Monday, December 17, 2007

Hitchens, Huckabee, and the Myth of Christian Persecution

Christopher Hitchens writes a scathing piece, full of the snark for which he is famous, about the whiners who complain about the "unfairness" of deciding one's vote because of the religious beliefs of candidates. Apparently, it's in response to some kind of meme circulating about how deciding one's vote on the basis of a candidate's religion is somehow against Article VI of the Constitution. Well, Hitchens has a field day with that. The part that hit me the strongest, and which resonates with my own feelings about the myth of Christian persecution in this country, is this:

Isn't it amazing how self-pitying and self-aggrandizing the religious freaks in this country are? It's not enough that they can make straight-faced professions of "faith" at election times and impose their language on everything from the Pledge of Allegiance to the currency. It's not enough that they can claim tax exemption and even subsidy for anything "faith-based." It's that when they are even slightly criticized for their absurd opinions, they can squeal as if being martyred and act as if they are truly being persecuted.
Ouch! Now, I can do without the dismissive snarkiness of Hitchens' attitude towards believers, and I certainly think my faith isn't an "absurd opinion," but I think his saying and believing this about me doesn't diminish my faith in the least or make it any less true. I am certainly not being "persecuted" by his atheistic rants. In fact, Christian believer that I am, I think Hitchens is absolutely 100% right-on-the-money when he exposes the vacuousness of the "persecuted martyr" meme that gets thrown around so casually these days, especially by many Christians who get their feelings hurt when Hitchens declares them to be fools for their beliefs, or when the cashier at the Wal-Mart doesn't wish them a Merry Christmas. What is even more ironic is that those who would say that it is unfair (and even unconstitutional) to pooh-pooh Huckabee's candidacy, and believe him to be unfit for the Presidency, because of his religious convictions, are also those very ones making his religious convictions the precise reason to vote for him in the first place.

[Hat Tip: Andrew Sullivan]


>Jesus|Freak said...

Obama is a Christian and he wants to make this country better for everyone. It is sad that the religious right makes real Christians look bad.


Drive-By Blogger said...

Hey Huck, How am you?

The stuff that goes on in the name of religion scares the Holy Ghost out of me.

You think Pope John knew that his priests were partying with them altar boys and kept his mouth shut or was he just stupid?

Huck said...

hi, drive-by blogger - I'm fine, thanks. I noticed that you have "driven off" from your blog. What's up with that bit of performance art? As for you question, who is Pope John?

Stuff said...

Seems like I left this comment already. You ain't deleting my stuff, are u Huckster?

Hucky, my compadre, Pope John, Paul the 2nd or whatever. Wore that funny hat and robe. Boy, I would love to have a job where I could wear my robe all day.

Anyway, look, I am very upset that you can't afford a TV and I think I got a great idea. Just hang in there my amigo.

D-BB said...

Crap Hunkly, that me.....stuff. The "Stuff" comment was me. Another malfunction.