“There is now a serious risk that Christianity will disappear from its biblical heartlands,” said a report by think-tank Civitas about persecution of Christians in the Middle East. Ample evidence suggests there are those who would like Christianity to vanish from the West as well.
The Civitas report was titled “Christianophobia.” It “highlights a fear among oppressive regimes that Christianity is a ‘Western creed’ which can be used to undermine them,” according to a report in the London Telegraph.
A “Western creed”? The contemporary “Western creed” is post-Christian and increasingly even anti-Christian. One could hardly classify as Christian a culture where the Selfie is the icon before which multitudes worship, where unbounded sexual engagement is the core sacrament (people have now used their God-given creativity to link sex and Selfie by photographing themselves just after a romp), where the biblically based family is becoming a museum piece, and where the blood sacrifice is too often unborn children.
In fact, as the growing movement to stifle free speech and expression reveals, Western culture would like to get rid of the pesky voice of biblical Christianity altogether.
Some nations suppress Christians, their beliefs and messages violently. Current Western culture, however, has its own style of trying to silence the real church. It follows a specific sequence, which has accelerated in recent years.
The chain moves from caricaturization to marginalization to vilification to villainization to criminalization to elimination.
One of the easiest ways to discredit someone, an institution, movement, or idea is to caricature it by making the subject look comical or grotesque. Some caricatures are done admiringly and lovingly, like those on theater playbills or the walls of New York delis.
The other style of caricaturization comes from spite, anger, and hatred – like those the Washington Post’s Herblock drew of Richard Nixon (Herblock’s most vicious was probably a cartoon of Chuck Colson just after he had become a Christian), or in the way some racist publications depict Barack Obama.
The aim of grotesque caricature is to make the subject appear clownish, a bumbling buffoon who should not be taken seriously, or a sinister monster, as we will see in a moment.
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