"Away With all Born-again Bigots!"
The woman carried a sign, as did many others of the shouting, angry group. What her sign said was typical of the messages on the other signs as well as the slogans being shouted. The sign read, "Away with all born-again bigots!"
The place was Chicago during the Democratic Convention of 1996. Assembled across the street were some of those "born again bigots" and others who shared similar concerns with them; concerns for what abortion was doing to our country.
If you are not "politically correct" then it is doubtful that your message will be tolerated. If you do not use the right phrases (i.e. "a woman's right to choose" to describe abortion; "an alternate lifestyle" to describe homosexual behavior). Instead, your beliefs and faith will be ridiculed; you'll be falsely charged with being filled with hate; those like you will be depicted in comedy routines as ignorant; hypocritical; intolerant or worse.
These modern persecutors of the faith have their first century counterparts who justified their intolerance of cruel mistreatment of Christians. First century Christians were easy marks; all the ills of Roman society was falsely blamed on them. They were so uncooperative; they would worship the gods nor partake in society's excesses. If anyone was fit to be thrown to lions; they were. Hear the Roman historian Cornelius Tacitus (born 52-54 A.D.) discuss the reign of Nero, essentially saying, "Sure, Christians were mistreated and falsely accused, but they deserved it."
"But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements that could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero from the infamy of being believed to have ordered the conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence, to suppress the rumor, he falsely charged with the guilt, and punished with the most exquisite tortures, the persons commonly called Christians, who were hated for their enormities. Christus, the founder of the name, was put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief originated, but through the city of Rome also." (Annals; 112 A.D.)
A couple of things:
Jesus Christ is historical; not mythical. The official Roman records which Tacitus had at his disposal recorded the actions of Pilate concerning the crucifixion of Jesus and concurs with the Biblical record. Only the ignorant, willfully or not, deny that Jesus was real.
As we consider Nero's propaganda against first century Christians or Hitler's anti-Jewish propaganda of this century which led to the holocaust, we see a warning that the anti-Christian bias in the media today could also pave the way for future justification to persecute believers. I personally believe that the woman carrying the sign would be happy to do "away with born-again bigots" and, perhaps, looks forward to the day when the laws of the land no longer give them protection from such. That day may be closer than we think.
By Jon W. Quinn
The Front Page
From Expository Files 3.10; October 1996