Random Rantings

Monday, December 05, 2005

I Deserve It?

A response to:
Onward Christian Soldiers: How minority faiths are treated in the US Military
By Lorie Johnson
Posted at www.Talk2Action.org

What strikes me about Lorie’s experience, as well as the experiences of those that replied to her article, is that the people persecuting those of a minority religion somehow feel that the target of their harassment deserves that kind of treatment. (It is very much like talking to bullies – they sometimes justify their actions by saying that their victims are “asking for it” by their behavior/attitudes/looks/mode of dress/etc.)

Growing up, I had a similar situation happen to my classmates and myself. We attended a Jewish Day School that was situated nearby a Christian school (don’t remember the denomination). We had co-existed well for many years, and did not have any problems until suddenly in the middle of the year a group of older students from the Christian school kept using their free periods to come over and harass some of the Jewish students during our recess…So as not to spend a lot of time detailing the harassment itself, I’ll just summarize by saying it was bad and got progressively worse, even though staff from both schools were working on the problem.

One day, the group of students from the Christian school got a hold of a first-grader from my school, and beat him. Teachers from my school responded to the incident by taking the Christian students in to our office and calling their school, and evidently their parents to come get them. One set of parents came in and told our staff that they saw nothing wrong with their child’s actions. They claimed that we deserved this treatment because we were children of Satan. They said that the only way we would learn that we needed to accept Jesus and be saved was if we were mistreated – because it gave us a taste of what our lives would be like as adults - because we would be hated world over for not being Christians – and because it would show us what Hell was like, because that was where we were headed without Christ.

I just don’t get this attitude, on so many different levels. Generally speaking, it is considered a bad thing to mistreat another person. So why is it okay for these so-called Christians to hurt people? They say that they feel we deserve punishment… But I suspect that they also feel that non-Christians are “non-persons” and therefore do not need to be treated equally.

Consider the concept that they are trying to show us what Hell is like, so that we don’t want to end up there. (ignoring the whole “if your religion doesn’t believe in Hell how does an argument saying you’ll end up there work on you” issue) If Satan is the tormentor of souls in Hell… what does that say about these Christians being the tormentors of souls on Earth?

And then of course, why in the world would any non-Christian find Christianity appealing if the way that you go about teaching people about needing a personal relationship with Jesus is by hurting them?

Sounds a lot to me like fraternity/sorority hazing… we’re going to treat you pledges horribly, and then when you get to be a real brother/sister you can have fun terrorizing the next group of recruits…

-Emily

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