For two centuries, Christian have enjoyed majority status in America. I guess that qualifies America as something of a Christian nation.
It’s pretty great being in the majority. When you want something done, you have people on your side to make it happen. And Christians have gotten their way on a lot of things in America. That’s not bad in itself. It’s just how society works. Majority rules.
But if you’re like me and you enjoy being the majority, the future should look a little scary. The statistics on Christianity in America aren’t going anywhere but down. It’s possible that at some point, Christians will be the minority in America.
All this time, Christians have had control. And we haven’t always been completely fair or loving really all that “Christian” while we’ve been in charge.
And it makes me wonder…how will Christians expect to be treated in America, when we are the minority?
It’s Good to Be the King
I loved being a big brother.
Being a big brother means having a lot of control. Who’s always left in charge when Mom and Dad are away?
Who can cause bodily harm to little brothers, and then pay them off for their silence?
It’s good to be the king, when it comes to the brotherly pecking order.
But my parents warned me. One day my “little” brother would not be so little, and I might find that he won’t be so generous to me when he is in a position of control.
For two-hundred years, Christians have been America’s “big brother.” We’ve got a lot of little brothers and sisters. They are scrappy little minority groups, who depend on the benevolent majority to look out for their welfare. But like real little brothers and sisters, it looks like we’ve got a lot of little siblings that are growing up…and they might even grow up to be bigger and stronger than us.
Let’s Put It To a Vote
History shows that just because Christians are put in charge, it doesn’t mean the result is a “Christian” nation. For over a thousand years, Europe fought the same wars, and had the same power struggles, just with a new “Christian” label.
History also shows that just because Christians are put in charge, it doesn’t mean they have the best ideas about how to run a society. Prohibition, anyone?
And history shows that Christians can rarely agree with one another about how to run a society. Heck, Christians came to America for religious freedom…and then immediately started putting each other on trial for heresy. Yay, freedom!
But here we are, often trying to maintain a Christian society, trying to keep America from “going to hell” by any means necessary. If that means voting on the rights of minority groups, so be it. Even though, at no other point in American history have the rights of minorities been put up for a vote by the majority. Emancipation, suffrage, civil rights: none of them determined by a vote of the majority. All of them determined by the will of the government. How far would women’s suffrage have gotten if it was put up to a vote among men? So how exactly does it make sense for the majority to be voting on the marriage rights of the few?
Compassion or Coercion
Christians, we have to ask ourselves if we, as a majority group, have treated others as we would have them treat us.
We have minority groups that think we ignore them, or don’t respect them, or even hate them. And for the most part, they are probably right.
So if the shoe was on the other foot, how should we expect to be treated? How mad will we be when we are ignored, disrespected, and hated, and we have no recourse? Would we want the non-Christian majority voting on our rights?
When we are a minority, it will be a blessed victory in the eyes of a lot of people. They will say they have escaped the thumb of a narrow-minded, bigoted tyrant.
If we want to preserve America for our children and grandchildren, we have to create a society where Christians will actually be missed when we are gone. People should reminisce about all the good Christians did, rather than the fights we fought.
And that means leading with compassion, not coercion, while we’re still in charge.
What do you think? How could Christians expect to be treated if we were suddenly a minority group? Do you think that’s where we are headed?