Persecution Is a Holy Word
Exaggerating our problems demeans the sacrifice of overseas believers
December 1, 2003
IN APRIL, Jack Moody Jr. tried to mail a Bible study, a book on God's promises, and religious comic books to his son, Pfc. Daniel Moody, stationed in Iraq. The post office in Lenoir, North Carolina, refused to send them. Officials cited a postal regulation prohibiting the mailing of "any matter containing religious materials contrary to Islamic faith or depicting nude or seminude persons, pornographic or sexual items, or non-authorized political materials."
Frustrating. But by way of contrast—just two months earlier in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, a Muslim extremist fired 28 bullets into the body of an Iraqi Christian taxi driver, killing him. Zewar Mohammed Ismael, 38, had converted from Islam four years earlier and gave Bibles to his passengers. The killer claimed Muhammad, Islam's prophet, had told him in a dream to kill Ismael.
It's understandable that David Limbaugh's instant bestseller is full of incidents like the first example and not the second. But it's regrettable that the publisher has set such incidents in a melodramatic context by using the title Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity.
A Long History of Bias
Limbaugh (brother of conservative broadcaster Rush Limbaugh) brings together scores of cases of discrimination against Christians in the USA. He spotlights examples in the public schools, in universities, on public property, in private and government workplaces, in municipal zoning, in the media, and in the pulpit.
The cases follow two key Supreme Court rulings. The court, in Everson v. Board of Education (1947), incorporated Thomas Jefferson's "wall of separation" language into constitutional law to strictly limit government funding of religion. Its 1962 Engel v. Vitale decision ...