No real intolerance facing Christianity

No real intolerance facing Christianity

Trent Jefferson

Last Thursday, The North Wind published an Op-Ed titled, “Liberal World Grows Intolerant of Christianity.” The article, which proposes that Christianity is increasingly the target of liberal intolerance, is flawed, mainly due to the overuse of unfounded anecdotal evidence.

Firstly, the notion that individuals wish to remove “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance solely based on being offended is absurd. The fact is, the phrase “under God” was added to the pledge to combat the “godless” Soviet Union. “Under God” was not added due to religious pious, but by Cold War-era ideology. Adding a religious superiority over an enemy nation justifies ones’ stance.

Prior to the Cold War, our pledge made no mention of a divine being. According to Eric Foner, a renowned American historian, “In 1954, to ‘strengthen our national resistance to communism,’ Congress added the words ‘under God’ to the pledge of allegiance.” Billy Graham even stated, “Communism [was] inspired, directed and motivated by the Devil himself.”

Moreover, mentioning God (specifically the Christian God) seemingly violates the Establishment Clause in the Constitution. However, Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow reversed a lower court’s decision in removing “under God” in the pledge.

In response to the decision, Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State at the time, stated, “Students should not feel compelled by school officials to subscribe to a particular religious belief in order to show love of country. America is increasingly diverse in matters of religion, and our public schools should reflect that diversity.” Removing “under God” is not the result of individuals who are offended by Christianity—rather it is due to interpretations of constitutional law.

Second, I would argue theatChristianity is becoming more tolerant of the liberal world. Specifically in America, despite a Gallup poll stating that 70 percent of Americans identify with some form of Christianity, we still see the removal of Christian aspects in American society. It is absurd to claim that the 30 percent of non-Christians are discriminating against the vast majority. This suggests Christianity as a whole is becoming more tolerant by purposely removing their religion in the public sphere. As the scripture states, “Love one another. As I loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

Even though Christianity is the religious majority in the United States, we still see inclusion of more religions. It’s not that the world is becoming intolerant—it’s that Christianity is becoming more tolerant.

Lastly, we need to avoid using personal experience and applying such generalization to all of society. Within Jahfetson’s Op-Ed, she claims that her experience of being ridiculed for being sober and watching a good sitcom is evidence of her point. However, her anecdotal evidence cannot be used as a generalization for the rest of society. If we were to make such claims based on personal experience, then I could argue that F.R.I.E.N.D.S. is hated by society because my social group does not like it. Society itself is not judgmental to Christians, nor does it have poor taste in sitcoms. These experiences are due to our lousy friends. Our claims cannot be based on our own experiences alone.

I agree with Jahfetson’s article where she upholds the notion of being respectful to everyone. Additionally, I agree that Jahfetson has outstanding qualities that make her an ideal example of her religion. However, I cannot uphold her stance that the liberal world is becoming intolerant to Christians based on the evidence she presented.