by Matt Sutton
As a graduate student I read R. Laurence Moore’s brilliant Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans. Moore argues that religious groups have historically gained cultural power by positioning themselves as outsiders, even when they were/are not. Apparently the tradition of playing oppressed minority despite all evidence to the contrary is still going strong. The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (I didn’t realize that such a group existed) has compiled a list of “top ten Christian-bashing incidents” of 2008. Coming in at #10 was the Jack Black video that I blogged about here. In the top three spots are:
#3: Barack Obama Defames Christianity
According to research into President Elect Obama's own statements about faith, and an examination of Obama's position on moral issues, CADC has determined that by any biblical and historic Christian standard, Barack Obama is not a Christian, although he claims he is a "devout Christian."
[You can also see their list of seven reasons why Obama is not a Christian here]
#2: Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin Is Attacked
Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, came under sharp attack by some in the mainstream media because she self-identifies as a Christian. The Washington Post published a cartoon by Pat Oliphant mocking Palin because she has a background as a Pentecostal/Charistmatic Christian. A suspicious arson fire at Sarah Palin's home church recently caused over $1,000,000 in damage.
#1: Radical Homosexuals Assault Prop 8 Marriage Supporters in California
During and after the November campaign stories flooded in of pro-Prop 8 signs being taken, people verbally and physically assaulted, church property and private automobiles vandalized, and person's jobs and pastor's lives threatened simply for exercising their right to campaign and vote in support of traditional marriage.
Apparently we should quit picking on Sarah Palin, pick on Barack Obama a whole lot more, and work to protect our most vulnerable and oppressed members of society, our pastors, from hate crimes. Hmmm…..