ISIS is great at making terrible and extremely graphic and overproduced propaganda films. In the latest piece to cross my desk, an ISIS branch in Libya parades 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian men onto a beach in Northern Libya. The orange jumpsuit-clad Christians are lined up, each with their executioner behind them, while a presumably American member of the terror group explicitly calls this act an attack against Christians in an ongoing war between the Christian West and the Muslim World. This video (extremely graphic!! Do not watch unless you welcome nightmares!!) underscores a reality that many Christians have been claiming for the last decade plus; Christian persecution is a real thing!!!
The problem is this isn’t exactly what American Christians had in mind when they go on Fox News and claim they’re being persecuted. Let’s discuss and keep score.
On the one hand we have American Christians being forced to live side-by-side with married gay and lesbian couples. On the other hand we have Egyptian Christians headless and rotting on a Libyan beach. One of these two groups of Christians suffered more than the other. One of these groups was specifically persecuted for being Christian, while the other merely has to live while people do things they don’t like.
On the one hand we have American Christians losing their jobs or businesses for refusing to serve gay and lesbian people. On the other hand we have Egyptian Christians losing their heads for refusing to accept Muhammad as the prophet. One of these two groups’ families suffered more. One watched their parents struggle to find a new job. The other struggled to comprehend the immensity of a parent’s, sibling’s, child’s or other loved one’s death.
On the one hand we have the perceived but nonexistent atheist-led annual War on Christmas, where Christians have to live with seeing beer can Festivus poles next to Baby Gee. On the other hand we have the ongoing Islamic-led “War against the Cross” in the Muslim World, where Christians are being slaughtered day and night. One of these groups of Christians suffers actual casualties of war, while the other has to look at non-Christmasy stuff on Christmas.
On the one hand we have skeptics and atheists asking American Christians to demonstrably support their religious claims with evidence. On the other hand we have a terror organization demonstrating their willingness to murder Christians for not believing Islamic claims. One of these two groups has a real enemy. The other has a partner in discussion.
Finally, on the one hand we have secular laws in the US preventing American Christians from monopolizing social standards of decency. On the other hand we have Sharia law in the proposed Islamic State that will literally monopolize social standards of decency and will make it legal to murder Christians for not following the tenets of Islam. One of these two systems of law undermines peace, freedom, and equality at every turn. The other system of law promotes peace, freedom, and equality, even if it annoys some Christians who want more authority.
Dear American Christians
Shut the fuck up about your persecution complex. Until the US starts rounding you up, marching you out on the shores of the Atlantic and starts chopping your heads off, you have nothing to complain about. I hope this latest example of actual Christian persecution is sufficient enough to make you realize that you’re not being persecuted in the slightest.
This also serves as a stark reminder that the Clash of Civilizations is not just a witty catchphrase made up by a dead political scientist; it was his prediction formulated after years of research into the post Cold War era. And if the Clash is upon us, just remember, ISIS started the war, not you. If you’re going to complain about persecution, make sure it’s actual persecution. Just off the top of my head I can think of at least one very real example.