Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Persecuted": The False Persecution Con of Christianity

In the Christian propaganda film "God's Not Dead", all of the Christian characters are portrayed as "persecuted for their faith" while "godless atheists" run the house until one reluctant protagonist is thrust into the spotlight and triumphs over all in the end. This plot device, while having no basis in reality, has become a popular theme in many Christian propaganda films lately.

Later this month, a new Christian propaganda film will be coming out, and it couldn't have a more blatantly fitting title: "Persecuted". The basic plot is this: an evangelistic politician(played by James Remar) is framed for murder after he opposes a sweeping religious reform bill. He must fight to clear his name and take down the bill because it would supposedly persecute the rights of Christians if it passes.

On the movie's Facebook page, all of the posts are meant to elicit vacuous "Amen" comments, promote the movie and it's blog, highlight genuine persecution abroad, or make the audience feel that their rights to be Christians in America are being or about to be taken away.

This movie is not meant to simply pander to Christians, but propagate and reinforce a popular notion that everyone who is a Christian will soon be actively persecuted and they must fight against the "godless politicians" to "bring God back into the government".

However, anybody with a sharp, observant mind will see the fake persecution complex for what it is. The movie itself contradicts it: Here we have a multi-million dollar Christian film, starring popular Hollywood actors, being distributed and shown in theatres throughout the nation, with a guaranteed audience filled with church groups and other believing Christians. If Christian persecution in America existed, this film would not have made it as far as it has. It seems, however, that the opposite is true, as the following video shows:



So why is this false persecution complex propagated? Ironically, it's not used to describe when actual persecution is taking place. It's used when a privilege that's been historically granted solely to Christianity is granted to another faith or by nonbelievers in order to preserve the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in America. "We are being persecuted!" is the cry when a Hindu priest delivers an invocation in the U.S. Senate, or when an atheist bench or Satanic statue is placed alongside a Ten Commandments statue on public property. Basically, to American Christians who take the false persecution complex to heart, persecution is seen as being forced to play on a level playing field with everyone else, and they do not want to give up their privilege.

So they recast their loss of privilege as a form of rights persecution, even going as far as inventing a new yet nonsensical term in an attempt to validate their faux outrage and try to regain their lost privileges.

Yet "Persecuted" doesn't seem to go that route in propagating the persecution complex. From the trailers and plot summary, it seems that the "persecution" takes the form of a government conspiracy to take away religious rights of Christians. Apparently, in this alternate universe, the Republican Party and the Religious Right don't exist and nearly everybody except the protagonist is anti-Christian or completely agnostic. In reality, Christians are the vast majority in the U.S., including Congress. So just as in "God's Not Dead", this movie sacrifices even superficial reality at the altar of propaganda.

So if you're planning to watch "Persecuted" and expect to see a movie that doesn't misrepresent reality, you'll be wasting your time and money. Better to spend it on a movie that makes no bones about it being purely fiction, like "Transformers: Age of Extinction" or "Rise of the Planet of the Apes". At least those movies aren't out to convince you there's warring factions of giant robots or intelligent apes armed with rifles at your doorstep.