In the wake of the recent intolerant, insensitive and inflammatory comments Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made regarding gay marriage and God’s wrath on America; there seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding between persecution and personal liberty.
Conservative and fundamentalist Christian figureheads have rushed to Cathy’s aid in response to the controversy over his statements. They include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Reverend Billy Graham, and Reverend Roger Oldham who specifically used the term ‘persecution’, to describe the societal backlash against Cathy’s overt bigotry and anti-Americanism.
These political and social leaders would like their fellow American citizens to believe somehow, Cathy is being unfairly targeted and ‘persecuted’ for his inappropriate use of the first Constitutional Amendment.
However, whenever a bully cries out for being bullied, it becomes essential to illuminate factual, contextual information exposing why crocodile tears and screaming wolf time and again only goes as far as the skeletons in one’s closet. This is especially when a vast historical record of instances at the hands of the same ideologies and organizations responsible for the large-scale persecution of so many other cultural and religious groups the nation over, exists to draw upon and from.
What Was Persecution?
Persecution was Puritan Protestant immigrants arriving on the shores of a nation long inhabited by a comprehensive and very diverse group of native populous; then spending the next several centuries bullying, terrorizing and imprisoning those native populations–in the name of the Christian God exclusively, and their biased perceptual understandings of what ‘civilization’ should be.
This includes the entire Westward Ho, Manifest Destiny migratory behavior that terrorized and murdered countless scores of Native Americans. Or in the years following Manifest Destiny taking hold of the Mid and Western United States, forcing Native children into ‘Indian Schools’–where they were compulsively and intolerantly indoctrinated into Christian religious and social customs.
Persecution was using the Protestant-Christian tenet of Individualism, or personal Manifest Destiny, to justify why it was okay to own human beings to perform manual-slave labor. Additionally, this tenet has also been used to create the entire Capitalist marketplace America currently exists within the confines of–and whose economic, governmental, law enforcement and educational institutions exist solely to preserve the inequality, sexism, as well as cultural, ideological and lifestyle choice intolerance rampant throughout the United States.
This, like every other example of persecutory behavior and practice since before America’s official founding, is undertaken in order to keep the dominant Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture and its perceptual status quo superior; at the expense of all other cultures, ideologies and lifestyles not within the dominant cultural comfort zone.
What is Persecution?
Persecution is one group of American citizens terrorizing those who wish to worship as they see fit but existing outside the boundaries of the Anglo-Saxon Protestant or larger Christian ideological values system. Such as the recent incident in Tennessee where fundamentalist, conservative protestors kept an Islamic Mosque from opening its doors for over two years. Because, in the words of one of the protestors, “Islam isn’t even a real religion.”
Persecution is a Christian Church in Mississippi, over 40 years after Civil Rights Amendments were enacted, ensuring the most basic human freedoms for Black people, refusing to marry a black couple; because doing so violates a racist ethics code somehow okay in their God’s eyes.
Persecution is group of White Christian young adults recently terrorizing a Jewish summer camp in Pennsylvania; shouting anti-Semitic slurs and damaging property because in the eyes of the bullies, those Jewish children don’t deserve the right to exist–let alone enjoy each others company and their larger ideological heritage in peace.
Persecution is also political, and includes the most recent with-hunt attempt by Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota; who felt it her right to insult and harass Sec of State Hillary Clinton’s Muslim-American chief of staff for not looking and worshiping like the dominant Anglo-Saxon Protestant-Christian cultural status quo.
For that matter, persecution includes the scores of fundamentalist and conservative Christian anti-women’s rights advocates; who terrorize doctors and patients of abortion clinics and other female service outlets. Even when those women seek such procedures to save their own lives, or in cases of rape and incest.
Or Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-Fil-A, who pledges financial support to organizations such as Exodus International; that since 1976 has been responsible for terrorizing young homosexual children, in order to make them ‘less gay’ somehow through degradation and suppression of self.
What Liberty is, and What Persecution Isn’t
Liberty is any ideological and cultural group, including Native Americans, Blacks, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus just to name a few–and most of whom have inhabited America since before its official, modern founding as a nation; desiring the right to safely and securely exist, live, pray and be represented equally and fully in American society and culture.
This is of course, without being racially, ethnically or culturally stereotyped, profiled, terrorized and persecuted by one group who believes America to be its exclusive right and responsibility. This is, even when the United States Constitution blatantly states otherwise.
Liberty is the right for those with alternate lifestyles including Gays, Lesbians, Transgendered and Bi-Sexual people to not have to put up with people like Dan Cathy and his fellow fundamentalist and conservative Christians continually demeaning, insulting and terrorizing them; and the meritocratic tenets the United States was founded upon–through the merging of religious and social affairs, as again outlawed in the seminal document responsible for framing America as it is today.
Finally, liberty is a diverse American citizenry making informed and conscious decisions based on perceptual fact checking. This pertains to whether or not they wish to support businesses such as Chick-Fil-A and men like Dan Cathy; who donate proceeds from the sandwiches people consume to organizations that terrorize and persecute others not like the dominant cultural and ideological status quo.
Thank God for the Separation of Church and State, Well Sort of…
The wonderful thing about America is that everyone is free to worship any God they choose, so long as they do not persecute others with their beliefs. Basically stated, keep religion private, in order to keep public society as diversified and flourishing as humanly possible.
Granted, this seems to work better in theory than practice; thanks in large part to bigoted and intolerant people such as Dan Cathy, who continually try to inculcate their private biases and ignorant perceptual viewpoints into the public sector–then cry foul when the citizenry makes active and concerted decisions to not want to have to listen anymore.
If it were up to Cathy and his fellow fundamentalist, conservative Christian counterparts, everyone would be, act and think just like them, and cultural as well as ideological diversity would cease to exist. Somehow, to them, this would be liberty, equality and justice on the highest level. Any attempt to subvert this ideological terrorism is persecution with no ifs, ands or buts about it.
But make no mistake, persecution is simply the opposite, and what is being practiced by Mr. Cathy and anyone else who tries to force others to think, act and be one certain way. Or else slanders both the American nation and its diverse, pluralistic citizenry, in order to make themselves superior in either ideological or physical regards; at the expense of everyone and everything else they choose to live in ignorance and therefore, fear of.