After the man we know as Jesus kicked the bucket, his followers had a hard road ahead. The ruling class was largely unimpressed by the alleged miracles and sought to suppress speech and action that could be seen as revolutionary or offensive to their god of choice. Early Christians would meet in secret for their safety at a kind of church speakeasy. I imagine the first rule of Christ Club was that you did not talk about Christ Club. When met with a newcommer, they faced a dilemma. Should they turn away a person of faith or reveal themselves to a potential sting operation?
A Catholic priest told me this story. It may or may not be true. I don’t have a great track record gaining accurate information from clergy. Since this tale contains no miracles and Snopes wasn’t around back then, I’ll at least accept it’s premise. Christians were persecuted. They are still persecuted in some parts of the world, Muslim countries for example. You know who else are persecuted in Muslim countries? Atheists and Jews and, well, non-Muslims. Every minority viewpoint that runs contrary to the majority is persecuted.
What gets me is that Christians in America still say they are persecuted. Relatively speaking, that is ridiculous. We just came out of an election year where one of the more accepted-as-kooky Christian sects. Mormons, had a candidate that almost won! To the so-called persecuted Christians out there, what chance would an open atheist have had running on the Republican ticket? None. Zero. Come 2016, there isn’t a political advisor in the country, Democrats included, that would recommend coming out as atheist prior to election.
“Coming out.” We actually have a name for the reveal of our divine disbelief. Technically, we share the term with gays...who I should mention are far better represented in the media then atheists. Out of the 20 proud atheists I've interviewed, only seven use their full real name--or should I say at most seven, I haven't confirmed even those names aren't aliases. Each blogger has put a ton of time into their projects and can barely take credit of them because of the association to their real life could bring negative consequences. It's sad. And here I am, Grundy. No, my parents weren't mean enough to name me Grundy, but if they knew the extent of atheist activism I engage in, I would never hear the end of it. I am forced to live with an alias and not teach my mom how to use a computer.
If you're a put-upon Christian or make-believe martyr, I don't want to hear it. My country is one where those who don't accept a history of magic are pariahs.