I am continually annoyed when Christians claim to be persecuted in this country. I know that we are, from time to time, inconvenienced and troubled, but it seems to me that calling ourselves persecuted simply devalues the term. I’ve lived where persecution was a reality, as in fleeing ahead of someone intent on killing you because of your activities as a Christian, and it’s truly not at all like living in America.
I’m not saying that we should not oppose discrimination. We should. We should oppose discrimination against anyone, not just ourselves. That should include Wiccans and their right to worship, even in the armed services, Muslims, including protecting them from discrimination based on a bias to assume they are terrorists, and even . . . [gasp] . . . atheists, true infidels!
Thus I was interested to note the following poll (HT: Abnormal Interests). The apparent resistance to Catholic, Black, and Jewish candidates is headed toward negligible. There’s a larger resistance, totally unjustified, against a woman candidate.
But only 55% would vote for a homosexual candidate, while only 45% would vote for an atheist. Gay atheists, obviously, need not apply!
So the question is this: Who’s getting persecuted in this country, and who’s doing the persecuting? I’m sure people are going to claim that refusing to vote for somebody is not persecution, yet many claims of persecution of Christians that I hear fall into very much the same category. Often they are effectively claims that one is losing one’s favored position. But taking one characteristic of a person, and refusing to vote for them on that basis, is a reflection at least of an attitude of persecution.
Many Christians are likely to tell me that I should, as a Christian, assume that Christian candidates have better character. But that is demonstrably false. In fact, in voting for “Christian” candidates, all I’m voting for is a professed Christian candidate. God only knows whether the claim is true or false. He may attend church simply to gain political favor. He may be 100% sincere. The only way I have to know is by a person’s record of doing what he says and his competence. But that’s precisely the same way that I can determine whether an atheist, a homosexual (who may well also be a Christian), or a Wiccan deserves my vote. What does the record show? I may guess wrong, but a couple of years in office will let me know whether I should vote for that person again.
As for me, I will vote for a person who has demonstrated integrity and competence, whether that person is gay or straight, Christian or atheist, Black or White, or any combination of characteristics or claims. It’s not the label, it’s the deeds.