Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The ongoing tragic story of Christian persecution

A report at CNN today describes the latest incident sure to be trumpeted by Dobson and Wildmon and those pushing the notion that Christians are a sad, persecuted minority in the heathen librul Gomorrah that is America today.

Every year the Marine reserves do a "Toys for Tots" program for the holidays, to collect toys so that poor kids can have lots of Christmas and holiday presents. The very model of a wonderful charity.

This year, TFT has rejected a talking Jesus doll offered by Christian toymakers one2believe. They make toys with the express purpose of religiously indoctrinating helpless little ones who, of course, lack the critical thinking skills to evaluate the Bible stories they're being taught. As the saying goes, give 'em the boy (girl) for seven years, and they'll give you back the man (woman). The Jesus doll they offered said such anxiety-building homilies as "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."

There have been incidents where government organizations — schools and the like — have perhaps gone overboard in trying to maintain church-state separation, motivated more by the frantic hopes of avoiding lawsuits than by any honest concern for government neutrality in the matter of private belief. Keeping coercive prayer out of schools is one thing, but telling teachers they can't wear cross necklaces is quite another. (Note: I don't have a specific link for an incident such as this; however, there was an episode of Hannity and Colmes I saw some years ago on which a teacher claimed she had been asked to take off cross jewelry, so I assume it's happened at least once.) So it's important for those of us who support separation not merely to advocate the position, but then educate the public and its officials as to what constitutes unconstitutional religion-meddling.

But here, TFT is absolutely correct.

Toys are donated to kids based on financial need and "we don't know anything about their background, their religious affiliations," said Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Virginia.

As a government entity, Marines "don't profess one religion over another," Grein said Tuesday. "We can't take a chance on sending a talking Jesus doll to a Jewish family or a Muslim family."

The company's reaction is one of predictable cluelessness.

"The idea was for them to be three-dimensional teaching tools for kids," [Michael] La Roe said. "I believe as a churchgoing person, anyone can benefit from hearing the words of the Bible."

Yeah dude, and Muslims believe that anyone can benefit from bowing to Mecca every day. But you wouldn't want someone sending your kid a "three-dimensional teaching tool" delivering that lesson, would you?

What is it with some Christians that they often seem to think they're the only people in the world, or at least the only ones with a point of view that matters? I certainly don't expect La Roe to learn a lesson about respect for others from this. It will only be a matter of time before the whine of persecution is heard across the land again.

7 comments:

  1. Sometimes, they seem to just not be aware that not everybody practices Christianity. To them, it's like if you don't actually believe in their god, you really do, but you just don't worship it, so you need to have the religious stuff pushed on you to "remind" you to start doing so. They just seem to be unable to grasp the concept of non-belief.

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  2. tracie harris11/17/2006 12:29 PM

    This is par for the course "Xian Persecution." It's always the same--if they can't push their religion onto someone else, somehow, in their heads, that means you're impeding their religious rights. And it is hysterical how bent they get when the shoe is on the other foot. Worldview Weekend just published an article about a Muslim who was elected to U.S. public office on the hill. The article was freaking out about this guy swearing in on the Koran. He actually said something akin to: "So now the Koran is equal to the Bible in the halls of Congress? Doesn't swearing on the Koran mean allegiance to Islamic law rather than our Constitution? Where's the outrage?!"

    I thought--man, where's the outrage over all the years our reps have sworn allegiance on a Judeo-Xian law book rather than the Constitution...what does _that_ mean in his head?

    They totally fail to see the irony of their open and flagrant hypocrisy--time and time again. There's just no explanation for it other than some unbounded, unchecked religious egocentrism and some weird sense of superentitlement.

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  3. Christians aren't the only exclusivists in the world. It seems that atheists fall into that category as well.

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  4. ...According to the atheists' position, to say there is no god is indeed an exclusive religious position, and a bold one I might add. The atheist knows everything, has traveled the entire cosmos, and is superior to all those sheltered robotic folk who believe that they need to rely on something higher than their little finite limited minds. Preposterous. I don't think theistic claims are so illogical. It seems that many atheists only react to abuses of theism, not the core of theistic thought and life.

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  5. That is typical of the poor quality of thought that goes into Christian apologetics. Omniscience is hardly a prerequisite for refraining from belief in specific claims. One need not know everything or travel the cosmos to reject belief in your God any more than one needs to have done so to reject belief in Zeus, Ahura Mazda, or the Great Green Arkleseizure. The burden of proof for any claim rests upon the claimant, not the skeptic. One could use the "you're not omniscient, so you can't say I'm wrong, therefore I'm right" fallacy to defend belief in any claim, no matter how absurd.

    So yes, theistic claims are far more illogical than atheistic ones. You are claiming, with no credible evidence to support it, that there is a deity who has created the universe by an act of will, that this deity demands worship upon pain of eternal torture, and that this deity also came to earth in human form in order to sacrifice himself to himself, in order to "save" the human race he is supposed to have created in his own image from the consequences of mistakes this deity is actually responsible for.

    Atheists are simply claiming we don't believe that.

    Perfectly sensible when you understand it properly.

    It seems that many atheists only react to abuses of theism, not the core of theistic thought and life.

    You forget most of us started out as theists, and came to atheism as a result of questioning the beliefs we were brought up to accept. We have both studied and experienced the "core of theistic thought and life," and have concluded that it does not stand up to intellectual or moral scrutiny.

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  6. How have you come to prove that God does not exist?

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  7. ...I would like to hear you respond to this article...
    http://www.calvin.edu/academic/philosophy/virtual_library/articles/plantinga_alvin/theism_atheism_and_rationality.pdf

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