Christians are constantly being accused of Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia. Yet you have to wonder just how many of these accusations are rooted in Christophobia.
What is a phobia? The dictionary defines it “as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something.” One group that does seem to suffer from such a phobia of Christians and their religion are the atheist activists. Consider the evidence.
In 2012, atheist activists filed a lawsuit to prevent the 911 cross from becoming part of the 911 memorial. They claimed the sight of the cross was causing great mental distress for various atheists:
The plaintiffs, and each of them, have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross. Named plaintiffs have suffered, inter alia, dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish
These all sound like the symptoms of having repeated panic attacks over time.
Now, if you have ever known someone who suffers from a phobia, they will go to great lengths to rationalize their phobia with convoluted arguments. In their mind, their fear is quite justified. We see the same thing from these atheist activists. The headaches, dyspepsia, mental pain, etc. are supposedly derived from “knowledge”:
from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11 attack and the lack of acknowledgement of the more than 1,000 non- Christian individuals who were killed at the World Trade Center.
At this point, they are not thinking clearly. No one set up the 911 cross at the 911 memorial as a coded message to tell atheists that no one cares about the 1,000 non- Christian individuals who were killed at the World Trade Center.
But there’s more.
Another example of Christophobia concerns the the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. She doesn’t report symptoms, but has similar hallucinatory reasons for trying to remove some 60-year old remote statue of Jesus in a state park:
“When I look at that Jesus statue,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor complained, “I see the continuing efforts of this aggressive, missionizing, male-only Catholic club to deny U.S. women the right to abortion and contraception in the name of Jesus.”
Really? How many people have seen that remote and cheesy statue of Jesus over the years and suffered such traumatizing thoughts? My guess is that if you are not religious, and you and some friends came across the statue on a hike, it would make for a few good jokes or selfies.
In another example, the atheist activists claimed to be suffering “irreparable harm” because of a 70+ year old county seal. The seal includes a picture of a cross amidst flags and buildings and animals, and these activists believe it means the government is out there trying to convert people to Christianity. As I noted in that blog entry, there was not the slightest scrap of evidence anyone has ever been harmed by that county seal. Yet the atheist activists believe this.
Another example is an atheist activist who sued a church for building a huge cross on the church’s property. According to this activist, he feared the sight of the cross would get people killed:
Greene apparently objects to the giant cross because he believes it will be a traffic hazard, Fox News reported in March. “I don’t think it should be within eyesight because it jeopardizes people’s safety on the road,” he said.
Once again, another atheist activist speaks from a position of fear.
Look, I accept the separation of church and state and think it is a good thing. But these complaints about crosses and old statues and old pictures strike me as deeply irrational. And excessive. As such, given that a phobia is defined as an irrational and excessive fear, these atheist activist “concerns” can best be described as phobic. And given that the phobia centers around Christian symbols, it stands to reason this atheist activism is merely a public expression of Christophobia.
[HT to John for first making this connection.]