A misguided sense of victimhood

A MISGUIDED SENSE OF VICTIMHOOD…. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) announced last week that he would boycott annual Parade of Lights forevermore, until event organizers include the word “Christ” in the parade’s name.

“I am hopeful that the good people of Tulsa and the city’s leadership will demand a correction to this shameful attempt to take Christ, the true reason for our celebration, out of the parade’s title,” the right-wing senator said.

This morning, “Fox & Friends” ran a segment on this, including an interview with Inhofe. It featured the kind of hard-hitting interview we’ve come to expect from professionals like co-host Gretchen Carlson.

CARLSON: So, what you’re saying is, that it’s not like you’re not tolerant of other religions… What you’re saying is — what a lot of people are saying in our society right now — which is if we’re supposed to be tolerate of all these other religions, which pretty much everyone accepts, why does it always seem like Christianity is the one to take the boot?

INHOFE: They’re the ones to get the hit…. I think there are a lot people of other faiths who wonder also, why do they always pick on the Christians?

Inhofe, an unabashed culture warrior, went on to complain about atheists who run messages on billboards as an example of … well, I don’t know where he was going with that one. I suppose, in Inhofe’s mind, if atheists can have a private billboard, public officials should use their power to endorse his favored religious holidays.

I am curious about something, though. Gretchen Carlson believes it seems as if Christianity “always” has to “take the boot,” and Inhofe believes “they always pick on the Christians.” Here’s my follow-up question: who are “they“? Can anyone name these powerful, mysterious, well-hidden anti-Christian crusaders, running around America giving Christians “the boot”?

It’s one of the most common elements of religious right-style complaints — they’re “victims.” Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said a few years ago that Christians are considered “fools” by the mainstream. Scalia concluded with a message that implored Christians to be proud of the scorn and mockery they face from non-Christians. Around the same time, James Dobson whined that “people of faith are being sent to the back of the bus.”

I have no idea why these folks feel so sorry for themselves. It’s become part of their religio-political identity, but it’s as absurd as it is paranoid. Christians dominate in American politics and media, and aren’t mocked for their beliefs. Popular entertainment figures in sports and music praise their God publicly, without criticism, all the time. If there’s a pervasive anti-Christian bigotry permeating society, it’s well hidden.

A reader sent me an article the other day about a woman named Asia Bibi, who is Christian, and who’s been sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy against Islam. A New York Times report noted, “She is accused of denigrating the Prophet Muhammad after fellow agriculture workers protested that a Christian had been asked to bring them a container of drinking water.”

Maybe Jim Inhofe and Gretchen Carlson can tell Ms. Bibi about the tragedy of Tulsa’s Parade of Lights neglecting to mention the word “Christmas” and how put-upon they feel when some clerk at the mall wishes them a “happy holidays.”