I have always placed a good deal of reliance on anecdotal evidence, especially when it is from my own experience. Other people’s statistics and research may be touted as scientific, but unless we know something about the statistician or researcher and his integrity, we cannot know if he is fiddling the results to suit a prejudice or an agenda.
More and more, I am skeptical about all reports that appear in the Media and in scientific and professional journals. Environmental topics like global warming are good examples. They are now so heavily politicized that all news and reporting must be considered tainted. Consequently I am quite unsure whether the earth’s climate is warming and if so, whether it has anything at all to do with man’s activities. So I come back to my personal experience and here in California this past six months there has been no evidence of warming. Winter and spring seemed wetter and cooler than even the El Nino year. At the same time, human activity certainly pollutes the atmosphere. The media is entirely untrustworthy on the topic of climate change and so too are the Universities and the scientific bodies and journals we ought to be able to rely on for objective evidence. Do I believe them or my lying eyes and other senses?
I am therefore going to mention some anecdotal evidence on the unpopularity of both President Bush and traditional Christians. Maybe some readers will have had similar experiences. I occasionally visit a local bar to hear some music and have a meal. The barmaid “Karen” is in her fifties, white and not very affluent. She is certainly not stupid but I know she has made choices in life that have not been very wise and so success and affluence have passed her by. Over a period of time she has become quite friendly to me and we are on good terms. From the beginning of our acquaintanceship she has considered it appropriate to tell me jokes that demean George Bush. I know these jokes go the rounds because I also get them emailed to me from an Iranian friend who lives in Florida. They are all to the effect that the President is stupid, indeed mentally handicapped. Karen also regales me with jokes that are at the expense of Christians, implying that they are all hypocrites. She assumes that I, and the people on nearby tables, share her views on Bush and Christians. I have never disabused her, though she has no reason to believe that I share her views. My experience of Karen’s sense of humor and her political and religious prejudices are not untypical. In many public and private places, casual friends and acquaintances do the same thing.
I believe that they do so with such confidence because their political and religious prejudices are constantly portrayed and reinforced in the media. Thus they have come to believe that all normal people share a dislike of Bush and Christians and so will not be offended. Karen would not be so public or so bold making jokes about Blacks, Muslims or homosexuals, even if she harbors prejudices against these groups. I doubt she would dare venture them at all except in the most private circumstances.
Recently, I got into an email exchange with an Indian neighbor who was looking for a nanny or childminder. I mentioned that a young Oriental woman who minds our child some days has a couple of student friends in the church she attends and they are looking for part time work of this nature. I described my helper as a “devout” young woman, as I thought this would be reassuring as to her good character and that of her friends. After all, young women who are devout Christians are unlikely to be drug takers, thieves or otherwise dangerously irresponsible. I wrote it as background information that might be helpful to any parent concerned about the integrity of someone entrusted with a precious child.
I received a very snotty reply. My neighbor told me that “devout” set off great alarm bells in her and her husband, as did “Christian”. No way was she going to have any dealings with such people as she was fed up with “proselytizing” Christians trying to “ram religion down people’s throats”. Needless to say, our correspondence has come to a halt, as I will not reply and I doubt she expects me to. She probably thinks I am a practicing Christian (though I am not), and is clearly not worried if she has upset me. I cannot think of any other information I might have passed on as helpful background that would have elicited such an angry response, except perhaps that the young people were conservative Bush supporters.
I think this, and Karen’s jokes, are anecdotal examples of how Christians are now seen as fair game for openly prejudicial attack and for discrimination. The Media Class has done its work well over the last twenty years in putting certain groups “within the pale”, and other groups like Christians “beyond the pale”.
I thought about my neighbor’s comments and whether they contained any truth. Was she being reasonable, given that she might be a Hindu or even an atheist? In my fairly long life lived in Christian nations, I have experienced very little proselytizing, and what there has been has been no more than an irritant. In one place we used to get visits from Jehovah’s Witnesses and in another, door-to-door Mormon callers. The Salvation Army used to visit my local pubs in England on a Saturday night selling the War Cry, but no-one got offended and many sinners gave donations without taking the newspaper. They then got back to their drinking, throats not at all impeded by having being rammed with religion. One might conclude that Islamic jihadists intend to ram religion down many throats before cutting them, but this seems not to worry ACLU activists, other Leftists, Media people, or the many Indian opponents of Bush’s war.
My anecdotal experience is that Christians don’t ram religion down people’s throats even though the US is a predominantly Christian nation. Even if Christians were coming door-to-door or approaching people at Supermarkets, is this any different than political activists calling for votes or political TV adverts from Soros-financed Moveon.org.? Surely Hindus who come to the US or UK to live and work might expect to experience a little Christian proselytizing from time to time without getting angry. Or is it that the Media has encouraged many people to become intolerant of Christianity through biased and slanted reporting and negative portrayal?
Traditional Christianity is unsettling to those who wish to throw old style moral beliefs out of the window and live without restraints on their sexual behavior. That is why Christianity is constantly denigrated in Hollywood films, TV entertainment and in the live theater. That is why modern artists produce works aimed at offending Christians. Leftists also detest Christianity because good family life nurtures people who have no need of a welfare state. Leftists and anti-moralists combine to send publicly subsidized offensive entertainments like “Jerry Springer-The Opera” on tour around Arts Centers and municipal theaters. Small wonder that someone like Karen, a victim of her own irresponsible personal decisions, develops a strong dislike for Christians to mirror the stuff she sees daily on TV and at the Movies.
I could provide many more anecdotal stories like the above and they all reveal widespread animosity towards Christians and a hatred of President Bush for his commitment to that faith. Commonsense suggests that Bush’s Christian faith, like that of our childminder, should be re-assuring to most normal people, but the Media Class and its Leftist allies have succeeded in arousing intense prejudice in many. Mostly, (and my next opinion comes from yet more anecdotal evidence) I suspect it is the discontented, the embittered, the envious, the unhappy and those who feel uncomfortable about the life styles they have chosen, who now gain emotional relief from attacking those who advocate virtue.
It is not Christianity that is being forced down people’s throats, even though my neighbor may truly believe it to be so. The Media and its allies, like confidence tricksters, have diverted attention to this red herring. Then, whilst some get worked up about nothing, a social revolution is quietly foisted on us all by stealth.