No law says you cannot say "God", believe in God, pray in school, celebrate Christmas, or defend your religion from (well deserved) criticism. You can. It is state-sponsored, institutionalized endorsements of religion that are against the US Constitution. It is settled law; so teacher-led prayers are disallowed in public schools, nativity scenes are disallowed on public property, and atheists like me work rather hard to keep it that way, so your unwanted religion stays out of my life.
You have the same rights as atheists, not superior rights, and not inferior rights. Theoretically anyway.
You see, if your rights were being trodden upon, then each day in public schools your kids would be saying "...one nation, Godless, indivisible...". Your money would be emblazoned with the motto, "God does not exist". Sessions of Congress would open with the words, "May the realization that Christianity is harmful prevail in this honorable Congress."
Your attempts to address the violations legally would be obstructed by corrupt atheist judges. You would marvel in stunned incredulity as the courts invented spurious arguments as to why such things did not constitute illegal government endorsements of irreligion over religion; such as "ceremonial atheism". That way, these things would not be actual atheism. Heck no. They would just be ceremonial expressions which have, by repetition, lost any significant meaning whatsoever.
So relax. The state would never cross a constitutional boundary, diss atheists by siding with those who belief in God, or diss theists by saying God is a meaningless, secular expression. It just really, really, really looks like they're doing that. But they're not. You just ask them.
I was standing in front of a news truck about 11 years ago. Some people of Oregon had married gay couples 'against the law', and this brought out the TV stations and theists. As the rally was ending I stuck around to talk with some of my friends and theists that still held their ground. There was one rather young fellow in a suit standing in front of the truck. I introduced myself and asked a few minor questions to show my respect and draw him out. He had been a member of the infamous OCA (Oregon Citizens Alliance), which had been founded a few years before to suppress gay rights and challenge any legal rulings that might support gay rights. The OCA had been challenged in court and had lost due to tax issues.
This dear fellow had nothing nice to say about gays, the courts, or the secular culture around him. He felt hobbled and marginalized by atheists, humanists, and liberal churches. His 'Christian message', by his reconing, had been suppressed by others and denied a hearing. All around him were people that would not receive his 'message', because they were satan influenced. He looked at me with a deep distaste, like I was vermin.
I had nothing more to say to this poor man, just 'take care'.
Since, I still hear and see this ugliness in others. I have attended gay rights conferences and even a 'bi-sexual community' conference. I was amazed to find that many bi-sexuals feel marginalized by the gay community because they are considered either not 'pure' or 'not committed' to the greater cause.
As a straight man, visiting with folks of other persuations has been enlightening.
What Gallup's Mirror said.
Often the supposed "persecuted" are just naive or insecure/defensive-angry, but can still learn from rational responses that don't just mirror negative emotion back to their faces. (As for those repeatedly not willing to calm down in light of calm discourse, ok, fuckem!)
I don't know where your rights are. But just wait a while... they'll turn up, I'm sure.
Christians just love to consider themselves persecuted martyrs. If they're not being persecuted, they think they're doing something wrong, so they go out and pester some strangers until someone really gets PO'd, and dots their i's for them. Then they're happy, they've been 'persecuted'! Brings them closer to their Saviour.
Anyone who's not a Christian is automatically, by default, persecuting them. They expediently forget about the way they persecuted, (and still do) anyone who doesn't believe exactly what they do.They even stoop to persecuting each other. Anyone not subscribing to their particular brand name of Christianity are doomed, because only they hold the key to the "Pearly Gates", and they're not gonna let anyone else in - so there!.Christians are always arguing with each other, and nobody know's for sure where they're headed, but they're always ready to point out the way everyone else should be going.They're like direction posts along the side of the road, always pointing out the way, but never going there themselves.At least, Atheists know where they are.
For the most part I find Christians to be non offensive. But when one decides to "come out" then you had better duck.
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