left biblioblography: MARTYRDOM AS A MENTAL ILLNESS

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


(cross-posted at gods4sucker.net)

I have made no bones in the past about this: persecution is a simple ploy, on the part of the religious (in this country, at least) to garner sympathy, to play on that empathy that most folks have for the underdog.

In other countries, certainly, there is persecution. There is a degree of intolerance that’s deplorable, whether we speak of Christianity, Islam, or any other faith large or small.

But in this country? The good ole U.S of A? We hear the nonsense about the pilgrims coming here on the Mayflower, fleeing from persecution (this is mostly folderol: they lived unmolested in Amsterdam for 12 years prior to shipping out to the Americas). There have been instances of persecution among different sects, true enough (such as the anti-mormon movement), but overall, Christianity has always been, and still is, in the ascendancy.

But more than once we have been ‘treated’ to cries of ‘foul!’, more than once we have heard the bogus concept that ‘secularization is poisoning the sancrosanct values of the West’, and we are told that we are bigots for daring to criticize that which had carte blanche in the pre-9/11 days.

Or, to quote Jon Stewart:
“Does anyone know...does the Christian persecution complex have an expiration date? Because...uh...you've all been in charge pretty much since...uh...what was that guys name...Constantine. He converted in, what was it, 312 A.D. I'm just saying, enjoy your success.”

But they do not. We have seen three instances of ‘Justice Sunday’. We see increasing efforts to theocratize our government (wait: doesn’t their holy book say that their kingdom is not of this world? Yes it does). The misperception of persecution is stoking the fires of discontent. And persecution can be a mental disorder (culled from the American journal of Psychiatry):

“People with persecutory delusions selectively attend to threatening information, jump to conclusions on the basis of insufficient information, attribute negative events to external personal causes, and have difficulty in envisaging others’ intentions, motivations, or states of mind.”

I encourage you all to read the entire entry. It’s eerily…apt.

Any of that seem familiar? As well it should. We’ve seen multiple occurences, on this blog alone – a small sample, perhaps, but if indicative, scary to the degree of double-locking one’s doors.

It ‘s not historically unusual, that a large majority is hesitant to lose their status quo. It also isn’t unusual, that they will go to great lengths to ensure that said loss doesn’t occur.

But how on earth are they ‘persecuted’? They have tax-free exemptions on their temples. Indeed, in some areas, there are churches just about everywhere (I can drive through Hayward for ten minutes, and see one per minute). Are people being yanked from their homes in the wee hours of the morning, due to their beliefs? Do we have a Guantanamo Bay for fundies? Are there mass executions (or even one or two), based on someone’s Christianity? When the holidays are upon us, aren’t the TV airwaves literally inundated with religious propaganda? Don’t they have more than one channel devoted to their fantasies? Are there trainloads of Christians being carted off to some unknown concentration camp? Are there mobs publically denouncing or attacking them? Are their children being castigated and humiliated in the public schools? Are churches being bombed? Are their children being whisked away? Are ‘militant atheists’ throwing bricks through Bible bookstores? Are they being targeted for hate-crimes?
All twelve are rhetorical questions, of course: the answer is a firm, resounding NO.

So my response is this: Got Martyrdom? No? Go do missionary work in Cypress, or Palestine, if that is what you seek. You won’t find it here. If anything, y’all get to slaughter the fatted calf every Sunday, and barbecue the bloody thing.

So cut the lamentations and the rending of your clothes (keriah), and please, do stop flagellating yourselves: it’s an embarrassment, no matter who does it.

The British have a great phrase: sod off, you wankers.

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Stardust said...

ka - thanks for submitting this post to GifS. I, too am sick and tired of xians crying "persecution" every time the courts uphold separation of church and state, or whenever someone questions their beliefs or religion, or whenever Sam Harris or other atheists give a 45-minute talk on C-Span book edition.

When my family and I moved to where we live in a town about an hour southwest of Chicago, there were a total of 5 churches, a Nazarene, Episcopal, Baptist, Methodist and Lutheran. In the 20 years we have been here, we have seen at least one church a year built within the town limits and surrounding area. Now every denomination has a church, or even two or three. They have their interfaith religious gatherings at the public community center. However, if an atheist group wants to hold a meeting there, the religious community becomes outraged and starts bellowing "persecution" and protests it (which has happened).

Like you said, all these xian whiners need to go do missionary work in Palestine or Cypress and then maybe they will realize that this persecution complex they have here in the USA is like their gawd...all in their own heads.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Stardust - yeah, good old Justin Martyr left quite the legacy, didn't he?
After Martyr was martyred, a big craze sprang up. All the xtians ran around, defacing idols, committing heresies, demanding they get the same treatment.
It's mind boggling. But what do you expect from a bunch of masochists?

Stardust said...

anyone else having trouble accessing the GifS site?

Stardust said...

Apprently many sites have been affected by that Storm Worm. Be careful opening your emails. They say this worm is really spreading fast.

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey, thanks for the warning, stardust.
Is it a worm specially prepared for atheist websites?;)

Stardust said...

ka here is a link to the story in PC World

'Storm Worm' Spreads Rapidly Worldwide

Krystalline Apostate said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I've updated my Norton AV, & am running an AV to be safe.
I have an alternate Linux partition on my PC, in lieu of something going haywire on XP, just to be safe.

Zac Hunter said...

hmmm, that description of the persecution complex sounds like phreedm

Krystalline Apostate said...

Zac, that description describes the BULK of them.