Monday, March 13, 2017
1) I wholeheartedly agree that the global persecution of Christians is a crisis that demands our attention. The survey that I referred to in my post asked respondents to compare Muslims and Christians in terms of discrimination experienced in the United States.
2) I agree with Marc that it is possible "[a] person could perceive certain threats to religious liberty and not others, and still make contributions to the protection of religious liberty." In the case of evangelical Christians evaluating religious liberty threats in our country today, I do think that the failure to recognize Muslims as a legitimate object of religious liberty concern will, over time, weaken religious liberty for all. Christian support for so-called "anti-Sharia" legislation is one example. As Christians lead the charge to deny zoning permits for mosques in some communities, is there a danger of creating precedent (legal or political) for denying permits for churches -- especially churches espousing disfavored beliefs about foundational commitments of the emerging political order -- in other communities? Does the failure of (some) Christians to speak up against the demonization of American Muslims -- and the day-to-day implications of that demonization in the daily lives of American Muslims -- smooth the way for the demonization of conservative Christians?
3) I don't believe that we should remain silent about discrimination against Christians until we reach some sort of "real persecution" tipping point, but we should be specific and restrained in pointing it out (as I have tried to be). The persecution narrative among American Christians gives us ample resources to resist oppression if and when it comes; our too-easy embrace of that narrative, though, can limit its power when we need it most.