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By John Pierce

whiningSelf-victimization is a favorite pastime of many American Christians, fearful of religious diversity and the loss of cultural dominance.

Speaking of favorites — that is exactly what many self-victimized American Christians are seeking: to be publicly favored even if it requires a helping hand to ensure such favoritism.

One common cry is: “But we were here first!”

Tell that to the Native Americans who along with their religious traditions were uprooted and often perished.

“But we are a Christian nation…” Uh, no, not technically — yet a great place for Christianity to freely grow.

The founders made certain that this nation would be one of full religious liberty — where faith is free to flourish but is never coerced.

The so-called “history” served up by David Barton, Mike Huckabee and others is wishful thinking — aimed at motivating the fearful and gullible — not accurate accounts of the brilliant church-state separation embedded in the American experience.

Norway-based FORUM 18 follows and reports on religious liberty violations around the world. The latest reports include continuing efforts in the Republic of Georgia to restrict non-Orthodox religious communities from building places of worship.

“Georgian Orthodox hostility has led to extreme physical violence against those they dislike,” FORUM 18 reported.

Also, a year after the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled that Kazakhstan had violated the human rights of Viktor Leven, a Baptist, by punishing him for participating in a religious meeting, the authorities have rejected his attempts to have them abide by their obligations, reported the religious liberty news service.

During a four-month span this year there were 37 cases brought to punish individuals or religious groups across Russia for exercising religious freedom in public spaces, according to FORUM 18.

There are many more incidents worldwide but none that rival the extreme persecution of alarmist American Christians “forced” to drink overpriced coffee from red paper cups unadorned with reindeer and snowmen — ancient symbols of their faith — while engaging in their early-start, consumer-driven celebration of the Incarnation.

It is tough these days for American Christians who expect everyone to cater to their religious and social preferences — and who can’t imagine following a domesticated Jesus who is not at the top of the latest public opinion poll.

 

 

John Pierce

About John Pierce

John D. Pierce is editor of Nurturing Faith Journal — the signature publication of Baptists Today, Inc. He is also publisher of Nurturing Faith Books and Resources. Previously he served as managing editor of The Christian Index and as Baptist campus minister at Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University. A native of Ringgold, Ga., he is a graduate of Berry College (B.A.), Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Columbia Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He speaks frequently in churches, consults with congregations concerning communications and holds interim pastorates.