This is nothing new, we’ve heard claims from fundamentalist Christians for years that they’re being persecuted, but a new study shows that an increasing number of Christians are adopting this ridiculous view. According to a Lifeway Research poll, 63% of those polled say that Christians are facing a growing degree of intolerance.
Now Lifeway is a specifically evangelical Christian organization so I can’t speak to the accuracy of their poll, but it comes as no surprise to those of us who spend a lot of time debating the religious. But this isn’t now, nor has it ever been about tolerance, it’s about a loss of power.
Greg Jao, vice president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, says “Because of the high media attention on a couple of key cases, I think Christians are more aware and feel more persecuted or less tolerated than they did before.” In other words, Christianity is no longer the default position and Christian values are no longer automatically accepted by the world as a whole. Apparently, these people have no idea what persecution actually is. Slave owners were not persecuted because they were no longer allowed to have slaves. Christians need to stop thinking that it’s their way or the highway. No one is stopping them from worshiping as they please, they are only being stopped from acting on their anti-social beliefs and that’s not persecution, that’s reality.
They’re so used to having the dominant voice in society that now that society has decided not to listen anymore, they see it as a crime against their faith, not a fundamental shift in the way society operates.
Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Consumer, says “As the diversity-inclusion movement grows, and more and more companies become diversity-centric, what you really begin to see is a glaring gap that exists. As a Christian, you begin to see that you’re being excluded from the culture, excluded from the conversation.” But you’re not. You can take part in the conversation, you just can’t expect to control the conversation because that’s what you’re traditionally used to doing. And whenever I read these quotes by Christians, it seems clear that they understand the problem, they just don’t want to deal with it.
The Faith Driven Consumer publishes a Faith Equality Index, which seeks to rate businesses on how friendly they are to believers. But that’s a pointless index because businesses don’t exist to be friendly to believers, they exist to be friendly to customers. Apparently, Christians want to be treated like they’re special. According to the FEI, “Faith Driven Consumers are Christians who proactively live out their faith throughout their life – including where they shop, what they buy and the entertainment choices they make. Faith Driven Consumers make daily decisions in the context of their biblical worldview and view their choices through that lens as a matter of stewardship.” They don’t want businesses to be friendly toward them, they want businesses to specifically cater to them. Their FEI scorecard shows that they want businesses to be Christian, their particular brand of Christian, and anyone who doesn’t comply is apparently “persecuting” them. This is insane, but what can you expect from people for whom their religious beliefs are the central focus of everything for every second of their lives? This isn’t persecution, it’s demanding to get their own way or they’ll cry.
Maybe Christians need to grow up and realize they’re not in charge anymore and just be part of the world instead of holding themselves apart from it. Dealing with reality as it actually is, that’s part of the basic maturation process. Time to stop being so immature, Christians.