Jean Barker

The persecuted powerful

2015-07-10 09:38

Jean Barker

I'm at Comic-Con, just minding my own business while trying to get from the trolly (tram/train) stop to the Convention Center. As I attempt to cross the road, I’m accosted by men with loudhailers and sandwich boards, telling me I’m going to hell unless I accept Jesus Christ as my personal saviour.

The noisy boys, Hellboy and Hellboy#2, let’s call them, were the only guys in the street with loudhailers. Regular folk crossing the road had to shout over them to converse.  

I tried to imagine the Hellboys being permitted to dominate the scene this way free of charge and unhindered if they were muslim, and couldn't see it being tolerated. It's probably legal, technically… but I bet the police would be on you in a second, asking you to keep it down.

When Christians still get to take over the streets this way in the name of "free speech" at an event that really deserves no condemnation from Jesus & Co, it's hard to give credence to many Christians' claims that their religion isn't given enough attention these days, is being marginalised, or is ignored.

The fact is that, with a large percentage of Americans now saying they're actually atheist or agnostic, Judea-Christianity gets far more attention than it deserves. It's all over our politics, our money, and our televisions, and gives huge tax breaks even to TV-preachers whose Lord's major function seems to be to buy them a new Mercedes Benz to park at their mansion.

In fact, Christians' frequent claims in the USA that they are being persecuted and sidelined has some interesting parallels with false homophobic, and white male feelings of victimisation in the USA, making these issues a perfect fit for idiots on the far right Republican ticket.

I mean, as a good friend pointed out, gay marriage isn't mandatory - it's just one option among many relationship choices. The way some people go on and on, you’d think it straight guys had to marry their golfing buddies.

In any  cases, the Christian, white right white and homophobic parties complaining so loudly about persecution aren't responding to being persecuted.

Instead, their real complaint is that they're no longer allowed to persecute others like they used to be free to, by keeping all the human rights for themselves.

I believe, as many do, that the right to be treated like a human being should not be exclusive to them. What they demand all for themselves  should simply be rights shared by all.

But the sense of entitlement felt by Christians, by the rich, and by the white, is astoundingly personified in Donald Trump, who has been heard  complaining about having to pay taxes, mere minutes after boasting that he's worth billions.

It's a kind of attitude that even four-year-old kids struggle to justify. The homophobic, the previously advantaged and the dominant cultures really need to grow up and share their toys like big boys and girls do.

In the new America, in which more people are permitted human rights, yes, you might have to listen to others occasionally, or wait in line behind a cute, black, jewish female gay couple to pick up your wedding cake, or a apply for a marriage licence? But is that really so very terrible?

Those who answer that it is more terrible have more in common with terrorist scum like ISIS than they do with the Christ they claim to emulate.
So if  your culture, your religion or your sexuality is so weak that it relies on silencing, limiting or oppressing others for its survival, then really tell me, who needs it at all? Not this girl.

- Jean earned an MFA in Directing and Screenwriting and works in the LA film industry. She tweets as @jeanbarker and blogs pictures of signs and more, here. She will be back.

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