Christians-Only Restrooms

by PAUL LAO
edited by ANDREW HICKS

"What's my crime?" "You wished me 'Happy Holidays,' heathen!"

Is it me, or does everyone want to have a hard luck story? “Growing up was so hard. We only had one car, and mom and dad couldn’t go on vacations, and I had to babysit my kid sister when I was 13.” “Life is so hard being slightly overweight.” “Life is so hard being a white male because of affirmative action.” “Life is hard because I have ADHD.” EMOOOOOOOO!!!

The big one I’m not understanding is Christians who claim they are persecuted in America. Really, isn’t the statistic that three out of every four Americans are Christians in this country? There are 305 million people in America, so that means there are 224.75 million Christians outnumbering the remaining 80.25 million. And they feel discriminated against? I haven’t seen a Christian-only bathroom or water fountain. People don’t yell at you for praying in public. In fact, breast feeding in public is more looked down upon than praying. If you wear a crucifix around your neck, no one will tell you to take it off.

So is it the media? Does it mess with freedom of religion? True, sex and violence run rampant on television, but do they purposely attack Christianity in the media? In horror movies, Catholic church scandals and Tim Curry in Disney’s The Three Musketeers? In the science of Jurassic Park, maybe? Feel free to add any other titles you can think of.

Are Christians misrepresented or underrepresented in the media? For starters, Christians have three different TV networks: TBN, CBN and PAX TV. And you can attend a church service from your home on Sundays via NBC, CBS or any day on “The 700 Club.” And, of course, the Christian faith dominates the religion sections of newspapers and Internet media outlets.

True persecution is when you say “Happy holidays!” instead of “Merry Christmas.” Wow, that’s petty. Real fucking petty.

The Passion of the Christ made hundreds of millions at the box office. Christianity wins elections, tells people what to eat, who to marry and how to wipe.

Is there faith discrimination in the “creationism versus evolution and natural selection” debate in schools? Gay marriage? Abortion? Just because someone argues or disputes a claim doesn’t make them anti-Christian. Pitting faith against math and science is like comparing apples to cybernetic robots who come from the future to kill John Conner and ensure Skynet will start the next world War.

I just hate self pity. I hate it when undeserving people think they can understand every situation because a small part of their lives  kinda sorta followed something that looks a little like pain. In reality, we all make our judgments based on how much bullshit we can shovel or swallow. I hate when I pity myself, because all I have to do is think about my parents and anyone who has survived genocide, the Holocaust, 9/11 at ground zero or any terrorist attack, lost their family, been to war, been truly homeless for long periods of time with no help, or watched someone close to them die. There’s plenty in life that actually warrants astonished horror.

Real persecution is not getting a job for because of your race. Or being in an interracial relationship and having to meet the parents. (Who can be real fockers.) When there is a clear and obvious case of prejudice or racism, we can talk about acts of persecution. But I hate the perception of prejudice, which leads our imaginations to create paranoia and panic in large numbers. Think of the telephone game or a campfire ghost stories. Social experiments can easily go awry.

Feel free to hate me for this post. I just need to vent, and now I will continue to do so.

Actually, are the U.S. media and government stepping on religious rights?

I just brought up abortion, evolution and gay marriage as points of conflict. I feel that manipulation — not divine intervention — is plays the largest role in organized religion. How very odd it is that a church will undertake a building project for millions of dollars while doing next to nothing to eradicate our relatively high poverty rate for children under age 12.

Religion serves its purpose for many people. However, because it is so popular, there is a smugness and an elitist attitude that grants the loudest Christians to dismiss common sense, science and history. Many people think that the founding fathers were Christians, when in reality they were atheists and deists escaping England’s religious persecution.

Also, as a restaurant server, I am infuriated by the arguments in Christian pamphlets left on the table by customers along with their 10 percent tips. The devices and rhetoric used in tracts are definitely not Socratic. Black/white fallacy, planting seeds of fear of eternal hellfire, guilt, red herring, straw man arguments. And the stupid propaganda cartoons.

I don’t believe in the Big Bang, but I do believe the earth is more than 100 million years old, not ten thousand. Humans have been around longer than 3,000 years. Just check out the cave paintings, bulls of Lascaux from 22,000 B.C.

Think about this — do Christians have the right to feel the same prejudice as their Jewish savior? I say no.

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