Christians forced to…

It’s difficult to tell another Christian “you should accept injury or death rather than go against Christianity,” but here goes.

I don’t like reading “Christians forced to…” I’m not going to list concrete examples, because in any particular case I may not know or understand all the details; reporting on religion is infamously bad, and the people facing the threat presumably know more about it than anyone else. But still, the headlines should should be “Christians jailed for refusing…” or “Christian fined for not…” For example, “Catholic care home in Belgium fined for refusing euthanasia.” See, “fined for refusing,” not “forced to euthanize.”

I think in some cases this language of “forced to” might be used as a cover for chruchmen and laymen on the left (today) to do what they want to do anyway. That sets a bad example, and a bad precedent. If it’s wrong, we’re not to do it. How will I react when it happens to me? I hope I do the right thing. Until then, lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil.

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3 thoughts on “Christians forced to…

  1. Concur that precision in language, especially in headlines, is important. I see the point you’re making, but would argue that the use of “forced” as a verb emphasizes the coercive power of the state being brought to bear against the Christian in question. Maybe the most precision could be had by “forced to choose between a state policy and their faith,” but that’s far too long for a headline.

    • Hmm, so the headline isn’t written to communicate the key point? Or maybe it is, if the point the journalist wants to communicate is “if you oppose this, the whole apparatus of state coercion will be brought to bear against you; anyway, all the other Christians are giving in; you should too; against the power now rising there can be no victory; it would be wise….”

      Digging into the details of some of these cases, it’s possible the Christians targeted found a way to avoid breaking the law while doing what’s right. It may not be my place to tell them to do otherwise, and there are good reasons to avoid breaking even a bad law, if it’s possible to do so. I don’t think it will be possible for long. The goal is not, e.g., to let a man die at the time and in the manner he chooses, but that the Christian should collaborate in his suicide, to the damnation of both souls.

      • That’s sort of the question, isn’t it? To what extent is the journalist propagating (intentionally or not) the idea that the state will, eventually, crush belief that doesn’t fit with its goals. If they’re truly being objective and factual, then yes, the “Christians fined…” language is best, and what I would prefer to see. If they’re not, then you start to see the “Christians forced…” language creep in.

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