One of the things that I find very annoying about Christianity is that they always like to make themselves out to be victims of religious persecution. They have been doing this for years and they continue to do it even today. If you go to a bookstore and look at the Christian section you will most likely see several copies of books on martyrdom etc. What they don't tell you is that before they were recognized as the state religion by Rome they were persecuted severely both by the state and competing religions of the region. But once they had become the state recognized religion of choice things changed.
The Christian religion has so much blood on its hands that one could probably fill up the Nile with it! The history of the Christian church is violent and bloody, it is filled with war and conquests and torture and death. There is pedophilia, illicit sex, hidden and illegal abortions, murder, etc. As a former theists myself, one of the things that turned me off to Christianity was its violent past and how the O.T. portrayed its God. Although I don't believe in the bible if some of the tales were true this God was nothing but a celestial tyrant who did not deserve worship at all. Instead all he deserved from me was curses.
I was debating a theist not long ago who said that I did not know my church history, because the Catholic church is not a Christian church! When I attributed the longevity of the existence of the church to its acceptance by the Roman empire, I then got the ridiculous response above.He claimed that if the bible were not true the church would have not been around today, it would have been exposed as false a long time ago. Protestants try to disassociate themselves from the Crusades, the various inquisitions, and witch hunts carried out by the church. But this is in fact impossible to do.
Although the Crusades were launched to squash the takeover of the Holy Land by the Muslim's and Islam, they took advantage of that situation to promote their beliefs by using military might. The Roman empire had its armies and the church raised an army of mostly peasants to help carry out the Crusades. The Church used this situation to destroy and obliterate the existence of competing religions. If Christianity had not been victorious most likely we would have been Muslims and Islam would have been our national religion. It's hard to imagine and I find the thought horrific as I am even writing about the notion. In the end I guess I could honestly say that we got the lesser of two evils. The ideal situation would be that all religions be wiped off the face of the earth.
You'd think that a religion that was born in turmoil, torture and persecution would know better but I guess that they did not learn a damn thing. It's like a slave who after being a slave for many years is granted his freedom and then he turns around and buys a couple of slaves for himself later on! The church is where it is today because of military might and its various conquests during the Crusades, this was no gospel of peace. During those days church and state were one and the same and that is why our constitution prohibits that. But there are countries where the church has a strong hold on the populace and the situation is not that different.
Even here in the U.S. in the so called "bible belt" region we have laws in our books that although they are not active prohibit blasphemy and other beneficial laws for the church. In Delaware in 1776 a politician had to take this oath before taking office: 'I,_____, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by divine inspiration'." Whatever happened to separation of church and state in this instance! Here is a good link on laws that benefit Christianity both old and new: http://www.religioustolerance.org/lawmenu.htm
In today's world atheists, gays, women who have abortions, and a slew of others are targets of the religious right. Although they say it's illegal in our constitution to discriminate against anyone for such things as race, sex, religion, and even a criminal past what actually happens is completely different. There are many convicted felons that can't even find a job due to a criminal past. We are the persecuted ones not the Christians.
The only thing being persecuted by us atheist is Christian ideals, we don't want to see the slogan "In God We Trust" on our money, in our court houses, or any state funded facility. We don't want to recognize Creationism/Intelligent Design as a science or an alternative theory of creation based on the bibles bogus version of creation. It is not science and it does not belong in our schools.
There is nor never was such a thing as Christian persecution after Rome took in the church as its own. The church has been the one guilty of all the persecution and although they can't go around hanging, torturing, or burning us at the stake anymore they are trying to use politics to get their way in this country. We atheists and other so called "minority" groups stand in the way and we simply wont allow religion to force itself upon our lives and society.