Thursday, April 16, 2015

Calling Out the "War on Christianity"

In the mainstream media the biggest proponent of the alleged "War on Christianity" is Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly, who has done much to popularize the Poor Oppressed Christian worldview. O'Reilly has been called out on this over and over again, but either the critics are bloggers like me who the media establishment ignores, or they're people that he can easily dismiss as liberal partisans. Not this time.

Yesterday O'Reilly's fellow Fox News commentator and well-known conservative John Stossel took him to task, pointing out what I and others have been saying for years. There is no "War on Christianity." The Poor Oppressed Christians who think otherwise are whiny crybabies who are members of the the majority religion, but still can't stand that people who criticize them are allowed to speak - or even allowed to exist.

“Your ‘war on Christianity,’ you’re just a 10-foot-tall crybaby,” Stossel told O’Reilly. “It’s not so bad. Christians aren’t being killed.”

“Not yet,” O’Reilly replied.

“Not in America, and they’re not going to be,” Stossel countered.

“They’re verbally being killed,” O’Reilly insisted. Stossel scoffed in response, asking, “So what?”

The exchange came a day after O’Reilly argued that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton already has an advantage in her presidential campaign because it was “open season” on Christians and white men.

“You shouldn’t be diminished because you believe a certain way,” O’Reilly told Stossel. “Aren’t you outraged by that?”

“What’s diminished?” Stossel asked, before alluding to an ABC News poll saying that 83 percent of Americans identified as Christians. “You are the majority. You’ve won.”

“It’s not a matter of winning,” O’Reilly replied. “It’s a matter of respect.”

And there it is - the truth. At last.

Christians like O'Reilly think there's a "War on Christianity" because those of us who belong to other traditions refuse to acknowledge his religion's superiority, and even criticize it sometimes. That's frankly bizarre. I mean, if I thought Christianity was the superior religious tradition, I'd be Christian. But I don't, and no amount of whining from their side is going to change my mind. In fact, it makes them sound kind of pitiful that they consider a few non-Christians such a dire threat.

I could maybe get behind this point - maybe - if there weren't Christians out there making a public spectacle of being as disrespectful as possible to non-Christians, like what happened last week at the Iowa legislature. But I never hear folks like O'Reilly telling people on their side to knock it off, so what am I to think? I agree that if everyone involved could politely acknowledge that not everyone in America has the same beliefs, and that's okay, the situation would be better.

But the fact is that nobody is going to lose their job or have their kids taken away for being "outed" as Christian. On the other hand, that does happen in some parts of the country to Pagans and members of other minority religions. I have a hard time believing that even O'Reilly thinks this is somehow equivalent to a few critics calling Christianity stupid on the Internet, but if he does he's seriously delusional.

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Otto said...

O'Reilly knows exactly what he's doing. He's preaching to the choir, the demographic they (FOX) own. The paranoid, racist, homophobic, and the intolerant. "True Believers" are never confused by facts. Just the 83% who self identify as Christians is not enough to convince them they aren't being persecuted. If it were possible, I'm sure some of them would relish the idea of returning to the 1st & 2nd Century Rome and meeting in the catacombs.

Scott Stenwick said...

I have those suspicions as well. He can generate a lot of publicity by making statements that he knows anybody who is not conservative will find outrageous, and therefore share all over the place.

I'm reminded of the time that he was on The Colbert Report and claimed "It's all an act," to which Stephen replied, "But if you're an act, Bill, what does that make me?" Colbert's show was originally pitched to Comedy Central with one sentence, "Stephen Colbert parodies The O'Reilly Factor."

Anonymous said...

If only there was more effort to actually help Christians in Africa, Middle East, and Far East who are really being oppressed.

Even when they are almost at the doorstep of Europe, they are killed for their faith:

Scott Stenwick said...

Right! If the American Christians who are so up in arms about all this nonsense would focus their efforts there, they could actually save some lives. American Christians do work on those causes, but it hardly ever seems to be the ones who consider "Happy Holidays" some moral affront. I imagine that once you learn about Christians who are really being oppressed, you understand that whining about trivial nonsense is a waste of time and energy.