We recently recapped how the “War on Christmas” is non-existent and is a ridiculous excuse for some Religious Right activists to throw a pity fest for themselves and pretend they’re oppressed while politicizing inclusive holiday greetings, decorations and religious symbols.
In parts of China, government officials are going around to Christian churches and pulling down the crosses. That’s religious persecution.
But being expected to mind your own business while people do things that your religion doesn’t approve of is not religious persecution.
Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who heads up the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, seems confused on this point. Lori recently complained about “bloodless persecution” of religion in America.
Authorities in China’s Zhejiang province have removed 1,200 to 1,700 crosses from Christian churches over the last two years, The New York Times reported in May.
Some Christians have rebelled against the cross removals; approximately 50 church members were injured in one recent confrontation with authorities.
“It was quiet late last year,” one anonymous Christian told The Times. “But the government is now making it clear that all of the crosses will go.”
In what is a genuine case of government-sponsored religious persecution, Chinese authorities have reportedly removed crosses from 1,200 to 1,700 churches over the past two years in an apparent attempt to keep the symbol from public view.
The New York Times reported last week that the campaign has been mostly restricted to the country’s heavily Christian Zhejiang province, but human rights activists fear it will soon expand.
For nearly two years, Americans United has detailed the truth behind Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius, a case brought by a chain of craft stores that claims it has a religious freedom right to deny important preventative health care to its employees.
Yesterday Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), issued a rather hysterical email appeal for funds. No news there. Perkins does that all of the time.
This particular message, headlined “Help stop secular tyranny,” took a line that’s increasingly popular with the Religious Right these days: “Woe is me! We’re being persecuted.”
While researching my book Close Encounters with the Religious Right in 1999, I visited the headquarters of Focus on the Family (FOF) in Colorado Springs.
During the tour, the guide showed us a large map of the world covered with lights. Each light represented a city where FOF broadcasts were heard over the radio.