Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Those Poor Christians

This one's a real gem. According to Michael Coren, Anti-Christianity is "the last acceptable prejudice."

According to Coren, "Christians are not treated fairly" and "are told that they have no place in the public square." He tells us that "examples of anti-Christian behaviour are legion," but as far as I can discern, the only examples he mentions are:

1. Some people think Jesus didn't exist!
2. Some people called Anders Breivik a "Christian!"
3. Some people called Timothy McVeigh a "Christian!"
4. Some people mock Christianity!

He briefly mentions how anti-Christian prejudice "takes the form of ejection from the public square and the workplace," but fails to give any actual examples of this, so I guess we just have to take his word for it. One would think that if the examples were really "legion," he would be able to come up with some better ones, like "Christians are only paid a fraction of what their non-Christian co-workers earn for the same work!" or "Christians are not legally allowed to marry other Christians!" or "Christians are not allowed to serve openly in the military!"

I guess the LGBT community, women, atheists, and ethnic minorities should stop whining and, next time they complain about how bad they have it, just think of those poor Christians.

There's a lot of other garbage in this article, too. There's a nice "No True Scotsman" fallacy in there; he complains about "attempts to report Islamic terror as something other than Islamic," so presumably true Muslims are fine with bombings and beheadings and whatnot, but says that "there were people calling themselves Christian who were Nazis, but this says nothing at all about Christianity but a great deal about hypocrisy." So, the horrible, violent, murdering Muslims are somehow genuine Muslims, but the horrible, violent, murdering Christians are not genuine Christians. How convenient!

Of course, you also get your typical accusations of relativism. This is painfully tedious. He accuses the mainstream media, for example of not only being "opposed to Christianity," but being "obsessed with relativism." I've seen this sort of approach very often. Certain defenders of Christianity will accuse non-Christians of being moral or epistemic relativists, because hey, without God or Jesus, there are no absolutes!

That's a very silly approach to take. First of all, as a non-Christian, I don't consider myself a moral relativist. I don't think that there are different but equally valid moralities which are "relative" to culture, history, or preference. I think it's objectively true that there's no morality, that there simply is no "truth" about "what we ought to do." Secondly, I think this is the case whether or not there is a God; the Euthyphro problem alone demonstrates that the mere existence of a God with specific commands and desires is not a sufficient foundation for an objective, universal morality.

He argues that "Not only do bad things happen to good people, but -- just as annoying -- good things happen to bad ones. But that's a problem for the atheist, not the believer." How is that a "problem" for the atheist? I can accept that good things happen to bad people and that bad things happen to good people. That's only a "problem" on the assumption that good people deserve good things and that bad people deserve bad things. I don't think that's the case. You don't "deserve" anything. There's just "stuff that happens to you" and "stuff that you like" and sometimes they overlap, I guess. Where's the problem?

At any rate, Coren is actually being a shitty Christian here. He ought to remember that his God commanded him not to get pissy at being mocked, persecuted, and reviled. He ought to read Matthew 5:11: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Coren should be positively thrilled that people mock and ridicule Christianity, because they're ultimately making him a "great reward" in heaven!

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