Wednesday, March 29, 2006

War on Christians

A conference this week discussed the raging war against Christians.
White evangelicals make up about one-quarter of the U.S. population, and 85 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christians. But three-quarters of evangelicals believe they are a minority under siege and nearly half believe they are looked down upon by most of their fellow citizens, according to a 2004 poll.
Nothing personal. I only look down on them because they can't open and read an atlas: Christianity is the dominant religious bloc, but only about a third of the globe believes in it. Christians are a minority, they're just used to being the majority in their little section of the U.S. The evangelicals running this conference probably do feel like they're under siege.

More importantly, what does "Christianity" mean, anyway? Are Catholics and Jehovah's Witnesses going to join hands and sing Kumbaya in an all-Christian world? No, large majorities in both of those groups thinks the others are going straight to hell. These people at the conference were just taking on the victim role, without ever being willing to grapple with the complexities, probably not so unusual for a born-again crowd. (And of course, folks like Tom Delay are there looking for the only buddies he has left in a vicious world hell-bent on harassing him).

One of the striking things about the popular Left Behind series is that when the millennium comes, only "true" Christians are taken to heaven in the first rapture. They're defining "true Christians" only as Evangelicals, or born-agains. All those Catholics, Methodists, Lutherans, etc., are left behind to duke it out with the Anti-Christ for the next seven years. Gee, I can't imagine why the Left Behind series has not sold so well in Europe.

Luckily, though, not everyone takes it so seriously.


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