Christian Persecution, Not Guns, Is the Real UCC Story
The Power of Social Movements
Cooke added that various activist organizations often contribute to anti-Christian bias. Listing the recent scandals with Planned Parenthood videos and the clashes over Christians refusing to partake in same-sex ceremonies, Cooke argued that “we’re seeing activist organizations blaming everything on religious faith.”
“In that culture, ‘tolerance’ simply doesn’t exist,” Cooke explained.
The filmmaker also pointed to the removal of the Bible from public schools as a strong starting point for anti-Christian bias in America. “This generation isn’t just ignorant of the Bible, but for the most part is completely misinformed about what it is, and how it’s influenced the world we live in today.”
Cooke emphasized the impact the Bible has had on history, and warned what will happen if people forget the scriptures. “To understand Western art, novels, music, law, and even science, you have to have a working knowledge of the Bible,” he declared.
“Even Richard Dawkins, who hates Christianity, has said that ‘a native speaker of English who has never read a word of the King James Bible is verging on the barbarian,’” Cooke said.
As the American Thinker’s Fay Voshell has argued, many Americans choose to stereotype Christians -- or religious believers in general -- as “inhibitors of progress.” President Obama’s rhetoric against those who “cling to their guns or their religion” also fits with his constant reminders of the Crusades and Inquisition, painting traditional Christians both today and historically as a hateful group.
Voshell argued that this stereotyping represents “the first stage” of persecution. Next comes the justification of hatred for Christians and the downplaying of Christianity’s contributions to society.
While these steps are nothing compared to the persecution of Christians in places such as the Middle East, China and a few countries in sub-Saharan Africa, they may portend increasing hostility in the future. Let us pray that hostility does not result in a repetition of last week’s events.
Why Gun Control Is Not the Solution
Finally, Obama’s call for more gun-control legislation should ring mute, seeing as the state of Oregon had passed such legislation shortly before the shooting.
“Local elected officials this year made universal background checks mandatory before the sale of any firearm in Oregon, one of 18 out of 50 states to do so,” Yahoo News reported on the day of the shooting. Laura Cutilletta, senior attorney at the California advocacy group Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, called Oregon “above average” in terms of gun regulation.
Some states are more lax on gun registration, like Texas. A would-be shooting in Garland, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, resulted in the perpetrators being taken down by a police officer earlier this year. The only casualties were the shooters themselves. While Texas’s gun laws do not necessarily explain the difference in outcomes of these two shootings, Chicago’s tough gun laws seem unable to cut the city’s high rates of gun violence.
The “Lost Boys”
Rather than focusing on gun control, citizens should ask what motivates killers like Chris Harper-Mercer. As The Federalist’s Tom Nichols pointed out, this case may be only the latest in a long string of “lost boys,” trapped in adolescence, who lash out when they believe society has conspired against them. Only a focus on the responsibility, peace and hard-won achievement of true manhood can answer their adolescent frustrations.
A move toward manhood, work and family may prove more effective than any law. The Bible and the faith to which it gave birth once grounded our society in these values. Let’s defend that ancient book and the Christian faith rather than leaving them out of the story.