It is sad when the largest religious group in the country attempts to either convince its own that they are under attack, or thinks that by constantly claiming they are, they will convince others that it is true.
Recently on his radio show, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, received a call from a listener who was concerned that someone had posted a picture of two Gay men on their Facebook page.
I get things on my Facebook page all the time that I am not interested in. I have gotten political things from politicians I do not like, requests for donations from politicians and causes that are just not my thing, posts that are a little over the top when it comes to hatred of Muslims, and ads for products that are of no interest to me.
I don’t open the ads, I block the politicians and religious posts, and, if I get tired of friends’ rants that border on hysteria, I unfriend them.
I guess I am adult like that.
But instead of Tony Perkins suggesting to this caller and all his listeners to do the same thing, he saw an opportunity to play the martyr.
While not advising the caller to just unfriend or block the person who had sent the offending picture, Perkins told the caller, “Jesus said that we are to pray for our enemies, for those who persecute us, that would be those who mock and ridicule us, absolutely we should pray for them”.
I have grown a little larger in my retirement as I finally have the time to draw to my heart’s content, which involves a lot of sitting, and not being in the center of continual activity, which in the past involved lots of movement, life has become more sedentary.
But I do not see it as persecution or mockery when people post pictures of fancy meals, both foreign and domestic, or recipes that take little work to put together. Sometimes I look, read and drool; sometimes I quickly move on.
Apparently, according to Perkins, the persons posting these should be considered enemies, just as those who might post a picture of a Gay couple is the enemy of their “Christian” friend.
“This is being shoved into people’s faces, and if, like you, they say, I don’t want this on my Facebook page, I don’t want this, I don’t want to see this, look, do whatever you want to do but don’t involve me in that – that’s not good enough, there’s this effort of forced acceptance and affirmation, and we just can’t do that.”
Maybe he should have been more adult and rational and have simply told the caller to block, unfriend, or skip over the post he or she does not want to look at.
But, you see, unlike all the posts on Facebook that involve straight people kissing and hugging each other, the Kardashian’s or any straight celebrity showing whatever it is apparently acceptable to show, religious sermons, political screeds, or anything that can be scrolled away from, blocked, or unfriended, pictures of Gay people are like the Roman Coliseum filled with lions. They are the stuff of which the persecution of Christians is made.
I get posts from a religious friend that include many about Christians in certain countries being tortured, imprisoned, and killed for their religion. That to me is persecution.
Getting a post from a friend that isn’t to your liking, not so much.
Perkins claims that such pictures posted by a person’s friend, unlike legislation proposed in many states to deny Gay people their God given rights (We are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, after all), especially those like the recent ones in Oklahoma, show a “lack of tolerance” from gay people, while the others do not comprise any form of intolerance from straight and, too often, Christian people.
If these so called Christians are trying to bring people to Jesus, crying “wolf” like this, and interpreting anything they do not like as willful persecution, just won’t cut it.
As a kid I received the sacrament of Confirmation. It was supposed to give me the strength from the Holy Spirit to be strong in my religion and willing to suffer for it. The bishop was even expected to give each kid getting confirmed a little slap on the face to symbolize persecution and the need to be strong. Depending on the bishop, this could be a light slap, or a good one.
Somehow a face book post does not strike me as the persecution we were being given the strength to endure.