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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Martyr Complex? Inconceivable!

When I was young, we had a friend of the family who once when pulled over for going through a stop sign told the policman, " I rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ; Satan get behind me!" The cop laughed and gave her the ticket anyway.

Needless to say she was perplexed by the persecution. Which leads me to this article, Evangelicals’ martyr complex mystifies critics:
Yet many evangelicals consider themselves a persecuted majority.

They say they continue to be maligned by some of the most influential institutions in the country — the media, public schools, universities and Hollywood. Societal demands for tolerance are extended to every group but theirs, they say.

“There is an attempt by the secularists to take Jesus Christ and to take God out of every aspect of our society,” the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, said in a recent interview.

That view was on display this month at “Justice Sunday II,” which enlisted Christians in the fight for more sympathetic federal judges.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told the gathering in a Nashville, Tenn., church that limits the Supreme Court has placed on religion in public schools have meant “that our children don’t have a right to pray.”

Opponents are baffled by the idea of a persecuted evangelical movement.

Bill Leonard, dean of Wake Forest University Divinity School in North Carolina, says these evangelicals think they are oppressed only because some Americans disagree with them.

“They want to be culture-dominant,” Leonard said.

John Green, a religion and politics expert at the University of Akron, said that evangelicals who feel slandered are responding partly to the added attention from their role in the presidential race.

“Before, they felt a lack of respect. Now, they feel some hostility,” Green said.

Despite their political clout, evangelicals have not achieved many of the policy changes they consider key, Green said, such as outlawing abortion. They worry that politicians who benefit from Christian support will not stand with them on these issues.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, angered conservatives by supporting expanded embryonic stem cell research. Frist spoke at the first “Justice Sunday” in April, but was not invited to this month’s rally because of his position on the issue.

Eddie Gibbs, professor of church growth at Fuller Theological Seminary, an evangelical school in Pasadena, Calif., said that loss of influence in the broader culture is behind the frustration that persists no matter how many lawmakers Christian activists help elect.

It's simple, evangelicals want special preference. They are not being discriminated against, rather they think some rules don't apply to them. Just as our family friend found out: Stop signs are for everyone. They just haven't figure it out yet.

(via BuzzFlash)