One of the constant points I hear a lot from Christians is that the United States is becoming more anti/post/etc Christian. This is usually backed up by anecdotal stories of people becoming more aggressive and combative with Christians/Christ-followers/etc. Of course, you can go back for decades and find Christians saying the same thing for as long as any of us have been alive. I like to listen to historic Christian music a lot, and “the U.S. is more and more against us” is a common lyrical theme all the way back to the beginnings of Christian Rock in 1960s.

Of course, if “anti-Christian” sentiment has been increasing all this time… how is it even legal to be a Christian still? I myself have heard since the 80s that “Christianity will be outlawed within a few years.” Yet, you don’t see attacks on Christians increasing (quite the opposite), nor do you see the influence of Christianity decreasing in politics, tech, or entertainment.

Of course, it is hard to quantify an entire nation “becoming more hostile to” something. Its even harder to prove that is happening online with so many private Facebook groups, Twitter accounts, discussion forums, the Dark Web, alternate social media services, etc, etc. What you see happening in your own world is really just your anecdotal view. In my anecdotal view, all kinds of people that weren’t Christian 10 years ago are suddenly “praying for the Church to win the culture war.” Anti-LQBTQA / BLM / Liberal / Female / etc sentiments have been increasing year after year. But again, that is just my view. I live in a conservative suburb in a Red state.

One way we can quantify hate is by the officially tracked FBI hate crimes statistics. I will highlight some statistics from the past five years that are reported to see if there are trends:

  • In 2015, religious-based attacks were 19.8-21.4% of reported attacks. 56.9-58.9% were race/ethnicity/ancestry based. 19.5-20.1% were sexual-orientation/gender-identity based.
  • In 2016, religious-based attacks were 21.0-21.3% of reported attacks. 57.5-58.5% were race/ethnicity/ancestry based. 18.7-19.7% were sexual-orientation/gender-identity based.
  • In 2017, religious-based attacks were 20.7-22.0% of reported attacks. 58.1-59.5% were race/ethnicity/ancestry based. 17.6% were sexual-orientation/gender-identity based.
  • In 2018, religious-based attacks were 18.6-20.2% of reported attacks. 57.5-59.5% were race/ethnicity/ancestry based. 19.1-19.4% were sexual-orientation/gender-identity based.
  • In 2019, religious-based attacks were 19.6-21.4% of reported attacks. 58.1-59.5% were race/ethnicity/ancestry based. 19.5-19.6% were sexual-orientation/gender-identity based. (this is the last year reported)

It seems that most forms of hate crimes are staying at about the same level, with religious attacks on about the same level as sexual-orientation/gender-identity attacks – but all falling far behind race/ethnicity/ancestry based attacks.

However, I should point out that the category of “religious attacks” account for ALL religions, and the exact divisions within that percentage tells a different story for Protestant/Evangelical Christians:

  • In 2015, 51.% of all religious attacks were anti-Jewish, 22.2% were anti-Islamic (Muslim), and 3.5% were anti-Protestant.
  • In 2016, 54.2% of all religious attacks were anti-Jewish, 24.8% were anti-Islamic (Muslim), and 1.3% were anti-Protestant.
  • In 2017, 58.1% of all religious attacks were anti-Jewish, 18.7% were anti-Islamic (Muslim), and 2.4% were anti-Protestant.
  • In 2018, 57.8% of all religious attacks were anti-Jewish, 14.5% were anti-Islamic (Muslim), and 2.5% were anti-Protestant.
  • In 2019, 60.3% of all religious attacks were anti-Jewish, 13.3% were anti-Islamic (Muslim), and 1.5% were anti-Protestant.

Attacks against Protestants seem to be on a downward trend since 2015. But to put this into perspective – in 2019, there were 24 attacks in entire country that were found to be against Protestants (i.e. attacks perpetrated because the person attacked was Protestant), but 1,393 attacks against someone for being LQBTQA. There were 1,930 anti-Black attacks.

Who is suffering more hate in this country?

To be honest, I don’t see the country becoming more against Jesus or people that follow him. But… yes, I have noticed some changes in the national conversations over the past few decades. So I recognized that there are changes happening… many of which DO affect certain versions of Christianity.

In general, the national conversation is becoming less anti-LGBTQA. Yes, there is still a lot of work to do, but if you want to treat someone that is LGBTQA as less than human (by denying them cakes, weddings, bathroom access, etc), you are experiencing more push back against that. However, nothing in the Bible tells you to fight against LGBTQA rights. You added that to your version of Christianity, and you are being persecuted for THAT and not following Jesus.

In general, the national conversation is becoming more pro-choice. This is different that pro-abortion, and those that want to treat it that way are experiencing push back. In fact, those that want to tell a woman what choice she has to make with pregnancy are receiving more push back as well. However, nothing in the Bible tells you to fight against the Pro-Choice cause. You added that to your version of Christianity, and you are being persecuted for THAT and not following Jesus.

In general, the national conversation is becoming more anti-racist. Again, there is still a lot of work to do here as well. But if you want to respond with “All Lives Matter” to someone that points out ongoing systemic racism, you are experiencing push back against that. If you want to have racist responses to immigrants or immigration, you are experience more push back against that as well. However, nothing in the Bible tells you to see BLM as a terrorist organization, or immigrants as less than human, or to participate in racism against any group. You added that to your version of Christianity, and you are being persecuted for THAT and not following Jesus.

In general, the national conversation is becoming more anti-corporation and anti-capitalism. There has always been a strong anti-big business trend in the U.S., but it is gaining momentum as the corporations take more and give back less… or more people realize that nothing trickles down. If you are supporting corporations that overwork and underpay it’s employees, you are experiencing more push back against that. However, nothing in the Bible tells you to see Big Business as the answer for everything in our economy. You added that to your version of Christianity, and you are being persecuted for THAT and not following Jesus.

In general, the national conversation is becoming more anti-rich. This is connected to the anti-corporation and anti-capitalism statements, but if you continue to support the people making huge profits by not treating their employees well, then you are facing more push back against that. Nothing in the Bible ever supports the rich person over the poor person. You added that to your version of Christianity, and you are being persecuted for THAT and not following Jesus.

In general, the national conversation is becoming more anti-conservative. As more People of Color, LGBTQA advocates, disabled people, and other historically marginalized groups are gaining more of the conversation space, they are speaking out more about the oppression they have faced. And they actually speak out against all political parties, but Conservatives seem to have the most party positions that are against them, so yes if you are of that political party, you are experiencing more push back against discriminatory political stances of your party. Nothing in the Bible favors one party over the other. You added that to your version of Christianity, and you are being persecuted for THAT and not following Jesus.

There is a lot more that I could go into there, like how Conservatives claim they are being censored more and more on social media, despite studies that show they are not (and in fact, they are usually more prominent at those companies than people realize). But let’s be honest: through the decades, every complaint that the U.S. was becoming more hostile to Christianity was actually a compliant that conservatism was losing ground. And yes, I am aware that Church attendance is declining… but it just now dipped below the majority of Americans this last year. The U.S. is still somewhere between 60-ish to 70-ish% Christian depending on how you define Christian. It is clear that it is the not the Church that is suffering more hostility, but the Conservative re-imaging of Christianity that is facing the most push back.

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