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“Religious persecution”? Fake news!


Fox “News” got a little blindsided after they ran this headline:

Pastors praise Trump for skipping UN panel on ‘imaginary’ climate crisis for ‘real’ problem of religious persecution

Turns out Trump did make it to the climate change panel. He looked bored beyond belief, but it was the price he had to pay after being pilloried around the world as the science denier he is. (Rumor has it he managed to squeeze in 9 holes of golf at Bedminster, after the panel and before his next event.)

What is this “real problem of religious persecution” that Trump’s pastor friends complain about? There’s certainly no such problem here in America, where Christians have run things forever and still do; where evangelicals constitute the single most powerful Republican voting block; and where the U.S. Supreme Court is dominated by conservative Roman Catholics. So the pastors can’t whine about that!

Instead, they reserve their criticism for the rest of the world. “A third of the world is living under religious persecution,” declared Trump’s favorite T.V. show, Fox & Friends. Then there’s the ever delightful Tony Perkins (whose homophobic, anti-Muslim, anti-liberal smears at his Family Research Council made him infamous): ”This is the president kind of putting down a marker…advancing religious freedom. [He] is going to…challenge these nations to ensure that, people regardless of their faith, when they publicly assemble to worship God that they don’t have to do that in fear of terrorists or tyrants.”

Nice words, coming from a person whose personal belief includes the staggering hope that when the Rapture happens, everybody on Earth except for born-again Christians will be consigned to the fiery pits of Hell. That includes the right wing, Netanyahu-style conservative Orthodox Jews whom evangelicals profess to love so much: come the Rapture, they, too, will be sent to Hell—if, that is, the Christians don’t first slaughter them here on Earth.

Well, there’s strange bedfellows for you: Orthodox Jews and conservative Christians, temporarily restraining themselves from mutual annihilation.

Christians do appear to be discriminated against in some countries. China limits them; so do Muslim countries. North Korea is notoriously tough on them. But if you read beyond the headlines, you discover that what these countries are really doing is reacting against Christian evangelicalism within their borders—something they have every right to do, given the Christian church’s historical record of decimating its own perceived enemies and fomenting unrest among their populations. Just as America has little tolerance with foreign nations interfering in our activities, so too do other countries often view organized Christianity as an affront to their cultures and a threat to their institutions.

So the pastors, led by Trump, are guilty of more than a little hypocrisy. Everybody with an ounce of common sense knows that the most radical Christians also are the most intolerant. They believe in the Jesus Christ who flogged the moneychangers in the temple, the Christ who comes armed with a terrible swift sword, to crush the serpent with his heel (in the words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, surely the most martial “Christian” lyric ever written). And who is the serpent? Anyone who denies the reality of Christ.

Talk about “religious persecution”!!!

We can laugh at this; it really is a sort of joke, the kettle calling the pot black. But who can blame the pastors? They’ve been slouching towards their theological Armageddon for years, making very little progress here in America where they were viewed, correctly, as fringe lunatics, until they hit the jackpot with the election of Donald J. Trump as president (albeit with the help of that other great friend of Christianity, Vladimir Putin). For Christians, Trump has been what the A-bomb was for America in the war against Japan: the ultimate weapon. If you had an A-bomb, that was all you needed to smite the enemy and win the war.

Christians now have Trump. Or do they? In many respects that’s what this battle over Impeachment is all about. It’s not really about obstructing justice, or colluding with America’s enemies, or asking Ukraine for dirt on Biden, or paying hush money to porn stars, or cheating on his taxes, ad infinitum ad nauseum. No, it’s about whether or not these radical, anti-democratic [with a small “d”] Christian fanatics will be able to seize control of the entire Federal apparatus (they already have effective control of many State and local governments), thereby completing a theocratic coup d’etat. Surely that’s something no fair-minded patriot wants to see; surely that is something worthy of risking our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

  1. “What is this “real problem of religious persecution” ”
    There is a problem with religious persecution in America. But it’s persecution BY religious zealots who are trying to dictate what people can do.

  2. It’s like these damn “Christian” bakers who won’t sell wedding cake to gay people. That’s religious persecution!!!

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