Measured Against Reality

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bible reader kicked off bus

Bobby Henderson of FSM fame has this delightful comment about a woman who was kicked off of a bus for reading the Bible loudly:

A note to the Bus Lady: That’s not persecution. Persecution would have been if the rest of the bus was full of Muslim and Hindu passengers, all reading their religious texts loudly, and you - and only you - were kicked off the bus for reading aloud from your Christian Bible. What happened is that you were being rude and insensitive to the other passengers, wanted special treatment, and were rejected.

I've always thought that it absurd when religious people are denied special treatment then claim discrimination. I wonder if they really are convinced that they deserve the special treatment, that it's really their right, or if they're simply making a calculation that our sensitivity about religion means that religious claims for special treatment are frequently honored. In simpler terms, I wonder if these people are arrogant, obtuse, and idiotic, or arrogant, intelligent, and calculating. In all honesty, I suspect the former in the vast majority of cases, and the latter in the cases of powerful and political people. At any rate, it's far from the traits that their religion supposedly honors, but those are quite obviously a charade that even church officials don't take seriously.



  • I doubt that most of them realize that this isn't persecution. When you've had near-absolute power for 1,700 years, it can feel a lot like a slam to have some of that taken away. They are just so accustomed to having power that the loss of some of that power feels like persecution.

    Don't forgot, also, that Christianity is a religion that lends itself readily to those with victim-complexes. It is the religion of the oppressed, of the martyr. When privileged white people become Christians, they get to put aside any "white guilt" they might otherwise have and claim that it is they, themselves, who are the oppressed. In this way, they get to feel good about themselves, about being "martyred for their faith," by doing something as small and meaningless as being asked to leave a bus where they've been annoying all the other passengers.

    Playing the victim when you get all the perks without any of the negatives (like, you know, being an actual victim) is incredibly intoxicating. It's easy to see why they might do it and do it again and again simply because it feels good and confuse that good feeling with divine approval.

    By Blogger Marlowe, at 9:25 AM, January 05, 2008  

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