We've all heard the whining. From Louis Giglio to contraception, no issue is too small to gin up the whine that white evangelicals are persecuted at the hands of "culture" or alternatively, gay people. Yes, to listen to white evangelicals mule about things is to hear about how gays and lesbians are driving this country into a degenerate downward spiral while the black guy in the White House facilitates.
All of which makes this Barna Group study fascinating:
The findings of a poll published Wednesday (Jan. 23), reveal a “double standard” among a significant portion of evangelicals on the question of religious liberty, said David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group, a California think tank that studies American religion and culture.
While these Christians are particularly concerned that religious freedoms are being eroded in this country, “they also want Judeo-Christians to dominate the culture,” said Kinnamon.
“They cannot have it both ways,” he said. “This does not mean putting Judeo-Christian values aside, but it will require a renegotiation of those values in the public square as America increasingly becomes a multi-faith nation.”
Patheos notes the particular disconnect on what these folks define as religious freedom:
Well, they say there are numerous examples [of persecution], and then pick three:
- The brouhaha over Louie Giglio and the Inauguration.
- The contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act.
- The demise of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.
Of these three, exactly none are “religious freedom” issues.
They are, without exception, religious primacy issues.
None of these impact, in any measurable way, the ability of the Conservative Christian community to practice their faith openly and without fear of persecution in the United States.
Bingo. White evangelical Christians have confused their desire to use their religion as a bludgeon against everyone else in society as "persecution." Because they have been accorded power by the cynical right wing of the country (who doesn't really give a damn about their values but needs their votes), they translate that into a giant national whine about how Christians are persecuted, largely at the hands of gay people.
Yet when they're asked whether other religions such as Islam and Judaism should have the right to exist and practice their faiths, they answer "no" with a resounding majority, serving up a large portion of evangelical hypocrisy with their whine.