You’re not being persecuted when someone else gets happy!

"Persecution or Sharing" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward
“Persecution or Sharing” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

You are persecuted when your rights are being restricted or removed. Christianity, the Church, and Christians can be persecuted. That’s true. It’s happening around the world. But Christianity, the Church, and Christians can also persecute others. That’s happening around the world too.

All this talk about Christianity, the Church, and Christians being persecuted because someone else gets rights they already enjoy? That’s just nonsense.

Do you get what I’m talking about? Meet hundreds of others who do too. Join The Lasting Supper with me. We have a very lively private Facebook group where we freely talk about this kind of stuff. Fun!


23 Replies to “You’re not being persecuted when someone else gets happy!”

  1. On the other hand showing that Christianity’s foundations are crumbling to dust because of its flawed theology and history would end the persecution. Added details upon request.

  2. Yes it is true that you are being persecuted when your rights are being remove but not when someone else gets rights you already enjoy, but legislation cannot determine attitudes.

    As long as there is an “us” and a “them” there is separation not connection. Establishment of rights for “us” must not come at the expense of erosion of rights for “them”.

    The extent to which we are free is dependent on the extent to which everyone is free. When we are all free there is no “them” and “us”, only us.

    In terms of persecution I found this incredibly moving, loving and powerful. The talk of families in Charleston welcoming the murderer Dylann Roof being forgiving with “hate won’t win” “we are the family that love built”, some with distress some angry some speaking calmly. His family responding with “we have all been touched by the moving words from the victims’ families offering God’s forgiveness and love in the face of such horrible suffering.”

    If this family can act that way in the worst of persecution, there is hope for all of us.

  3. Well that’s the problem isn’t it?…someone else is happy when I’m not! How dare they? Lol

  4. Starting the happy train of Reality:

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinker bells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

  5. No spam from me just trying to save people the time and expense of reading all the books written on religion when they can all be summarized in 10 seconds.

  6. For Gary,

    Part 1:

    origin: NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob·a·bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions — the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years — have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity — until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called ”Etz Hayim” (”Tree of Life” in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine document.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true ”is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis,” observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to ”Etz Hayim.” But some congregants, he said, ”may not like the stark airing of it.” Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that ”virtually every modern archaeologist” agrees ”that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all.” The rabbi offered what he called a ”LITANY OF DISILLUSION”’ about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have ”found no trace of the tribes of Israel — not one shard of pottery.”

  7. For Gary,

    Part 2:

    Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations (or “mythicizing” from P, M, M, L and J) and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Ludemann, Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, ) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects.

    The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics.

    For added “pizzazz”, Catholic theologians divided god the singularity into three persons and invented atonement as an added guilt trip for the “pew people” to go along with this trinity of overseers. By doing so, they made god the padre into god the “filicider”.

    Current RCC problems:

    Pedophiliac priests, an all-male, mostly white hierarchy, atonement theology and original sin!!!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingie thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, “propheteering/ profiteering” evangelicals and atonement theology,

  8. Bernardo, though it might be interesting to discuss your comments (wherever you pasted them from) you come across with such a huge chip on your should that I simply don’t want to.

  9. So true, David… so very true!

    “For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have?” is a rhetorical question stated by Jesus… with the obvious answer being ‘you get no reward’.

    To share, in the Christian sense, is to share beyond your ‘in group’ and share what you have with the ‘out group’. It means to recognize our natural prejudices that make boundaries between groups… and then step over that boundary.

    It is not fun. It is hard. I remember the first time I shared within the prison system about Christ; and the first time among the homeless hiding in the woods. We learn to love by daring to share our love.

    May the Lord Jesus bless all those that shared freely. And, may the Lord bless the Justices that realized it was a beautiful right that we sought to enjoy, and share within.

    Hugs! Caryn

  10. Gary,

    The added comments our my own summaries based on years of studying the foundations of the major religions. Let me know when you are ready for Part III. I can also supply the references not already mentioned. And it is not a chip on my shoulder but a search for truth and reality in the 21st century.

  11. Bernado – I’m with Gary on this one.

    First, you presented initially is a list of assumptions. “As far as one knows or can tell [and] There was no” combined with the mocking of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism with phrases like “tinker bells”.

    Second, you argue form authority with citing invisible experts “non-Orthodox rabbis” and the visible experts The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism and David Wolpe in “part 1. An argument from authority is a logical fallacy. The fact that someone in authority make a statement does not make that statement inherently true.

    Third, in part 2 you unsupported claim is that Jesus suffered form hallucinations. Unsupported assertions are opinion, opinion is open to all and everything and therefore makes for weak arguments. You continue argue from authority that only 30% of Jesus’ sayings are authentic. Then you continue with the theme of hallucination to talk of “invented atonement” in the Catholic church and “belief in/hallucinations” in “Christian-based religions” contributing to (among other things) guilt and even pedophilia.

    There’s satristing of the religiously pretentious and of those that have got too big for their boots and there is mocking with contempt those who’s beliefs differ for one’s own. What is more dangerous is talking of issues of adultery, pedophilia, and profiteering in “them” as if that does not happen or at least the temptation does not happen for that to occur with “us”. The truth is that in the most evil of people there is good and the most good of people there is evil and do away with religion, you do away with excuses that some people use for being bad while appearing to be good. These are human problems and they occur in the “less religious” as well as the “more religious”. Throwing stones between tribes only compounds the problem.

    So yes Caryn, Christianity teaches to share, to love beyond your group.

  12. Ducatihero,

    Just a few comments about my summaries:

    Your first and second’s:

    “As far as one can tell” goes back to the experts that put together the New Torah for Modern Minds. I recommend reading the complete review at

    Your third:

    Either Jesus suffered from hallucinations (talking to Satan, changing water into wine, raising Lazarus from the dead,etc.) or P, M, M, L and J made up the stories. The latter is the more probable based on the studies of Professor Crossan and Professor Ludemann. Their estimates of the authenticity of the passages of the NT range from 10% (Ludemann) to 30%. (Crossan).

    Regarding the temptations of people. Yes, we all have temptations but we control them unlike the following:

    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

    Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

    Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy “I did not have sex with that girl” Clinton, John “Marilyn Monroe” Kennedy”.

    Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger “I am so sorry for getting caught” Woods.

    Neither is being an atheist or pagan or football coach since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

    If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of “neithers” they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women, football coaches), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Paterno et al Clinton, Cardinal Law) or child endangerment (Paterno in abstentia, Sandusky et al, Lynn) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder (“Kings David and Henry VIII).

    And finally, some of the references used to prepare my summaries:

    1. Historical Jesus Theories, – the names of many of the contemporary historical Jesus scholars and the titles of their over 100 books on the subject.

    2. Early Christian Writings,
    – a list of early Christian documents to include the year of publication–

    30-60 CE Passion Narrative
    40-80 Lost Sayings Gospel Q
    50-60 1 Thessalonians
    50-60 Philippians
    50-60 Galatians
    50-60 1 Corinthians
    50-60 2 Corinthians
    50-60 Romans
    50-60 Philemon
    50-80 Colossians
    50-90 Signs Gospel
    50-95 Book of Hebrews
    50-120 Didache
    50-140 Gospel of Thomas
    50-140 Oxyrhynchus 1224 Gospel
    50-200 Sophia of Jesus Christ
    65-80 Gospel of Mark
    70-100 Epistle of James
    70-120 Egerton Gospel
    70-160 Gospel of Peter
    70-160 Secret Mark
    70-200 Fayyum Fragment
    70-200 Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs
    73-200 Mara Bar Serapion
    80-100 2 Thessalonians
    80-100 Ephesians
    80-100 Gospel of Matthew
    80-110 1 Peter
    80-120 Epistle of Barnabas
    80-130 Gospel of Luke
    80-130 Acts of the Apostles
    80-140 1 Clement
    80-150 Gospel of the Egyptians
    80-150 Gospel of the Hebrews
    80-250 Christian Sibyllines
    90-95 Apocalypse of John
    90-120 Gospel of John
    90-120 1 John
    90-120 2 John
    90-120 3 John
    90-120 Epistle of Jude
    93 Flavius Josephus
    100-150 1 Timothy
    100-150 2 Timothy
    100-150 Titus
    100-150 Apocalypse of Peter
    100-150 Secret Book of James
    100-150 Preaching of Peter
    100-160 Gospel of the Ebionites
    100-160 Gospel of the Nazoreans
    100-160 Shepherd of Hermas
    100-160 2 Peter
     4. Jesus Database, http://www.faithfutures.o-rg/JDB/intro.html –”The JESUS DATABASE is an online a-nnotated inventory of the traditions concerning the life and teachings of Jesus that have survived from the first three centuries of the Common Era. It includes both canonical and extra-canonical materials, and is not limited to the traditions found within the Christian New Testament.”
    5. Josephus on Jesus
    6. The Jesus Seminar, http://en.wikipedia.o-rg/wiki/Jesus_Seminar
    7. – books on the health and illness during the time of the NT
    8. Economics in First Century Palestine, K.C. Hanson and D. E. Oakman, Palestine in the Time of Jesus, Fortress Press, 1998.
    9.The Gnostic Jesus
    (Part One in a Two-Part Series on Ancient and Modern Gnosticism)
    by Douglas Gro-othuis: http://www.equip.o-rg/articles/g-nosticism-and-the-g-nostic-jesus/
    10. The interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission
    Presented on March 18, 1994
    11. The Jesus Database- newer site:
    12. Jesus Database with the example of S-u-pper and Eucharist:
    13. Josephus on Jesus by Paul Maier:
    13. Historical Jesus Studies
    14. The Greek New Testament:
    15. D-iseases in the Bible:

    16. Religion on- Line (6000 articles on the hi-story of religion, churches, theologies,
    theologians, ethics, etc.
    17. The New Testament Gateway – Internet NT
    18 Writing the New Testament- e-xi-sting copies, o–r–al tradition etc.
    19. JD Crossan’s c-onclusions about the authencity of most of the NT based on the above plus the conclusions of other NT exegetes in the last 200 years:
    20. Early Jewish Writings- Josephus and his books by t-itle with the complete translated work in English
    21. Luke and Josephus- was there a c-onnection?
    22. NT and beyond time line:
    23. St. Paul’s Time line with discussion of important events:
    24. See for a list of JD Crossan’s books and those of the other Jesus Seminarians: Reviews of said books are included and selected pages can now be viewed on Amazon. Some books can be found on-line at Google Books.
    25. Father Edward Schillebeeckx’s words of wisdom as found in his books.
    27. The books of the following : Professors Gerd Ludemann, Marcus Borg, Paula Fredriksen, Elaine Pagels, Karen Armstrong and Bishop NT Wright.
    28. Father Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament, Doubleday, NY, 1977, 878 pages, with Nihil obstat and Imprimatur.
    29. Luke Timothy Johnson’s book The Real Jesus

  13. Bernardo,

    I made three points:

    . first – mocking religion,
    . second – the logical fallacy of argument from authority,
    . third – unsupported assertion making weak arguments (Jesus suffering form hallucinations)

    Taking the latter, in your response you now say “Either Jesus suffered from hallucinations… or P, M, M, L and J made up the stories. The latter is the more probable” So then with the latter being more probable according to your argument the former (of Jesus suffering from hallucinations) is less probable.

    So we are in agreement about temptations and that whether an ordained minister in a religion, a king, an athlete, being married, a president, or an atheist sports coach.

    Again, the truth is that there is good in the most evil and evil in the most good of us. You say “we all have temptations but we control them”. I say sometimes we control our temptations at times more than others and if we treat “them” with contempt and fail to address our own issues then we only compound issues.

    there are human problems. Take away religion and all you do is remove an excuse than some people have for appearing to be good while being bad. What you also do by removing religion is cruel for those whom religion is a comfort in the difficulties of life, just as it is for the families that beautifully and courageously put their religion into practice in exercising forgiveness in the worst of persecution, the murder of their loved ones.

  14. Sorry about that. The comments were made to put Islam in proper 21st century perspective. Will only comment about the key issue with Islam in the future i.e. the Koran.

  15. If this is about the sweet cakes Christians, I hardly think it is fair for them to have to shut down thier business and be threatened by the courts to lose their home to pay fines when the unhappy gay couple could have easily gone to have someone else bake their cake.

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