This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Manufacturing 'persecution'

One of the fastest growing leisure pursuits in recent times for the supernaturally-inclined of every flavour, is the game of 'Cry Persecution!'. The aim of the game requires that players Cry Persecution at every imaginable (and I use that word advisedly) example of 'discrimination'. With the winner being the one who comes up with the most contrived and preposterous supposed example. Well perusing today's selection of chip-wrappers, I came across what is easily the most laughably contrived effort of 2011 so far in what is already a very crowded field.

Evangelical activists have fed a story to the media concerning an employee of Wakefield & District Housing. WDH is a publicly-funded organisation. The employee in question has been told to stop decorating a company van with his superstitious paraphenalia. So far, so mundane. But rather than follow this simple, reasonable directive which applies to all staff, he wishes to make a martyr of himself by insisting on his 'right' to display crucifixes above the dashboard, thereby forcing management to take action and now (yawn) it's "HELP! LOOK! I'M BEING PERSECUTED!" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1378283/Banished-Christian-beliefs-Now-electrician-cross-van-thrown-depot.html

Right on cue, horrendous Catholic rent-a-gob Anne Widdecombe is claiming it's "One rule for Christians, and one rule for followers of all other religions", and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey says it's "political correctness gone mad" (top marks for originality there!). Apparently it's all because "Sikhs are allowed to wear turbans". Are these people actually so dense of mind that they really cannot distinguish any difference between adorning one's own head with religious items, and adorning your employer's property with such items?!

There is a serious matter at stake behind all this though. In many parts of the world, people really do face genuine and very serious discrimination on the basis of their supernatural views, or lack thereof. Wouldn't these activists who conspire to contrive such phoney episodes be better off focusing their efforts on the real abuses of human rights that are taking place against their brethren? Because, let's be clear: Being fed to lions = persecution. Being prevented from decorating your employer's property = non-persecution.

Mods' note: We are also including this related discussion by vjohn822 in this same thread:

Rather odd events in the UK are occuring everywhere as a result of the "Not Ashamed" campaign which seeks to put and end to "Christian persecution".

Their latest public cause has come in the form of an electrician working for the public body who was ordered to stop displaying a cross in his works van. The company rightly wanted to be seen as an organisation without religious affiliation and broke no laws in asking the employee to cease from this activity.

However, he took exception to this and with help from the campaign vehicle "Not Ashamed" the right wing media lapped up the story. The Daily Mail ran this story all week (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1379410/Christian-electrician-Colin-Atkinson-wins-battle-display-cross-van.html). After some "discussions" a peace treaty has been reached but the detail is far from clear owing to some privacy agreement.

The campaigns mouthpiece, former Tory MP Ann Widdecombe, in an interview this month with Spain’s Talk Radio Europe, promised an almighty “fight-back” by Christians over what she described as “unprecedented levels of persecution against Christians in the UK."

Persecution by who? Those damn heathen scientists? Wet lip liberals pushing for a secular agenda?

Classic tactics on display here: invent a strawman and then claim persecution by it. The strawman remains unidentified throughout and the gish gallop commences.

TAGGED: RELIGION, SOCIETY


Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment