Author Topic: Growing number of Americans believe Christians complain too much about 'persecut  (Read 3038 times)

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Raylight

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"LifeWay Research on Wednesday released its findings that six in 10 Americans say religious liberty is on the decline – up from just over half (54 per cent) in 2013....many Americans still believe that Christians excessively protest their treatment. More than half of those with no faith (59 per cent) and 53 per cent of those who rarely or never attend worship said complaints by Christians are disproportionate."

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/growing.number.of.americans.believe.christians.complain.too.much.about.persecution/83043.htm
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 11:09:07 AM by Raylight »

Offline LizaSymonenko

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We really need to pick our battles.

Sometimes the complaints are just plain silly and give us all a bad image.

Fight for what's important....don't get upset over every little thing.
Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness. Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion. With the afflicted be afflicted in mind. Love all men, but keep distant from all men.
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Raylight

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We really need to pick our battles.

Sometimes the complaints are just plain silly and give us all a bad image.

Fight for what's important....don't get upset over every little thing.

^Amen!

Offline seekeroftruth777

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We really need to pick our battles.

Sometimes the complaints are just plain silly and give us all a bad image.

Fight for what's important....don't get upset over every little thing.

Amen

Offline Papist

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If you give a liberal a cookie...
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 01:21:36 PM by Papist »
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Offline FinnJames

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US Christians who complain about being persecuted ought to read some of the memoirs of Christians who lived in Stalin's USSR to see what government persecution of Christians in a modern western state looks like.

My guess, though, is that many(?) US Christians might be reacting to a shift from a society in which generally Christian behaviour was the unquestioned legal and hegemonic societal norm to one where that norm is breaking down. Even if this isn't persecution per se, it is a loss of privilege. And that loss is no doubt what they are reacting to.

Offline Minnesotan

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I think that any Middle Eastern Christian would gladly switch places with one of his "persecuted" American co-religionists....
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Offline scamandrius

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Whether it is labeled as persecution or not, there are still any number of instances out there where Christians are being intimidated, fined, coerced, labeled hatefully for standing up for a Christian belief across a spectrum of different issues. Now, we can argue until the Second Coming about whether that is justified, but nonetheless, it is happening.  Whether it is rampant or not is another issue.  But, it is happening.  And secular statists like Raylight (or whatever label you have chosen for yourself today) don't seem to take issue with this simply because they are on the other side. 
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Offline William T

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Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable


Or

One man's death is a tragedy, etc.

And so on and so forth.

But yes, in general Americans of the past two generations like to crusade, complain, feel persecuted, and self righteous, and self anointed...rather passively and unreflectively so, it's one of the less charming characteristics of an affluent society.  It's on all issues though, so no biggie.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 02:05:14 PM by William T »

Offline Iconodule

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My guess, though, is that many(?) US Christians might be reacting to a shift from a society in which generally Christian behaviour was the unquestioned legal and hegemonic societal norm to one where that norm is breaking down. Even if this isn't persecution per se, it is a loss of privilege. And that loss is no doubt what they are reacting to.

I think you have it exactly right. Also, at a certain point- maybe the 1970's-1980's- American evangelicals married themselves to a certain species of right-wing politics which is beginning to collapse. Erosion of privilege is usually painful and may feel like persecution, even when it's really just a taste of your own medicine.
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Offline scamandrius

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My guess, though, is that many(?) US Christians might be reacting to a shift from a society in which generally Christian behaviour was the unquestioned legal and hegemonic societal norm to one where that norm is breaking down. Even if this isn't persecution per se, it is a loss of privilege. And that loss is no doubt what they are reacting to.

I think you have it exactly right. Also, at a certain point- maybe the 1970's-1980's- American evangelicals married themselves to a certain species of right-wing politics which is beginning to collapse. Erosion of privilege is usually painful and may feel like persecution, even when it's really just a taste of your own medicine.

So, erosion of a fundamental liberty to practice one's faith according to one's own conscience without coercion or interference from the state is in whatever forum or venue is merely a privilege to you? 
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Offline Iconodule

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erosion of a fundamental liberty to practice one's faith according to one's own conscience without coercion or interference from the state

Examples?
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Offline scamandrius

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erosion of a fundamental liberty to practice one's faith according to one's own conscience without coercion or interference from the state

Examples?

Technically, you should provide the evidence since you're the one that brought the charge. But, I will humour you.

Forgive the vagueness; I'm going from memory:

Photographer fined for not wanting to photograph and participate in gay wedding.
Couple fined in New York for not allowing gay weddings on their property while still allowing gay wedding receptions.
Couple fined for not baking a cake for a gay wedding.

You know, whatever happened to "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?"  It's more about freedom of association. I have the right to choose with whom I will associate in private and/or in public.  No one should be forced to do otherwise.

Good enough?
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Offline FinnJames

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erosion of a fundamental liberty to practice one's faith according to one's own conscience without coercion or interference from the state

Examples?

Technically, you should provide the evidence since you're the one that brought the charge. But, I will humour you.

Forgive the vagueness; I'm going from memory:

Photographer fined for not wanting to photograph and participate in gay wedding.
Couple fined in New York for not allowing gay weddings on their property while still allowing gay wedding receptions.
Couple fined for not baking a cake for a gay wedding.

You know, whatever happened to "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?"  It's more about freedom of association. I have the right to choose with whom I will associate in private and/or in public.  No one should be forced to do otherwise.

Good enough?

I certainly remember 'no shirt, no shoes, no service' from the time when I lived in the US, but not 'we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone'. (Aren't there now laws in the US that make it illegal to refuse service to people based on their religion, gender, race, ethnic origin, age, disability?) The examples you give all involve homosexuality, which seems to be the hot button issue for the moment, but perhaps you can give some examples from other areas?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 03:01:28 PM by FinnJames »

Offline Iconodule

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erosion of a fundamental liberty to practice one's faith according to one's own conscience without coercion or interference from the state

Examples?

Technically, you should provide the evidence since you're the one that brought the charge. But, I will humour you.

Forgive the vagueness; I'm going from memory:

Photographer fined for not wanting to photograph and participate in gay wedding.
Couple fined in New York for not allowing gay weddings on their property while still allowing gay wedding receptions.
Couple fined for not baking a cake for a gay wedding.

These are all cases of people having their right to discriminate against/ ostracize other groups eroded. Again, confusing the erosion of privilege with discrimination.

Quote
You know, whatever happened to "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone?"  It's more about freedom of association.

While we're at it, let's bring back "No Irish need apply," "Japs move on- this is a white man's neighborhood", "No colored allowed," etc.
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Offline vamrat

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When the frog is being boiled it generally doesn't know until it is too late.  Conversely, I think it is true that sometimes the frog thinks it is being boiled when no such thing is happening.  I think this is probably the case in some of the more extreme thoughts of persecution.  Compared to what happens in Socialist or radical islamic countries, we are no where near that, and I really don't see that becoming the case in the near future, barring some black swan event.

At the same time, I think it is worse than "loss of privilege".  Christianity is routinely mocked in our society, and those that hold a traditional view of Christianity are sometimes ostracized or given other forms of social punishment.  Supposed Christians who are fine with bakers loosing their livelihood over their desire to not be involved with a sinful act are the wolves in sheep's clothing that Christ speaks of.  That said, I still don't see the government getting involved in the near future and violently persecuting Christians.  But this does not mean it's a bed of roses.  Social ostracism is often more effective at destroying people's souls than violent persecution.  If your time is up, you can fight back or accept the Crown of Martyrdom.  But day in, day out nudging people away from the Faith is very effective.  Even those that don't outright deny Christ often have their faiths eroded to the point of being dead...wiles of the world and all that. 

All in all, I'd combine what Liza and Papist said.  I think some people overreact and see persecution where there is some, but at the same time, the enemies of the Christian faith ask an inch and push it a yard.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline TheTrisagion

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While we're at it, let's bring back "No Irish need apply," "Japs move on- this is a white man's neighborhood", "No colored allowed," etc.
As a white man, this sounds like it would considerably open up my job options, so I'm 100% in favor.  ;)
God bless!

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I think in some cases discrimination against Christians exists. If a person goes around with a cross and makes occasional Christian remarks like Jesus loves you to random people, it can hurt their job prospects in some cases. There was a lady who got fired for telling customers God Bless you (not wrt sneezing). I think the Court found in her favor.
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Offline FinnJames

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When the frog is being boiled it generally doesn't know until it is too late.  Conversely, I think it is true that sometimes the frog thinks it is being boiled when no such thing is happening.  I think this is probably the case in some of the more extreme thoughts of persecution.  Compared to what happens in Socialist or radical islamic countries, we are no where near that, and I really don't see that becoming the case in the near future, barring some black swan event.

At the same time, I think it is worse than "loss of privilege".  Christianity is routinely mocked in our society, and those that hold a traditional view of Christianity are sometimes ostracized or given other forms of social punishment.  Supposed Christians who are fine with bakers loosing their livelihood over their desire to not be involved with a sinful act are the wolves in sheep's clothing that Christ speaks of.  That said, I still don't see the government getting involved in the near future and violently persecuting Christians.  But this does not mean it's a bed of roses.  Social ostracism is often more effective at destroying people's souls than violent persecution.  If your time is up, you can fight back or accept the Crown of Martyrdom.  But day in, day out nudging people away from the Faith is very effective.  Even those that don't outright deny Christ often have their faiths eroded to the point of being dead...wiles of the world and all that. 

All in all, I'd combine what Liza and Papist said.  I think some people overreact and see persecution where there is some, but at the same time, the enemies of the Christian faith ask an inch and push it a yard.

Isn't the bit in bold a bit of an exaggeration? Losing a sale, maybe. But losing their entire livelihood would only happen if they refused to sell to everyone.

Isn't what we all assume is going to take place in the bedroom after a 'gay wedding' the sin, not the ceremony itself or the reception after? So how is baking a cake for the celebration being involved in a sinful act (unless it's the sin of gluttony)?

By the way, wasn't there a time at some point in history when the Orthodox church had a special ceremony (rite?) for blessing the brotherhood bond of two males? As long as no sex followed, where was the sin in that?

Offline TheTrisagion

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In the US, you can incur massive fines for refusing service to a protected class. A recent news story being circulated is of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple and was fined $135,000.
God bless!

Offline vamrat

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In the US, you can incur massive fines for refusing service to a protected class. A recent news story being circulated is of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple and was fined $135,000.

This is what I was referring to.
Das ist des Jägers Ehrenschild, daß er beschützt und hegt sein Wild, weidmännisch jagt, wie sich’s gehört, den Schöpfer im Geschöpfe ehrt.

Offline Minnesotan

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I think in some cases discrimination against Christians exists. If a person goes around with a cross and makes occasional Christian remarks like Jesus loves you to random people, it can hurt their job prospects in some cases. There was a lady who got fired for telling customers God Bless you (not wrt sneezing). I think the Court found in her favor.

Well, in the past, similarly simple expressions of faith could get you in trouble in officially Christian countries if what you were doing was seen as heretical.

E.g., if you went around in a Calvinist theocracy loudly saying that God loves all people, you could be persecuted, even though technically you were being persecuted for being a "heretic" (in their eyes) rather than for merely being a Christian. Yet the end result is the same.

There are people who claim that Germany discriminates against Christians because it doesn't allow homeschooling, for instance. But there was a time in that country when any religious education (public or private) outside the officially established church was illegal.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 05:02:44 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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I think in some cases discrimination against Christians exists. If a person goes around with a cross and makes occasional Christian remarks like Jesus loves you to random people, it can hurt their job prospects in some cases. There was a lady who got fired for telling customers God Bless you (not wrt sneezing). I think the Court found in her favor.

Wait that really happened? ok I don't like people crying too much about persecution, but this right here is discrimination, if it really happened. Would they do that to a Muslim Saying Allah Akbar or a Orthodox Jew saying whatever they say.? sorry just thinking out loud.

Offline Eruvande

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I think there's something to be said for making sure we are genuinely being persecuted for our faith rather than for being, well, to use American parlance, jerks. A lot of what I see Western Christians complaining about could probably be solved with a heavy dose of good natured give and take. Of course there is a certain sector of secular life that will grab onto the headline making shenanigans. And I am a traditional believer when it comes to abortion, homosexuality and all those hot button issues. But I would far rather be hung for my open and honest claim of Christ than any of those things, so that's what I tend to put out there, rather than my opinion of Euthanasia.

Wasn't always that way, I used to have a reasonably read blog in which my strident opinion was front and centre, even though I thought I was first and foremost a Christian. But I think I got it wrong and the flak I sometimes got in my comment section was due to my own arrogance rather than any genuine persecution.
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While we're at it, let's bring back "No Irish need apply," "Japs move on- this is a white man's neighborhood", "No colored allowed," etc.

Why not strike those laws of the books? There was a need for it in the Deep South of the 60s, obviously. But the need for those laws is long gone. I'd imagine that the few businesses who would discriminate would lose lots of customers very fast.

These are all cases of people having their right to discriminate against/ ostracize other groups eroded.

Those bakers probably would bake birthday cakes for homosexuals. They don't discriminate homosexuals because they are homosexual, they just don't want to participate in an event that would violate their conscience. A truly small-l liberal society would tolerate that small minority of bakers who struggle with their conscience in those situations.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 05:38:43 PM by Cyrillic »

Offline seekeroftruth777

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While we're at it, let's bring back "No Irish need apply," "Japs move on- this is a white man's neighborhood", "No colored allowed," etc.

Why not strike those laws of the books? There was a need for it in the Deep South of the 60s, obviously. But the need for those laws is long gone. I'd imagine that the few businesses who would discriminate would lose lots of customers very fast.

good point, that the thing how are we suppose to really know who a bigot with the current laws on the books? They have to serve just about everyone, so who really knows?

Offline Rohzek

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Generally when it comes to serving gays at business owned by religious people, many will point to the precedent set by the Civil Rights Act, which made discrimination based on skin color illegal. As SCOTUS has mentioned in some of the latest rulings concerning the Civil Rights Act, extraordinary measures were taken in order to undo the harm by Jim Crow. Just because Jim Crow itself may have been overturned, it did not necessarily make it possible for people of color to have a fair access to American society at large. Such a blatant reality is reflective of the fact that politics and political rights are downstream from culture. If the culture at large is overly hostile to homosexuals, then their political enfranchisement is essentially meaningless and in-name only. As a result, discrimination laws were passed nearly 50 years ago and justified considering the extraordinary circumstances.

Now the question is this, are gay people really being denied service at private businesses on a scale that black people were? This sort of standard isn't talked about. However, freedom of association is a fundamental right, and we should not be passing discrimination laws that essentially force association without seriously considering the surrounding circumstances.

On a personal level, I find it difficult to sympathize with a Christian business who refuses to serve a gay couple a meal, etc. At the same time, however, I fully sympathize with Christian businesses that do not want to cater gay weddings or do photoshoots for gay weddings because it involves the very heart of the matter that they object to. Perhaps it isn't fully consistent, but it is not a matter that I devote a lot of thought to.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 06:10:10 PM by Rohzek »
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline Cyrillic

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On a personal level, I find it difficult to sympathize with a Christian business who refuses to serve a gay couple a meal, etc. At the same time, however, I fully sympathize with Christian businesses that do not want to cater gay weddings or do photoshoots for gay weddings because it involves the very heart of the matter that they object to. Perhaps it isn't fully consistent, but it is not a matter that I devote a lot of thought to.

It is wholly consistant.

Offline minasoliman

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There is a writing by a famous Coptic monk priest, the late Abouna Matta al Maskeen, who wrote in his controversial book on "Church and State" how even if a Christian (and he is discussing Copts) is truly persecuted, we should not have a "persecution complex".  Tough words to live by sometimes, but I do see his point.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2016, 10:58:14 PM by minasoliman »
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38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’[f] 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.




Instead we sue them over -our- rights. When if we just listened to the words of the Lord we would realize we are to claim nothing. No rights.
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Offline Rohzek

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38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’[f] 39 But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 40 If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. 41 And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.




Instead we sue them over -our- rights. When if we just listened to the words of the Lord we would realize we are to claim nothing. No rights.

Speak for yourself.
"Il ne faut imaginer Dieu ni trop bon, ni méchant. La justice est entre l'excès de la clémence et la cruauté, ainsi que les peines finies sont entre l'impunité et les peines éternelles." - Denise Diderot, Pensées philosophiques 1746

Offline minasoliman

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I think DD makes a good point that needs some contemplating.
Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.

Offline William T

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US Christians who complain about being persecuted ought to read some of the memoirs of Christians who lived in Stalin's USSR to see what government persecution of Christians in a modern western state looks like.

My guess, though, is that many(?) US Christians might be reacting to a shift from a society in which generally Christian behaviour was the unquestioned legal and hegemonic societal norm to one where that norm is breaking down. Even if this isn't persecution per se, it is a loss of privilege. And that loss is no doubt what they are reacting to.


It may account for some phenomena, and that bit of info may be useful , but to put too much stock in narratives like this (and maybe even the use of statistics the OP seems to favor) will probably do more harm than good if this is all we have, it's nearly impossible for this to be the be all end all explanation, there may also be a potential for a kind of viciousness abstracting and psychologizing at this level.

One reason I tend to look at explanations of this as tertiary resources at best is they tend to be a Trojan Horse  with a kind of vacuousness in the sociology words when applied to general audiences:  I could probably use words like society, hegemony,  norms, change, privileges, and so on and so forth (which if they are analytical terms, they are neutral terms) and send it to areas and cultures ISIS is intruding on.   I'm pretty sure most of us would not agree with the disruption to privileges, norms, etc going on in any of those areas.   So I think looking at things in this way is a wash, but people nowadays always try to manipulate this language to their favor(stuff I like is "true" change - stuff I dislike can be subjected to sociological jargon, psychology, and be called "reactionary" and will end up in the dustbin of history.)

If you are saying people who argue against certain legal / cultural arguments aren't using a language or arguments that accounts for change in laws and society (which by their nature are things that change), and therefore the arguments are not sound...you may very well be right.   But change in time is neither good nor bad, merely a reality that must be taken into account.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 01:06:49 AM by William T »

Offline mike

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I think in some cases discrimination against Christians exists. If a person goes around with a cross and makes occasional Christian remarks like Jesus loves you to random people, it can hurt their job prospects in some cases. There was a lady who got fired for telling customers God Bless you (not wrt sneezing). I think the Court found in her favor.

That's not discrimination. That's protecting others from proselitism.

When I go to a restaurant and the waiter, instead o doing his job, preaches to me his Pentecostal-like faith, I would report that  to manager and expect some reaction. If you cannot stop from "preaching" set a stand up as JWs do.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 03:08:42 AM by mike »
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Offline Ainnir

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I think in some cases discrimination against Christians exists. If a person goes around with a cross and makes occasional Christian remarks like Jesus loves you to random people, it can hurt their job prospects in some cases. There was a lady who got fired for telling customers God Bless you (not wrt sneezing). I think the Court found in her favor.

That's not discrimination. That's protecting others from proselitism.

When I go to a restaurant and the waiter, instead o doing his job, preaches to me his Pentecostal-like faith, I would report that  to manager and expect some reaction. If you cannot stop from "preaching" set a stand up as JWs do.

That's not proselytizing.  And the point of the post is yes she was fired, but the company was punished by the court for firing her.  The court ruled that she wasn't doing anything wrong.  They can't force the company to take her back, but they can award punitive damages.  Interestingly, we were on the flip side of that: my husband was fired by a "Christian" company for refusing to assent to their version of faith.


America is founded on a "You can't make me" mindset.  This turns into, "You have to let me."  The outworking of that in our current cultural climate is making conservative Christians freak out thinking, "THEY are going to make US..." and then fill in the blanks with horrors of all sorts ungodliness.  The "they" changes as does the images of ungodliness hanging in the balance.  And at some point, everyone will be horrified at where the "You have to let me" ideology takes us.  I agree with Denise about rights, to a certain extent.  However being the secular "free" society we are, there's a very delicate balance that needs to be struck and enforced when people's "freedoms" are diametrically opposed.  Say I have a neighbor whose religion requires animal sacrifice.  Does that person get to practice it freely?  Do they get to take my cat in order to do so?  If not, who gets to decide that that isn't a valid religion?  What other religions will they decide are valid or invalid and upon what basis?  It's a slippery slope, so while we shouldn't crow too much about our own rights or freedoms, we should certainly be concerned for the rights and freedoms of others, in so far as they don't encroach on the other others around them.  Either that or we need to get rid of this free and democratic republic thing altogether and let one or a handful of people decide for us what our rights and freedoms are, without any recourse. 

In short, yes, a certain (possibly large, hard to say) segment of American Christians are freaking out, but so is everyone else, and everyone is offended by everyone, and all of it is extremely annoying, regardless of race, religion, gender, or creed.   8)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2016, 12:24:20 PM by Ainnir »
Is any of the above Orthodox?  I have no clue, so there's that.