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Letter to the Editor, Knoxville News Sentinel, January 1, 2017 by member Ralph Isler

01/02/2017 12:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Poor Greg Johnson. The holiday season is so sad for his fellow American Christians as, in his words, they “lament their own persecution.” However, it’s difficult to generate much empathy for their angst. Christians comprise about 75 percent of the country. They dominate all legislative bodies. But they are totally threatened by anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their tribal beliefs and practices, especially those relating to their obsession to control everyone’s sex and reproduction activities. So when gay people can legally get married or women can receive contraceptives as a component of health care, Christians of Johnson’s ilk claim they are being persecuted. When they can’t teach creationist fairy tales in place of science in public schools they claim discrimination. And enduring the well wishes of a "Happy Holidays" greeting sends them into a frenzy to counter the oppression of the “War on Christmas.”

As a result, several Christian-controlled state legislatures have voted to institute euphemistically named Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, which are present-day Jim Crow laws directed primarily against the LGBT community. They have consistently whittled away women’s ability to access legal reproductive services by instituting unreasonable constraints on clinics. And despite defeats at insinuating the religious concept of intelligent design into public schools, they persist in trying to circumvent court rulings by promoting vouchers for private schools where Christian mythology can be taught in place of science.  In addition, Donald Trump, the darling of the evangelicals, has threatened that when he is in office, people will say Merry Christmas (or else?). It’s rather clear who is doing the actual persecuting. But 60 million American “nones” will never accept servility in one nation under an imaginary God.

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