Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Shallow Faith (More Tebow Wars)

This picture has been popping up around Facebook over the last week or two...


People are such sheeple. I've seen people post it saying things like "Right on!" and "God bless Tebow for the brave stand he's taking for God!" and "It's awful the kind of persecution he's facing!" Persecution complex, distorted information, and "us vs. them" are all clear signs that you're practicing an unhealthy form of religion, or are part of an unhealthy religious group or cult. If nothing else, the responses I've seen to the contrived and manipulated question within this photo demonstrate that the "faith" of most people is just an emotional investment - with very little of anything spiritual involved - no deeper than their allegiance to a particular sports team.

The photo is propaganda, and at that, it's quite similar to the tactics Jim Jones used as he made the call to drink the Kool-aid (which you can hear on the so-called "death tape"). Distorted information, persecution complex, us vs. them. If you want to shut your brain off and respond emotionally to propaganda, have at it. I just think it's sad that so many who claim Christ are so willing to be manipulated.

The photo, and the "question" it raises, falls into several forms of propaganda techniques - Appeal to fear, appeal to ignorance, appeal to prejudice, black and white fallacy, common man, demonizing the enemy, flag-waving, oversimplification, scapegoating, stereotyping, and most of all, the straw man.

No one has said that the picture on the left is "OK". No one really cares. Personally, I'm not familiar enough with the Quran to have an opinion on whether or not this fits within the proper etiquette of Islam. I can only assume that this group of Muslims had all the necessary permits and clearances to do what they're doing. If they all showed up and started doing this in my driveway, it wouldn't be "OK", but otherwise, it's really not a big deal to me one way or the other. I'm not Islamic, so I don't lose sleep over how people represent Allah or the Muslim faith.

As far as the picture on the right, I'm not aware of anyone who's made any aggressive efforts to stop Tebow from praying. I can tell several things from the manner in which he prays, though. He wants to be seen. He wants you to notice his prayer. If he didn't, you wouldn't. That's the bottom line on it. He comes from the Christian homeschooling movement, and his "faith" is as much about promoting and witnessing for a "Christian culture" - specifically white, neo-conservative, sprinkled with the parsley of the Victorian era, culture - as it is about any personal relationship with Christ. He's obviously more steeped in the movement's cultural ideas than he is in any understanding of biblical text, particularly the example and teachings of Christ - who sought privacy for his own prayers and taught us to do the same (never making them a spectacle).

If I were to ever meet Tebow, I'd definitely make the suggestion that he stop praying to be seen and making a spectacle out of his prayers, and I'd ask him his thoughts on Matthew 6...but I don't know of anyone, including me, trying to outright stop him from doing what he's doing. It's a free country. He's free to practice his religion (within the confines of the law) however he chooses.

The person responsible for putting this photo/question together tapped into Islam because, just as "the west" is the Great Satan of radical Islam, Islam is one of several Great Satans of fundamentalist Christianity. If you want to stir people up and manipulate their emotions, you do it with their Great Satans. Common enemies are derived from common fears. Fear is the most powerful manipulator there is.

Jim Jones once had some of his men go out into the treeline on the edges of Jonestown and, under cover of night, fire rifles into the camp. He told his followers that these were their enemies from the outside world, and these enemies desired their deaths - as proven by Jonestown coming "under fire". This ploy proved masterful for Jones, as on Kool-aid D-Day all he had to do was to point at this incident to "prove" to his followers that their enemies (law enforcement and the US government/military) would "parachute in on them", torturing babies and seniors before killing them all.

This kinda reminds me of a conversation I've been involved in regarding conservative politics. All a GOP candidate has to do is yell "Christian! Christian here! Vote for me because I'm a Christian!" and the evangelical community automatically shuts down their brain and jumps on the bandwagon. When a politician takes the platform and starts talking faith, it's bull. Christianity has become a form of propaganda all its own within the political spectrum.

Don't fall for ridiculous propaganda. Use your brain.


  1. I keep hearing about how persecuted Tebow is and I'm just really confused about it all. I don't see much of anything about him praying in the mainstream media. As far as I can tell, he's not being harassed in any way. What exactly are people circling the wagons for??

  2. Woot! *tries to muster up the cajones to post this on my fb page....

  3. I think it's that people feel validated in their emotional investment if they can point at persecution, whether real or perceived or contrived, particularly people involved in very works-based, fundamentalist forms of Christianity.

  4.'t bring unnecessary stress upon yourself. My blog posts have already been reported as "spam or abuse" on FB in the last couple of weeks ;)

  5. I am also totally baffled by all the christians defending tebow, they obviously do not know the definition of persecution.

  6. Haha, I first saw this picture posted on the profile of my college boyfriend's mother. She and I are still really great friends, even though I broke up with Philip sometime ago. But she is the wife of a Presbyterian pastor and SO conservative and all the time posting these super ignorant posts on her wall that make me want to scream.

    So of course she went right alone with Tebow's persecution and post the picture on her wall, and so I read the comments and have been supporting a position that she would completely disapprove of. People say the most horrid things while claiming to be Christians!

    And, and since you mentioned it, that picture of the Muslims? Actually a picture of them in France last year.

  7. "And, and since you mentioned it, that picture of the Muslims? Actually a picture of them in France last year."


  8. I'm sorry but Tebow reminds me so much of the Scribes and Pharisees in Matthew 23, all for show. Are we not commanded in Matthew 6:6
    "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

  9. I agree, but in his defense, he's just doing what the movement has conditioned him to do since birth.

  10. I really respect what you have said here. Thanks for posting this.

  11. The first passage that came to mind when I heard about Tebow was Matthew 6 as well, but for some reason I'm not "taking it in context." Apparently God's point there was not to make prayer a point of pride, which for some reason they know it's not for ol' Tim. I always wonder how they are so convinced of his good intentions - they have no way of knowing.

  12. Wow. If that's their rationalization of it, that looks even worse on Tebow.

  13. I'm a bit of a lurker around here, but wanted to say (as someone who studies rhetoric) how much I appreciate your analysis. Are you familiar with the theorist Kenneth Burke and his (mid-century) book, The Rhetoric of Religion? In that book he discusses "God-terms" which are something of a counter-point to your "Satan-terms." In the context of fundamentalism, both kinds of terms are vitally important.

    But, yes, I'm so glad to see someone take on this topic, because I've been hearing ABOUT the haters and the persecution, but the worst "persecution" I've seen was the SNL skit. Really, folks? How shallow is your faith if you have to IMAGINE persecution? So, yes, you confirm what I expected.

  14. Isn't there something in the Bible about going to a secret place to pray...??? And for all we know he's really thinking about what to eat after the game like lots of folks do in Church! I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he thinks what he's doing is right and it isn't actually hurting anyone......

  15. Hopewell,

    Ah, yeah, that verse was for the Pharisees and they were Jews. We're all Christians now, so we're supposed to draw attention to our prayer and other outward acts of holiness. Thus saith the gospel according to family togetherness centered let your lifestyle shine for for Jesus translation (c).

  16. I love these posts and comments about Tebow. You are astute and insightful and fair in your judgments of him. Please keep them coming every day if possible -- I think I speak for you, me and most commenters here when I say it makes me feel righteous. I'm glad that you are leading the way in showing us all how to call a spade a spade and to detect things about other so-called Christians, aka Scribes and Pharisees, so they can be properly labeled and we can be warned and warn others.

  17. I guess that was supposed to be clever. It wasn't, really.

  18. I'm not sure what has happened here. This was a place, in the past, that I found intelligent and thought provoking (even though angry). However increasingly it is a place light on substance and heavy on assumptions, labeling and innuendo. I'm public school and secular college educated and am a member of one of those liberal mainline Protestant churches and yet I don't find the underlying attitudes expressed by you or many of your commenters lately to be much different that those of the villified fundamentalists. Obviously the blog format is inherently flawed and is especially susceptible to polarization and the with-us or
    against-us mob mentality. There is as much bible quoting and WWJD here as
    anywhere -- don't be fooled. Incidentally you noticed that I'm not clever -- I'll
    also share two other flaws I have: I'm a hypocrite and I secretly think I have all
    the answers. Lastly I'm only bothering with commenting because I think you give a dam* and you are real.

  19. Anon Jan & 10:19


    For the record, feelings have nothing to do with righteousness. I have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus by Jesus himself, when He chose to be made sin for me. As great a guy as Lewis is, he had nothing to do with it. =)

  20. Anonymous...Seriously, I'm not quite sure what your deal is with me. This is the second time now that you've decided to rebuke me for letting the standard drop or whatever, when very little about the content of the blog has changed.

    This isn't a news outlet. I'm not a journalist. This isn't a non-profit organization. I have no board of directors to be accountable to. This is a blog which, as the header makes very clear, deals in editorial and commentary - largely about a specific group of subjects.

    "However increasingly it is a place light on substance and heavy on assumptions, labeling and innuendo."

    So you disagree that Tebow is part of and a product of the Christian homeschooling movement? You disagree that he's seems to practice his faith and praying in contradiction to how the bible he holds dear instructs him? You disagree that the photo/question is propaganda driven by fundamentalist fear? You disagree that Islam was used for a specific purpose in the photo? You disagree that these kind of fear-based tactics are meant to manipulate and stir up loyalty? You disagree that this kind of tactic was employed by Jim Jones (not to mention by other cultc groups)? Or are you an offended Tebow fan?

    Make it clear where I'm coming off the rails. Otherwise, all you're doing is engaging in labeling, assumption, and innuendo with little substance.

    "There is as much bible quoting and WWJD here as anywhere -- don't be fooled."

    I don't have any problem with WWJD - other than the tacky bracelets and t-shirts. Not a bad outlook as long as it, in and of itself, doesn't turn formulaic or paralyzing. As far as the bible quoting - if one thing around here HAS changed since this blog began a couple of years ago, it's that I hardly ever quote the bible anymore, so I have no idea where that's coming from.

    This is the same deal as a few months ago. Make sure your criticisms are valid before you go getting all bent out of shape. And maybe next time you're compelled to sit down and type them up in a comment...don't. Please address the topic of the post in comment threads.

    If you don't like this blog, I charge just as much for you to stop reading here as I charged you to stop by.

    "Lastly I'm only bothering with commenting because I think you give a dam* and you are real."

    I appreciate the confidence. Genuinely. I still have no idea what exactly you think should change - and it makes no difference. I write what I'm compelled to write. That won't be changing.

    If your concerns are genuine, this is among the reasons why I include my email address under "contact me". No need derailing comment threads with this, and this one's been derailed.

  21. Look, here's the thing. I don't mind if Tebow prays in front of the stands at football games. I don't mind if Muslims pray on public streets or parks. If the question, "why is this (Muslims praying) ok but not this (Tebow praying)?" is asked, I would have to answer, "Both are ok; whoever said Tebow praying was not ok?" And I think most people, if asked, would say the same thing.

    The issue is not that Tebow prays in public. The issue is that someone has decided that American culture doesn't consider it ok for him to pray in public-- which simply isn't true. Even most atheists would not have a problem with him praying in public-- as long as no one tries to make them pray, too. But most atheists, and many Christians like me, have a problem with Tebow's praying getting turned into some kind of foray in the "culture wars." And to the extent that Tebow is praying, not to pray but to somehow "advertise" Jesus or to make a cultural statement-- he is missing the point of prayer, which is supposed to be communion with God. This is what Jesus was objecting to when He faulted the Pharisees for praying "to be seen by men." This is why He counseled praying in private; not because He was turning it into some kind of rule that you could never pray in public (Jesus just wasn't about rules like that), but because praying in private removes the temptation to pray in order to be seen. When we pray in order to be seen, God becomes a spectator to a display we are making to other people, rather than the listener in a conversation. Relationship with God is hindered when we do that.

    The thing about the Muslims praying, as a group like that, is that even though they are doing it in public, they aren't doing it to be seen. They're just praying to God in a public place. And Tebow can pray to God in a public place too, as long as he isn't doing it to be seen rather than to talk to God.

    Now, I can't judge Tebow's motivations, and I don't think the point Lewis is trying to make is to judge Tebow's motivations. All he's saying is that Tebow has been coming across very in-your-face about his religion, and that the very visible prayer seems to be part of that; and that's not what religion is supposed to be about. The visible, vocal practice of religion is not supposed to be a weapon in a culture war. Tebow seems to use it that way, and we know the group he comes from teaches its proponents to do this.

    If saying this seems self-righteous, Anonymous, I think you're misreading what's being said.

  22. Kristen, please re-read all post about Tebow. Lewis and many commenters ARE judging Tebows motivations.

    For the record I am not a football fan or a Tebow fan.

    Lewis, my comments were in response to the fourth and fifth paragraphs of your post -- which is about Tebow and not the photo and in response to many of the comments in the thread. Therefore I didn't consider my comments to be off topic or a derailment. I consider my criticism to be valid even if not clever. But it's your blog -- you make the calls here.

    Carry on. I understood your recommendation about not commenting.

  23. I believe the evidence, as I read it, supports what I wrote in the 4th and 5th paragraphs. Do you disagree?

    If Tebow didn't specifically want us to see him praying, we wouldn't - and he'd still be praying. Do you disagree? Tebow's upbringing in the Christian homeschooling movement generally encourages this kind of behavior, valuing the development of little soldiers in the cultural war. Do you disagree? Tebow has generally worn his faith on BOTH sleeves (not to mention on wristbands, eye-blacks, and other paraphernalia) since entering the public eye as a college QB. It isn't difficult to arrive at certain conclusions.

    I actually DO examine motive in much of what I write. That's been the case since I began this blog. In the past, I've written about how such is necessary in any effort to get to the truth of a matter. It isn't something I hide. That said, I don't think I approach it entirely from blind assumption.

  24. Why does Tebow strike such a raw nerve with people? How is it that they don't see how ridiculous it all is? Bemoaning the wretched state "this country has come to," asserting that, yup, the Lord is most definately coming back any day now... What?! How are they getting all THAT from a few ribbings thrown Tebow's way? Are they really so desperate for martyrs? What is this, a theocracy?
    I'm getting so sick of that crowd's willfull ignorance. Especially as a girl brought up in Christian Revisionist history and then realized just how inaccurate it all was a history major - and at a Christian school, no less! I feel like gnashing my teeth, especially since there is really no one in my immediate circle here in the heart of South Georgia who is NOT like that. It's enough to
    make me want to walk away from evangelicalism altogether. My beliefs don't fall in any one category, but there is really no one I can vent who doesn't want to "fix" me. Yay, fundamental past!

  25. Switch the pictures left and right-- now that would be a provocative question.

  26. Wow, good point, Eric. It really is the case that in many areas of our country, it is the first picture that's not ok and the second that is! In fact, the point that many would try to make is NOT that both pictures should be ok, but that the first one should not be!

    Rebecca, I'd recommend googling "Internet Monk." It's a site for post-evangelicals of any stripe. You may already be one without knowing it! I became one years ago, even though I still go to an evangelical church.

  27. Anonymous, questioning someone's motivations is not the same as judging their motivations. It is an important part of critical thinking: considering not only the substance of a truth claim, but also potential reasons why the claim is being made.

  28. Thanks so much, Kristen! I've been enjoying exploring the link and anticipate many good insights...

  29. In knowing some of TB's background, i feel it is right to say this is a display of religious fanaticism/addiction. I've been there done that!

  30. "He comes from the Christian homeschooling movement, and his "faith" is as much about promoting and witnessing for a "Christian culture" - specifically white, neo-conservative, sprinkled with the parsley of the Victorian era, culture - as it is about any personal relationship with Christ."

    Questioning or judging? Read over the comment section as well and ask, questioning or judging?

    I understand about questioning motivation. I notice that if I raise questions or offer another viewpoint here, or elsewhere for that matter, I am either accused of having a certain motivation or questioned as to my motivation. I'm not complaining -- it is part of the sociology of the blog and commenting and the limitations on a form of communication that although wide is very flat and lacks all the beautiful and revealing dimensions of face to face communication.

    Part of critical thinking also involves questioning one's own motives. I am pretty much in agreement with your assessment about how groups of people are using Tebow for their own agendas -- such as in the Facebook photo. However I am questioning if you and some commenters here may be also using Tebow to further your/their own agendas/viewpoints as well.

    As for critical thinking, it is important to note that there is rarely one motivating factor. I understand the desire to make things simple -- but you can make things so simple that it is meaningless and untrue and distorted, such as the facebook photos and quite possibly the quote above. You've mentioned frequently that Tebow was homeschooled -- simple. But apparently he was playing football somewhere while growing up (on the compound with other homeschool students from the Christian Homeschooling Movement?)-- went to a secular college, etc. My opinion is that the label of fundie or fundie-lite has been applied too easily. I think you've oversimplified Tebow to the point where he is a caricature for your own use. Tebow is (according to my information) a human therefore I imagine that he is endowed with all the complexities, idiosyncracies and depth that comes with that experience. I hope I would be arguing the same points if you were making similar conclusions about some one else. And I know that you hate when you are on the receiving end of those sorts of simple conclusions.

    My previous comments were made under the assumption that because you are a tell-it-like-you-see-it, no-need-to-sugarcoat-it person that criticism wouldn't bother you. I also assumed that the people that I see commenting on your blog all the time (whom I assume are also your friends) would be as apt to disagree with you as agree. But that does not seem to be the case. I apologize for my poor blogging social etiquette (where does one find the rules).

    Recap: I am not a crook. I am not a fundamentalist. I don't watch football. I don't know Tebow. I am not defending Tebow per se, I am questioning your motives and your process for questioning Tebow's motives (or anyone else's motives) and method for labeling. Offering criticism or disagreeing does not make us enemies, right? Say the word (like you really mean it), and I will stop commenting.

  31. So, given the evidence we have, and the testimony of the many who read here who came up in the same movement, you think this assessment is incorrect and unfounded?...

    He comes from the Christian homeschooling movement, and his "faith" is as much about promoting and witnessing for a "Christian culture" - specifically white, neo-conservative, sprinkled with the parsley of the Victorian era, culture - as it is about any personal relationship with Christ.

    If you had to bet on it?

  32. If someone made such a judgment about me with so little evidence I'd be ticked (although I'd act like I didn't care).

    My honest opinion is that the evidence is scant and weak. I don't have the same relationship with the other commenters here as you do AND the ones that comment the most seem to always agree with you or keep it to themselves if they don't. (Shadowspring insinuated I was a fundamentalist last time I commented -- and this time I provoked her to type "Wt. . .?!?"). I'm not
    offended -- if you are sarcastic (like I am) then you can't be too sensitive. I get that they like and feel protective of you (and that is just a part of the sociology of blogging). So, in answer to the second part of your question, I don't give a lot of weight to connecting their experiences of growing up in the movement to another person that I am to assume grew up in that same movement. No offense intended to any commenters here.

    Could you be right? I guess so. Could you be wrong? It is my opinion that
    when impugning someone's integrity one should have more evidence or in the
    alternative one should be open about one's own biases and make the language
    a little softer. And, no, I'm not trying to change your blog. I'm just trying to show
    you what I'm seeing through my own smudgy lenses.

    Lastly, I am shocked that you would try to entice me to gamble (how much of a bet are we talking about anyway?) I'm just kidding. However, as an aside, I just gotta ask . . . do you play fantasy football or bet on professional football

  33. Just one point to clarify - He definitely came up in the movement. There's no gray area there. The only gray area would be in if, and to what degree, he still drinks the Kool-aid, and the evidence suggests he still does to a certain degree.

    Only time I've ever gambled was when I played a show in Metropolis, IL in 2002. It was a concert put on by the city, and they took us down to the casino on the river to feed us. I walked into the casino and played a dollar slot just to say I'd done it. It's a shame I didn't win.

    I'd probably enjoy fantasy football, but between writing and keeping up with the blog, answering emails and messages, and trying to stay on top of my social media, no real time for it. As far as sports go, when I have time I try to keep up with college football and basketball recruiting - a sport all its own here in the south. Even that's been curtailed a bit by blogging.

  34. You are serious. I was being ridiculous and implying that you were losing money in fantasy football or by betting on games because of Tebow. I knew a woman who had been a pastor in TN for a few years. She said that basketball is an obsession in TN and that any church event that coincided with a game was not well-attended.

    During my teenage years I went to two Gothard basic seminars and one advanced seminar because I'd been invited by friends. Would someone knowing that about me be evidence enough for them to label me a fundamentalist?

    I am awkward with social media -- too many unwritten rules and etiquette that I don't get. I'm more of a reader than participator. By the way, I assume (and hope) that you can tell the "anonymous" commenters apart.

  35. "She said that basketball is an obsession in TN and that any church event that coincided with a game was not well-attended."

    I believe her. The midseason UNC-Duke game usually falls on a Wednesday night. It probably cuts Wednesday night prayer meeting attendance in half across NC.

    "During my teenage years I went to two Gothard basic seminars and one advanced seminar because I'd been invited by friends. Would someone knowing that about me be evidence enough for them to label me a fundamentalist?"

    In and of itself, not at all, although it might put the radar beam on high until they get to know you. But combine that with homeschooling, missionary kid, purity movement, a commercial for Focus on the Family, and an expressed intent to be in our face religiously (all of which apply to Tebow), all doubt is pretty much gone at that point.

    "By the way, I assume (and hope) that you can tell the "anonymous" commenters apart."

    I can.

  36. "He comes from the Christian homeschooling movement, and his "faith" is as much about promoting and witnessing for a "Christian culture" - specifically white, neo-conservative, sprinkled with the parsley of the Victorian era, culture - as it is about any personal relationship with Christ."

    If I had to RULE on it :) ...If the standard were "preponderance of the evidence," I'd go with true. If the standard were "clear and convincing evidence," I'd go with true. If the standard were "beyond a reasonable doubt," I'd have a harder time with it, but I'd probably end up going with true.

    But I'm not a judge, and I don't know what's in Tebow's head, so I'm not going to pronounce this a true statement. I would not make this statement without qualifications, such as "seems" instead of "is." But that's me, and this is Lewis' blog.

  37. Verity:

    The thing about the evidence standards cited above -- is that in law, evidence that is presented is subject to cross-examination and the introduction of other evidence that may refute or mitigate. We don't have that here.

    If we were looking to the law to find something that better equates to this situation -- it would be an ex parte proceeding, which is a proceeding in which for one reason or another only one party is presenting evidence to the judge. In such a case the party that is presenting has a higher duty of candor and even-handedness and even making the most basic of cases for the missing party.

  38. Agreed. But outside an actual ex parte proceeding at law, the same standard does not necessarily apply.

    Lewis provides a forum for people who have been led to believe for much of their lives that their perspectives do not matter at all; that they bear full accountability for how they speak to/about those above them, while those above them are beyond accountability; that they must give every benefit of the doubt, when they are being gaslighted.

    I hate slander and the way it hurts people. But there are other important considerations too. Sometimes it just isn't necessary to take every precaution possible. In an informal blogging situation, I'm inclined to cut others more slack than I might toward myself.

  39. Oh, man, the persecution complex! When I was thirteen I had a sudden switch from public school in France to Christian school in Texas (I was an MK) and found everyone there up in arms about how they'd taken prayer out of schools and what persecution it was. I was really confused and asked "Well, what can they do to you if you pray in school?" Come to find out what they meant was the teachers can't lead a whole class of most likely mixed faiths & non-faiths in Christian prayer... and they thought it was persecution. Quite honestly I thought they were the biggest wusses ever.

    1. Paula, it is true, and they would have been definitely up in arms if prayer in the school were allowed and a non-Christian of any other faith would have led a class in a prayer of their choice, wouldn't they? So it isn't that they wanted prayer in school-they wanted their kind of prayer in school.


    2. Exactly. And they used to have that, and now they don't, and they equate a lessening of their own (inappropriate) power with being victims. When people talk about the "victimhood culture" in the U.S. today I think it's true to a certain extent but these types of Christians are the biggest offenders.

      I remember seeing posted on someone's dorm room door, in college, a list of angry-conservative political statements ending in "We Want Our Country Back!".... during the Bush administration. I so badly wanted to scribble on it "Dude... have you noticed your party's in power?"

  40. I've been reading your blog the last couple days (I am horrified reading the story of your engagement, and dude, you have my sincere condolences for the pain you've been through) and what I am about to say doesn't necessarily relate to this specific post; I apologize if this is an inappropriate place to leave this.

    I just want to say thank you. It's difficult, as a secular humanist, when all you can hear are the irrational fundie voices. Y'all think you're persecuted? Try hearing from political leaders who say that atheists aren't "real" Americans. Try hearing stories about people like the 16 year old atheist from Rhode Island who got death threats and threats of violence against her and her family because she stood up for her religious freedom and had a Christian prayer removed from the school's gym. Try reading on your Facebook page that some of your friends friends want you (not specifically you, but atheists, a group you can identify with) dead because you're destroying America. Listen to the current conversation surrounding Hilary Clinton's aide, Huma Abedin. Asking you to be respectful of the religious freedom of others is not persecution. Asking you to stop forcing your religion into the lives of those who do not believe as you is not persecution. Death threats, hatred, and witch hunts are.

    So, thank you, to you and the majority of your commenters, for your voice of reason. Hearing from those who have a balanced point of view of religion is refreshing and reassuring, and a reminder that I need to seek the voices of moderation just as much as I hear from the voices of extremism. Thank you.

  41. Hey there - I'd guess that whoever put this picture together was more interested in playing on the Christian right's antipathy toward the supposed multi-culturalism and supposed anti-Christian bigotry of the left.