Posts filed under: christians
I consider myself a catholic in practice and the way I live my life but I'm not outraged at the US governments requirement that institutions cover contraceptives, and I'm was happy when Komen restored funding to PP. Do you think that this "outrage" over the "war on religion" is overblown and misguided? Wouldn't you agree that the idea that we religious are the marginalized minority is a huge insult to truly persecuted Christians around the world? - iloveavulcan
That’s a good question!
The response hinges on whether religious freedom is a fundamental human right. If it is, then any violation is serious, though some are more serious than others.
Roll back the clock a bit. If someone had told Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott that their outrage over women being denied the right to vote was unjustified because women in Asia and Africa were being treated far worse, often in conditions approaching slavery, do you think they should have piped down?
A violation of life (as is sometimes the case for persecuted Christians) is as grave as they come, but a violation of conscience in religious matters is also serious, so much so that it’s explicitly protected by our Constitution’s First Amendment.
Hopefully this can actually raise awareness among Americans that Christians around the world suffer such unjust persecution. The Internet is very good at bringing us closer to them — I have friends on Facebook from countries that are extremely difficult for Christians to live in — and somehow we have something more in common now than before.
Anyway, that’s mostly in the realm of personal opinion. Thanks for writing, and God bless you!
- Father Shane
— John L. Allen, Jr.
80% of the acts of religious intolerance in the world today are directed against Christians. The threat doesn’t come just from Islamic extremism, but a bewildering variety of forces: the rise of Hindu radicalism in India; the policies of officially atheistic regimes in China and North Korea; old tribal and ethnic rivalries in parts of Africa, given a new religious veneer; even secular prejudice against religious faith in parts of Europe and North America.
Lamentably, this reality is largely unknown. Two weeks ago, for instance, marked the one-year anniversary of an assault on Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, a Chaldean Catholic church where 53 people were killed and hundreds injured in the wake of an assault during Mass by al Qaeda-linked gunmen. (It’s the death toll, not the fact of the attack, that makes Our Lady of Salvation stand out. In the last eight years, 43 of the 60 Christian churches in Baghdad have been bombed at least once.)
In a just world, this anniversary would have been talked about from every pulpit in America. Instead, it passed largely in obscurity.
Of course, Catholics shouldn’t be concerned exclusively with the rights of other Christians. A credible defense of religious freedom has to mean freedom for all. Yet it is Christians today who are paying the most substantial price when religious freedom is denied — and if we won’t come to the defense of fellow Christians in jeopardy, what hope is there for anyone else?