Do You Really Hate Me?
Do You Really Hate Me? I want to be put on the endangered species list because I fear a lynching is in my future.
I read across an article written by Dr. George Yancey concerning the bigotry and intolerance I feel almost every day. [G. Yancey, “Bill Nye, the “not –so-science” Guy.” Patheos, April 27, 2017] Dr. Yancey suggests there are similarities between Racism and Christianophobia. Christianophobia is the fear of Christians. You might think this was a humorous article, but let me assure you, I found nothing funny about it. Rather I found confirmation that I am hated because of what I believe.
Yancey first clears the air with the proposition that there is no subculture free of bigotry and intolerance. That means we all have prejudices that cause us to avoid at best, marginalize, dehumanize and exterminate at worse those who are different from “us.” The definition of tolerance has changed in recent years. Tolerance used to be mean not interfering, now it means condoning. Intolerance then now must mean condemning.
Before we examine three similarities between Christianophobia and racism Yancey suggests that those who are afflicted with Christianophobia are most likely to be higher educated, politically progressive and wealthy. What say you? Do you feel that those who have a college degree, that are politically progressive and who are financially better off, are oppressing you because of your belief in Christianity?
1. Yancey notes that both “racists and Christianophobes have an unreasonable level of hatred for those who they reject.” Hate is a strong aversion, synonyms include loathe, detest, and despise. Scientists at University College London report that when you hate someone the frontal cortex of your brain that deals with judgment and critical thinking light up, it goes into high gear resulting in heightened levels of suspicion, mistrust, and hostility creating barriers for any type of congenial relationship.
2. It is intolerance when people with Christianophobia seek to block Christian ideas and influence in the public square. For instance, lawsuits against Crosses, Billboards, Nativity scenes, public prayer, and wearing a cross at work or having a Bible in plain view at your place of work are all attempts to keep Christianity a totally private affair. While not denying the right of other groups to publicly promote their agenda, they actively deny this same right to Christians.
3. Yancey observes a similarity between racists and those suffering from Christianophobia in their willingness to justify their bigotry. Yancey writes: “Historically, racists justified enslaving blacks or placing Indians on reservations since these were people who needed the “guidance” of whites.” Eradicating Christianity from public discourse is justified with the notion that doing so is somehow a service for the good of the society. If you view a group of human beings as childlike, unable to think for themselves, and dismissing all such people as sheep, lemmings or zombies, it becomes much easier to justify censorship. As with racists, Yancey states those suffering from Christianophobia “are quick to deny that they have a problem.”
It is completely understandable that some people would reject Christianity’s moral compass. But banning the expression of such ideas sets a dangerous precedent promoting an oppression of a certain people group, not based on skin color as with the more familiar forms of racism, but on religious belief. Civil rights based on a majority vote is a frightening proposition.
Do you really hate me for believing that “God so loved the World that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”?