commentary: Persecution From the Nones?
They Are a Large Single-Minded Block
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 15-Jun-13; Sermon #1163c; 10 minutes
John Ritenbaugh reflects on the Handwriting on the Wall message he delivered last year in which he reported increased persecution of Christians in most non-Israelite countries. From 1950 to the present, the secular progressives called the Nones have risen from 3% to 20% of the population. This group, largely consisting of baby boomers, has a decided leftist political socialist ideology fiercely loyal to Barack Obama, and having a white-hot hatred to Christianity, feeling that their supercilious humanistic doctrine is the only way to manage the affairs of this nation.
You might recall that several years ago I gave a "The Handwriting is on the Wall" sermon to begin the Feast of Tabernacles, in which the subject was persecution against Christian religions. At that time, virtually all the violent persecution was taking place outside of the Israelitish nations. The Catholic Church reported that Christianity was the most persecuted of all religions in the world, and that the most recent statistics available to them was that—to me—an incredible 70,000 people claiming to be Christian had been killed the last full year for which figures were available.
That level of persecution has still not affected the Israelitish nations, but I believe it will as we move closer to Christ's return. In the meanwhile, the persecution regarding our religious liberties here in the United States is intensifying considerably. The most interesting to me is who is leading the charge against Christianity here (or what they think is Christianity). I am not primarily thinking of an individual at this time, but at the same time, that individual who is probably coming to your mind is most certainly involved.
There is not a day that goes by when I open the inbox of my computer that there is not an email about some person claiming to be a Christian, or some group or organization claiming to be Christian, that is stopped by a justice figure from doing something that was previously considered perfectly acceptable. These are things hardly anybody ever thought of as being against the law, or against community or educational traditions, or against something that we have customarily done without ever giving it a second thought.
The person who stops the Christian might be a policeman, a sheriff, a school principal, employer, or a judge, and the person who wants whatever it is stopped, might be a lawyer for an anti-religious group, some local activists for the lesbian/gay community, an atheist organization, or a representative of the federal, state or local government.
What I am getting at here is that opposition to Christianity is widespread. I mean, very widespread. It most certainly is not violent, but at the same time, it is not merely irritating, either. It is, in reality, discouraging, even disheartening, because the Christian truly means well, but it seems that very few want what he wants to freely give others with nothing in return, and about which he feels that what he wants to give them is a tremendous blessing of good for them to have.
I recently read the contents of a speech given at Hillsdale College by one R. R. Rand, editor of First Things. He said, "Religious liberty is being redefined in America, or at least many would like it to be. Our secular establishment wants to reduce the autonomy of religious institutions and limit the influence of faith in the public square."
He mentioned a couple of interesting things for the purpose of this commentary. He mentioned our secular establishment, and he also mentioned religious institutions. The problem with the term "religion" is that in America, religion virtually means "Christian" because the Christian religion has dominated spiritual and moral convictions since the nation's founding—that is, dominated spiritual and moral convictions until the last 30-40 years. But today, our secular culture views Christianity as troublesome and reactionary because Christians are perceived by the humanists as anti-science, anti-gay, and anti-women, amongst other things.
The religious climate in America is growing colder with every passing year. When I went to public school in the late '30s, and through the '40s, the teacher read a few verses from the Bible, the class said The Lord's Prayer, and we saluted the flag each and every day. That was in the public schools. Now, God has been kicked out of the schools, the 10 Commandments are barely allowed to be mentioned (and then only in a narrow context), evolution is the order of the day within science instruction, creationism is an absolute no-no, cities are burned as a result of rioting, a president was assassinated, we have been involved in at least five wars, and we have killed over 55 million babies by abortion, and there is much more of that kind.
I am going to bring the Nones into this commentary once again. I think that makes the fourth straight time because I believe that they are very pertinent to what I am describing. In the 1950s, they occupied 3% of America's population. Today, the latest polls show that they now comprise 20% of the population, and that is 60 million people. The Nones are the largest single block of humanists in the United States, and interestingly, they are not necessarily anti religion. However—and I think this is very interesting—they are very anti-Christian. They virtually agree unanimously that Christianity ruins everything.
We also know by the latest polls what their ages are, and they are not old people—like me. They are mostly between the ages of 20 and 65. The largest percentage of them are Baby Boomers, who began to be born around 1945. Therefore, the largest block of Nones is beginning to retire. The next largest block is the Gen Xers. They are between the ages of about 30 and 45.
What pollsters have also discovered is that in the domains of education, science, and corporate business, these humanistic Nones sit in positions of power. They tend to be generous contributors to political parties. They are overwhelmingly Democratic regarding their political affiliation. Seventy percent of them voted for Barack Obama. Mr Reno reported—and these were his exact words—that "as a group, they are extremely ideological," which means that their thinking is very slanted toward a specific, narrow concept, philosophy or idea.
At present, there is no changing of their minds. Their way is the only way, and they will argue and fight for their side at the drop of a hat. Compromise regarding Christianity is not in their dictionary. The Nones largely comprise those who wee born and then lived their adult lives in that period when the United States began its downhill religious spiral. They accepted it, lived it, and became its adherents.
This is the very core of today's humanism. They are the true believers, as it were, of that group making it so difficult for the Christian religion. Our president is one of them, and they are ideologically cut from the same piece of cloth. They are an almost perfect reflection of him, and he of them.