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Why do conservative Christians feel oppressed?

I was in a discussion group recently where the topic was controversial opinions we hold. One woman, a conservative Christian, said her most controversial opinion was her belief in God. I pointed out that the vast majority of Americans believe in God and it's virtually impossible for an avowed atheist or agnostic to be elected to high office in this country. She responded that in her personal life she can't be open about her religious beliefs. (This was Lancaster County, PA, famous for its religious heritage and conservative politics.)

This feeling of grievance among conservative Christians helps account for their overwhelming support for Trump. But where does it come from? How can such a powerful group feel so oppressed?

By Lalo
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52 comments

10

It's not that a person's belief in god is controversial, it's that their expression of it typically has to be restricted and they call that oppression. For instance, proselytizing in the workplace will get you dragged into HR, but so will sexual harassment. The fact that both are unwanted is the specific reason for the reprimand is lost on the Christian. The outrage is in being treated similarly to the one accused of universally unacceptable behavior, while they consider their own behavior a service.

GinaMaria Level 6 June 23, 2018
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Brilliant!

9

I agree with the change thing.

White conservative people have been in the driver's seat for so long, that equality feels like oppression.

JeezumsCripes Level 5 June 23, 2018
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Hard to believe since equality has not been achieved yet, are their heads going to explode if that ever comes about?

8

Evangelical true believers feel that the absolute certainty of their dogma entitles them to intrude on the lives of others and to impose their dogma on others to further their cause. They feel that any attempts to limit their intrusive and abusive behavior is oppression. In other words, they really don't give a damned about us and our rights, nor do they feel bound by the U.S. Constitution.

wordywalt Level 8 June 23, 2018
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@Beach_slim Your statement is a damnable lie! It is a lame excuse to try to detract attention from my point. Can't you do any better than that?

@Beach_slim Because this is a democracy, and government services which the majority feel are needed have to be paid for, in spite of freeloaders like you.

@Beach_slim You extreme libertarians have no conscience, no moral integrity. Your mantra is self absorption. You obviously do not believe in either democracy or our U.onstitution.

@wordywalt I only had to read a few comments by this Beachballsack before blocking him. Drumpf is causing the slimy sltherers to come out from under their rocks. Terrible, horrid little people.

Edited

@Beach_slim Your irrationality is astounding.

@Beach_slim I reapeat: Your irrationality and intellectual dishonesty are astounding.

Edited
8

Those who want to oppress others feel oppressed when they can't!

Krish55 Level 7 June 23, 2018
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7

Because they have been told by their "shepherds.", "You are under attack. Send me enough money to buy a jet plane."

Jacar Level 7 June 23, 2018
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7

They get affirmation from their group. A feeling of persecution is a thread that runs through all of christendom from its very beginning and modern day christians feel a need to attach themselves to that thread. I am struck, and often privately offended, that every mealtime they "bless" their food with the assumption that a god gave it to them. There seems to be no regard for the millions of people in the world that die from starvation and the very idea that they have food because god thinks they deserve it directly implies that those who die of starvation do not deserve it.

Mossback Level 2 June 23, 2018
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7

Because, like any five year old or person who is mentally five years old, they are unable to tell the difference between being oppressed and not always getting what one wants.

webbew1 Level 7 June 23, 2018
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@Beach_slim what does universal healthcare have to do with this topic, I know christians from all denominations that both oppose and support the ideal, just as I know atheist and agnostics that are on both sides of that issue.

7

Most people do not handle change well. Those that resist change are more conservative. Why can't they handle change, even though their own beliefs have changed from when they were children or from their parents view points? Some tragedy in their lives, being afraid of some thing (maybe death), some negative event(s) -- it may be a long term environmental impact (parents). How to change this? There is no way to change conservatives into liberals -- it must come from within. The same applies in reverse.

xyz123 Level 6 June 23, 2018
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6

Ignorance! Stupid people have a real problem accepting where they are in life becuase of their own decisions, so they blame someone else, like minorities and people who have more than they do.Trump figured out how to tap into that.

Sticks48 Level 8 June 23, 2018
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6

My mother is the same way, conservative x-ian, complains that her rights are being taken away, people like her are being persecuted for their beliefs, etc. As a teenager I went to church frequently and other religious events. At many of these events the attitudes were the same, the religious were being persecuted. I think it has a lot do with the passages in their bible about early christianity being persecuted by the Romans, especially what happened to their savior. I believe that it creates a martyr syndrome that they fully, completely embrace and utilize to their advantage while acting as if it does not actually exist.

OtherPatrick Level 5 June 23, 2018
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6

It is stated in their bible and part of their dogma that they will be persecuted, so that is just part of their shtick.

jlynn37 Level 8 June 23, 2018
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5

I live in a small farming town in SE Pa, so I have contact with a lot of Mennonites. Despite their religiousNess, they are unbelievably cruel to their animals, as are the Amish. Also, within a 1 mile radius there are 10 churches. Talk about in the thick of it! 😏

Nontradstudent Level 4 June 24, 2018
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5

Started with Reagan, evangelicals started taking over the party and changing the narrative. The new rule is it's never your fault. Its high taxes, the government, the atheists, another religion or just simply liberals. All of them were supposed to be millionaires by now.

clarkatticus Level 6 June 23, 2018
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Well said, Reagan caused more problems than people realize. He was the first governor to close down mental institutions in California, thereby creating the huge homeless issue we have now.

@Nontradstudent yeah, but he lowered the budget....

5

Fear.

daylily Level 7 June 23, 2018
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5

I've come to believe it's more of a ploy or tactic they've used since childhood to get their own way. I now pounce on the opportunity to laugh at them and their pretend tears.

Anonbene Level 7 June 23, 2018
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4

My opinion is that they feel oppressed because things sometimes don't go their way. Gay marriage is legal... Prayer in schools is out... Abortions happen... Trump was supposed to be the savior and he is just a power hungry sociopath really...

I get this from some members of my family quite often; that god isn't as important in this country as it used to be. I find this to be good news; however, the intense push to get back to the "God" era of the 50s kind of makes me giggle. Thats when we were putting people on the moon and making great science (by people who were mostly Atheists). Now we have the Arc Encounter and the Creation Museum complete with kids riding dinosaurs, sad really.

I wonder what the Millennials really believe about science and religion... Out of touch i guess.

Gyanez Level 5 June 26, 2018
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People can pray in school. What is out, is forced prayer in school. It's important that the real issue is expressed. They have pushed this lie of "no prayer in school" as if they cannot pray while at school. The reality is, they are not allowed to FORCE people into SCHOOL LEAD PRAYER. It's important that people understand what is really going on.

@novoxguy As long as there are algebra tests there will be prayer in school

@kozmic ANYONE can pray ANY TIME....SILENTLY!

@LucyLoohoo Pretty sure they can pray aloud too, if it's not disrupting class like anyone talking to their not invisible friends in class would. They can say grace over their food at lunch or pray as loudly as they want during recess.

4

Simple, short answer?

Because society is growing beyond them and lessening their ability to oppress others.

DaveMania Level 6 June 26, 2018
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4

Much like the nonexistent war on xmas, these are tactics used by the religious right/cults. They indoctrinate with the "them against us" dogma. Very effective with Republicons. Seriously, I do not understand how ANY atheist can support Drumpf.

SheBeSecular Level 6 June 24, 2018
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I agree with you 100%. Drumpf is the worst. It's all about him and we are the victims. If the media had any balls they would stop posting eve3ry damned thing that he tweets. Then I could have my life back.

4

Christians are fearful people who are afraid they will go somewhere that doesn't exist as told to them by the very rich pastors, so they do what they are told. In that way they are taken advantage of and have some feelings of oppression because there is no way out. Does that make sense?

Nontradstudent Level 4 June 24, 2018
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4

As one who is from PA as well, I could assure anyone that the religious folks in my state are not oppressed.

SpikeTalon Level 8 June 24, 2018
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4

I think it's because they think everybody should believe the way they do and maybe that's the way they can control and act like the victim

James1403 Level 5 June 24, 2018
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4

Christianity is founded on self persecution how could they behave any other way?

slinkie59 Level 5 June 23, 2018
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4

As Louis Black would say, I can't be kind about this. If people believe in stupendously delusional things and they try to convert others to their delusion, they just might meet with some well deserved kick back and not have the capacity to fathom why and be left with feeling oppressed.

Healthydoc70 Level 6 June 23, 2018
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4

I've encountered this for years, and I don't get it. Just because the world questions you, you're persecuted. Really. Just because others want equal rights you're persecuted. Fragile aren't they.

HippieChick58 Level 9 June 23, 2018
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Yes...they are the true snowflakes.

3

It's not that Christians are oppressed, it's that terrible, face-palm inducing, holiday churchgoing, bible cherry picking, narrow minded, ass hats like the lady you described are; and rightly so.

They're also oppressed by other Christians who'd most likely shorten my list to either misguided, or embarrassing. People like the lady you described are the ones that whenever they're speaking; one can feel the reverberation of the collective sighs in the room.

As Dylan Moran put it. "It's not that Americans are stupid, it's just that American stupid people sound more stupid than any other kind of stupid person."

BeardedWonder Level 6 June 24, 2018
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