Class Warfare Blog

September 5, 2017

Finally an Explanation for the Christian Persecution Complex

White Christians are probably the largest subgroup of its type (racial religious?) in the U.S. and yet, they seem to have established a mentality that they are also the most persecuted subgroup in the whole country. This is, of course, laughable in that an argument can be made that they are also the largest group of persecutors. But why is does this attitude of persecution exist in the first place and why are people buying into it at all, as some appear to be?

An article in the The Guardian shed some light on this. Josiah Hesse, the author, describes himself as “a recovering Christaholic, 12 years sober from God” in his piece entitled “Donald Trump Is No Saint, but I Know Why Evangelicals Love Him.” I have no interest in writing about Donald Trump, so that is not my focus, but in writing why he thinks evangelicals support Mr. Trump, a number of very interesting points were made by Mr. Hesse. To wit:

“When I was a young evangelical Christian, I was eager to be oppressed for my faith. The Bible and my pastors had warned me to avoid “worldly” people – celebrities, intellectuals, scientists, the media and liberals. Those were the ones forbidding us from praying in school while indoctrinating us with communism and evolution.

“Jesus once said: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.” So I went out of my way to piss people off – telling the Goth kids they were prisoners of Satan’s lies, handing anti-abortion literature to the “loose” girls, and forcing science class to run late while I debated evolution with the teacher. My entire identity became wrapped up in being disliked by a specific group of people.

“… the point of my witnessing to the lost souls of my public high school wasn’t to convert them to Christianity, it was to see how persecuted I could be.

“Which is a remarkably addictive sensation, one that became a competitive game for me and my fellow young believers. My youth-group friends and I would share stories of being punched, spit on, or called “the biggest loser in school” the way other kids would brag about sports or sexual conquests. Just as Morrissey fans discovered loneliness to be a fashionable accessory, we wanted to emulate the sociopathy of our messiah, who said in the book of John: “If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.

“Justified or not, white evangelical Christians increasingly believe they are the most persecuted demographic in the US today. But I don’t believe that evangelicals are interested in rectifying their status as a hated demographic, and would never protest for better treatment (or consciously demonize any racial minority the way the white supremacists do). For them, being despised by the world is a badge of honor that will ensure them a heavenly reward.”

So, of all of the utterances from the New testament Evangelical leaders could have focused on, they chose persecution (not faith, hope, charity, love, or a myriad of other foci available). Clearly the persecution complex suffered by evangelicals is synthetic, created as another tool of control by various church leaders.

If you want to control a group’s behavior, an effective way to do that is to give them an identity, and then give them a source of pride about that identity. Think High School (We are the Gamecocks, the mighty, mighty Gamecocks, everywhere we go, people want to know who we are!”). Mr. Trump often uses “best” or “most humongous” or whatever to pump up that source of pride, but if you over use that, you end up sounding like, well, Donald Trump, a blowhard who is blowing smoke up your ass. But if you build a persecution complex, you can charge up a huge battery with power. Hitler did it in Germany: the Germans were being persecuted, he screamed. When he built up a big enough charge, he unleashed it upon Germany’s enemies, as defined by Herr Hitler, of course. He could have instead called upon Germans to repent and eschew their sinful ways of war making (and losing) but that message seems to have lost its edge.

So, as Christianity loses its grip on the behavior of Americans, it has turned to fomenting a persecution complex, with no evidence of persecution in sight, to get its people to circle the wagons, listen to no one but Christian leaders, and fight to the death for … yeah, for what? That is the big question. The problem I see is if you charge a battery it will discharge whether you want it to or not. The real question is “Why are Evangelical Christian leaders charging the persecution battery?”

 

 

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July 5, 2017

Christian Think Tank Opposes Scripture?

The Guardian (U.K.) had a piece on an alarming (to them?) new trend in Christian goings on (‘Spiritual abuse’: Christian think tank warns of sharp rise in UK exorcisms). In that article they stated:

“Exorcisms are a booming industry in the UK, partly driven by immigrant communities and Pentecostal churches, according to a report from a Christian think tank, Theos.

“However, the vast majority of people being exorcised have mental health problems that require psychiatric assistance, says the report, published on Wednesday by Theos.

The report calls for an analysis of “the burgeoning exorcism scene in the UK in the light of concerns over how it is being used and its possible negative consequences”.

“It says the “astonishing increase in demand” has arisen “in defiance of any actual rules or procedures put in place by any church”. In 2012, the Church of England reissued guidelines on “good practice in the deliverance ministry”.

“The Theos report – Christianity and mental health: theology, activities, potential(PDF) – does not reject the possibility of demonic possession. It says: “Certainly there is a biblical warrant for the dangers of demonic forces, and Jesus’ great commission to the disciples includes the explicit command to ‘cast out demons’. However, there is also need for serious caution.”

“One danger was “Christian over-spiritualising” – a “tendency to ascribe anything and everything to spiritual causes when other medical ones may exist”. Another was a possible overlap between “demonic possession” and mental health issues.

“One chaplain who described themselves as a “Bible-believing evangelical” told Ben Ryan, the report’s author, that “in all their experience with a mental health trust they had ‘never seen anything I would say that looked like demonic possession, but I’ve seen plenty of people who have been told that’s what they’re experiencing by other Christians’.”

“The report says: “One of the frustrations of medical professionals with Christians comes from accounts and anecdotes of people with medical health issues going off their medication because they’ve been told that prayer is enough, and relapsing as a result.

“This is a classic example of well-meaning initiative with the potential for serious harm. It runs the risk of becoming a sort of spiritual abuse – which can be understood as psychological abuse inflicted upon the victim by members of their own religious group.”

As much as the article’s author’s words speak for themselves, we have an interesting clash here. “Real Christians,” who understand the Bible and act accordingly, should acknowledge only two sources of disease: sin and demon possession. There are no other sources of disease mentioned in the New Testament. Consequently, Real Christians shouldn’t be going to medical doctors and psychologists to treat their physical and mental diseases, they should be going to church to get proper treatment. But the author of the article claims that “the Church” hasn’t established proper protocols for demon outings and whatnot, so what’s a fellow to do?

As a side note I think we should just stop acknowledging all these different varieties of Christians: Catholics, Protestants, Evangelicals, Pentacostals, whatever, I say they are all Christians and should be painted with the same brush. By dividing themselves up based upon miniscule differences, each of these “denominations” claims innocence whenever Christians get caught acting badly. “That’s not us, that’s them other people. They aren’t ‘True Christians,’ like us.” Bollocks. I say a Christian is a Christian and when one errs, they all need to be called to account.

Now about these Christians claiming people should be going to medical doctors and psychologists … really! What is to be done with them? And to be alarmed by proper Christian behavior, what is up with that?

 

April 7, 2016

American News Sucks

My Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who in my opinion is to be much admired, wrote an op-ed piece regarding tax avoidance schemes by the wealthy (If You’re Rich, You Can Avoid Paying Tax; That’s Got to Change, The Guardian Online, April 7, 2016). I got to read this because it was published in The Guardian. In case you are not aware, The Guardian is based in the U.K.

Time and time again, I have to get local and U.S. centric news from outside of our borders. Why is that? There is something very, very wrong with U.S. news organizations. Important news dissemination is taking a back seat to eye candy, so far back that one cannot find important stuff.

This obviously is in the best interests of the corporations and plutocrats who currently own our government. What we don’t know can’t hurt them.

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