… blessed are Christians when people persecute you …

If Christians are supposed to be blessed (happy) when people persecute us, why are American Christians yapping every time we don’t enjoy the same advantages as others?

We imagine we’re persecuted when a student club can’t meet on campus or can’t collect dues as part of the student activity fee system. We imagine we’re persecuted when anyone in the political system disagrees with us. We even imagine we’re persecuted when a Christian comedian points out our hypocrisy.

I expect we would imagine we were persecuted if the day ever comes when we’re not allowed to exploit “separation of church and state” to evade environmental and ADA standards in church construction.

I’ll agree, we’ve been suckered into accepting ownership of plenty of unbuildable land by donors who didn’t really have the church’s best interests at heart. And I’ll also agree that good access for people with disabilities is expensive.

But didn’t God tell us not to put a stumbling block in front of the blind, and to make the way smooth for the lame?

Instead of yelling about “persecution” in the US, maybe we should pay a bit of attention to the lives of Christians in parts of the world where faith really is persecuted — where believing in Jesus can be a death sentence.

And then, let’s just build the handicapped access that conscience and the law requires, and make a park in the land we can’t build.

And stop making ourselves look like fools by claiming we’re being “persecuted” when people just expect us to obey the law.


About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
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