Pharyngula

Poll of the Martyrs

They run the country, they surround us, they get cranky if you even question their deity…but they’re so darn persecuted.

Do you think persecution of Christians will come to America?

No, I don’t believe it’s an issue 5.76%
I don’t know 3.84%
Yes, but in the future 13.06%
Yes, and soon 34.57%
It is already here 42.76%

Pitiful. Wah, wah, wah…make them cry some more, persecute them by going clicky-clicky on a little button on the internet.

Comments

  1. #1 KillJoy
    March 28, 2010

    Bam.
    Votified. Now to sit back and watch it happen.

    KJ

  2. #2 Sastra
    March 28, 2010

    Oh, good grief. That website was apparently put up to deal with real atrocities and persecutions — churches being burned, Christians being killed, pastors being jailed, converts being tortured — in countries like Iran and China. Not even atheists deny that there’s such a thing as genuine oppression of religion, and persecution for religious reasons (usually from one religion, to another.)

    But somehow a majority of people who read about specific serious violations think that they, also, are being oppressed — or that it’s just ’round the corner, any day now. Based on what? Urban legends of kids having Bibles taken away during reading time at school? Manger scenes being removed from government property, and put back on church and private lawns? Books on bookshelves arguing that religion is based on flawed foundations, isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and encourages phony persecution complexes?

    They compare this to actual violence, and see it institutionalized at government level? Have they no rational discernment?

    Oh, right.

    I suspect that the same people who see the United States as a giant secular gulag for the oppressed Christian martyrs, will also argue that America is so free and great because it is a Christian Nation.

  3. #3 Swampfoot
    March 28, 2010

    To vote repeatedly, look for the cookie listed under “res1.survey-tech.com” and delete it.

  4. #4 jebus-is-my-dog
    March 28, 2010

    Hmmmmm. Strangly enough the No answer seems to be gaining steam……. Wonder how that happened.

  5. #5 thehumanmichael
    March 28, 2010

    “i wish” isn’t a choice. :(

  6. #6 Glen Davidson
    March 28, 2010

    It’s needed to “justify” forcing children to learn religious apologetics as “science,” and any hopeful new measures against anyone who questions their religion.

    We’re mistreated, so we have plenty of reason to attack the skeptics who dare to question America’s civil religion. It’s all about defense, don’t you see?

    The lack of science in ID is no argument against requiring it (or it’s dishonest anti-evolution “arguments” alone) to be taught in science, and the lack of persecution of Xians is no reason not to “defensely” persecute those who are projected to be persecutors.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  7. #7 Sastra
    March 28, 2010

    Er … I assume people are all voting for “It’s not an issue?”

  8. #8 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Poll Persecution flower reporting for duty. Voted:

    No, I don’t believe it’s an issue 33.24%

  9. #9 raven
    March 28, 2010

    US xians have to consult their operating manual since they make up 76% of the population. The one called Orwell’s 1984.

    Xian persecution = atheists exist

    Xian persecution = US is a democracy

    Xian persecution = no longer allowed to hunt down witches and kill them

    Xian persecution = no longer allowed to burn heretics and apostates at the stake

    Xian persecution = people don’t think our mythology is real

    Xian persecution = 38,000 sects and only ours is the One True Church

    And in other news:
    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery
    Lies are Truth

  10. #10 Izzy
    March 28, 2010

    The answer “No” is already in the lead!! *giggles*
    37.28

  11. #11 Hank Fox
    March 28, 2010

    I’m looking at the video offer, “Tortured for Christ,” and the only thing I can think is, “How’s the production quality?”

    Considering the quality of most church and religious websites (low), I can’t help but imagine that it’s a virtual suckfest … but that those who order it will be riveted by the shocking content.

    I’m also picturing it as an extended syrupy plea for money, an hour-long commercial begging for desperately needed donations, but I don’t want to go to the trouble of ordering it to find out.

    Although … if a bunch of, oh, SERIOUSLY CONCERNED people, were to order copies of it for PZ, I’m sure he’d watch it.

    Oh, wait, it says only one copy per household. Drat. And the recipient gets automatically subscribed to the Voice of the Martyrs monthly newsletter. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody, even as a joke.

  12. #12 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Raven, you forgot Xian persecution: atheists putting up evil billboards! That’s serious persecution, that is.

  13. #13 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 28, 2010

    The poor, persecuted majority Christians. My heart bleeds peanut butter for them.

  14. #14 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Issue? What issue? Oh, they aren’t getting a free ride these days. What poor, poor babies…Let’s get them a crying towel…Wet, of course…

  15. #15 Givesgoodemail
    March 28, 2010

    No, I don’t believe it’s an issue
    45.69% 648 votes
    I don’t know
    2.11% 30 votes
    Yes, but in the future
    7.33% 104 votes
    Yes, and soon
    19.53% 277 votes
    It is already here
    25.31% 359 votes

    Pharyngulation is at full tilt.

  16. #16 Hank Fox
    March 28, 2010

    Is it persecution if you tweak a silly poll on a Christian persecution site?

  17. #17 ereador
    March 28, 2010

    Oh, hell. Even the map on that website shows that there is NOT persecution in the U.S.

  18. #18 Dekker
    March 28, 2010

    Umm, is that Hannibal Lecter in the banner at the top of their page?

  19. #19 AJ Milne
    March 28, 2010

    “i wish” isn’t a choice. :(

    Indeed.

    (/Also, where’s the ‘We’re here, we’ve brought our own lions–where do we set up and when do we get started?’ option?)

  20. #20 nonsensemachine
    March 28, 2010

    I am always eager to perform my Pharyngulite duties.

  21. #21 awmcmillan
    March 28, 2010

    I’m bothered enough by the people that actually think persecution of Christians is serious in the US. But like Sastra said, tying something like that poll with examples of actual Christian persecution is absurd.

  22. #22 Brownian, OM
    March 28, 2010

    Do you think persecution of Christians will come to America?

    They should certainly hope so:

    10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.—Matthew 5:10-12 (NIV)

  23. #23 https://me.yahoo.com/a/wt6Xe6w4vcbLhxVUd.jqpPQfWbhoyw--#b3ef9
    March 28, 2010

    Perhaps by persecution they mean poll crashing?

  24. #24 Kirk
    March 28, 2010

    Do you think persecution of Christians will come to America?

    No, I don’t believe it’s an issue 57.90% 1088 votes
    I don’t know 1.64% 31 votes
    Yes, but in the future 5.58% 105 votes
    Yes, and soon 15.11% 284 votes
    It is already here 19.74% 371 votes

  25. #25 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    I suspect that the same people who see the United States as a giant secular gulag for the oppressed Christian martyrs, will also argue that America is so free and great because it is a Christian Nation.

    I believe several godbots have already made that statement several time here.

  26. #26 Crudely Wrott
    March 28, 2010

    First, if I vote, I vote once. One voice, on vote. Basic. Those who vote repeatedly are cheating inasmuch as their extra votes imply extra voices that do no exist. Multiple voting is ethically wrong. Unless one has multiple personalities, like The Story of Eve.

    Second, just because our ancestors did something a certain way is not sufficient cause or knowledge to prevent us from doing it differently. For instance, calling someone else an enemy simply because they have lighter or darker skin or because the hold holy things that are strange to others, or to one’s own self. Such will always be the case despite the affections of those who choose them.

    The trick is within communication. And that is hard, hard, hard. Especially when competing superstitions enter the arena. The easy way out is to assume that everyone is a winner merely by virtue of competing. The useful way is that ideas are in constant struggle and mirror the evolution of those who hold those ideas. No endpoint apparent.

    And that is what causes so many to just shit. May they sit in it.

  27. #27 MosesZD
    March 28, 2010

    Wiccans are persecuted, despite being members of a recognized faith. They are accused of “worshiping Satan” and are stigmatized by society and the Courts (frequently losing parental rights). Conservative Christians, behind Bob Barr, tried to get their rights to peaceably assemble and worship on military bases taken away.

    In Massachusetts, Wiccans have been forbidden to wear religious jewelry. Wiccan clergy are frequently not allowed to conduct wedding ceremonies. Frequently civil authorities deny Wiccan gatherings in public places under “safety” concerns, even though the Wiccans are not the “unsafe” party.

    I could go on and on and on about how Wiccans are persecuted… I could fill hundreds of column inches of the petty-to-deadly persecution they suffer here in America.

    OTOH, I have yet to see a legitimate case for a Christian (that is one of the “acceptable brands”) being persecuted here in America… Oh, yeah, lots of whining and/or lying… But no actual persecution.

  28. #28 Dr. I. Needtob Athe
    March 28, 2010

    If your browser is set to not accept cookies, you can add votes as fast and you can click your mouse button. I added a few hundred “No, I don’t believe it’s an issue” votes in a matter of a few seconds.

    Let’s work together and run it up to 99%!

  29. #29 Iris
    March 28, 2010

    No at 62.95.

  30. #30 Dr. I. Needtob Athe
    March 28, 2010

    I just ran it past 70% in a few seconds. Just select the first choice and start clicking away!

  31. #31 Iris
    March 28, 2010

    Multiple voting is ethically wrong. Unless one has multiple personalities, like The Story of Eve.

    I have several personalities – some of them even have their own websites – and they all agree that it is entirely ethical to vote multiple times in pointless polls.

    This is not a democratic election for public office. Get over it.

  32. #32 LiLo
    March 28, 2010

    72% now. I think we should persecute Xians. They do so much of it themselves that they deserve some payback. More atheist signs, more secular charities, more people having fun on Sunday, more moral behavior from atheists, etc.
    Persecute them by being better, kinder, smarter, and better athletes than they are. Have fun doing it!

  33. #33 Kirk
    March 28, 2010

    I’m with Iris. Peg it at 99%, 100 if you can get it.

  34. #34 Dr. I. Needtob Athe
    March 28, 2010

    The poll says “Powered by http://www.survey-tech.com/

    What a bunch of losers! (or more likely, one single loser incompetently running an Internet business.)

    This poll needs to be exploited not only to spite those who make the ridiculous claim that Christians are anywhere close to being victims of persecution in America, but to also expose http://www.survey-tech.com/ as an outfit that doesn’t know what the hell it’s doing.

  35. #35 Kirk
    March 28, 2010

    The snarky part of me wishes that there was the choice:

    I hope so.

    My rational side says I don’t really mean it, and if Islam takes over the US and Christians are persecuted by Muslims, I don’t want that. And I don’t want the Christian majority persecuting Muslims. So save the concern troll comments.

    But it would have been funny if it were an option.

  36. #36 aplaceinthestar
    March 28, 2010

    Tad bit over 79%.

    I think this was the bright spot to my day, actually, destroying stupid people.

  37. #37 triskelethecat
    March 28, 2010

    No, I don’t believe
    it’s an issue 78.49% 2986 votes

    I don’t know 0.81% 31 votes

    Yes, but in
    the future 2.78% 106 votes

    Yes, and soon 7.62% 290 votes

    It is already
    here 10.27% 391 votes

    Poll nicely pharyngulated. Go flying monkeys!

  38. #38 mxh
    March 28, 2010

    Aah! I’ve gotta wash my eyes (and internet cache) after going to that site.

  39. #39 sfchemist
    March 28, 2010

    KillJoy…Luv your comment “Votified” A perfect bushism.

    So, I just votified and now have to go take a shower after seeing their website.

  40. #40 Charlie Foxtrot
    March 28, 2010

    Ha! I clicked ‘No you aren’t being persectuted’! Take that, ah-hah! Just made your little ‘wanna be a marty’ mind asplod, yeah?
    But wait… am I persectuting them now? Maybe I should have clicked ‘Yes they are being persecuted’? But then I’d be agreeing with them, so they wouldn’t be being persecuted…so then I should have …
    *pink*
    ouch…I just strained a synapse…

  41. #41 neurosink
    March 28, 2010

    I feel sad that we’re increasing the page hits to that website. Poll now above 85% for “No, you’re being stupid, shut up and go away”.

    How can they say they’re being persecuted when they still don’t pay taxes? I can’t wait for the day where they are taxed like any other business.

  42. #42 geoffmovies
    March 28, 2010

    “There is nothing more dangerous than a powerful majority acting like repressed minority in all the world.”

    – Author unknown.

  43. #43 Jason A.
    March 28, 2010

    There are 844 votes for options other than ‘No’. In order to take ‘No’ to 99%, we need 84,400 total votes. To take ‘No’ to 99.5% (and hope it rounds to 100%) we need 168,800 total votes.

    Currently at about 10,000 total. You guys better get on it :P

  44. #44 Jason A.
    March 28, 2010

    Wait, just noticed they round the percentages to 2 decimal places. If we want ‘No’ rounded to 100% we need 16,880,000 total votes.

  45. #45 Meg Gallagher
    March 28, 2010

    91.7% for ‘No’ :)

  46. #46 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 28, 2010

    Crudely Wrott:

    First, if I vote, I vote once. One voice, on vote. Basic. Those who vote repeatedly are cheating inasmuch as their extra votes imply extra voices that do no exist. Multiple voting is ethically wrong. Unless one has multiple personalities, like The Story of Eve.

    Please, get off that horse. It’s not nearly as high as you think. I only vote once, but if someone else wants to vote more than once, who the fuck cares? The point of poll crashing is to drive the point home (once again) that internet polls are not scientific and they are inherently meaningless.

  47. #47 Kirk
    March 28, 2010

    Wait, just noticed they round the percentages to 2 decimal places. If we want ‘No’ rounded to 100% we need 16,880,000 total votes.

    That’s the spirit!!!

  48. #48 Leah
    March 28, 2010

    I am totally e-persecuting me some e-Xtians.

  49. #49 Leah
    March 28, 2010

    Holy shit, 18,900 “No” votes and counting.

    PZ, you’ve gotta refer the godless horde to their site with more provocative blog post URLs.

  50. #50 Alverant
    March 28, 2010

    Christians aren’t the ones being persecuted in this country. They’re the ones doing the persecuting. Raven #9 had it right. Christians think they’re being persecuted unless they’re given special rights to break the law.

  51. #51 AJ Milne
    March 28, 2010

    Persecute them by being better, kinder, smarter, and better athletes than they are. Have fun doing it!

    Hee hee…

    The hilarious thing is, there’s at least a few of ‘em probably would consider all of what you’re suggesting ‘persecution’…

    (/’Rush! Help me! There’s an atheist out there having fun on a Sunday! I are persecuted! Make him stop!’)

  52. #52 thefrustratedteacher
    March 28, 2010
  53. #53 Mobius
    March 28, 2010

    Oh, Jeez. Typical martyr complex.

    The Christians in this country get ***almost*** everything they want. And just because they don’t get absolutely everything, the ones with a martyr complex moan and wail about persecution.

    It’s so sad.

  54. #54 Bastion Of Sass
    March 28, 2010

    US Christians are so incredibly brave.

    I don’t think I can ever watch a single TV news program (and I don’t mean on Fox either), read a single day’s newspaper, or read a day’s posts on my facebook newsfeed in which someone isn’t praising God for something or other. Even though these courageous Christians know that such public praise means they’ll be hunted down, imprisoned, perhaps tortured and eventually fed to wild animals; their children taken away and sent to de-Christianization camps; their businesses will be boycotted; their property seized.

    It’s a shame that they can’t run for political office, build their churches on just about every block, have to pay crippling taxes on their churches’ property.

    It’s so so sad these poor persecuted Christians can’t live without repression and being so ostracized by mainstream US society and media, and can’t be respected and valued just like US atheists are. My heart goes out to them.

  55. #55 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 28, 2010

    The hilarious thing is, there’s at least a few of ‘em probably would consider all of what you’re suggesting ‘persecution’…

    Remember too that the meer existance of people like me (you know, the ones with teh geh agenda) is persecution. That people might actually tolerate, respect, and befriend us…gasp *faints with pearls*

  56. #56 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 28, 2010

    I have had a Christian try to tell me how persecuted he and his fellow Christians are. When forced to come up with specifics he complained that he couldn’t be rude to gays and Jews. I told him he wasn’t a persecuted Christian, he was a persecuted bigot and I, for one, would be happy to join in the persecution.

  57. #57 Crudely Wrott
    March 28, 2010

    @ 31 and 46:

    I knew I’d get a rise out of someone. And you are right to raise your objections. As strange as it may seem, I agree that there is no proper or established way to treat an internet poll. I relish the very notion of tipping over the applecarts of the congregation. Be they sitting in the pews, the halls of legislation, barrooms or your living room.

    There is a simple line that has instructed my life several times since I started being aware. It states, simply, a basic premise that underlies all profitable human endeavor. Goes like this, “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Combined with the exhortations of my father, “Keep your word good” and “have no fear” my outlook is frontier-like in its simplicity, bleeding edge in its insistency.

    While you and I and the peanut gallery all know that internet polls are worthless beyond their novelty, we all seem to agree on the value of truth and honesty if we are to be able to trust one another. I know. It’s so academic that even a child can understand. (And their elders, one hopes.)

    Caine, I care. I suspect many do too. I could be wrong, I have been before. I just have this notion that a nation is the sum of its parts, parts being people. Participatory people. What my folks called citizens. The qualities of the parts influence the nature of the whole, not only in natural systems but in human societies. But there I go, being redundant again.

  58. #58 Stanton
    March 28, 2010

    The only Christians who are going to be oppressed in America are going to be oppressed by other Christians.

  59. #59 Kirk
    March 28, 2010

    Do you think persecution of Christians will come to America?

    No, I don’t believe it’s an issue 96.28% 23058 votes
    I don’t know 0.14% 34 votes
    Yes, but in the future 0.45% 110 votes
    Yes, and soon 1.29% 310 votes
    It is already here 1.81% 435 votes
    Total: 23947
    These results were generated on Mar 28, 2010 18:30:36.
    powered by http://www.survey-tech.com

    This survey is not scientific and reflects the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate.

    In fairness, I added the bold and it’s from the website.

    But as they have implied, vote early and often.

    Again, mentally you can also vote for I hope so, but there’s no radio button for it. (Kidding, I’m kidding.)

  60. #60 Peter H
    March 28, 2010

    “No” has climbed to 97%. Who are these idjits?

  61. #61 AlisonS
    March 28, 2010

    So many Christians, so few lions…

  62. #62 samilobster
    March 28, 2010

    I don’t see how anyone can feel bad about cheating at this poll. Any survey with 3 Yes answers and a single No wasn’t looking for a realistic response anyway.

  63. #63 Hurin
    March 28, 2010

    Poor oppressed Christians. Not allowed to dictate the peculiarities of their theology to the rest of us through law… not allowed to dictate the public school curricula for everyone’s children… not allowed to silence critics of their ideas through censorship*. What is this world coming to? Its almost like the Christians are treated just like any other religious group in America**. Oh, the horror for the poor oppressed Christians of America.

    *all of these apply in theory anyway
    ** but with significantly more political power and deference than most groups (of course).

  64. #64 bornagain77
    March 28, 2010

    Militant Atheism: A Never-Ending Cycle Of Insanity – cartoon video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PoyRKS9Sy0

  65. #65 fishnguy
    March 28, 2010

    Serious crazy at that site….just looking at the videos for sale made my head hurt. Bet they are making serious cash off all that christian suffering. Nothing new to see here, move along. By the way, over 94% for no, it’s not an issue. Nice work all.

  66. #66 Glen Davidson
    March 28, 2010

    More persecution:

    The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Intelligent Design

    Cause you know, calling theocratic idiocy by the term “idiocy” is persecution, no matter how idiotic it may be (and yes, I know that the title isn’t really calling it idiotic, but it’s so damn fitting).

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/mxaa3p

  67. #67 John Morales
    March 28, 2010

    Bullshit Artist 77:

    Militant Atheism: A Never-Ending Cycle Of Insanity – cartoon video characterisation

    FTFY.

  68. #68 andrew h
    March 28, 2010

    98.17% no.

    pharyngulation complete (or is that 99.5%)?

  69. #69 neurosink
    March 28, 2010

    98.62% with 72328 votes and rising!

    The no answer really isn’t a no answer. It still could be read as ‘yes, they are being persecuted but I don’t care’.

  70. #70 jcmartz.myopenid.com
    March 28, 2010

    But I don’t how Christians will be persecuted; they still run the joint.

    Is blasphemy, desecrating the Host, or pissing on the Bible considered persecution?

    ——————————-

    By the way you can vote more than once by deleting the cookie on your computer and then reloading the web page.

  71. #71 Menyambal
    March 28, 2010

    As I have said before, I have an extremely-spoiled 14-year-old drama queen in my immediate family. Her boyfriend, who she doesn’t respect, has stopped treating her with worshipful adoration. She is talking about the whole world persecuting her.

    I am learning a lot from her–mostly that Christians are exactly like spoiled, whiny bitches.

  72. #72 jones
    March 28, 2010

    This might cost them a bit of money:

    “Survey-Tech gives you the tools to know your constituents at a price you can afford. Only $495 setup, and $495 per active month for the first 10,000 monthly responses. Pay only when you use the surveys”

    Looks like the 10,000 response quota has been exceeded by almost a magnitude.

  73. #73 Jason Ball
    March 29, 2010

    102,250 votes! wtf

    98.99% voted no.

    Lol.

  74. #74 Diane G.
    March 29, 2010

    #72Posted by: jones | March 28, 2010 11:53 PM

    This might cost them a bit of money:

    “Survey-Tech gives you the tools to know your constituents at a price you can afford. Only $495 setup, and $495 per active month for the first 10,000 monthly responses. Pay only when you use the surveys”

    Looks like the 10,000 response quota has been exceeded by almost a magnitude.

    Well. All of a sudden, Survey-Tech doesn’t look so dumb after all.

  75. #75 Phasic
    March 29, 2010

    Oh man, we vaporised that poll.

    112 396 votes.

    Come on, who is the script kiddie?

  76. #76 fly44d
    March 29, 2010

    I have tears running down my face. That was so funny seeing 99.09% NO and thin black vertical lines for all the other votes.

    114962 No votes and counting.

  77. #77 Phasic
    March 29, 2010

    Help help they’re being oppressed!

  78. #78 shanebuchholz
    March 29, 2010

    That was fun.

  79. #79 Palmtreez101
    March 29, 2010

    Wow, the “not an issue” is over 99%, must be a new record!!!

  80. #80 Crewvy
    March 29, 2010

    99.05% L O fucking L.

    Fucking martyr wankers.

  81. #81 Roger Migently
    March 29, 2010

    “This survey is not scientific.”

    Oh no! I can’t believe I participated in an unscientific activity!

  82. #82 Richard Dawkins
    March 29, 2010

    G.E.M. De Ste Croix, distinguished historian of the ancient world and early church, was once asked whether it was true that the early Christians were persecuted. “Yes,” he replied, “But too little, and too late.”

  83. #83 Rorschach
    March 29, 2010

    RD @ 82,

    You’re sooo militant !!!

  84. #84 InfuriatedSciTeacher
    March 29, 2010

    123K votes for ‘no’? Someone has a well-written or long-running script… nice one.

  85. #85 Vadjong
    March 29, 2010

    Nice one.
    By voting NO, y’all have proven YES, WE WISH.

  86. #86 https://me.yahoo.com/a/DhjBEuJ8pt63x6eBKuPx0Jv9_QE-#7c327
    March 29, 2010

    Don’t these guys even know how to set up a bogus poll? There are three “yes” answers, but only one “no” answer. Thats makes it so much easier for us. Over 99% no, BTW. Fully Pharyngulated.

  87. #87 Andreas Johansson
    March 29, 2010

    I’d thought the US already had a proud history of Christians oppressing one another …

  88. #88 tsg
    March 29, 2010

    First, if I vote, I vote once. One voice, on vote. Basic. Those who vote repeatedly are cheating inasmuch as their extra votes imply extra voices that do no exist. Multiple voting is ethically wrong. Unless one has multiple personalities, like The Story of Eve.

    Using the flaws of an internet poll to expose them is not cheating or dishonest. Your concern at #57 not withstanding.

  89. #89 AJ Milne
    March 29, 2010

    By voting NO, y’all have proven YES, WE WISH.

    Well, strictly speaking, no…

    I mean I do grasp that in the ‘Halp, halp, ah’m bein’ repressed mindset of certain whining religionists, persecution will oddly turn up pretty much wherever their dear little bean would like to see it… And ‘persecution’ could just be a presumed atheist whistling the tune to Imagine somewhat too cheerfully on a Sunday morning… Or some troublesome citizen failing to stay quietly silent while some random Brylcreemed demagogue tries to write some idiot invisible magic man into yet another nation’s constitution, between the lines in crayon, as usual…

    But no, outside such odd little S&M fantasies, saying it’s not happening doesn’t by any means say you actually wish it would.

    No, for that, you’d have to rerun the poll and actually ask: do you think Christians should be oppressed?

    And then, for my answer to that one, at least, as noted above, hey, me, for one, I’m all about: have lions, will travel.

    Oh, sure they’ll whine about it. But you know how that goes: whining’s their thing. It seems clear enough: they like being ‘oppressed’. Dream about it, pretty much. And it just wouldn’t be neighbourly of me if I didn’t give ‘em what they so clearly, desperately want…

    (/So until me and my pretty, pretty cats hear the agreed-upon safeword, the date’s still on.)

  90. #90 Abdul Alhazred
    March 29, 2010

    According to the New Testament, Jesus told his followers they would be persecuted. So it’s not just fundies exhibiting a generic propensity of fanatics to be self dramatizing.

    Being persecuted is explicit scriptural validation.

  91. #91 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 29, 2010

    Nice one.
    By voting NO, y’all have proven YES, WE WISH.

    Understanding persecution, you’re doing it wrong.

  92. #92 Dr. I. Needtob Athe
    March 29, 2010

    Check this out!

    It looks like we either cost the operator of persecution.com a substantial amount of money, or if he’s smarter than that, we’ve sparked a hot battle between him and the incompetent survey business called “Survey-Tech”. Read on:

    http://www.survey-tech.com/stw_howtobuy.htm

    Survey-Tech: How to Buy

    Survey-Tech gives you the tools to know your constituents at a price you can afford. Only $495 setup, and $495 per active month for the first 10,000 monthly responses. Pay only when you use the surveys.

    To setup a Survey-Tech account, call us now at … (etc.)

    The votes are well over 100,000 by now, so when they get the bill, look for persecution.com to start complaining about persecution from SurveyTech!

  93. #93 davem
    March 29, 2010

    The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization

    It is now, after 130,000 votes. Gullible idiots. They could have open-source stuff like Drupal or Joomla, and got poll voting for free… I wonder if they have any url-referrer tools, and can work out from where their now-found persecution comes? Nah…

  94. #94 makyui
    March 29, 2010

    Gee whiz, you don’t even have to wait for the page to reload. You can just click and click and click.

    This is the easiest poll, ever. Seconding davem: I can’t believe they paid money for this.

  95. #95 uniprof
    March 29, 2010

    I usually read and have never commented before. But I?ve known of this group for a half dozen years and even read part of the material. Not sure what the purpose of the survey was, but I have never seen them address anything other than violence and imprisonment of xstians in other nations (seems like most were from either muslim or communist ountries). I may not agree with them but have always respected that they have not fallen into the poor pitiful us whine of so many ?believers?. I don?t have to agree with you, but you should be able to live your life free of threats and abuse (no matter where you live, of what you believe.)

  96. #96 Phasic
    March 29, 2010

    Oh, I agree (obviously) that no-one should be threatened or harassed because of their faith, and that many of the incidents reported in their website are brutal and terrible.

    The issue is with that particular poll itself.
    Surely comparing the international incidents of violence and death against christians to “persecution” in the US (ie, being forced to treat gay people and women as human beings) is an insult to those who have actually suffered and died?

  97. #97 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 29, 2010

    uniprof @ 95:

    I may not agree with them but have always respected that they have not fallen into the poor pitiful us whine of so many ?believers?. I don?t have to agree with you, but you should be able to live your life free of threats and abuse (no matter where you live, of what you believe.)

    Of course you should. The poll, however, was very silly. Christians are in the majority in the U.S., and they certainly aren’t persecuted in any sense of the word. That does not stop them screaming “persecution!” every 5 minutes. If bibles aren’t allowed in classrooms, it’s persecution. If an atheist group puts up a billboard, it’s persecution. If the U.S. gets actual healthcare, it’s persecution.

    Hang out on Rapture Ready for a week. You’ll get an extremely clear idea of what constitutes “persecution” and just how persecuted these fine christian folk feel. Last week, it was the sheer nerve of a well known bookstore for putting “witchcraft” books in the front of the store, where, *gasp* a child might see ‘em!

  98. #98 V. infernalis
    March 29, 2010

    If you look at the past survey results, we (I assume) managed to outstrip all previous voting totals by at least two orders of magnitude.

  99. #99 Gyeong Hwa Pak, Scholar of Shen Zhou
    March 29, 2010

    This letter is a perfect response to anyone who thinks American Christians are persecuted in America.

  100. #100 Jason A.
    March 29, 2010

    The question is now ‘What smart phone platform do you use?’

    Lol.

  101. #101 VOM Exec
    March 29, 2010

    First, thanks all of you for participating in our survey. (OK, maybe that?s a little sarcastic.)

    For over 40 years The Voice of the Martyrs has provided assistance to Christians who suffer for their faith and has tried to be a voice for those who all too often had no voice. On a daily basis we provide assistance for individuals, which by any of your definitions, are truly persecuted. Human rights attorneys in China who dare to defend a minority view, women and girls who are raped and sexually abused as a punishment for not being Muslim, those who are executed in Columbia for opposing the forced recruitment of children to fight for the FARC, children who are denied an education because they won?t swear allegiance to Communism or accept the teachings of Islam and the list goes on and on. Last week I reviewed photos and first hand video accounts from Jos, Nigeria, where three weeks ago at least 450 people were killed (80% of them women and children) and dozens more are in need of medical attention after being hacked with machetes or shot. When you provide medical assistance to a two year old who has lost her arm because her family is Christian, your definition of persecution is rather high. VOM has never claimed, or even implied, that Christians in the US are persecuted. The purpose of the survey quite frankly was to gauge, from among our regular contacts, if they understand persecution the same way we do, if we were adequately communicating with them.

    We were founded by a Romanian pastor who suffered through 14 years of imprisonment for his faith. The book referred to in one of the earlier posts, Tortured for Christ, is his story. Not always flattering to religion and those who bicker over the most trivial of differences, but a very honest account of what he and his family endured. I?d be glad to send a copy to anyone who is interested. Just visit the website (you all know where it is) and ask for TFC in the contact form, if you will use my username as a reference, I assure you, you will not be signed up for the monthly newsletter or put on any mailing list.

    As all of you have so adequately pointed out, the survey tool we have been using obviously has some weaknesses that we may want to address. The reality is every dollar we spend in the US is a dollar less that is available to help people that are in serious need, so maybe we will continue to use it just as it is (and be more careful what questions we ask).

    I?m unapologetically a Christian. I?ll rationally explain what I believe whenever it is appropriate. I believe it is my responsibility to speak out just as loud to defend the rights of those who disagree with me as I would for those who agree with me. That means in some circles, I won?t be understood and I?m subject to ridicule, but that is far from my defenition persecuted.

  102. #102 Jason A.
    March 30, 2010

    VOM Exec, you have a realistic view of what is and isn’t persecution. What got us going here were the people who don’t, the majority of your respondents who said persecution of american christians is either coming soon or already here.
    It’s sort of a tradition around here to demonstrate the invalidity of internet polls by skewing them as wildly as possible.

    It was mentioned a couple of times here (starting in the 2nd post) that your website does refer to real persecution, and all of us agree that’s a terrible thing to happen to anyone – regardless of their religion or lack of.

  103. #103 Caine, Fleur du mal
    March 30, 2010

    VOMexec:

    That means in some circles, I won?t be understood and I?m subject to ridicule, but that is far from my defenition persecuted.

    I understood you just fine, and I’m not going to ridicule you. People here do understand what actual persecution is, and it is terrible. No one should have to undergo horrors because of a belief.

    VOM has never claimed, or even implied, that Christians in the US are persecuted. The purpose of the survey quite frankly was to gauge, from among our regular contacts, if they understand persecution the same way we do, if we were adequately communicating with them.

    I see. Thanks for the clarification. I don’t know if your poll was a good way to gauge an understanding of persecution because as many of us previously pointed out, a lot of American Christians have a funny idea of what constitutes persecution. I think you’d have to be much more clearly defined on persecution (in a poll question) in order to get the clarification you desire.

    Many American Christians seem to have a desire to be persecuted, without having any real idea of what that would be like. Instead, they see things such as an atheist billboard as persecution, and yes, they use the actual word.

  104. #104 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    VOM Exec,

    VOM has never claimed, or even implied, that Christians in the US are persecuted. The purpose of the survey quite frankly was to gauge, from among our regular contacts, if they understand persecution the same way we do, if we were adequately communicating with them.

    Well, it seems only about 1 in every 20 of your regular contacts understand persecution the way you do (and the way most readers of this blog understands it too).

    I assume most of your regular contacts are American Christians. Most of the readers of this blog are Atheists. We tend to think that most American Christians are delusional, that they they live in some sort of bubble of warped reality and that they have a crazy persecution coplex. The results above are just one more piece of evidence that seems to confirm this.

    Is this also your conclusion?

  105. #105 SC OM
    March 30, 2010

    I believe it is my responsibility to speak out just as loud to defend the rights of those who disagree with me as I would for those who agree with me.

    Sure, you do.

  106. #106 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    Sure, you do.

    But you don’t understand! VOM only speaks out about Christian martyrs because there aren’t any non Christian martyrs.
    I think this ressembles the Ahmadinejad argument, no need to speak out about persecuted homosexuals in Iran because there aren’t any homosexuals in Iran.

  107. #107 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    I believe it is my responsibility to speak out just as loud to defend the rights of those who disagree with me as I would for those who agree with me.

    Do you spend time defending people from other religions (or lack there of) who are persecuted?

    Beyond that thanks for stopping by to explain your position.

    I just question the judgement of putting up a poll such as the one that brought you here. It looks like yet another intentional beat in the increasingly loud war drums of the American Christian right who somehow has gotten in their head that they are being persecuted.

    Which is a completely hilarious notion.

  108. #108 John Morales
    March 30, 2010

    VOM Exec:

    The purpose of the survey quite frankly was to gauge, from among our regular contacts, if they understand persecution the same way we do, if we were adequately communicating with them.

    Then why did you not ask a multiple-choice question such as:
    “Do you think persecution means [choices]”
    rather than
    “Do you think persecution of Christians will come to America? [choices”?

    What you asked and what you claim to have been asking are seriously at odds; so much so that your claim smacks of a post facto ad hoc rationalisation, and a risible one at that.

  109. #109 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    John,

    Then why did you not ask a multiple-choice question such as:
    “Do you think persecution means [choices]“

    multiple choice questions are pretty bad when it comes to finding out what people really think. Indirect is better. IMHO this poll gives a better idea of the persecution complex of American Christians.

    I agree with you that I’m still not sure this was the original intention of VOM though.

  110. #110 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 30, 2010

    grammar fail up there, but that’s normal.

  111. #111 Darreth
    March 30, 2010

    As we are all aware, persecution, to a Christian, means calling them on their hypocrisy.

  112. #112 Rorschach
    March 30, 2010

    persecution of god’s children guy,

    I?m unapologetically a Christian. I?ll rationally explain what I believe whenever it is appropriate.

    Can’t wait to hear it.

    With god’s children I must assume you refer to the children indoctrinated in your particular sect’s theology, not any other, including the machete-wielding muslims.
    Do you see the problem here that leads to wielding machetes in the first place? It’s religious sects all claiming to be god’s children and thinking the other lot must have it wrong !

    The purpose of the survey quite frankly was to gauge, from among our regular contacts, if they understand persecution the same way we do, if we were adequately communicating with them.

    A funny question to ask the members of the ruling and dominant religious sects in the US who all equate even questioning their beliefs with persecution, a technique well honed and refined through the centuries.

  113. #113 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    As we are all aware, persecution, to a Christian, means calling them on their hypocrisy.

    Precisely. Just like how the cat-licks are feeling a sense of mass persecution because of the world-wide disgust over the seemingly never-ending sex-abuse scandals by catholic priests and the cover-up attempts by the highest ranking of catholic officials.

    “Please stop persecuting us over our collective abhorrent behavior!”

  114. #114 VOM Exec
    March 30, 2010

    I believe it is my responsibility to speak out just as loud to defend the rights of those who disagree with me as I would for those who agree with me.
    Sure, you do.

    #106Posted by: negentropyeater | March 30, 2010 6:10 AM

    Sure, you do.

    But you don’t understand! VOM only speaks out about Christian martyrs because there aren’t any non Christian martyrs.
    ———————–
    Really, is that your view point? It certainly isn’t mine. I work in a world where controlling ideas do their best to eliminate ANY dissenting voices. Countries that have done their best to silence the voices of academics, because they dared to think and question those in control. Countries that force you to have your religion as part of your legal identity, where if your parents or grandparents were Muslim it is illegal to change it to ANYTHING else. Countries where your national identity and religion are synonymous, if you are Turk you are Muslim, if you are Nepali you have to be Hindu, etc. I don?t believe any rational person can understand the realities around the world and believe that the rights of individuals would be any more protected if the religious identity were forced to be Christian.

    Does the majority of VOM?s aid go to persecuted Christians? Yes, that is the focus of this organization and what our donors are giving to support. Do I personally speak up to defend the rights of any individual to voice their views regardless of viewpoint, religious or other? Absolutely, I have a deep conviction that some things are true and others are false and that the only way to determine what is true is to allow them to continuously be open to examination. Isn?t that the foundational principle of science? You explain an observation, experiment, research, or experience and then state you conclusion. Someone else comes along and either reinforces your conclusion or offers a different opinion, and the debate allows what is true to rise to the top. The secret is to allow for a civil discourse where ALL opinions are allowed to be heard. The problem is that civil discourse seems to be the exception rather than the rule (and I?ll admit that it?s true even in Christian circles).

    My hope is that as we share the stories and convictions of Christians from around the world, who by any of our definitions are persecuted, we can change enlarge the perspective of some Christians here in US.

    This will be my last post, if you?re interested in learning more about VOM check out the website. If you want to continue this dialogue I can be reached via the Contact tab (just send to ?General Contact? and mention VOM Exec and it will be routed to my attention).

  115. #115 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    Does the majority of VOM?s aid go to persecuted Christians? Yes, that is the focus of this organization and what our donors are giving to support.

    You still don’t explain why it’s the focus of your organization and why your donors only give to aid persecuted Christians.
    Is it because they ignore that there are millions of persecuted non Christians? Or is it because persecuted Christians are somehow more worthy of aid than non Christians?

    Why can’t you simply have an organisation that aids persecuted people of all races, religions and for whatever reasons they are being persecuted?

    Why pick and choose and use this as a means to proselytise? It’s detestable.

  116. #116 Celtic_Evolution
    March 30, 2010

    This will be my last post

    IOW, I’m not interested in, nor am I capable of, defending my position against very good and very poignant questions like the ones presented by negentropyeater at #115.

    So I’m off to go back to pretending to be a hero by supporting an organization that believes the largest majority in the US needs protection from persecution while the rest of the world’s persecuted can take a flying leap.

    It’s the Christian way… and thanks for reminding us of that.

  117. #117 SC OM
    March 30, 2010

    Really, is that your view point? It certainly isn’t mine. I work in a world where controlling ideas do their best to eliminate ANY dissenting voices. Countries that have done their best to silence the voices of academics, because they dared to think and question those in control. Countries that force you to have your religion as part of your legal identity, where if your parents or grandparents were Muslim it is illegal to change it to ANYTHING else. Countries where your national identity and religion are synonymous, if you are Turk you are Muslim, if you are Nepali you have to be Hindu, etc.

    Look, it’s great and necessary to have and support organizations that are focused on defending the rights of certain groups – academics, journalists, medical professionals, religious groups, anarchists, communists, students, women, etc. I often link to them here. There are organizations that attempt, not always perfectly, to defend the human rights of all regardless of beliefs or characteristics, like the ACLU and Amnesty International. Yours is not one of them. You focus exclusively on Christians, even in countries and areas (like Chiapas) where thousands have been and continue to be killed by Christians. It appears dishonest for you to claim that: “I believe it is my responsibility to speak out just as loud to defend the rights of those who disagree with me as I would for those who agree with me.” There is zero evidence of that on your web site, so unless you can produce some I’m going to say you’re telling a falsehood – either you don’t really believe that is your responsibility or you don’t think you need to act on it.

    I don?t believe any rational person can understand the realities around the world and believe that the rights of individuals would be any more protected if the religious identity were forced to be Christian.

    Indeed. And this isn’t a hypothetical! (As your site itself demonstrates…unless you don’t consider Catholics to be Christians, which wouldn’t really surprise me all that much.)

    Does the majority of VOM?s aid go to persecuted Christians? Yes, that is the focus of this organization and what our donors are giving to support.

    The problem isn’t with that fact; it’s that it’s not in keeping with what you said.

    Do I personally speak up to defend the rights of any individual to voice their views regardless of viewpoint, religious or other? Absolutely,

    Where?

    I have a deep conviction that some things are true and others are false and that the only way to determine what is true is to allow them to continuously be open to examination.

    This looks like a bizarre non sequitur.

    Isn?t that the foundational principle of science? You explain an observation, experiment, research, or experience and then state you conclusion. Someone else comes along and either reinforces your conclusion or offers a different opinion, and the debate allows what is true to rise to the top.

    Conclusions need to be nased on a reasoned engagement with the evidence. By the way, your little “analyses” of country politics on your web site are laughably simplistic and ahistorical.

    My hope is that as we share the stories and convictions of Christians from around the world, who by any of our definitions are persecuted, we can change enlarge the perspective of some Christians here in US.

    You should realize that you’re likely doing the opposite, through the presentation of material on your site and especially through this poll.

  118. #118 Rorschach
    March 30, 2010

    Is it because they ignore that there are millions of persecuted non Christians?

    Careful here. It does not follow to first argue that the christian notion of persecution is flawed, erroneous and just serving a particular tactical purpose while at the same time critisizing someone for not standing up for other persecuted people, using the term in just as a vague and undefined manner.

    The guy is wrong and a dick, but let’s make sure we call him out for the right reasons.

  119. #119 SC OM
    March 30, 2010

    Why can’t you simply have an organisation that aids persecuted people of all races, religions and for whatever reasons they are being persecuted?

    Or even retain a focus on persecution based on religious belief or lack thereof but not focus solely on one sect…

  120. #120 tsg
    March 30, 2010

    Careful here. It does not follow to first argue that the christian notion of persecution is flawed, erroneous and just serving a particular tactical purpose while at the same time critisizing someone for not standing up for other persecuted people, using the term in just as a vague and undefined manner.

    The flawed notion of persecution was leveled only at American Christians. That there are Christians worldwide suffering actual persecution is not in dispute.

    I think why they only concern themselves with the suffering of Christians is a fair question.

  121. #121 Sastra
    March 30, 2010

    VOM Exec #114 wrote:

    My hope is that as we share the stories and convictions of Christians from around the world, who by any of our definitions are persecuted, we can change enlarge the perspective of some Christians here in US.

    I’m going to have to agree with the VOM exec here. Frankly, I was really surprised to see those (initial) numbers for that question, on a site which clearly dealt with legitimate and very real persecution and human rights abuses. I’m going to guess that VOM was surprised, too.

    And dismayed. Particularly when a bunch of atheists caught it. The mistake wasn’t VOMs. It’s that their readership is apparently rather clueless, and has been reading the stories on the site filtered through some sort of storyline of their own devising — playacting that they’re martyrs on the same continuum, and it’s the End Times, or other such self-involved fantasy. That’s not what VOM is promoting. Or wants to promote: on the contrary, it’s self-defeating.

    As for only dealing with Christian persecution — well, that’s their focus. I don’t really have a problem with that. I guess it would bother me only if there was some direct, specific situation: they’re evacuating refugees who are fleeing murderous fanatics, and arbitrarily force the Buddhist guy off the plane. I doubt ROM exec would do that, or endorse it, or whatever.

  122. #122 negentropyeater
    March 30, 2010

    Rorschach, #118

    I’m using the term as it should be and the way VOM Exec seems to understand it too, ie people who suffer greatly from being persecuted for whatever non normativity. I don’t include there feeling “persecuted” for taking offense at a billboard or a non christian display at a Christmas decoration.

    There are millions of people who are being persecuted in the world, and the majority of them aren’t being persecuted for being Christians. Just think of the number of women and homosexuals who suffer from this. And that’s not for being Christians.

  123. #123 thomasdowlin
    March 30, 2010

    First, I don?t think the point of the survey was to say what the organization thinks. It seems to be collecting what their web visitors think, as VOM Exec said. If they wanted to put it out as truth, they?d likely just write a story about it. It seems that you?ve all scared them away from surveys now as they no longer offer a survey on their home page.

    Second, I?m saddened by readers who seem to be pro-persecution. LiLo: ?I think we should persecute Xians.? AlisonS: ?So many Christians, so few lions?? AJ Milne: ?I’m all about: have lions, will travel.?

    How very open minded of you all. Tolerance, indeed.

    And finally?persecution of Christians in the US may not be as foreign a concept as some of you think. There is clear evidence the Colombine killers were seeking out Christian students to be targeted and killed. Gunmen have attacked churches in Colorado and Texas and Christian ministries in the US. Is this widespread? No. Should Christians in the US have a ?persecution complex?? No. But does it happen? The evidence says, ?Yes.?

  124. #124 Becca
    March 30, 2010

    There is clear evidence the Colombine killers were seeking out Christian students to be targeted and killed

    not according to the exhaustively researched book Columbine by Dave Cullen. Turns out that’s more a myth than reality – as is so much we think we know about what happened there.

  125. #125 tsg
    March 30, 2010

    First, I don?t think the point of the survey was to say what the organization thinks. It seems to be collecting what their web visitors think, as VOM Exec said. If they wanted to put it out as truth, they?d likely just write a story about it. It seems that you?ve all scared them away from surveys now as they no longer offer a survey on their home page.

    Good. Mission accomplished.

    Second, I?m saddened by readers who seem to be pro-persecution. LiLo: ?I think we should persecute Xians.? AlisonS: ?So many Christians, so few lions?? AJ Milne: ?I’m all about: have lions, will travel.?

    How very open minded of you all. Tolerance, indeed.

    Your concern is noted.

    Should Christians in the US have a ?persecution complex?? No.

    That was the question.

    But does it happen?

    That wasn’t.

  126. #126 Becca
    March 30, 2010

    oops, blockquote failure. Only the first paragraph should be in blockquote: the second paragraph is mine.

  127. #127 'Tis Himself, OM
    March 30, 2010

    Should Christians in the US have a ?persecution complex?? No. But does it happen? The evidence says, ?Yes.?

    Bullshit it happens. As Becca notes above in #124, the Columbine killers were not targeting Christians. Most of the gunmen attacking churchmembers have a grievance, real or imagined, against that specific church. They are not gunning for Christians in general.

    There may be a few people with a hatred of Christians so great they go gunning for Christians. But there are a whole lot more people gunning for abortion providers or homosexuals. Please stop playing the “oh we’re a poor, persecuted majority” card. You won’t find anyone here who buys that bullshit.

  128. #128 thomasdowlin
    March 31, 2010

    OM: In your first paragraph you say “Bullshit it happens.” Then in your second, you say “There may be a few people with a hatred of Christians so great they go gunning for Christians.”

    So which is it? Does it happen or doesn’t it?

    As to Columbine:
    KLEBOLD: I don’t like you, Rachel and Jen, you’re stuck up little bitches, you’re fucking little.. Christian, Godly little whores!”

    HARRIS: Yeah.. ‘I love Jesus! I love Jesus!’ — shut the fuck up!

    KLEBOLD: What would Jesus do? What the fuck would I do..?” [he acts like he's shooting the camera with his hand, with sound to accompany it]

    HARRIS: I would shoot you in the motherfucking head! Go Romans! Thank God they crucified that asshole.

    HARRIS AND KLEBOLD: Go Romans! Go Romans!! Yeah!! Wooo!
    (From: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Transcripts_of_%22The_Basement_Tapes%22_of_Eric_Harris_and_Dylan_Klebold)

    Interesting how close “Go Romans! Go Romans!” sounds to some of the comments posted here, isn’t it?

  129. #129 Becca
    March 31, 2010

    my understanding is that they didn’t go gunning for Christians specifically, that is, they by-passed people who weren’t Christian, but that they went gunning for anyone they saw, and used whatever excuse they could to shoot the other kids.

  130. #130 SC OM
    March 31, 2010

    Someone linked to this about the Columbine shooters on another blog a while back. I thought it was interesting.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2099203/

    Interesting how close “Go Romans! Go Romans!” sounds to some of the comments posted here, isn’t it?

    Loon.

  131. #131 Menyambal
    March 31, 2010

    They shot people who annoyed them. Some Christians are annoying. They described the girls as being stuck up and as whores. They did not just say something like, “Okay, these two are Christians. That puts them at the top of the list.”

    I know some damned annoying Christians. Some of them are anoying because they spout religion all the time, some of them are just general assholes about everything, but they seldom mention their religion.

    Yes, Christians can skew Columbine into an attack upon them, but they can do that for almost everything.

  132. #132 SC OM
    March 31, 2010

    They shot people who annoyed them.

    No, they shot indiscriminately. Moreover, it was supposed to have been primarily a bombing, which would have killed hundreds indiscriminately.

  133. #133 Menyambal
    March 31, 2010

    Well, okay, the whole world annoyed them. I was trying to get across that their motivation was not specifically killing some Christians. I did not mean to imply that they had a list, I was just trying to say that Christians did not top any list. Sorries.

    Besides, why should Christians feel persecuted if someone gives them a .45 get-out-of-life-free card? By their standards, they have just missed out on a lot of sin, temptation and troubles, and are martyrs sitting on the right hand of God.

    The shooters, on the other hand, are in the seventh circle of Hell, starting out on a slow eternity of the maximum possible pain and suffering, just for helping someone into heaven. That seems a bit excessive.

    Yes, it was messing with God’s plan, but who really knows what God’s plan was, anyhow.

    My current point is that once people start taking religion seriously, it is a quick descent into total lunacy.

  134. #134 SC OM
    March 31, 2010

    I’m going to have to agree with the VOM exec here. Frankly, I was really surprised to see those (initial) numbers for that question, on a site which clearly dealt with legitimate and very real persecution and human rights abuses. I’m going to guess that VOM was surprised, too.

    And dismayed. Particularly when a bunch of atheists caught it. The mistake wasn’t VOMs. It’s that their readership is apparently rather clueless, and has been reading the stories on the site filtered through some sort of storyline of their own devising — playacting that they’re martyrs on the same continuum, and it’s the End Times, or other such self-involved fantasy. That’s not what VOM is promoting. Or wants to promote: on the contrary, it’s self-defeating.

    As for only dealing with Christian persecution — well, that’s their focus. I don’t really have a problem with that. I guess it would bother me only if there was some direct, specific situation: they’re evacuating refugees who are fleeing murderous fanatics, and arbitrarily force the Buddhist guy off the plane. I doubt ROM exec would do that, or endorse it, or whatever.

    I have to disagree As I’ve said, I don’t have a problem with them helping individual Christians as an organizational focus, but I do take issue with the claim about enlarging perspectives. (S)he says: “My hope is that as we share the stories and convictions of Christians from around the world, who by any of our definitions are persecuted, we can change enlarge the perspective of some Christians here in US.” I can see this enlarging US Christians’ perspective in the sense of being aware of what’s happening to people, or at least to Christians, in other places, which they may genuinely believe will lead people to put their situation in perspective. But they do nothing to discourage the narrative you describe, and the focus solely on Christian victims encourages it. Enlarging people’s perspective could come through making them aware of religious persecution and violence of all kinds, including that perpetrated historically and in the present by their own group. And the poll question is very likely to feed this fear of barbarian Muslims at the gate. In a context in which the US has invaded and occupies two Muslim countries, with a military chock full of evangelicals who see this as a holy war and have come to dehumanize Muslims, with all of the attendant violence and the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims (mostly civilians), asking such a question is far from encouraging self-criticism and reflection. I think they mean well, but I hope they change their tack.

  135. #135 SC OM
    March 31, 2010

    Well, okay, the whole world annoyed them. I was trying to get across that their motivation was not specifically killing some Christians. I did not mean to imply that they had a list, I was just trying to say that Christians did not top any list. Sorries.

    Did you read the article I linked to? It’s really interesting!

    Besides, why should Christians feel persecuted if someone gives them a .45 get-out-of-life-free card? By their standards, they have just missed out on a lot of sin, temptation and troubles, and are martyrs sitting on the right hand of God.

    Wow, that’s insensitive. We’re talking about murdered children.

  136. #136 Menyambal
    March 31, 2010

    Thanks for your concern.

    I, again, was making a point, and was referring to adult Christians, even if I didn’t make that clear.

    But, referring to children, then. A Christian child who is killed while in a state of grace is guaranteed Heaven. A Christian child who is allowed to grow up is liable to backslide and wind up burning in Hell. What, then, should a concerned Christian parent, who wants only the best for their child, do?

    Again, it is Christianity that brings this shit into play, not me. Christians are insensitive.

    For me, Columbine was a tragedy. I was saddened by the senseless loss of life, the anger of the shooters and the grief of all the parents. I was sensitive to their loss.

    But I say that Christian parents consoled themselves with the thought that their child was in a better place. AND safe from Hell.

  137. #137 SC OM
    March 31, 2010

    I, again, was making a point, and was referring to adult Christians, even if I didn’t make that clear.

    But, referring to children, then….

    Again, the first “point” was a fact claim that was incorrect (even if it had been, “They shot people who annoyed them. Some Christians are annoying”? WTF?). You then failed again to correct it. Then you made this comment in the context of talking about Columbine. It’s not that I’m not aware of this aspect of Christianity. I just see it as gratuitous and insensitive to say “Besides, why should Christians feel persecuted if someone gives them a .45 get-out-of-life-free card?” in the context of a discussion of kids getting mown down by a psychopath. The parents may have consoled themselves with their beliefs about an afterlife, but they still suffered immensely.

    Anyway, death is the last thing I want to argue about right now, so you can have the last word.

  138. #138 Veritas45
    April 1, 2010

    I have been to countries where Christian pastors are killed by terrorists or extremists only because they share a message that so radically changes lives that when a person accepts it they refuse to take up arms or adhere to the extremist ideology. They are seen as a threat. We don’t have that problem here in the US, but that’s not to say it won’t change in the future.

    No one can say with absolute, 100% certainty that there is an afterlife, but… what if there is? I would say the Christians have a lot less to lose. And I am not talking about people who claim to be Christians who bomb abortion clinics or resort to other means of violence. I would hesistate to call them Christians. Christ never incited people to violence, rather He told people to love their enemies.

    This is something everyone should seriously consider. After all, we will be spending a lot more time in eternity than here on this earth.

    Peace and love to you all!

  139. #139 Knockgoats
    April 1, 2010

    No one can say with absolute, 100% certainty that there is an afterlife, but… what if there is? I would say the Christians have a lot less to lose. – veritas45

    And I’d say you’re a fucking moron, or else you think we are. What if there is an afterlife, and the authorities in charge of it loathe Christian morons like you and subject them, and only them, to eternal torment?

    Christ never incited people to violence

    He committed it himself, driving the moneylenders out of the Temple with a whip. apart from that, he was forever threatening that his Dad would torture them forever. Nasty piece of work.

  140. #140 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 1, 2010

    After all, we will be spending a lot more time in eternity than here on this earth.Only in your delusional brain. No evidence whatsoever for an afterlife. So worrying about it is irrational and delusional. What does that make you? And why should we listen to delusional fools who get information from a book of mythology/fiction?

  141. #141 Celtic_Evolution
    April 1, 2010

    And I am not talking about people who claim to be Christians who bomb abortion clinics or resort to other means of violence. I would hesistate to call them Christians.

    And that’s Not A True ChristianTM claim number 6,724 this month, for those of you keeping score at home…

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