It is a uncommon day when Vice President Mike Pence is not criticized for one thing within the mainstream media. And final weekend, after Pence’s graduation speech at Liberty College, his detractors had lots to work with. There’s only one drawback. The Left is choosing a combat over his warning that American Christians are being persecuted — forgetting, apparently, that they’ve helped make he and his spouse Exhibit A.
Professor John Fea fired the primary shot in his Washington Put up function: “Expensive Mike Pence: The Actual Persecution of Christians Is not Right here in America.” After all, the piece itself could not be extra ironic. Right here is Fea, making an attempt to dismiss the concept that believers are being focused within the U.S. — and but he spends a complete column doing precisely that. He lifts the a part of Pence’s remarks the place he warns graduates that they’re going to be “ridiculed” for his or her religion — after which means that the vice chairman “wants some perspective.”
After all, in his desperation to make that time, Fea does conservatives a favor by shining an infinite highlight on the spiritual freedom disaster affecting Christians all throughout the globe. “In keeping with one estimate, in 2016, a Christian was killed for his or her religion each six minutes. At the moment, the persecution of Christians and different spiritual minorities is rampant, particularly within the Center East. The Islamic State has pressured practically 5 million Syrian Christians to flee for his or her lives.” He goes on to cowl the horrors of Boko Haram in Nigeria and the terrorist assaults in Sri Lanka — sounding extra like a member of Open Doorways USA than an opinion author for the Washington Put up.
However as appreciative as we’re for the protection of those atrocities, Fea’s preaching to the choir. There is no one who understands the state of affairs higher — or has raised extra consciousness on the problem of faith-based persecution — than the person the story’s about: Mike Pence. He is spent the higher a part of three years warning international leaders that so far as this administration is anxious, spiritual freedom is non-negotiable. And never only for Christians — however the Uyghurs, Rohingya, Jews, Falun Gong, Sikhs, and extra. The torture of harmless folks for his or her religion will not be information to the Donald Trump White Home.
However, extra irritating is the suggestion that Mike Pence — or anybody else on this administration — has ever in contrast the world’s struggling to the harassment of Christians within the U.S. At no level has the vice chairman, whose household and beliefs have been extra fiercely attacked than anybody in management, tried to recommend that what women and men of religion right here expertise is something just like the torture, serial rape, and killing abroad. That is not even accountable journalism.
And but, Fea nonetheless accuses Pence of getting a “persecution complicated,” which, he argues, should not shock us. “Evangelicals in America have seen themselves as victims for the reason that 1960s … The motion positive factors power by scaring evangelicals into believing that they’re consistently beneath assault. With out this discourse of victimhood, the donations will cease, and the Christian Proper will lose its maintain on the levers of energy inside the Republican Get together.”
With all due respect to Fea, Christians do not suppose they’re victims of spiritual discrimination — they are victims of spiritual discrimination. No, they don’t seem to be having their faces scanned or being thrown behind bars (though some have been), however you’d must be residing beneath a rock to not see the development of the final ten years to punish, high quality, droop, hearth, bankrupt, vandalize, and assault dozens and dozens of women and men of religion. And in all walks of life! From the Senate chamber to a nook bakery, Christians with pure or biblical views of marriage and sexuality have had a bullseye on their backs. They’ve had the combat of their lives in courtrooms, metropolis councils, and human rights commissions simply to train what the founders died to offer us: the best to non secular perception and expression.
This is not a figment of the church’s creativeness. When Fea says, “American evangelicals ought to have extra necessary points on their plates than worrying about just a few misguided progressives who don’t like Christian faculties,” he is grossly minimizing the breadth of the disaster — for one — and the ferocity of the opposition, for an additional. Smoke at all times precedes the fireplace. This rising hostility in America is a warning. And we ignore it — at our personal peril.
Initially posted at FRC.org.
Tony Perkins’ Washington Replace is written with the help of FRC senior writers.