Apparently there is a witch hunt going on in this country. I was concerned to find this out at first, because as self described atheist, tranny dyke, I’ve been on the receiving end of witch hunts. I’ve had, as mentioned before, Presidents suggest I am not a real American and right wing hate mongers suggest I was a pervert out to rape children. When you see the torches and pitchforks (usually metaphorical) heading your way it makes you really anxious. I would not want anyone to feel like that so I wanted to know who needed the support of someone who could empathize. As it turns out, it’s Christians.
Now this was all news to me. Two of my friends are ministers and have shepherded fairly decent sized flocks and they have never given me any inclination that was going on. I felt a little guilty. Was I so blinded by my atheist privilege that people I cared about were being targeted and oppressed right in front of me? What could I have done to let these friends know that they have an ally in me that they can lean on? Then it occurred to me, neither of these people (and I’ve known one of them almost a decade now) has ever given me reason to believe they would ever back down from a fight, especially with those seeking to harm those that put their trust in them.
Still, it is entirely possible that they were somehow spared the horror of this cruel attack. Maybe they lived in a nice safe bubble while all around Christians had people standing outside their churches with hateful signs, throwing rotten fruit at them and screaming that their children were abominations. I looked everywhere for signs that this might be going on. Then I saw it, actually, I saw several “it”s.
It started with a Wendy’s commercial. They were touting their fish sandwich. I had never seen them do that before. Sure they sell one, but they’ve never felt the need to go after that market before, as far as I can remember. The others were all in on it too. McDonald’s, Burger King, heck even Arby’s! Who were these people consuming all this fish, creating all this demand for fish sandwiches that these mighty competitors are desperate for their dollars? Apparently the answer, once again, is Christians.
We are in Lent right now, a season of personal sacrifice for these folks. Traditionally, they give up meat, of which I guess fish (and I know pesco vegetarians that feel the same) is not a member of the class. Traditions have changed some, still I have been informed many of them still practice it, enough that the restaurant business can turn a decent buck on it.
I wondered if these companies knew about the witch hunt. After all, aren’t they risking their well being by aiding these pariahs in their rituals, even if it is just to make a quick dollar? I looked elsewhere for signs of this witch hunt, not finding them in popular culture. A popular culture that still has fictional characters in all media usually still married in the Christian tradition. A popular culture that still tolerates (even among atheists) “In God We Trust” printed on our money. A popular culture that still, despite the “War on Christmas,” has almost 24/7 broadcasting of Christmas stories for the entire month of December on dozens of channels. I could find nothing.
The only thing even remotely not catering to Christianity at this point were the fact that public employees and officials were barred from leading people, especially children, in prayer on public time, and that apparently religious organizations cannot forbid employees of their secular institutions from receiving birth control as part of their health care coverage. Apparently the government has told them that they cannot tell private companies that they are not allowed to save money (and therefore keep their premiums down) by offering the cheaper solution of birth control to their employees. That couldn’t be it, could it?
After all, how could anyone who follows in the footsteps of a man who said “as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,” or “render unto God what is God’s and render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” or a favorite that I have quoted before, Matthew 6:6 “but thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” could think that the above demands on them are somehow oppressing them. Surely those people would not suggest we not take care of the weak, or not keep our spiritual life separate from the temporal, or not keep our relationship with God private, would they? I mean after all, that sounds like they are the ones engaging in the witch hunt.
Then it occurred to me, they are. To them, anyone who disagrees with them, that calls them out for their mistreatment of others is picking on them. That is classic bully behavior and bullies are what this (much smaller than they realize) minority of Christians are. They shake down their fellow Americans, their fellow Christians for the coin of their integrity, denying us our personal dignity and right to make decisions for ourselves. They back us into a corner, because we let them, and then cry when we push our way out.