Skip to comments.Some thoughts on the five stages of religious persecution (please disregard original thread)
Posted on 11/12/2012 1:41:39 PM PST by NYer
To stereotype means to repeat without variation, to take a quality or observation of a limited number, and generalize it of the whole group. It involves a simplified and standardized conception or view of a group based on observation of a limited sample.
And thus as the 1960s and 70s progressed Catholics and Bible-believing Christians were often caricatured in the media as Bible thumpers, simpletons, as backwards, mentally simple, haters of science, hypocrites, self-righteous, old-fashioned and so forth.
Catholics in particular were also accused of having neurotic guilt, hatred or aversion of sexuality, of being in a sexist institution. of it being stuck in the past, with too many rules, being authoritarian, of having clergy who were sexually repressed, homosexuals or pedophiles.
Basically as the stereotype goes, Catholics and Bible believing Christians are a sad, angry, boring, backward and repressed lot. To many who accept the stereotyping we are a laughable, even tragic group, caught in a superstitious past, incapable of throwing off the shackles of faith.
To be sure, not everyone engages in this stereotyping to the same degree, but here are the basic refrains of it. And the general climate of this sort of stereotyping sets the foundation for the next stage.
II. Vilifying the targeted Group for alleged crimes or misconduct, - As the stereotyping grows in intensity, Catholics and Christians, who did not toe the line in the cultural revolution were described as, close-minded, harmful to human dignity and freedom, intolerant, hateful, bigoted, unfair, homophobic, reactionary and just plain mean and basically bad people.
The History of the Church is also described myopically as little more than bad and repressive behavior as we conducted crusades, inquisitions, and hated Galileo and all of science. Never mind that there might be a little more to the story, or that the Church founded universities, and hospitals, was the patron of the arts, and preached a Gospel that brought order and civilization to divided and barbarous time in the aftermath of the Roman Empire. Stereotyping will hear little of that, or, if it does, it will give the credit to anything or anyone but the Church and the faith.
In writing this, I fully expect to get a bevy of comments saying in effect that this is exactly what we are. And not only will they feel justified in saying this, but even righteous as they say so, so ingrained has this vilifying become in the wider culture.
As with any large group, individual Christians and Catholics will manifest some negative traits, but stereotyping and vilifying, and crudely and indiscriminately presuming the negative traits of a few to be common to all in unjust.
Yet all of this has the effect of creating a self-righteous indignation toward believers and of making anti-Catholic and anti-Christian attitudes a permissible bigotry for many today.
III. Marginalizing the targeted group’s role in society - Having established the (untrue) premise that the Church and the faith is very bad, and even harmful to human dignity and freedom, the next stage seeks to relegate the role of the Church to the margins.
To many in secularized culture, religion must go. They will perhaps let us have our hymns etc. in the four walls of our churches, but the faith must be banished from the public square.
In this stage it becomes increasingly unacceptable and intolerable that anyone should mention God, pray publicly or in any way bring their Christian faith to bear on matters of public policy. Nativity sets must go, out with Christmas trees, even the colors green and red at “holiday time” are banished from many public schools.
Do not even think of mentioning Jesus or of publicly thanking him in your valedictorian address, you could very well have a Circuit Court judge forbid you under penalty of law. You can thank the Madonna, but only if you mean the singer.
The LGBT club is welcome to set up shop and pass out rainbow colored condoms at the high school, but Christians better hit the road, no Bibles or pamphlets better see the light of day anywhere in the school building…separation of Church and state you know.
IV. Criminalizing the targeted group or its works – Can someone say HHS mandate?
But prior to this egregious attempt to violate our religious liberty there have been many other times we have had to go to court to fight for our rights to openly practice our faith. Increasing litigation is being directed against the Church and other Christians for daring to live out our faith.
Some jurisdictions have sought to compel Catholic hospitals and pro-life clinics to provide information or referrals for abortion, to provide “emergency contraception” (i.e. the abortifacient known as the morning after pill), Several branches of Catholic Charities have been de-certified from doing adoption work because they will not adopt children to gay couples. The State of Connecticut sought regulate the structure, organization and running of Catholic parishes in 2009. And recently a number of Christian valedictorians in various states have suffered legal injunctions when it was discovered that they would dare to mention God, and Jesus in their talk. (More HERE)
Many of these attempts to criminalize the faith have been successfully rebuffed in the courts, but the frequency of lawsuits, and the time and cost involved with fighting them is a huge burden. It is clear that attempts to criminalize Christian behavior is a growth sector in this culture and signals the beginnings and steady erosion of religious liberty.
Many indeed feel quite righteous, quite politically correct in their work to legally separate the practice of the faith from the public square.
V. Persecuting the targeted group outright - If current trends continue, Christians, especially religious leaders, may not be far from enduring heavy fines and jail.
Already in Canada and parts of Europe Catholic clergy have been arrested and charged with “hate crimes” for preaching Catholic Doctrine on homosexual activity.
In this country there are greater provisions for free speech but, as we have seen, there is a steady erosion in religious liberty and many Catholic dioceses are well familiar with having to spend long periods in courts defending basic religious liberty. The trajectory points to suffering, lawsuits, fines, desertification, and ultimately jail.
Unlikely you say? Alarmist? Well, stages one through four are pretty well in place. One may wish to whistle past the graveyard but it looks like we’re pretty well set for Stage V. You decide.
Johnnette S. Benkovic is Founder and President of Living His Life Abundantly® International, Inc., a Catholic evangelization apostolate with outreaches in television, radio, print, and internet communications. She is also Founder of Women of Grace®, a Catholic apostolate for Christian women that features a number of outreaches including conferences, curricula, study groups and more.
After years of being a non-practicing Catholic, Johnnette experienced a deep conversion back to her Catholic faith in 1981and discerned a call to share the Gospel message through the media. She has been a consistent presence in Catholic radio since 1987 and in Catholic television since 1988.
Johnnette is Executive Producer of The Abundant Life (seen internationally on EWTN), a television program that discusses contemporary issues from a Catholic perspective. She is also host of Women of Grace Live, a one hour call-in radio talk show that airs live five times a week. She is heard nationally on AM/FM stations and internationally via short wave radio. For additional information about Living His Life Abundantly® International, Inc. and Women of Grace®, visit the websites listed above.
The Admin Moderator removed most of the original thread because it featured an image from Getty. Given the importance of this topic, I have elected to repost the thread, minus the illicit image.
Phooey, I posted on the original thread. Now I don’t remember what I said.
the Social Justice Committee organized for the election in several parishes around me in CT. That is why the pro-lifers have to be quiet in those churches.
There is not much left to persecute.
Something about shopping at JC Penney while wearing a dress. Naw, I guess that was a different thread.
I hate when that happens. I guess I could try shopping at Walmart while wearing my pajamas, since it works for so many other people.
Great post. It distills succinctly many disparate thoughts I’ve had on the same topic. Moreover it lays out a blue print of the Obama attack on the Church.
At some point pogroms occur.
A pogrom (from Russian, “violent destruction”) is a mob activity where the targeted place of business or institution is trashed. The violence may or may not extend to physical harm done to the people associated with the target of the pogrom. The pogrom activity is supposed to appear as spontaneous outrage, however often it is organized or encouraged in a way that the organizer can deny responsibility. The government may distance itself from those committing the pogrom or even condemn it, however it will not take a meaningful police action to limit or prevent the pogrom from happening.
The pogroms originated in Tsarist Russia as a reaction against Jewish revolutionaries convicted of terrorism. The targets of pogroms were Jewish businesses hardly connected to the terrorists other than by nationality. A similar wave of violence went through Germany in 1930s; the Kristallnacht — the Night of Broken Shop Windows is better known. Both Muslim and Christian sides in the Kosovo conflict were accused of pogroms on recent history. Violence by sundry anarchists and left wing progressives that erupts during international summits and targets banks and other businesses is another example of recent pogroms.
A defense against a pogrom is advance request for police presence, but that requires more than nominal cooperation from the local government. A community expecting a pogrom should organize and get educated on how to minimize confrontation. A trained volunteer self-defense force is probably a good idea. Any form of community defense should recognize the fact that any armed action will be interpreted by government courts as provocative, excessive or outright offensive, and arm and train accordingly. Fortunately, the ubiquity of portable cameras makes legal defense easier, so film all action that you witness and stay in groups.
I like her show on ewtn.
"The city was left vandalized, subjected, and violated. If they had done it to a synagogue, it would have been said that it was an anti-Semitic aggression. As it was against Catholics, theres no problem"
In 2010 they vandalized buildings in the city of Paraná [Argentina], attacked Catholics in front of the citys cathedral and seriously injured at least one person. Similar confrontations have occurred in other years as well, including 2007 and 2008.
Of course, in the Muslim world violence against Catholics and other Christian is not new: churches are trashed and firebombed routinely. We should not expect a better behavior from atheists, who, after all, do not have a moral constraint that a Muslim would at times have.