Tolerated Intolerance

May 13, 2013
By Zach Siebenaler SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
Zach Siebenaler SILVER, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments

“Habemus Papam!” “We have a pope!” Cheering fills Vatican City in the moment as the world watches, the Christian Church just determined a new leader. In the days that will follow there will be news coverage about this new leader, special reports everywhere. After a while the hype dies down and business as usual resumes; with Christianity being attacked from everywhere and anyhow people see fit. There is so much attention allotted to something that so many people don’t seem to actually care about. Why is that? There is so much intolerance towards Christianity, Catholicism in particular and the confusion needs to be cleared up. There are a few misgivings, some major places of persecution, and a good deal of hate that needs to be brought to light.
While I myself am not persecuted, I’m commonly told one of several things when I say I’m Catholic. Among them is the classic response of some other Christian denominations,”Catholics don’t know what they are talking about.” or “Isn’’t that the really boring sect of Christianity?” As I’ve heard multiple times, on TV as well as around school, some other form of the very same religion we all practice, without different details, is in some way significantly superior to all other denominations. These statements are common in school, and outside in the “real world” is much worse.
People have been lead to believe that if someone doesn’t approve of something then they must hate it; just like Christianity is assumed to hate abortion supporters, or gay marriage. We are taught to love everyone and respect their choices, but pray for them to come back to how God wants them to be. Christians love the sinner, but hate the sin. While we don’t hate the people, we don’t agree with the practices. On the other hand, we Catholics in particular have been given a bad rap. People walk around acting as radicals claiming to be working under the will of God, while committing horrible acts against people. These people are the only one’s focused on and so we are all automatically like they are. While God might be good, people aren’t always.
When people look for places to place blame, it usually goes to one of three places: the presidency, terrorists depending on the issue, or Christians. While this in itself is an over-exaggeration, it seems very appropriate. People like to blame things on the church when someone decides to say something earth-shaking, they are usually determined to be Christian and that must be the cause of it. While this might seem extreme, this case is all too common in life nowadays. In the military, people are now permitted to be openly gay, however if someone were to openly worships God, they could be punished. Tim Tebow is Christian and critics hate him for worshipping on the football field. On the other hand, an NBA player, Jason Collins recently came out as gay, and was praised as a hero. Not to mention this “hero” was engaged to a woman for 8 years before coming out of the closet. Why should this man receive so much more credit for something like that? It is wrong in my eyes, this biased media. The media covers up a lot of hate directed towards Christians, and it needs to be uncovered.
The Huffington Post has an article that reads, “during the debate over the HHS mandate last year, a Catholic Bishop said that President Obama was attacking Christians just like the Roman emperors, Hitler and Stalin had.” The new Health and Human Services mandate is requiring “all health plans to provide free contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs, regardless of any moral or religious objectives.” “The ministries of institutions like Catholic schools, hospitals and charities—educating the young, caring for the sick, feeding the hungry—are not considered sufficiently religious to qualify for the Mandate’s narrow “religious exemption.” According to the website “standupforreligion”. Persecution of Christianity is often covered up by the media’s other stories, but sometimes it reaches a noticeable place: newspapers. Even then, these papers try to appeal to the many people who are casting out any religion of any sort by saying that these things aren’t necessarily true. Christian radicals who act unreasonably are the only ones that ever are really given the opportunity to grace even these pages. Therefore, most people have developed strange ideas about who exactly we are, and treat Christians that they meet as though they live up to that stereotype. I’ve been told many times that Catholics or Christians in general don’t know what they are talking about, or are simply outdated. Either way, these problems aren’t something that should stay hidden, no matter how serious it may or may not be.
Hidden prejudices are as bad as any other prejudice. Society brings a great deal of irony to their side of the fight. They wait with held breath to discover who might be the next pope, then the next day go about ranting over how idiotic Catholicism is or how absurd Christianity seems. When people come under fire for openly worshipping God, people will hop aboard the prejudice bandwagon and help the people hating along their way. Not only are they being cruelly treated for not being able to openly worship, but depending on how they worship, it will simply be dismissed as a breach of the peace, not a restriction on their First Amendment Rights. There is a particular segment of the First Amendment that separates church and state, meaning that the government shouldn’t intervene with matters that do not threaten the safety of people. However, somehow public worship threatens and offends other people while their religious practices are okay to be observed no matter where they might be.
Ironic? Absolutely. Biased? Potentially. Unfair? “So is life.” We are all too busy being caught up in the day to day business of ourselves to step outside and see that as unfair as life might be, if someone has the capability to fix it, shouldn’t they? Isn’t that the “humane” thing to do? It certainly would be the “Christian” thing to do, but people wouldn’t be told a lot about that.
We might have a new pope, but not as many people actually care as much as they pretend to. It’s a several day event where they pretend to care, and then afterwards life goes on as it did before. Nothing changed and everyone quickly forgets all about history in the making. It’s about time an opinion defending us came forward, because I’m fed up with this intolerance being tolerated.. This religious hatred should be ended soon. We’re all supposed to love our neighbor anyways, as in everyone and anyone, no matter what choices they make.

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