Thoughts on christian persecution in the united states.
I grew up in an environment that pushed on me the idea that Christianity in America is “under attack.” I was told daily about the persecution that I may have to undergo for my faith. And instructed on how to “defend” my faith against attack.
“God has divinely authored a spiritual, moral, and ethical standard. Our society assaults, mocks, ignores, rejects and tries to suppress that standard. As a result, it is possible, even probable, that your children will be the last generation that will have any memory of freedom in America. Thus, we speak with a tremendous sense of urgency. Take ownership of your children’s moral destiny, first and foremost out of obedience to God. With obedience comes blessings and preservation (Titus 3:8). Your desire should be to raise children who will be better Christians than yourself. By doing so, our republic may be preserved for at least one more generation.” Growing Kids God’s Way – emphasis mine.
I felt like that quote was a good place to start. Growing Kids God’s Way is a evangelical parental course that trains parents on how to raise their children. This quote comes from the epilogue of the course manual and indicates the logic as to why parents are raising godly kids.
According to this course parents are raising their children to be cultural warriors. These children will hold the USA to a moral standard and hold back g-d’s judgement on the united states. Christian children were to be the last barrier of defense against the decaying and worldly culture. I also heard these ideas echoed from multiple other people and organizations.
One of the organizations that I grew up hearing a lot about was the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). They sent out materials to homeschoolers and would often speak at homeschool conferences. HSLDA would often talk of “the fight for home school freedom” and “families living in fear, homeschooling with their blinds drawn.” Horror stories where told of families being torn apart because of their choice to teach their children at home. To combat this “attack” HSLDA would push back heavily against any legal effort to increase oversight or monitoring of homeschool families. They even push this heavily among the kids still in homeschool families. With programs like “Generation Joshua” teaching kids how to become politically active and “defend” their liberty against attack.
Everywhere I turned growing up I heard how Christianity was also persecuted. I heard of physical persecution. With long tales of missionaries in communist countries suffering for g-d in prison shared in church and at home. And given books like “Through Gates of Splendor” to read as a teenager. These books told me about missionaries who suffered and died trying to reach “natives” for g-d. My mom would share stories from voice of the martyrs. I’ll embed a VOM video as an example below.
This idea of persecution was also applied to life as a Christian in North America. I read articles like this “Canadian Pastor Who Ordered Police Out of His Church Arrested for Holding Church Service” and “The Cost of My Faith: How a Decision in My Cake Shop Took Me to the Supreme Court.” From focus on the family (through radio), mailing, magazines, and church hand outs. The bible and the Christian faith was depicted as “under attack.”
Conservative news media also helped further this ideal. With constant reports of “attacks on religious liberty.” One of the big ones in my childhood that was constantly brought up was the removal of the Ten Commandments from public areas. The constant focus on so called persecution increased the fear and fervor of the religious community I was in.
Christian’s were warned by these types of organizations that if American Christians just stand by their freedom and religious rights would be taken away. The evil force wasn’t really named for the most part. But if you grew up in a highly conservative area like myself then it would have been “the liberals” who were termed the enemy.
I was read verses like this.
13 For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14 But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. 15 But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16 Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.1 Peter 3:13-17
I was told that I should be willing and ready to suffer for g-d. And those who “suffered” were blessed by g-d according to my church’s teachings. This creates a culture where “persecution” and “suffering” for g-d are almost glorified.
So you have a people that feel that they are under attack. Who feel a sense of religious pride over that very same “persecution.” As a whole evangelical culture tends to be very combative. So these people have a tendancy to jump into righteous battles for their religious “liberties.”
And boy are evangelical Christians willing to fight against so called persecution and “destruction of morality” in America. With huge pushes like the “Moral Majority” in the 1980s and the current pro-life movement. Their culture and media demands they fight against cultural change. As another example see skillet lead singers rant against critical race theory.
My closing thoughts on this. I wish the evangelical community would step back and take a look at what they are calling “persecution.” Most of the time their so called religious liberty comes at the expense of other religious minorities. If evangelicals could step back from the position of power they currently hold, I feel like they could allow other faiths and minority religions to be heard. No one religion should be favored by the government. And I feel that unfortunately the current trend in politics (In the USA) seems to favor evangelicals.