Present Persecution?


You may have heard about this: “Pentagon Taps Anti-Christian Extremist for Religious Tolerance Policy.” The individual mentioned, Mikey ______, is the founder of a religious foundation that purports to protect the public from religionists. He was quoted in the Huffington Post: “Today, we face incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”

Wow, lots of adjectives. It appears that Mikey has an inside track on a new theology—that “weaponized version of Christianity” sounds formidable. Sure enough, Mikey and his group are going to consult with the Pentagon to develop new policies on religious tolerance. Mikey cites Dr. James Dobson—the founder of Focus on the Family—as “illustrating the extremist, militant nature of these virulently homophobic organizations’ rhetorically-charged propaganda.”

He continues: “We MUST vigorously support the continuing efforts to expose pathologically anti-gay, Islamaphobic (sic), and rabidly intolerant agitators for what they are: die-hard enemies of the United States Constitution. Monsters, one and all. To do anything less would be to roll out a red carpet to those who would usher in a blood-drenched, draconian era of persecutions, nationalistic militarism, and superstitious theocracy.”

One wonders why this blood-drenched draconian era hasn’t already ruined the military. As awkward as this rant is, it’s nevertheless part of an emboldened effort to erase Christianity from our culture. Will we survive? The underground church in China has gotten stronger, in spite of violent oppression. Tertullian said that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.” However, in his home region—North Africa—the church was wiped out by Muslims aggression by 800 A.D. Coptic Christians constitute 10% of the people in Egypt and they’ve existed there for 1400 years. Increasingly, they have been under attack by the new regime. The difference between flourishing and falling seems to be how far the church establishes itself among the mass of people and doesn’t just become the church of a particular segment, class or ethnic group.

Christians and Christianity are under attack in this country. Maybe it hasn’t reached your workplace, home, or school but it’s on its way. Two thousand years ago, Jesus warned his followers that they would suffer persecution: “Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also” (John 15:20).

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christ also promised rewards to those who endure persecution: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

It’s hard to give credence to the Mikeys of the world, but the very fact that the Pentagon has engaged the services of a hater should give us pause. We need to speak out against his willful distortion of truth while presenting Christ to a hurting world.

Do you know of religious discrimination in your workplace or school? Have you been told you couldn’t pray or read your Bible at your work setting or public gathering?

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About samuelehall

A follower of Jesus, husband, father of 3 adult children, writer and learner.
This entry was posted in Feared Classes, Liberty, Risking change/changing the risk, Tackling Fears and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Present Persecution?

  1. Jerry says:

    The gist is that the “adviser” role has been resolved and military folks can evangelize, but not proselytize nor harass, from what I have read. So, life in the military goes on.

    • samuelehall says:

      Jerry, I think you may be right.
      You brought up some interesting points in your earlier comment. I’ll see if I get time to post on them.
      Thanks for your interest.

  2. Jerry says:

    There are a few interesting things about Mr. Weinstein. From what I have read, he is a conservative Republican, who served for three years in the Reagan administration. He attended the Air Force Academy and, while there, claimed verbal abuse from Christians for being Jewish. He and several members of his family served in the armed forces, which gives him some direct experience within the military service and activities while in that service. Further information about him and his opinions can be found in an interview on a Jewish website: http://www.pjvoice.com/v32/32300words.aspx .

    Also, from what I have read, some Christians have carried rifles in battle with scripture verse reference on them, giving rise to the thought that the wars in the Middle East are holy wars or crusades. If that is the case, and if evangelism is conducted by officers and/or non-commissioned officers with there subordinates, there should be concern about those activities by Mr. Weinstein and the rest of us. The military is not a Christian organization, nor a Jewish organization, nor any other type of religious organization. It is a government organization and should not be perceived as something other than that.

    I think that persecution of Christians in this case may be an exaggeration. It could be that some Christians may have shot themselves in the foot with their evangelistic zeal.

    • samuelehall says:

      Jerry, thank you for your comments. I think you’ve been taken in by the foaming-at-the-mouth comments of Mr. Weinstein. You’ve named him; I didn’t want to make him the focus of my post. So, he’s a Republican who served Reagan. Good for him. And he was verbally abused for being Jewish. I’m sorry about that.
      I’ve been verbally abused for being Christian, white, male, middle-aged (I wish), an Okie, country, conservative, religious, etc. And yeah, some of that was when I was in the Army. I dealt with it. One of my roommates was a Jewish officer. Some Jews are easy to get along with; some are really arrogant. Just like some Gentiles.
      Weinstein uses name-calling, rather than logic, to make his case. His post in The Huffington Post would better be called a rant. His language and terminology are so extreme and disconnected from reality as to be laughable, were it not for the fact that some people actually believe his stuff. Consider these:
      *incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters—gangs? monsters? (he uses “monsters” a lot) Have you seen or heard of gangs of Christians or Christian monsters anyplace? And how would they infiltrate military installations?
      *who terrorize their fellow Americans—That’s so over the top, it doesn’t deserve comment.
      *forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces—Weaponized? Is that a word? Is he alleging that Christian officers hold a gun to the heads of their helpless subordinates? Dude, I’ve been in the military and I know that any officer attempting what I’m guessing Weinstein is talking about would be taken care of “with the utmost prejudice.”
      You mention inscriptions on military weapons. As I understand it, they were so innocuous that no one challenged them. However, in our PC society, it was a dumb move by the suppliers and they have been removed. As far as a connection to the crusades? Quite a stretch.
      I would agree with the comments of Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council: “Why would military leadership be meeting with one of the most rabid atheists in America to discuss religious freedom in the military,” Perkins said. “That’s like consulting with China on how to improve human rights.”
      Vigilance on the part of Christians may have deterred Weinstein’s objective, but make no mistake about it, he’s made a living for nearly 10 years bashing Christians and Christianity. We can expect more from him and others like him.

  3. Duane j. Young says:

    The new Don’t ask – Don’t Tell policy . Is it possible?

  4. Doug Bolton says:

    Forgot to mention. My site http://www.dailysignsofhope.com now has 28,400 subscribers. There is a post everyday. I have a friend from New South Wales, Australia do three posts a week. We are writing a new book together. I have guest do a post on Sundays. They love the fact they can post to that many people. I have a list of people who want to be a guest.

    • samuelehall says:

      Doug, that’s great to have that many subscribers. It proves that you’ve tapped into a widely-felt need. I don’t ever expect to get anywhere near what you’ve got, as my topics attract fewer viewers. But that can be improved, too.
      I know I have to make some changes. I’ve been in touch with some experts; hopefully, I’ll soon be able to get my posts out to more people.
      Appreciate your thoughts and encouragement.

      • Doug Bolton says:

        It is true that God gave me a wonderful domain name. I was told I could sell the title for thousands of dollars, but God gave it to me, and I will use it for His glory only.

  5. Doug Bolton says:

    It has been a long time since I received a post from you. This is great. You need to do more my friend. You have a unique talent. I am sending this off to my son who is a career soldier. He will also find it very interesting.

    God bless…

    Doug

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