someone being rude to you is not persecution. You and everyone else have a right to speak your mind and no one is threatening that in the slightest. Your right to speak is constitutionally protected. Your right not to be offended is not. If you want to see a double standard, try telling people that you don’t believe in their god some time and see how they react. Every year I have to listen to people whine about other people saying “happy holidays” and claiming that this is a “war” against their beliefs.What a joke. THAT is political correctness. I am expected not to say anything that might offend someone’s faith-as if I have some obligation not to offend people. I do not say things JUST to offend people (but even that is just being a jerk, not “oppressing” anyone.) but I am going to speak the truth as I see it. If someone is offended by that, that is their problem. If they think I am oppressing them, they are an imbecile. I can assure you that no one ever worries about offending me! “Hi! I don’t know what you believe and I don’t care. You need to believe what I believe so that I can feel better about myself! If you don’t listen to me I am a victim and you are oppressing me!” You don’t strike me as this kind of Christian Clay, and you are right that they are mostly just louder, not more numerous. It might help if the non “crazies” such as yourself would actually stand with us against those using your faith to promote bigotry and ignorance. Non Christians are discriminated against every day in this country (not to the level of places like say Iran, luckily) in everything from politics to adoption and family law. States have passed laws prohibiting the non religious from adopting children, getting custody of their children in the case of divorce, and from holding public office–even if they are elected to it! Imagine if San Francisco passed a law barring Christians from serving on the city council! You would probably be outraged, and you’d be right to be. You would also find a lot of secularists standing with you because we recognize that a threat to your liberty is also a threat to our own. Care to take a guess how many Christians have ever shown me the same courtesy? I can count them on one hand. If more reasonable people like you want to not be lumped in with the “crazies” it would certainly help if more of you would actually stand up to them instead of remaining silent.

      • Clay Turner

        November 14, 2013 at 12:28 am

        I agree that nonchristians have been treated poorly by christians. I hate that has happened. Unfortunately, the crazies usually get the microphone time in the media. Discrimination against someone concerning their beliefs/sexual orientation/skin color is wrong and is contrary to the teachings of Christ as I understand them. Disagreement does not constitute disrespect. But many of the comments above show that it goes both ways. And believe me, I am not silent when it comes to those within the church that hide their discrimination behind the Bible. And by the way, I worry about offending you, because if I offend you, then I face being seen as a person that doesn’t care about others and you would be less likely to converse with me. I have tried very hard to speak politely in every comment because, at least others on here could say that although they thought I was a nut for my beliefs, I was a nice nut!

    • ed-words

      November 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Good. Then stay out of politics.

  49. Terry Firma

    November 14, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Brilliant piece of satire, Mr. Thompson.

    Wait, it was satire, right? That whole schtick about American Christians being in the closet — in a country where three out of four adults profess to be Christ lovers, there’s a church on every corner, every president we’ve ever had was a Christian, and the entire 535-member Congress has ONE member who’s an agnostic?

    If you weren’t kidding, perhaps you ought to read what a preacher friend of mine has to say on the topic of Christian “persecution.” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/real-v-fake-persecution/

    He’s a damn sight more intelligent than you, but don’t let that bother you — I reckon most people are. Just read the article slowly, a couple of times; it’s OK if you move your lips while you do. When you’re done, let me know if you still have any questions!

  50. Stephen Levine

    November 14, 2013 at 8:19 am

    And there are people who worry that Sharia Law will be established in the United States. I highly doubt that will happen. However this opinion piece reminds me that we are at risk of becoming a Christian Theocracy, which, being Jewish, has me very concerned.

  51. actiusanicetus

    November 14, 2013 at 10:28 am

    As far as I know since Jesus was a Jew, he would not have condoned slavery. Of all the various ethnic and cultural groups in the Roman Imperial Period only the Jewish culture forbid their people from being slave owners. Otherwise I certainly agree with your position. It was Christianity that drove the known world into decline and darkness. If you are interested in how it was done, watch the very enlightened movie called Agora about the death of a woman philosopher named Hypathia in 4th Century Alexandria, the last bastion of free thinking in the Roman world and its demise at the hands of “Christians” It has taken 1500 years to return to the knowledge that was known and lost and to shake off the yoke of “Christian” rules of morality and thinking.

  52. Jane

    November 14, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    HA! You actually hit the nail on the head: “In fact, Christianity grows more and more irrelevant in modern society as the days pass.” I SO couldn’t have said it better myself.

  53. R T

    November 15, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Unh, unh, unh, whaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Whaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! We’re, unh, being, unh, persecuted! Unh, Whaaaaahhhhh! Just like, unh, the old straight white man! Whhaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!!