Another year, another war on Christmas that I and people like me are apparently fighting without realizing. This year’s first aggressor: Starbucks. Apparently, Starbucks are ‘attacking’ Christianity, Christmas, and all that is good and right in the world by not having Christian and/or Christmas imagery on the coffee cups they will be pouring their sad excuse for coffee into now through the end of the year. In the mind of these people, this is happening on the front lines of the culture war in which Christians are being persecuted for their beliefs.
Now, I’m not even going to try and make sense of their argument here, because it’s bat shit insane at best; but I fear that’s giving these people too much credit and so will go with what it is at worst, fucking stupid.
The idea that Christians were/are/will be persecuted is a central philosophical tenet of the religion. The idea that early Christians were harassed and persecuted en masse by the Romans, fed to lions, etc, have very little to no historical basis, and appear to be fabrications designed as propaganda so that the faith could be touted as one for the downtrodden seeking salvation, the underdog fighting against his corrupt tormentors and winning.
The idea that being a Christian means being persecuted is so deeply embedded in the psyche of many Christians that they have a psychological, probably bordering on quasi-biological urge to find persecution around them. If the persecution doesn’t exist, a crucial aspect of the faith’s intoxicating effects will not be felt by the religious subject, and he or she will miss out on the true experience of the faith. The high just won’t be as good. It will be a bum hit.
Don’t bogart that persecution, man.
Many of these Christians, likewise, become upset when they are confronted by groups who truly do face societal persecution due to the very beliefs that these Christians espouse. They are faced with severe cognitive dissonance when a mirror is held exposing the reality to them that in these instances they are the ones doing the persecuting, not the ones being persecuted. Of course, the human mind is an amazing gymnast, and she twists and turns and tumbles in just the right progression so that these acts of persecution done by Christians are now, amazingly, examples of Christians being persecuted in the minds of these Christians!
Praise the Lord!
Isn’t it wonderful?