Dr Marvin Olasky

I don't see Christians as singled out for discrimination in American society generally-after all, big chunks of American society are heavily populated by Christians-but the bias is clear in two sectors of society (academia and media) that in turn influence others. I see five reasons for such academic and media scorn: two arising from dominant values within those sectors, two from weaknesses within Christianity, and one connected to God's mysterious will.

First, since Christianity has the most adherents of any religion in America, and in the past has had cultural leadership, academic and media secularists see it as a threat in a way that domestic Islam or other religions with exclusive truth claims are not. Elite secularists might even see adherents to non-Christian faiths as helpful, since "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Second, societies-and particularly societal elites-typically need opponents to denigrate, so they can define themselves by what they are not. In the past Jews and blacks filled the position of the designated denigrated; it's great that anti-Semitism and racism have declined substantially, but prejudice abhors a vacuum. Biblical Christians, poorly represented among the academic and media elite, were easy targets for the hatred that would otherwise have been aimed at others.

Third, many biblical Christians, beginning in the late nineteenth century, developed a separatist mentality based on the idea that the world would grow worse and Christians could retain personal purity by staying clear of university and media dens of iniquity. The message of many fundamentalist pastors became, "Mama, don't let your babies grow up to be journalists." As Christians abandoned the fight for key societal sectors anti-Christians became more aggressive and eventually dominant.

Fourth, some separatists alienated their children by setting up "don't touch" and "don't taste" rules so narrow as to provoke rebellion. Those children often equated liberty with license and became virulently opposed to biblical moral values.

Fifth, some of the harassment of Christians is inevitable. After all, Christ himself warned that many will hate and persecute those who trust in Him. Christians should oppose harassment and pray that it will not turn into persecution, but we should not be shocked when the going gets tough.

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