Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pity the Poor Evangelical Christians

That paragon of wisdom, Pat Robertson, has done it again.  The right-wing minister, who previously said Hurricane Sandy was God’s response to homosexuality, now says that evangelical Christians are undergoing a holocaust “just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews” but this time at the hands of "liberal" America.

“It’s no different.  It is the same thing,” he insisted.  “It is the Democratic Congress, the liberal-based media and the homosexuals who want to destroy the Christians.  Wholesale abuse and discrimination and the worst bigotry directed against any group in America today.  More terrible than anything suffered by any minority in history.”

To accept that claim, you’d have to ignore the fact that the House of Representatives is dominated by Christian Republicans and that the media is actually quite conservative – an estimated 90 percent of media outlets are owned by arch-conservatives.  You’ll also have to pretend that evangelical Christians are the only Christians.

Those quibbles aside, you’ll also have to completely shun history and real facts.

Victims of the Holocaust
In the first place, evangelical Christians are not being discriminated against.  The same law that protects blacks, Jews, women and other people from discrimination protects evangelicals, too.  Evangelicals, like Muslims – funny putting them in the same context – have been asked not to infuse their religion into their workplace, but no one should impose their religious beliefs on anyone else.

Second, more importantly, there’s no comparison to the Holocaust.  Today, that term refers to the about 6 million Jews systematically slaughtered by the Nazis during World War II.  However, it should include Gypsies, homosexuals, intellectuals and, yes, Pat, religious leaders also murdered by the German thugs.

In all, close to 12 million people died in Nazi concentration camps, from slave labor and from other abuses.  When the war ended, the Nazis had enough poison gas stored to kill another 6 million more.

Their victims wouldn’t have minded a little more bigotry and a little less murder.

After all, the real “most abused minority,” Jews, had endured centuries of withering scorn from Christian evangelicals like Robertson.  Jews know what real hatred is.  They have learned to survive.  They just didn’t have weapons against gas chambers and SS bullets.

Burning heretics
Evangelical Christians have nothing to complain about.  Ever since Christianity was named the lone legal religion of the Roman Empire in the late 4th century, Christian leaders have willfully massacred and harassed anyone who did not accept fundamentalist teachings.  "Heretics" were burned at the stake for daring to question the fables in the New Testament or offering a different theory about God and/or religion..  They were tortured for not living up to standards set by conservative religious leaders.

Entire communities were annihilated in the misguided effort to make sure everyone believed exactly the same mythology.  Wars were fought.  Millions died solely for religious reasons.  Many still are being killed today for the same nonsense.

What has happened to evangelicals in this country?  Absolutely nothing.  They are free to worship and even to spout absurd opinions.

It’s not abuse to have the media reporting the latest finding in biblical research, all of which contradicts official teachings.  It’s not abuse to have scientists explaining newly acquired knowledge of the universe, which shows how outdated the Bible is.  After all, it was written before the writers even knew that the Earth went around the sun. 

It is not abuse to have society guarantee equal rights to people evangelicals don’t like, such as homosexuals.  God created them, too, remember?

The reality is that Robertson is scared.  He has spent his life believing is something that modern research has fully demonstrated is not based on a single fact.  It’s not even based on history.  With his world shattering, he is lashing out at everyone and everything in a panic.  He doesn’t want anyone to know the truth.

Had he become that agitated 500 years ago, those who disagreed with him would have been rounded up and summarily executed.

These days, we can only shake our heads and express pity.

Guess what, Pat?  It’s only going to get worse as new discoveries, new research and new understandings will eventually confine your outmoded beliefs to the trashcan of history. 

That’s not “wholesale abuse and discrimination or bigotry.”  It’s simply inevitable.

Long-time religious historian Bill Lazarus regularly writes about religion and religious history.  He also speaks at various religious organizations throughout Florida.  You can reach him at  He is the author of the famed Unauthorized Biography of Nostradamus; The Last Testament of Simon Peter; The Gospel Truth: Where Did the Gospel Writers Get Their Information; Noel: The Lore and Tradition of Christmas Carols; and Dummies Guide to Comparative Religion.  His books are available on, Kindle, bookstores and via various publishers.  He can also be followed on Twitter.

You can enroll in his on-line class, Comparative Religion for Dummies, at

No comments:

Post a Comment