Over the past decade or so, the New Atheists, including the prolific “Four Horsemen”, have made their non-belief, and their relentless assault on silly religious beliefs, a very public (and very loud) affair. High School students, and others, have subject themselves to harassment and vitriol in order to stand up for the Separation of Church and State. A little over a week ago, ~20,000 atheists gathered for the largest rally of nonbelievers in history. To many, it seems that there is an atheist movement, possibly similar in scope to the Gay Rights Movement or Civil Rights Movements, is on the horizon.
But is it really? Sadly, I’m not very optimistic.
Regrettably, I must say that it seems that Christians have a persecution complex. Now, how a group that comprises nearly two-thirds of the population of the United States, has places of worship almost everywhere you look, and often controls the public discourse on several key issues somehow sees itself as a persecuted minority is beyond my comprehension, but I’m going to take a stab explaining it simply: If you’re used to being given special treatment, then being treated like everyone else feels like an insult.
That’s it. Christianity has had such a prominent place in our national zeitgeist that, with the increasing pluralism in America (and the western world), it had no place to go but down when it comes to cultural influence, and it hurts to be dumped. So, like a heartbroken preteen who just got dumped by their first crush, that insular, contemptuous strain of Christianity that colors the “Christian Right” has been lashing out, sometimes violently, at anything that does not fit in to its narrow, uninformed, and bigoted worldview (repeat, this is only an excoriation of some, not all Christians).
Sure, they are just trying to restore the “rights” that they had before the Civil and Gay Rights Movements and the Sexual Revolution, but, as I’ll demonstrate, these invented rights are only coming at the expense of the real rights and freedoms of others.