Usually when we think of persecution, we think of our brothers and sisters being imprisoned in foreign lands such as China, Pakistan, Syria, etc. We think of churches being burned, leaders put to death and "home invasions" in search of bibles, evidence of bible-studies or any other "evidence" which can be used against Christians.
In America and other "industrialized" countries persecution takes another form. We see it every day - and unfortunately we accept such forms of persecution without giving it much thought.
The commentary below is interesting and thought-provoking. It contemplates the recent situation that news journalist Brit Hume is involved in because he DARED to mention salvation through Christ Jesus. This commentary is worth repeating in its entirety and it is found on Mike Mickey's site (link here).
The Crucifixion of Brit Hume
By J. Matt Barber
During the Roman Empire’s secularist era those who acknowledged the deity of Christ were frequently fed to the lions to entertain – for lack of a better word – the “progressive” elites of the day. There’s little doubt that if many of today’s secular-“progressives” (more accurately: “moonbat liberals”) had their way, Caesar Obama would call out the lions once again.
Nothing makes the left lose its collective noodle like an open proclamation of Christian faith. You don’t see it when Muslims proselytize in government schools; the ACLU doesn’t sue when Wiccans share their witchy ways; militant “gay” activists don’t picket Buddhist temples with bullhorns while inhabitants grasp at Zen. No, there’s something about Christianity that just drives ‘em nuts. Always has. Always will.
Case in point: Recently, on two separate occasions, Fox News veteran Brit Hume both publicly pronounced his own faith in Jesus Christ and boldly suggested that Tiger Woods might find “forgiveness and redemption” for his serial philandering should he “turn to the Christian faith.”
Hume first offered Tiger the advice on “Fox News Sunday” and then reiterated his sage, though decidedly non-PC counsel on “The O’Reilly Factor” the following night. When asked by host Bill O’Reilly what kind of response he’d received for his comments, Hume replied, in part: “It’s always been a puzzling thing to me. The Bible even speaks of it. You speak the name Jesus Christ… and all hell breaks loose.”
After Hume made his comments, and as if on cue (Lord forgive them for not knowing what they do or why they do it), liberals went apoplectic. Here’s a small sampling:
As reported by CNSNews.com: “Tom Shales, media critic for the Washington Post , in a Tuesday column, demanded that Hume apologize and called his Christian remarks ‘even only a few days into January, as one of the most ridiculous of the year.’”
MSNBC’s reliably raspy Keith Olbermann accused Hume of attempting “to threaten Tiger Woods into converting to Christianity” and demanded that his Fox News ratings superior “keep religious advocacy out of public life” (back in the closet, Brit old boy).
Olblubberman then compared Hume to a terrorist, suggesting that “the worst example” of this kind of “proselytizing” are “jihadists.” Finally, he betrayed the left’s typical anti-Christian bigotry, suggesting that Jesus may have been a homosexual and wondering aloud: “WWJDIHS: What would Jesus do if he’s straight?”
While the mainstream media’s rage was clumsily managed (or masked), unbridled hate boiled over in the left-wing blogosphere.
On the sexual anarchist site, “JoeMyGod,” poster “QScribe” suggested that Brit Hume’s deceased son had been “gay” and viciously accused Hume of being responsible for the young man’s suicide: “Brit Hume still hasn't ‘repented’ for trashing his gay son and driving him to suicide. When I want moral guidance from a pig like that, I'll be sure to ask. Until then, he really ought to STFU.” (Hume has publicly shared that his son’s heartbreaking suicide played a large role in his acceptance of Christ.)
The next commenter went so far as to cruelly imply that Hume had sexually molested his own child and further mocked the tragic suicide, writing: “Dead victims don't tell on their molesters.”
Commenting on the Huffington Post, “Kandaher” bypassed Hume altogether and aimed his vitriol directly at his Creator: “anyone (sic) watched ‘The passion of Christ’? I thoruhgly (sic) enjoyed it. Nothing like watching this bloke getting beaten up! He deserved what he got and more!”
You get the idea.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I very much enjoy watching liberals go goofy when the light of truth pierces that shadowy void called moral relativism. When the left’s religion of choice – secular-humanism – is challenged through exposure to the gospel message, they almost universally and instinctively react with such visceral, knee-jerk spasms. You can set your clock to it.
But believe it or not, there’s actually something rather delightful about such hateful lashing about. These poor souls – to be pitied and prayed for – fail to realize that, manifest within their own unwittingly bizarre behavior, is certain affirmation of the very words of Christ on the subject.
Jesus addressed this peculiar and deeply spiritual phenomenon on more than one occasion over two thousand years ago. In John 15:18-20 (NIV), for instance, He reminds His followers: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Now, I’m real sorry that most “progressives” and other non-believers feel that Christianity is deficiently “tolerant” or “inclusive” of various man-made religions and lifestyle choices. But it’s just not our call. Christ Himself reveals over and again that the pathway to heaven is a very narrow one, requiring membership in a rather “exclusive” club – a club wherein belief in Him and repentance from sin are the only membership requirements.
Christ said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Note that, rather conspicuously, He did not say: “…No one comes to the Father except through me, the Buddha, Muhammad, Ganesh, and – on Tuesdays – L. Ron Hubbard.”
But lest you have any doubt, consider John 3:36, which warns every man, woman and child on earth – past, present and future: “Whoever believes in the Son [Jesus] has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
So, Brit Hume had it right, didn’t he? I mean, it is kind of an all or nothing proposition, isn’t it?
As my favorite author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis famously pointed out in his blockbuster book “Mere Christianity,” Christ could only have been one of three things: A lunatic, a liar, or – as Jesus oft claimed and as billions have believed – the sovereign Lord and Creator of the universe.
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. – C.S. Lewis
So, what does this all mean? Well, and please take this in the spirit (little ‘s’) intended: Brit Hume’s woolly, wily, wandering critics really ought to just un-knot their knickers; mudra, mantra or something; and seriously reflect upon the man’s words and heart.
Perhaps they should – being all “tolerant,” “diverse” and whatnot – consider, if only for a moment, the very Spirit (big ‘S’) from which came those words and was formed that heart.
In the meantime, to Mr. Hume: “Well done good and faithful servant.”
Matt Barber is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He is author of the book “The Right Hook – From the Ring to the Culture War” and serves as Director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel.