Tongue of Newt

Not sure where to begin here. I’m actually for and against this commentary in the Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel today. I guess I’ll start on the pro-Chronicle foot. The Chronicle blasts the Newt Gingrich for pretending the “persecuted minority” (which is neither persecuted, nor a minority) of Christian Americans is under attack by “radical secularists”. I also have to give the Chronicle props for blasting the Washington Post for giving Newt a half page to voice his unfounded rant without seeking to balance it at all with opposing viewpoints.

If some foolhardy politician dared criticize any aspect of religion, you could rest assured that plenty of religious leaders would be given a chance to respond.

It’s a very valid point that no newspaper would dare to publish such a rant (without, at the very least, giving equal time to opponents) if the target of it were any mainstream religious group (pagans, scientologists, and possibly even mormons need not apply). The very fact that this story ran unopposed shows the falsehood of Newt’s complaint that “it is impossible to miss the discrimination against religious believers”. Indeed, it’s impossible to miss the discrimination against those who are not believers.

Gingrich and other Republican leaders have grasped the political advantage that comes from letting some group, even a powerful and privileged one, wallow in the self-pity of their own “victimhood.”

Sad but true… America has evolved into a country of victims. People want to feel persecuted, and groups like to portray themselves as underdogs fighting against the odds. I have met people who actually believe that Christians are being persecuted by government, despite the undeniable fact that our leaders are all religious people, elected by voters who are, in the majority, Christian. It boggles the mind that anybody could be convinced of this, but they are. Often times, in discussing this with them, I come to the realization that anything that isn’t pro-Christian is, in their minds, anti-Christian. I can say “Happy Holidays” at Christmas time, to respect people of all religions who celebrate some holy day in December, and these people see that as “anti-Christian”, simply because I didn’t exclude non-Christians in my greeting. The worst part is, they see no bigotry in that.

Historically, the world has seen this phenomenon many times, such as when Christians in Europe convinced themselves that they were at the mercy of cunning Jews. Many of the continent’s anti-Jewish pogroms were conducted by Christians convinced that they were simply defending their way of life, that they were the real victims.

I know, that puts me in danger of Godwin’s law, but it’s an accurate and true statement. This is the kind of thinking that led to concentration camps in Nazi Germany. It’s the kind of unthinking evil that doesn’t recognize itself. People convinced that they are “under attack” will happily defend themselves by trampling others. It’s the same philosophy that’s used to prevent gay marriage. People don’t think that they are hurting others, and taking away their basic human rights. They think they are “defending marriage”, despite the fact they haven’t a clue how gay marriage threatens marriage (it doesn’t).

Tomorrow (or later tonight), I’ll discuss the part of the commentary I oppose.

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  • Danny  On May 22, 2007 at 10:49 pm

    I greatly appreciate your insight into the Chrisitan perception of persecusion. I wonder if, by addressing that directly, and opening a dialogue whereby we actually discuss sharing government and respecting one anther’s beliefs we might actually dispell some of that nonsense? On the other hand, it’s hard to live in this country as something other than a christian and NOT feel persecuted.

    Dan Pipe

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