I’ve talked a lot about the “War on Christmas” here lately. The whole thing is pretty stupid if you ask me and it is driven almost entirely by Christians who feel like their beliefs are under attack because someone dares to say, “Happy Holidays”, instead of, “Merry Christmas”, or, FSM forbid, someone puts up a billboard suggesting that the nativity of Jesus never really happened. The Christian majority would have you believe that it is the atheists who are the ones engaging in a “War on Christmas”, but in fact, it is these Christians who are making all the fuss about these things.
The reality is that Christians are easily in the majority. According to a survey done by Trinity College, as of 2008, 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, while only 15.0% identified as “none”, which includes agnostic and atheist. How can it be that people who are among a groups that constitutes a full 3/4 of the population possibly consider themselves persecuted? It is not like they are discriminated against in society. On one is losing their jobs because they are Christians. They aren’t being marginalized in society; no one is shunning them or calling them evil or bad people because they are Christians. The same certainly can’t be said of atheists.
If these Christians are so sure of their beliefs, if they are so confident in their world view, then why do they take such easy offense when someone dares to question their beliefs? Normally, if someone is confident in something, they aren’t particularly worried about dissenting views. Being confident means you aren’t worried about things. You know you are right and are comfortable in that knowledge.
These Christians who cry foul when someone dares to question their beliefs show all the hallmarks of insecurity. When someone is insecure, they tend to get defensive. Why the insecurity? I believe it has to do with cognitive dissonance. These people are holding these beliefs in their heads, but the reality of the world they live in contradict their beliefs. They must either abandon their beliefs in light of the overwhelming evidence against them, or find ways to rationalize and justify their beliefs. The greater the dissonance, the more hysterical their defense of their beliefs becomes. This leads to seeing enemies in the slights criticism, paranoia and a persecution complex. Of course, I’m not a psychologist so I can’t say that this is exactly what is happening, but it seems to fit pretty well with what I know of cognitive dissonance theory.
I’m glad that Christmas is over. That’s not going the be the end to this pseudo-Christian-percecution-complex that we have been seeing, though. It will manifest itself in other ways, I’m sure and I’ll be reporting on it as it keeps rearing its ugly head.