Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Who is the most persecuted minority?

I am not one of those who believe that incessantly banging on about homosexuality does the cause of Christianity in this country any great favours. Indeed I am notorious among my circle of Christian friends for my oft-repeated view - not shared by all of them - that if the church got half as worked up about injustice as it does about gay sex then maybe it would have more credibility.

Nevertheless, in the context of what is essentially a political row about a piece of anti-discrimination legislation, the question that sticks in my mind is who is now the most persecuted minority - homosexuals, or Christians?

In my own profession at least, the answer is clear. To have had same-sex experiences is practically de rigeur in some sections of the media. To be a Christian, by contrast, is deeply unfashionable and tends to engender deep distrust on the part of colleagues and, occasionally, employers.

If I were to come out as gay, I doubt very much whether I would lose any readers on this blog or be denied any employment opportunities. I know for a fact that both of these things have happened to me as a result of my being a Christian.

Update: The debate on this now appears to have migrated to Caroline Hunt's blog.

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David Gladwin said...

There's no need to come out as gay, Paul - think of the advantages of being a Christian instead.

The government says you're allowed to have sex at 16, for a start.

ArtThrob said...

Surely, that's a retrospective advantage?

Seriously, though: I think credibility is the Christian church's main problem - and has been for the last few decades. Even back when I was at school, being openly Christian was a recipe for derision and bullying.

Somehow this country has gone from being "God-fearing" (I suppose "God-respecting" would be a better phrase) as recently as the '60s and '70s to being effectively atheist today.

I would find it amusing - if only it were funny - that the political leaders still profess their faith. I have long suspected that this is a cynical ploy to retain the Christian vote.

On the specific subject of homosexuality, the solution can only be arrived at by being agnostic and objective. Neither side can budge without compromising their ideals and beliefs. Not that I know, BTW, what the solution is. Christianity teaches that we should help our neighbour. Jesus would not have ostracised gay men or women. Then again, even atheist must be able to see that as animals we need pairings of male and female to continue the species.

I'll let someone else find the solution ...

dizzy said...

hang on a second. You're a Christian? Right that's it.. I'm never reading this blog again.

John Wards said...

Funny that Christians get all uppty about "the gays" and how its against the bibles teachings....but keep rather quite about things like oh I dunno slavery.

Why are they not campaigning that they can't have salves, can't beat their slaves, can't make their slaves obey them the way they would obey Christ.

Its modern society and its the laws of the country you reside in.

crossland said...

so erm....where are the gay schools and christian bashers?

crossland said...

More seriously , I dont dispute your personal experiences but would question whether you are confusing 'media' life with life as most people in Britain live it.

If your a newly qualified teacher Being a Christian is a distinct advantage in the range of posts you can apply for

Is there not a difference between London and Belper ?

All of us suffer discrimination in different situations and at different times but it is a question of degree , no ?

As far as Im aware Christians do not get occasionaly beaten up or murdered by people wrestling with their own Spirituality.

What I do wonder is that the current 'reaction' from some vocal Christians is at heart a conservative reaction - in that it is partly born out of a sense of lost /disapearing privelege .

Who is the most persecuted minority , Christians or Fox hunters ?

interesting post though !

Stephen Rouse said...

If Christians wish to turn the tide against them, I'd suggest they get as many people as possible to read Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion. So vitriolic, ill-informed and hysterical, its effect on the reader is precisely the opposite of that intended. All the stock accusations about wars and persecution are there, with no credit for the enormous positive contribution made by people of faith in the course of human history. It didn't convert me from my own woolly agnosticism but it did reveal there are atheists who can ignore the beams of intolerance in their own eyes while they complain about Christian motes.

Caroline Hunt said...

I've written a response to your question on my blog. You may be interested in reading it.

Mr P said...

Indeed I am notorious among my circle of Christian friends for my oft-repeated view - not shared by all of them - that if the church got half as worked up about injustice as it does about gay sex then maybe it would have more credibility.

To be fair, the Churches do do a lot on injustice... it's just that it's not as sexy for the media as gay rights.

Tom said...

I think you've already got the answer to your question in this post.

Gay Christians.