Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ persecution

August 14, 2019 • 8:45 am

Today’s Jesus and Mo strip, called “down”, came with the email referent:

This week’s strip inspired by this article.

The article from the National Secular Society, “Britian’s ‘Christian Right’: Seeking solace in a narrative of discrimination,” explains how some religious Brits are pushing back against the increasing secularization of the country. In the past couple weeks we have in fact seen such tactics in articles like this one in the Spectator, which instantiates narrative #1 below:

In response, conservative Christian groups have sought to project a narrative built upon two core assertions. The first of these is the claim that secularisation poses a serious threat to the social and moral fabric of the nation. The space left by the decline of Christianity, it is said, is being filled by a crude, individualist culture, leading to moral decay and growing social problems such as family breakdown, rising crime and juvenile delinquency. Common assertions in this respect include the claim that “we’re in a post-Christian multi-faith relativistic society where each person decides their own view”, that many of Britain’s difficulties are due to the fact that “[w]e don’t love Jesus enough … We don’t believe in a God that will judge, and in heaven and hell”, and that: “This is what happens when a society does not follow something straightforward like the 10 commandments, but says ‘no no no, we’re free to do what we want’.”

The second component of this narrative is that secularisation poses a threat to religious rights and freedoms. Activists claim that Christianity is becoming increasingly marginalised, and that the rights of Christians have become subordinate to those of other social groups – most notably homosexual, Islamic and secularist campaigners keen to force religion out of public life. . . .

At any rate, in today’s cartoon Jesus tries to make a virtue out of necessity. After all, if the persecution narrative works for ethnic minorities, why not religious minorities as well?


14 thoughts on “Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ persecution

  1. Jesus told them they’d be ”persecuted for my sake,” didn’t he? And they’re always so very eager to be in that position. Maybe if they’d take his advice and ”pray in their closets” instead of making such an effort to put their religion into the face of society, people might stop the “persecution?”

    Oh…wait….that’s the point, isn’t it?

    1. Candida Moss of the University of Birmingham, in ‘The Myth of Persecution’ addresses that very issue and concludes that there are highly likely 6 cases of state persecution against named individuals in the first 3 centuries of the Christian era up to Constantine.

      To generalize, she says that Christianity has told us that the Decian persecution, for instance, was aimed at them, when Roman documents tell us this was not the case. That is not to say that there were not periods of Roman state persecution of Christians, but that the tales are exaggerated, limited in duration and sporadic.

      Hitchens spotted the slavish, masochistic impulse in the monotheisms: I think that the tales told by early Christians among themselves about martyrdom as proof of the religion’s correctness and as a way to confirm group cohesion are a perfect example. And they are still doing it.

      Ms. Moss’s book is well worth a read.

      1. Hell, it was the lions had the legitimate beef about the skimpy Xtian diet they were being fed by the Romans at the Coliseum.

  2. There are a few places around the world where christians can legitimately claim to be persecuted but in the UK and other countries in the west this is a fiction. Christianity continues to occupy a privileged position in most of these countries in spite of the falling rates of belief.
    The fact that other people in society refuse to allow christian dogma to dictate how they should behave, for example with respect to sex and relationships, is emphatically NOT equivalent to persecution of Christians.

    1. They’re being persecuted, where “persecuted” = not getting every last privilege and financial subsidy they think is their due.

  3. Meanwhile, Islamists in Turkey, Syria, Indonesia, etc. are making strides in the opposite direction. Saudi Arabia and Syria are just two (of way too many) examples of how “useful” religious zealotry can be for their bizarre forms of crony capitalism. I recall incorrectly hearing Bashar’s father’s name on radio reports as “half-ass assault” and thinking there is nothing half-assed about what they are doing now.

  4. “…most notably homosexual, Islamic and secularist campaigners keen to force religion out of public life. . . .”
    I very much doubt that ‘Islamic campaigners’ are keen to force religion out of public life.

  5. It is funny how, when people passively move away from a orthodox position of faith those remaining see it as persecution and a threat. While I’ll hold that the persecution is a fiction, the threat to their gods is real.

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