Hey Dumbass! Prosecution Is Not Persecution: A Wonksplainer
The violence inherent in the system is usually perpetuated by Christians, not targeting Christians.
There’s been a lot of yammering this week about a certain Kentucky lady who has been “air quotes” “persecuted” for her beliefs that Teh Gays can suck it, and not in the Dan Savage GGG way. But while she keeps using that word, we don’t think it means what she thinks it means. The word she is looking for is “prosecuted,” which is what happens when one breaks the law. While they sound the same, they are actually very different concepts. Let’s wonksplain.
Prosecution is a legal term for what happens when you break the law. We’ll use it in a sentence: Dumbass county clerks may be prosecuted when they refuse to let two dudes get hitched because they believe in the legal superiority of a selective reading of old religious scribbling over actual legal orders by real-life judges.
Persecution is when people do bad shit to you because of who you are or what you believe. Again, we’ll use it in a sentence: Matthew Shepard was persecuted for being gay when he was beaten and left to die by homophobic psychopaths.
Despite the fact that 71% of Americans identify as Christians, and the fact that 92% (!!!!!!!) of Congress is Christian (sort of), there is this misguided belief that somehow poor Christians are being persecuted all over the damn place. Every time you turn on the teevee, GOP clowns like Bobby “don’t-hyphenate-me” Jindal are saying crazy-ass shit like Obummer is going to throw all the Christians in jail for Christianing or something.
Now, let’s be fair: There have been some times in history when Christians were persecuted. Christians were fed to lions based on the fact that they were Christians. (MAYBE.) That’s bad shit, and not cool, if it happened. Regardless, we here at yr Wonkette are firmly opposed to any religious minority -- or majority -- being fed to lions.
But don’t you worry! Christians got their revenge like a million-fold! When Christians came to power, they persecuted the ever-loving FUCK out of others. During the Crusades, Christian warriors on the march from Western Europe to Jerusalem would take breaks to rape, pillage, and kill Jews along the way, for funsies! And practice. But mostly just because they could.
But that’s way ancient history. What about Merica today? Let’s compare the “persecution” of Christians to the persecution of, say, Muslims & gays.
Christians are “persecuted” when they have to bake a cake and get paid money to bake the cake, because cake-baking is their goddamn job. They are “persecuted” because they don’t like the nasty-wasty people who are paying them money to put flour, eggs, sugar, and water in a bowl, and then stick that glob in an oven. OH THE HUMANITY! Can't you see? It’s just like being fed to lions, except not at all like that.
What about Muslims? They have it easy, right? Since Friday was the anniversary of 9/11, let’s see what happened to this Chicago guy:
According to WMAQ, Inderjit Singh Mukker, a longtime American citizen and father of two, was driving to the grocery store when a fellow driver began lobbing insults at him and repeatedly cutting him off. The station reported that Mukker said he pulled over to let the man pass, but the other driver stopped his car, walked over to Mukker’s vehicle, and started beating him through the open window. According to the station, Mukker said that during the assault, the man berated him with racial slurs, including, “Go back to your country, Bin Laden!”
HOLY FUCK! That’s persecution, motherfuckers. AND THIS DUDE WAS A SIKH, NOT EVEN A DURRTY TERROR-LOVIN MUSLIN! Dammit, Americans, at least focus your racisting thuggery on the correct minority! He got beaten because he LOOKED like a Muslim, because all brown people plotted together and blowed up the World Trade Center, because who can tell them apart, really? Brown skin = Muslim = Bin Laden = Terrorist. Fuckin A, man.
Has anyone ever protested the building of a church where Christians can worship? Probably not. But there are numerous occasions where JUST BUILDING A MOSQUE was protested and vandalized simply because it is a house of worship for Muslims.
Hell, ignorant dickwads in Arizona protested (complete with vulgar signs and racist shirts) outside a mosque on a Friday night (when services are held), as “a patriotic sign of resistance against what [they] deemed the tyranny of Islam in America.” Nobody was hurt, but what do you think Mike Huckabee would say if hundreds of Brown-Americans were protesting and waving vulgar signs outside of a Southern Baptist church on a Sunday morning?
When a member of Muslim member of Congress wanted to use the Quran for a FAKE SWEARING-IN CEREMONY, he got death threats.
This kind of shit is actual persecution, without air quotes. This is people having their rights violated and their safety threatened because of who they are, not what they are doing.
Here’s the deal, Christianists: Being treated like everyone else is NOT persecution. When Christian teachers are reprimanded or fired for leading public school classrooms in the Lord’s Prayer, this is NOT persecution. You are not being fired for being Christian; you are being fired for your actions, specifically for using a position of public authority to indoctrinate children to your religion, and using OUR tax dollars to do it. Welcome to being treated like everyone else.
You know what is persecution? Being fired just because you are gay, which shockingly can still happen in 29 states. THAT’S. FUCKING. PERSECUTION.
The fact is that in America today, persecution by Christians is much more likely than persecution of Christians. And if bible-humping Christianist wannabe martyrs disagree, they can go fuck themselves.
Follow DDM on Twitter (@Wonksplainer) or not, whatever.