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prisonchaplain

Are progressives guilty of Christianphobia?

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According to the linked article, the group that is most hostile towards conservative Christians are progressive, white, and educated.  http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/march-web-only/what-christianophobia-looks-like-in-america.html?share=UeA%2fAEk8MwjqKHOrUtb1jGM%2fzl2TiyOl

 

The attitudes expressed, put kindly, are that conservative Christians are fine, if they keep their religion in their houses of worship, and in their homes.  Keep it out of the public square, and out of our faces.  We don't want to discriminate against you per se.  However, we support California's public university "all-comers" policy--that prohibits clubs from restricting membership or leadership positions based on religion.  They also support restrictions on religious freedom, if doing so seems to mean an overall good for society (yeah, it's okay to bankrupt the baker that won't serve a gay wedding).

 

The article seems spot on to me.  I just hate to give into the same feeling of victimhood that ends up making us appear weak and oppressed.  Thought the facts are true, does this kind of thinking drive us towards a bunker mentality?  I still believe engaging the culture is preferable to circling the wagons. 

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To me, the scandalized reaction to the passage of Indiana's RFRA (which closely tracks that passed by the Feds twenty years ago) tells volumes.

Religious freedom is great for potheads who affiliate with obscure Native American-based sects in order to smoke weed while receiving federal welfare bennies. But a Christian who wants to not participate in a gay wedding celebration? Why, that's just pushing things. too far . . .

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As I've said before, and still don't like it, everything has come full circle.  Groups that used to be or watched others groups who were treated poorly by Christians have now put Christians in the hot seat.

 

The attitudes expressed, put kindly, are that homosexuals are fine, if they keep their sexuality in their homes.  Keep it out of the public square, and out of our faces.  We don't want to discriminate against you per se.  However,  They also support restrictions on housing and employment if doing so seems to mean an overall good for society (yeah, it's okay to fire and evict gays, they don't need shelter or employment).

 

As I've said before I don't like that things have gone full circle, but it's full court press against full court press , an eye for an eye with a lot more people blind to the past who can't see and learn from the past.  Each side keeps following in the steps of the other and each are just as guilty, and anyone who says " my side never....." is full of it.  both sides have taken horrible stances at times or done or said horrible things.  I don't like seeing the wrath being brought down on Christians like it is and i don't like them being victims, but those who can't see why the are becoming victims show me that this circle is not going to end any time soon because it shows people still aren't learning from their past errors and growing from them, and yes this goes for both sides.

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Fair point Soulsearcher.  Part of the whole circle thing, is that cries of hypocrisy now get to abound from both sides.  You said you'd never be like this!  Yeah, well don't forget that you used to be like this!

 

Yikes.

 

Some really odd factors in this whole dilemma.  Christians remain about 70% of this country (though most would admit to high levels of nominal practice).  My understanding is that the LBGT community still comes in at about 3-4%.  Then there is the whole logger-head moral contrast:  Is LBGT akin to race, and are religious objections simply archaic cultural infusions into ancient texts?  Or, has God (especially the one represented in the Abrahamic religions) truly opposed to these behaviors and decisions?

 

Again yikes--because I don't see the "happy medium."  I do find it interesting that the vast majority of those white, educated, progressives are more likely to be Christian than they are to be LBGT.  At the same time, it is easy to believe that many mainstream (liberal/progressive/non-evangelical) Christians ARE more comfortable with the mostly easy-going LBGT community than with the often strident, even apocalyptic, conservative side of the Christian world.

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I think there's a cultural change here. Many in our society would like to follow the European model of "live and let live" where only things encompassing the whole of society should be discussed and promoted and individual laundry should be kept in the home. Of course, the twist is that many progressive ideologies are still considered novel enough to get a pass on this.

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Fair point Soulsearcher.  Part of the whole circle thing, is that cries of hypocrisy now get to abound from both sides.  You said you'd never be like this!  Yeah, well don't forget that you used to be like this!

 

Yikes.

 

Some really odd factors in this whole dilemma.  Christians remain about 70% of this country (though most would admit to high levels of nominal practice).  My understanding is that the LBGT community still comes in at about 3-4%.  Then there is the whole logger-head moral contrast:  Is LBGT akin to race, and are religious objections simply archaic cultural infusions into ancient texts?  Or, has God (especially the one represented in the Abrahamic religions) truly opposed to these behaviors and decisions?

 

Again yikes--because I don't see the "happy medium."  I do find it interesting that the vast majority of those white, educated, progressives are more likely to be Christian than they are to be LBGT.  At the same time, it is easy to believe that many mainstream (liberal/progressive/non-evangelical) Christians ARE more comfortable with the mostly easy-going LBGT community than with the often strident, even apocalyptic, conservative side of the Christian world.

  I think you also touch on it when you quote the %'s.  70% might be Christian but not "die hard"  they take away the basic "christ is love" and "do unto others" and for them that's all they need with out the strict adherance to many of the tenants of faith.  I think some also see the circle and just say "enough is enough it's time to stop this bickering" with out seeing it as caving or letting Satan win.  Accepting and seperating the gay issue from the faith because they can draw an academic line in their minds between a world view and individual beliefs.

 

One thing I have also heard is that really with all the waring bickering and infighting within Christianity as a whole past and present with more factions than we can count why take them as the moral authority?  There is not a single truly unified faith that doesn't seem to have break offs or factions, so if religion is the way why can't they get it straight?  How can religion tell people what to do if they can't even get it figured out for themselves.  And while i see the fault in this I also see some of the logic.  Is there a major religion that is 100% unified and doesn't have it's sects that disagree with even just minor things?  If they can be wrong about this or that how can we really take them serious as the "almighty" authority on telling others how to live their lives being they all swear they are right?

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Soulsearcher! Long time no see!!! Miss ya, buddy.

Okay, about full circle... I don't see what's happening today as "full circle". That would have been true if the ones spewing hate on the Christians are the LGBT themselves. Then that would be full circle. But, if you notice, a lot of the people spewing hate on Christians are not LGBT - they're straight people and a lot of them are Christians themselves.

So, in my opinion, this is not a "full circle" thing. This is merely a case of - we have a new whipping boy in the post, folks! No circles being made - just more of the same. So, it's funny how we call them progressives when there is zero progress here.

Edited by anatess

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Soulsearcher! Long time no see!!! Miss ya, buddy.

Okay, about full circle... I don't see what's happening today as "full circle". That would have been true if the ones spewing hate on the Christians are the LGBT themselves. Then that would be full circle. But, if you notice, a lot of the people spewing hate on Christians are not LGBT - they're straight people and a lot of them are Christians themselves.

So, in my opinion, this is not a "full circle" thing. This is merely a case of - we have a new whipping boy in the post, folks! No circles being made - just more of the same. So, it's funny how we call them progressives when there is zero progress here.

I think it depends on how you look at progress.

 

I see about 30 states where i could get married.  I see towns and states that say it's not right to fire me or kick me out of my home because of who i love.  I see a world where if I'm out with a guy and someone call out "FAGGOT!!!" there are now just as many people who might shout him down than join in with him.  I see some Churches saying lets take a more level tone vs the fire and brimstone tactics of old.  to me that's progress and growth. So yes there has been progress, but has it come at a cost?

 

You see it as who's doing the fight, where most see it as cause vs cause.  To me it's not who stands with me to help hold me up, it's the fact people want to help hold me up and believe in something bigger than themselves.  They might not be just like me, but they care enough to stand with me, they have taken my cause as theirs and share in the winds and losses together.  And i see the same on the side of religion.  It's not the individuals but the faith.  If they didn't have something to unify them then it would pretty much be pointless wouldn't it?  If they weren't standing with and for God, would there be much of an issue at all?

Edited by Soulsearcher

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I think it depends on how you look at progress.

 

I see about 30 states where i could get married.  I see towns and states that say it's not right to fire me or kick me out of my home because of who i love.  I see a world where if I'm out with a guy and someone call out "FAGGOT!!!" there are now just as many people who might shout him down than join in with him.  I see some Churches saying lets take a more level tone vs the fire and brimstone tactics of old.  to me that's progress and growth. So yes there has been progress, but has it come at a cost?

 

 

But there again--I see states where I have no right to deny consent to a person who wishes to use my services to perpetrate something I deem reprehensible.  I see towns and states that say it is right to fire me or kick me out of my home or shut down my business because of how I live my religion, how I donated, how I voted, or how I worship.  I see a person whose speech--however disgusting--is being refuted, not with more speech, but with blatant suppression. 

 

Calling that "progress" seems rather like saying that a wolfpack that selects a new alpha dog and tears the old one to pieces is "progressing".  The new alpha dog may find it all very emotionally gratifying.  He might even call it "progress".  But really, it's just another incarnation of the same old herd mentality.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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I think it depends on how you look at progress.

 

I see about 30 states where i could get married.  I see towns and states that say it's not right to fire me or kick me out of my home because of who i love.  I see a world where if I'm out with a guy and someone call out "FAGGOT!!!" there are now just as many people who might shout him down than join in with him.  I see some Churches saying lets take a more level tone vs the fire and brimstone tactics of old.  to me that's progress and growth. So yes there has been progress, but has it come at a cost?

 

You see it as who's doing the fight, where most see it as cause vs cause.  To me it's not who stands with me to help hold me up, it's the fact people want to help hold me up and believe in something bigger than themselves.  They might not be just like me, but they care enough to stand with me, they have taken my cause as theirs and share in the winds and losses together.  And i see the same on the side of religion.  It's not the individuals but the faith.  If they didn't have something to unify them then it would pretty much be pointless wouldn't it?  If they weren't standing with and for God, would there be much of an issue at all?

This is not how I see it. I've lived in the Philippines where the whipping post has a different boy...

You may think they're standing with you because of some "enlightenment" thing of great love and understanding... No, they're simply picking your cause as a convenient whip. And you let them because it's working out for you this time. Can't blame you for that, of course.

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But there again--I see states where I have no right to deny consent to a person who wishes to use my services to perpetrate something I deem reprehensible.  I see towns and states that say it is right to fire me or kick me out of my home or shut down my business because of how I live my religion, how I donated, how I voted, or how I worship.  I see a person whose speech--however disgusting--is being refuted, not with more speech, but with blatant suppression. 

 

Calling that "progress" seems rather like saying that a wolfpack that selects a new alpha dog and tears the old one to pieces is "progressing".  The new alpha dog may find it all very emotionally gratifying.  He might even call it "progress".  But really, it's just another incarnation of the same old herd mentality.

 

So the question i have then is did you find it wrong before with how some people were treated or did you look the other way and enjoy things for what they were?  Agreed that each side will see progress differently, but at the same time does either side really try to make it better for all or just worry about ourselves.  Right now i see living in less fear as progress, but now you might live in more fear, so you see less progress.  How did you help me progress when you had the upper hand and were the Alpha male?  So now that I feel more secure it's my job to see how to balance that, but with out a clear example from the past alpha male it might take some trial and error, but it might be worth it, unless the old alpha tries to take back his place and put us right back where we were.

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This is not how I see it. I've lived in the Philippines where the whipping post has a different boy...

You may think they're standing with you because of some "enlightenment" thing of great love and understanding... No, they're simply picking your cause as a convenient whip. And you let them because it's working out for you this time. Can't blame you for that, of course.

 

So my Straight friends, my mother, people like that only support me cause it's convenient?  I think one thing a lot of people miss is that a huge part of the straight support we get is family and friends.  Looking at many politicians who advocate or at least don't try to restrict gay rights you tend to see a gay person not to far removed from them.  Many have said they spoke up because of a son, daughter, nephew niece ect ect ect.  Now that's not to say there aren't a fair number of those who don't act like you say, but don't think that doesn't happen all the way around.  for every person who does it for a less than glorious reaon you will find power hungry attention starved people on the religious side.  It tends to be a fair balance.

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So the question i have then is did you find it wrong before with how some people were treated or did you look the other way and enjoy things for what they were?  Agreed that each side will see progress differently, but at the same time does either side really try to make it better for all or just worry about ourselves.  Right now i see living in less fear as progress, but now you might live in more fear, so you see less progress.  How did you help me progress when you had the upper hand and were the Alpha male?  So now that I feel more secure it's my job to see how to balance that, but with out a clear example from the past alpha male it might take some trial and error, but it might be worth it, unless the old alpha tries to take back his place and put us right back where we were.

 

You seem to be flirting with "two wrongs make a right", my friend.  At any rate, I'm not necessarily saying we've become less enlightened, politically speaking--just that the fact that there's a new sheriff in town doesn't make the town as a whole any richer.

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So the question i have then is did you find it wrong before with how some people were treated or did you look the other way and enjoy things for what they were?  Agreed that each side will see progress differently, but at the same time does either side really try to make it better for all or just worry about ourselves.  Right now i see living in less fear as progress, but now you might live in more fear, so you see less progress.  How did you help me progress when you had the upper hand and were the Alpha male?  So now that I feel more secure it's my job to see how to balance that, but with out a clear example from the past alpha male it might take some trial and error, but it might be worth it, unless the old alpha tries to take back his place and put us right back where we were.

 

You seem to be flirting with "two wrongs make a right", my friend.  At any rate, I'm not necessarily saying we've become less enlightened, politically speaking--just that the fact that there's a new sheriff in town doesn't make the town as a whole any richer, more secure, or more civic-minded.

 

And of course, those who are familiar with the Book of Mormon and take it at face value would note that the Lamanite origin tale--which focused on the numerous times "they were wronged"--did not lead to reconciliation, in spite of the Nephites' best efforts.  What it led to was a thousand-year-long blood feud, culminating with an ethnic cleansing.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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So my Straight friends, my mother, people like that only support me cause it's convenient?  I think one thing a lot of people miss is that a huge part of the straight support we get is family and friends.  Looking at many politicians who advocate or at least don't try to restrict gay rights you tend to see a gay person not to far removed from them.  Many have said they spoke up because of a son, daughter, nephew niece ect ect ect.  Now that's not to say there aren't a fair number of those who don't act like you say, but don't think that doesn't happen all the way around.  for every person who does it for a less than glorious reaon you will find power hungry attention starved people on the religious side.  It tends to be a fair balance.

Does your mother, friends, people like that have Christianophobia? If yes, then they could possibly be using your cause as a whip.

A lot of people here support you without being Christianophobes. That's not who we are talking about in this thread.

The fair balance is simply - that as the world turns, Christians will eventually get replaced on the whipping post.

I've lived in a very Catholic country. I've never in my life persecuted gay people. We have Miss Gay pageants for the gay people who like cross-dressing. We go to gay hair stylists and gay interior decorators and gay seamstresses because there's a popular consumer bias that they are the best in those specific areas. But, gay marriage... nope. Not happening. They can't even pass divorce law how much more for gay marriage. This is not PERSECUTION. This is the belief that basic foundation of society requires a man and a woman to raise children.

And it is really terrible for a gay person to say, "I can't marry whoever I want, I'm persecuted"!

Edited by anatess

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As I've said before, and still don't like it, everything has come full circle.  Groups that used to be or watched others groups who were treated poorly by Christians have now put Christians in the hot seat.

 

Amen.  As I've been telling my facebook buddies from that side of the aisle:  Now that the scepter is being passed into your hands, please remember the times you felt bludgeoned by it's former wielders, and remember all the responses you used to give in those situations.

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You seem to be flirting with "two wrongs make a right", my friend.  At any rate, I'm not necessarily saying we've become less enlightened, politically speaking--just that the fact that there's a new sheriff in town doesn't make the town as a whole any richer, more secure, or more civic-minded.

 

And of course, those who are familiar with the Book of Mormon and take it at face value would note that the Lamanite origin tale--which focused on the numerous times "they were wronged"--did not lead to reconciliation, in spite of the Nephites' best efforts.  What it led to was a thousand-year-long blood feud, culminating with an ethnic cleansing.

Not so much two wrongs make a right as where do we go now.  There is no clear example on how to move on with grace or how to make things better for all at the same time.  The example that was set is not the one we should want to follow but it's the path of least resistance.  it's clear and easy to follow but it leads back to the same place, and with the Christians fighting like lions more than lambs it seems to be so easy to dismiss and not worry about their cries for many.  I think it's more a struggle we can all relate to " how do we learn from the sins of the past and grow beyond them?"

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Does your mother, friends, people like that have Christianophobia? If yes, then they could possibly be using your cause as a whip.

A lot of people here support you without being Christianophobes. That's not who we are talking about in this thread.

The fair balance is simply - that as the world turns, Christians will eventually get replaced on the whipping post.

I've lived in a very Catholic country. I've never in my life persecuted gay people. We have Miss Gay pageants for the gay people who like cross-dressing. We go to gay hair stylists and gay interior decorators and gay seamstresses because there's a popular consumer bias that they are the best in those specific areas. But, gay marriage... nope. Not happening. They can't even pass divorce law how much more for gay marriage. This is not PERSECUTION. This is the belief that basic foundation of society requires a man and a woman to raise children.

And it is really terrible for a gay person to say, "I can't marry whoever I want, I'm persecuted"!

It's not so terrible in a country that's made marriage civil and given it government benefits.  That's where it all falls down.  If religion was the only marriage broker I'd be right beside you telling them to drop it and move on to something they had any reason to think they should have.  Darn those civil ceremonies and benefits that gay people pay taxes to help support.  Darn a government that was created to not be beholden to any one faith and to allow people to make choices to be out from under any one particular faith.  That's where America loses the clarity that other countries like your home land has.  Most people used to see it as a huge winning point of America but now it's being seen as less or a bright spot because the world has turned a bit but that doesn't mean that the people are just looking to whip people for the sake of it or for the powerful feeling it brings.

 

The fact you might think Christianity has not earned the wrath it's getting for past actions shows exactly what i said about learning from past mistakes.  People of faith have cause rifts and pain.  Not everyone is anti christian because it's popular and fun, many are that way because faith has hurt people and people have watched and seen their loved ones hurt by people and faith and it's turned them.

 

We saw great examples in California and through out the LDS world when Prop 8 was being fought for.  LDS parents and friends and family who turned on the church not because it was popular, but because of the pain they saw being inflicted on those they loved.

 

This is not to say that Christianity deserves all it's getting, but to brush it off as just a fad or that the people who have legitimate hurt and that people have come to support them shows why Christianity is not learning and making a certain movement to Martyr status.  People are taking a very Christan action to support those in pain ( while not acting very Christian in how they move forward from that) while Christians dismiss and inflame the problems by claiming they are the true dismissing that they have caused pain, and there is the circle again.

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Here is another way of looking at it

 

You use the term Chritianphobia which i assume is a tongue in cheek reference to Homophobia.  The fact that you would use a term that you and many rolled your eyes at even tongue in cheek shows the circle i mention and that many others see.  If you are as willing to use the same old lingo that you were against and use the same tactics then how are we moving on or learning, just the same old same old circle.  If we aren't just taking each others place from the past shouldn't we be doing new things and learning rather than recycling?

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I had an interesting conversation the other day.  Someone asked me if I would think less of a person who self-identified as a practicing Christian (maybe even of my "brand") if they told me they had watched the 50-shades movie.  My answer, which seemed to surprise, was, "Yes."  The key proviso was that the person self-identified with a tradition that considers the viewing of lust-inducing images to be a sin.  Had the question been generic, "Would you think less of a person who watched the movie?" I would have responded, "Probably not."

 

Do I think less of LBGT people, in general?  No. 

Do I understand why some want to marry?  Sure.  I wanted to marry.

Do I like that most states allow such marriages.  Not so much.  I still want to believe that our underlying cultural has a Judeo-Christian foundation.

Am I panicked?  Not yet.  I'm accepting that the culture is moving away from its foundation.  I find that sad.

Will 'Christianphobia' turn to persecution?  Doubtful.  There's still too many of us, no matter how nominal most are.  Soulsearcher described that aptly.

 

So, WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?  The other day my pastor found some research that was re-assuring.  He said we should fear not--that Seattle was only the 2nd most godless city in America.  Portland, OR was first.  Whew!  :-)

 

Then he told the old story of a shoe salesman who went to Africa.  He landed, looked around, and saw that no one had shoes on.  He telegraphed his company and said they should send him back home.  He could not sell shoes here, since no one wore them.  A few months later another salesman went to Africa.  He landed and saw that no one wore shoes.  He telegraphed the company and said they should send him as many shoes as possible, since no one had any!

 

Maybe we Christians should rejoice and the length and breadth of our harvest field?
 

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Well you know I've been in retail too long when i saw the first bit of your story and before i read the response from the first salesman " YAY brand new market!!!!"

 

Also if it makes you feel better about me I have 0 interest in the 50 shades of gray movie :)

 

I also think for me personally part of the difference is i don't have a belief that humanity at it's core is good or wants to be good or any such thing.

 

Now while this seems like rambling and it is, needed to get a bit of it off my chest it holds true because it shows the mindset some people approach this issue with, and i think more people are starting to reach this place.  I don't believe in the good intentions of Christians, I don't believe they are good intentioned people.  I don't dislike them in general i just don't see the good in them, or anyone because for the most part people haven't given me reason in a long time to think of them as good.  I know a lot of gays like me, and i know a lot of Christians like me.  I also know others on the other side of the fence from both factions.  I don't like expecting the worst from people and being right, it's dreary and depressing, but gives me the nice benefit of usually being right.  I'm hopeful now and then and really would like to see a middle ground reached between religion and sexual orientation. That being said we all need to change just a bit and stop proving everyone right.  We need to stop and think " how would i feel?" and really think on it.  This isn't just pointed at Christians or any particular faith.  Everybody needs to start acting like the humans we want to see rather than what we say they should be.  In 20 years maybe 5% of people i've interacted with convinced me they were good people in thought and action, while my number might be low, how many people can say they really approach people thinking the best any more, or do we expect the worst and go from there?

Edited by Soulsearcher

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I was speaking with our Buddhist monk the other day.  He said he was trying to avoid the three c-isms:  Skepticism, Cynicism, and Sarcasm.  I responded that his goals were worthy, and I would do the same.

 

Soulsearcher, FWIW, I think you have a lot of good in you.  Maybe the outward patience you learned in retail just makes it seem so.

 

On the other hand, this last post isn't helping me on my quest any.  :huh:

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I was speaking with our Buddhist monk the other day.  He said he was trying to avoid the three c-isms:  Skepticism, Cynicism, and Sarcasm.  I responded that his goals were worthy, and I would do the same.

 

Soulsearcher, FWIW, I think you have a lot of good in you.  Maybe the outward patience you learned in retail just makes it seem so.

 

On the other hand, this last post isn't helping me on my quest any.  :huh:

I know it may sound stupid to Christians, but Since i stopped trying to fight myself i find the good a bit easier to let out.  I learned most of the patience though from helping raise 5 kids lol.  From there no retail customer or staff member can really shake me, though i have to fight off the urge to spank them.

 

I'm not sure there would be much left of me if i didn't have the 3 c-isms but maybe one day someone or something will prove me wrong.

 

I always find it funny to look at me now vs where i was when i was younger.  Wanting nothing more than to be a priest to being "a soulless darth vader" ( my teams favorite nickname for me, they really love me).  There might still be hope for you PC come to the dark side :P

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It's not so terrible in a country that's made marriage civil and given it government benefits.  That's where it all falls down.

Just because a government puts restrictions on marriage doesn't necessarily mean it is kowtowing to religion and supporting persecution. You can't marry your sister. You can't marry an 8-year-old. You can't marry two people at the same time... that's government mandating what it thinks is the betterment for society. It doesn't have to be a religious thing. Nobody is getting persecuted just because you can't marry just anybody you want to marry because the law applies to EVERYBODY.

But we've already went through all this before.

Edited by anatess

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