Bigots are feeling their oats this Holy Week.  I am of course referring to the anti-Christian bigots of the Left who have managed the astonishing feat of claiming with a straight face that religious freedom is bigotry.  George Yancey at Christianity Today gives a name to the irrational hatred and fear of Christianity that is so pervasive on the Left in this country:  Christianophobia.


When Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran was fired earlier this year over a self-published book that briefly critiqued homosexuality, conservative Christians saw the incident as further evidence that they are losing their religious freedom.

Are these Christians worrying for no good reason?

Well, anti-Christian hostility is certainly real, captured by the American National Election Studies, which include questions about animosity toward various social groups. About one third of respondents rated conservative Christians significantly lower (by at least one standard deviation) than other religious and racial groups.

The only group to fare worse was atheists, who received low rankings from nearly half the respondents. But while atheists drew more global hostility than any other group, the negative rankings for conservative Christians came from a disproportionate number of white, highly educated, politically progressive, and wealthy respondents.

As this survey illustrates, animosity toward Christians involves racial, educational, and economic factors; the people most likely to hold negative views of conservative Christians also belong to demographic groups with high levels of social power. Rich, white, educated Americans are major influencers in media, academia, business, and government, and these are the people most likely to have a distaste for conservative Christians.

As a sociologist whose research focuses on race and religion, I was curious to know more about cultural progressive activists, individuals who oppose the political agenda of conservative Christians, and their views on the Christian Right. In 2009, I conducted an online survey of nearly 4,000 people who tended to fall into this politically progressive, highly educated, white and wealthy demographic.

Their attitudes reflected the negativity toward Christians found in earlier research, with some particularly extreme and troubling remarks. Responding to open-ended questions, they said:

“Churches and houses of religion should be designated as nuclear test zones.”

“Kill them all, let their god sort them out.”

“The only good Christian is a dead Christian.”

I cannot determine by my data the percentage of Americans with such a level of vitriol, but judging by the comments, it’s not a trivial amount.

In the United States, hateful bigotry is directed not only toward groups such as racial and sexual minorities, but also toward conservative Christians. The survey comments evidence that some of the anti-Christian animosity veers into unreasonable hatred and fear. It’s Christianophobia.

From this research, I wrote my latest book, So Many Christians, So Few Lions, the title itself inspired by several respondents who joked about feeding Christians to lions.

Go here to read the rest.  The anti-religious fervor of the Left has been around for a very long time.  What is new is that there is so little push back from Christians.  Largely this is due to lack of leadership.  Priests and ministers tend to be either missing in action or cheering on the bigots of the Left.  Pope Benedict warned about the threat to religious liberty in this country.  Today the powers that be in the Vatican seem to either wish to have a truce with the Leftist bigots or to find issues of common interest.  The short description of this policy is appeasement.  If religious freedom is to be persevered in this country it will be up to the sheep to do so, because the shepherds are mostly either heading for the hills, or attempting to convince the sheep that the prowling wolves are harmless.  Well, God has no use for cowards, and it is time for the sheep to show how they can fight back.

More to explorer


  1. I am nobody’s sheep, Biblical references notwithstanding.

    While it is true that the Left has long hated Christianity, and let’s be clear – the Left will not open their mouths against Jews or Islam – the vitriol picked up when the Boston Globe broke the story about the priest sex abuse in 2002. there was intense anger in the US about 9/11, but instead of that anger being directed at Islam, the Catholic Church took the full brunt of it. It wasn’t so long ago that every other day there was someone accusing a priest of sex abuse of a minor. Jeffrey Anderson made himself a wealthy man suing the Catholic Church and pinhead prelates such as Roger Cardinal Mahony made things worse.

    Such abuse occurs in public schools but the Boston Globe and other media are not interested.

    Since when does public education have anything positive to say about Christianity?
    The Inquisition, the Crusades, the Pope going after Galileo, Columbus was a slave trader, etc. How do parents counter that? Protestants helped to SPREAD that crap.
    Since the great, glorious Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has turned its back – or at least has tried very hard to – on almost everything that happened before 1970. We have wishy washy priests, weak bishops, the LWCR and a bunch of hierarchs who are what Mencken said they are – the Democrat Party at prayer.

    Thanks to popular culture, homosexuality is cool and those who oppose it are homophobes. Corporations hired “diversity officers”. In my place of employment during “Pridefest” I get to walk by a poster of two men with a little boy and two women claiming that they want what’s best for everyone. The hell they do. They took away Good Friday as a paid holiday and replaced it with a volunteer day. Political correctness sucks.

    The Church hierarchy is weak in many places and is downright awful in others. The Republican Party, at least at the national level, is a bunch of wimps.

    Sometimes I feel tempted to learn Polish, sell my house, take the family to Krakow and start a business. Things ain’t perfect in Poland or anywhere else but at least they are still Catholic and still know how to fight. Either that or Texas can tell Washington, DC, Wall Street and Hollywood to go to hell and then I know where I’m going.

  2. “Feed my lambs. … Tend my sheep. … Feed my sheep.” Gospel of John 21:15 – 17 Three direct orders for Simon Peter after his three expressions of love on the third time Jesus appeared to these fishermen at the seaside after His Resurrection. (There’s a footnote about this balancing the three denials before His Crucifixion. )

    Also, “Follow me.”

    Some shepherds have familiar voices and are not wasting their shepherds’ hooks.

    It is to wonder whether the ones in the hills are running into a lot of mountain goats, and whether the steak thrown at wolves will run out.

  3. One disturbing thing I’m seeing more of lately is an uptick in “progressives”
    declaring that disagreeing with their agenda constitutes ‘hate speech’– and
    that since they’ve decided it’s ‘hate speech’, it shouldn’t be protected under
    the First Amendment. Yet if one were to ask those same people if they were
    believers in the Bill of Rights and freedom of speech, they would invariably
    answer ‘yes’. It just goes to show that so-called ‘progressives’ are, well, nuts.
    If you wonder what this nation would look like if progs got to implement most
    of their agenda, just look at what it’s like on most university campuses. There,
    speech is rigidly controlled by the PC nannies and woe betide anyone, student
    or faculty, who expresses thoughts that haven’t been pre-approved. And their
    campaign is working, for on just about every campus out there, it’s not the
    ‘gender-fluid’ atheist socialist wannabe who is the counter-cultural freak.
    Instead, it’s those students whose belief systems and behaviors would have
    been unremarkable even a generation ago who are now swimming against the
    tide. Traditional morality is the new freaky, and Christianity draws stares and
    whispers– and sometimes open hostility.

  4. The downward spiral to the bottomless abyss.
    I am beginning to wonder about the “mark” in Revelation without which no one can buy or sell unless [they have it.]

  5. Another analogy in place of shepherds and sheep is officers and enlisted. The clergy are the officers and the enlisted the laity. Of course we know that many enlisted person have served bravely while the officers fled the field.

    Laity, time to do your duty.

  6. I suspect that it is not “fear” of God (the beginning of all wisdom) that is behind is as much as the very simple rejection of God–I will not serve…thus no one else may either.

  7. “Of course we know that many enlisted person have served bravely while the officers fled the field.” Phillip, Poor analogy. I find your comment insulting and incorrect. A commanding general/admiral can issue an illegal order, which by the way may not be immoral. The pope, if one believes in infallability, cannot proclaim falsely on fath and morals. It is lonely at the top, whether it be the pope or the highest ranking general or flag. All need our prayers. Our commander-in-chief is an elected civilian who I believe has issued illegal and immoral policies. He too needs our prayers. Hard as it may be for some us of to get the words out.

  8. “The pope, if one believes in infallability, cannot proclaim falsely on fath and morals.”

    Correct, and the Pope can still be evil, a disgrace and in league with the wolves. Alexander VI that is your cue. Popes can also be completely ineffectual at keeping the wolves at bay. Paul VI that is your cue.

  9. “The pope, if one believes in infallability, cannot proclaim falsely on fath and morals.”
    Absolutely true, but there still seems to be issues surrounding that word “proclaim,” for example, the first pope, Peter, said about the faith, that neither gentiles nor the uncircumcised may be part of Christianity, until Paul enlightened him. Then we have a long history of various “proclamations” (a middle ages papal bull allowing the keeping of Muslim slaves etc.)
    The author would do well to once again pen a solid article on the limits and necessary characteristics of authentic “proclaiming,” in lieu of the hyper-confusion surrounding the present pontiff.

  10. If the papal bull you’re alluding to is Dum Diversus, I think you might be a bit off; it wasn’t exactly about allowing Muslim slaves, although that is in there.
    Here’s a (rough) English translation:

    and if the topic is really interesting to you, Crisis has an article on it. (of course!)

    Roughly, it gave the King of Portugal permission to do then-standard warfare (in all its horrific glory) against non-Christians. (I’d guess it was forbidden to go against Catholic nations, what with the whole brother thing.)

  11. Donald McClarey “ little push back from Christians. Largely this is due to lack of leadership.”
    I follow that with the question: Why the lack of leadership? I think the answer is in lack of knowledge… of history, a lack of depth of thinking.
    I heard congressman Steve King give a talk yesterday about the debt modern society owes religion in western civ. Not enough people in leadership, with secular or in the Church- seem to appreciate that.
    I am surprised so many times at the ignorance shown by leaders and talking heads.

  12. Philip, to answer your question: I am at Walter Reed Bethesda hospital several times a year. I see many young officers and young enlisted in wheelchairs with missing limbs or walking on artificial limbs. The seriously wounded are still in their rooms. One corridor has very moving artwork by patients many of whom are in treatment for PTSD. Another passageway is lined with the portraits and citations of Medal of Honor recipients. Everywhere there are living examples of brave enlisted AND officers. As far as fleeing the field the reason Bowe Bergdahl receives so much press is that he is the exception and not the rule. The US military and the Church are not analagous institutions.
    Traditional cardinals and bishops who are brave enough to speak out are too few. Who’s heard read from the pulpit a cardinal’s or bishop’s letter on the attack on RFRAs or marking the 10th anniversary of Mary Schaivo’s court ordered euthanasia; a woman who in her final days was prevented by two policemen from receiving the Precious Blood?
    My worry when I read of a coming schism in our Church is not that the liberal German bishops and their like will break away from Rome; it is that we the faithful will be asked by Rome to leave.

  13. Donald R McClarey wrote, “Alexander VI that is your cue.”
    Few would dispute the Catholic historian, Lord Acton’s assessment of him, when he observed that “his character was beneath his talents,” but there is no doubting Alexander VI’s orthodoxy; both by precept and example, he was a pertinacious defender of every abuse against which the Reformers were to protest.
    The Russians make a stronger case, when they speak of the Three Wicked Hierarchs – Liberius, Honorius and Nicholas. Liberius, after all, excommunicated St Athanasius and signed a semi-Arian creed; Honorius was posthumously anathematized as a Monothelite heretic by the Sixth Ecumenical Council; Nicholas approved an alteration to the ecumenical creed, in defiance of the Fourth.
    As for acts of mere arrogance and stupidity, they are not confined to any age and have no bearing on doctrine. One thinks of St Peter at Antioch, when St Paul withstood him; of St Victor, when he broke communion with the churches of Asia Minor over the Paschal controversy; of Gregory XIII., when he had a medal struck in honour of the massacre of Saint-Barthélemy; of Paul IV in his conduct towards Elizabeth I; of Sixtus V blessing the Armada; of Urban VIII’s treatment of Galileo.
    Above all, one thinks of the long succession of assiduous mediocrities from Sixtus V to Leo XIII; thirty popes and not a Leo or a Gregory, a Hildebrand or an Innocent III amongst them; the very suggestion seems absurd. Benedict XIV can fairly be ranked with Innocent IV as a canonist and with Leo X and Clement VII for his learning and he appears as a giant in that age of pygmies. Meanwhile, the Church was riven by the Thirty Years War, the Quietist controversy, the Jansenist heresy, the Gallican controversy, Josephism, the suppression of the Jesuits, the French Revolution and its aftermath, and the Risorgimento, in none of which can the Holy See be said to have distinguished itself.

  14. CAM,

    I have served in the military. I know the sacrifice of many. I know the cowardice of some. The analogy is apt as, this side of Heaven, there is no perfect institution. This includes many bishops and priest who should be leading on the field but run away, leaving the laity to carry the burden.

    Analogies are never perfect. This one remains valid.

  15. One final thing. The fact that there are brave men at Walter Reed is a testament to the fact that there can be cowards. If there was no possibility of cowardice, there would be no bravery.

    The brave man is not one who does not fear. It is the man who fears but does not run.

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