Christian Persecution and the Umpqua Shooter

When hearing the denials of Christian persecution, ask what would have happened if the Muslims were targeted?

At the time that this editorial was written, it wasn’t certain yet if the stories of the shooter targeting Christians were true. Ed Stetzer wrote,

Such reports are uncertain and often end up being wrong. And, I hope this one is incorrect — although the same general narrative does continue to surface. Regardless, the conversation gives us a moment to consider this reality because, well, it is not that farfetched.

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Yet, there is in fact a disturbing pattern to shootings in Fort Worth, Texas, New Life Church in Colorado Springs, and in Charleston. Though Charleston was clearly connected to race, in all cases, Christians were targeted. We already have a research database for church shootings.

If this report turns out to be wrong, as others have, the tragedy will remain, as will this reality: people of faith, in some cases Christians, have been targeted in mass shootings.

Since the time of this writing, I have seen more mainstream sources carry the reports. I haven’t seen anyone dismissing them.

Stetzer writes some wise things about the shooting but I think he was too quick to discount the idea that Christians are persecuted in the United States.

I’m not one who believes Christians in America are persecuted.

I agree with former Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams that Christians in the West who feel they are persecuted need to “grow up” and not claim persecution when they are simply made “mildly uncomfortable.”

I think Stetzer and Williams are missing the point. Jews who told other Jews to stop complaining about being “mildly uncomfortable” in the 1930s were not doing anything good for themselves. Being made “mildly uncomfortable” is often the prelude to less mildness. By that time it is too late to complain much about it. You lose your ability to protest.

If Christians are being made to feel “mildly uncomfortable” in this nation, with its number of Christians, that shows a real agenda on the part of the ruling class. They must really dislike a sizeable portion of the population to be willing to work against it. What does that mean for the future?

As far as this shooting is concerned, I don’t think it is the targeting of Christians that is so disturbing. After all, all the murders of a sociopath are murders that must be condemned, no matter what the religion of the victims. No, the real worry is in the public response to it.

Chuck Huckabee pointed out the problem, as reported at BizPacReview.

In an interview with Newsmax’s Steve Malzberg Friday, Malzberg asked Huckabee, “What if the shooter had said, ‘Are you a Muslim?’ And shot those in the head who were Muslim. Do you think the president would have mentioned that?”

There was no hesitation from Huckabee

“Of course he would,” he said. “The president always wants to be defensive and tell us there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. These aren’t religious people even though we all know they are. But it seems when the target is a Christian he conveniently just ignores it, denies it or just moves on to something else. I do think that it is incredibly significant that there was a religious intent and motive in this shooter’s attitude.”

In other words, only when other religious believers are targeted does anyone care, or talk about a hate crime or about religious bigotry. There is obviously a double-standard being used that does point to some really dark possibilities in the future.