The Never-Ending “War on Christians”

Somehow, over the course of the last several years, loud voices on the Right have managed to convince huge numbers of Christians in thriving congregations that they are somehow under attack by all things secular — from progressives, feminists and the culture in general to the government and the courts.

A key technique in this bogus “us-against-them” rabble-rousing is planting the idea that Christians are victimized on every front. Right-wing activists, pundits, and leaders seek to spin any and all developments in a manner that suggests they and all Christians in America are being constantly discriminated against and harassed.

At Vision America’s “The War on Christians and Values Voters” conference in 2006, right-wing activists spent two days telling one another horror stories about how people were supposedly being arrested simply for sharing their faith or losing their jobs for standing up to a government hostile to Christianity, citing ousted Ten Commandments judge Roy Moore and ousted Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt as the two most high-profile examples – Klingenschmitt ever went so far as to compare himself to Abdul Rahman, the man who faced a potential death sentence for converting to Christianity in Afghanistan.

Since then, the idea that Christians are under attack has been a standard rallying cry for the Right, cropping up most recently in their opposition to hate crimes legislation which they claim will lead to “open persecution” of Christians and pastors being dragged from the pulpit and thrown in jail.

So ingrained has this idea become on the Right that they are always on the look-out for new evidence that Christians are being victimized – and columnist, pundit, and blogger Michelle Malkin claims to have found the latest example in the group of South Korean Christians being held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan:  

Across Asia, media coverage is 24/7. Strangers have held nightly prayer vigils. But the human rights crowd in America has been largely AWOL. And so has most of our mainstream media. Among some of the secular elite, no doubt, is a blame-the-victim apathy: The missionaries deserved what they got. What were they thinking bringing their message of faith to a war zone? Didn’t they know they were sitting ducks for Muslim head-choppers whose idea of evangelism is “convert or die”?

I noted the media shoulder-shrugging about jihadist targeting of Christian missionaries five years ago during the kidnapping and murder of American Christian missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham in the Philippines. The silence is rooted in viewing committed Christians as alien others. At best, there is a collective callousness. At worst, there is outright contempt — from Ted Turner’s reference to Catholics as “Jesus freaks” to CBS producer Roxanne Russell’s casual insult of former GOP presidential candidate Gary Bauer as “the little nut from the Christian group” to the mockery of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith.

So the fact that media coverage has been round-the-clock in Asian nations but not round-the-clock here in the US has less to do with the fact the victims are, you know, from South Korea than it does with the fact that US media is openly hostile to Christians? 

You really have to marvel at the Right’s ability to use the kidnapping and murder of South Korean Christians in Afghanistan in order to suggest that it is really Christians here in America that are under attack.