Why This Section
Being raised by godly parents in the Bible Belt of the United States, I started out in life with misconceptions about people's attitudes toward Christianity. We were in church just about every time the doors were open and some times when they were not. When I was still in knee pants, I heard preachers like Ed Vallowe and R.G. Lee, who came to the churches we attended to preach. The people my parents knew and had fellowship with were Christians and when I stayed over at friends' houses we went to church on Sunday. The friends did not always attend a Baptist church like my parents, but they attended church.
Often I spent summers with my grandparents after my parents moved back to Macon, Georgia, but my grandparents on my mother's side were in church. They were Primitive Baptists and I had another experience of Christian thought being with them. Also, they were Sacred Harp singers, so once a month or so we would be at a singing on a Saturday and sometimes a Sunday. My widowed grandmother on my dad's side had a television and she received programming from Atlanta. She got three whole stations on her television. So, since she did not drive and seldom left the house, she would watch church broadcasts on television once in a while. She kept her church letter in a trunk because she did not go to meeting any more.
When I started carrying newspapers for the Macon Telegraph and News in Warner Robins, Georgia, I was the youngest paperboy they had ever had. I grew my route and they made me think they were proud of me. Today, I am sure the liberals would intervene over an eleven year old paper boy having his own business going, but I learned valuable lessons through that experience. One of these lessons was that not everybody was honest in their treatment of young boys, but also I learned that a great many people did not go to church or consider church particularly valuable. I also learned that there were Jews in my community, and there were also people who were members of other religious groups that were not Christians. At the time experiences of open hostility toward Christians in my part of the world was highly unusual.
As a matter of fact it was not till my high school years that I began to encounter truly open hostility toward Christianity. Along the way I had learned about some of the history of persecution, but that all seemed to be a thing in the past tense, not something I needed to be concerned about today. It seemed the bigger problem was danger to missionaries who were going into pagan areas to spread the Gospel. But the danger was connected with the paganism and backwardness of the people, not real hatred for the Gospel or for the true God. Little did I know. When I heard the story of a girl down in Brazil who was won to faith in Jesus Christ and subsequently murdered down by the river near her home by Catholics in her own hometown the story seemed a bit unreal. But then I began to realize that some people were antagonistic to Christianity right in the high school I attended.
For instance, my history teacher, who was supposed to be a United Methodist, challenged me one day to prove there was a God. This challenge seemed out of the clear blue and took me by surprise. I replied to him almost without thought to walk outside, take a look around at Creation and come back in and tell me there was not. For that and some other things I failed his course that year, but took it again the next year in another school, using the same book and did quite well without studying. What I am saying is that I do not believe the failure was truly academic. At the new school my science teacher kept pushing me to plan for a career in science. Already she was planning for world peace through a one world government and science bringing the benefits of innovation to all mankind. I have read about the one world government that will eventually come in the Bible and it is not bringing benefits but condemnation to mankind.
There were some incidents along the way, but when I became a man and embarked on a career in the military I discovered there was a lot of people who hated the God of the Bible and especially Jesus Christ. For this reason they also hated people who believed in Him. One particularly telling time was at the 21st TASS when I was Team Leader of Tactical Air Control Party Team 1. I was called into the office my captain and senior nco shared. When I came in the two of them were listening to a ballgame on the radio and the captain was kicked back in his chair with his lowest desk drawer opened and his foot on it. The question was posed to me, "Don't you agree there is a time and place for all things?" I answered that I believed that because the Bible said so. Then they told me that they did not agree with me talking about "religion" while on duty. I should confine my conversation to military subjects. I told them that I could do that and they needed to be prepared to lead by example. Turn off the ballgame and get that unauthorized radio out of here. Then I looked down at the captain's open desk drawer and told him he needed to get those unauthorized pornographic magazines out of the office. I told them that I didn't usually discuss religion. I usually talk about Christianity, it is what I am interested in and it is what the people I usually talk with are interested in. That was the last conversation we had on the subject but they got their revenge when it was time to write performance reports. I could talk of other incidents that happened in the same vein. But you get the idea. I have no doubt that I would have retired with more rank had there not been prejudice over the issue of Christianity over the years.
One occasion of personal harassment in the military is worthy of recounting. My commander knew I was suffering from asthma and sinuses at the time. I had a standing prescription at the Troop Medical Clinic waiting for me. I only had to go by and pick up a refill any time it was needed. Also I was being pulled in every six months or so for chest x-rays and blood tests because of what I had been exposed to in the late sixties in the performance of my duty. I was probably the only none smoker in our small organization. One day, the commander called a meeting in a basement office and declared the smoking lamp was lit. I tried to open one of the window ports to the outside air and he refused to allow me to do so. I became reddened in my skin, and gasping for air. I broke out in a sweat and my sinuses started pouring. I was wheezing and gasping for breath as well as gagging. I started staggering toward the door and he told me if I left the room I would be up for Article 15 discipline. I stopped and held on for a few minutes longer and retching headed for the door again when he once more threatened me with discipline. At this move he again threatened me and I told him I wanted courts martial so the whole story would be told. Needless to say, there was no discipline taken up front. His own career would have been ended. The reason for this action? He wanted something done that was unethical and I would not obey him because it would have been wrong for a Christian to do so.
Often people are faced with hard decisions anywhere they are in life. But I know of many incidents in the military because that was a large part of my life. When I was the NCOIC of a detachment located with the 2nd Armored Division Forward there was an incident that occurred in the 3/41 Battalion that I should mention. It happened to a young NCO, nicknamed Chuck, who I not only worked with professionally but knew as a member of the church I pastored. You need to know something about military life to appreciate what I am about to tell you. In the professional military there are two formal get togethers between officers and noncommissioned officers that have an air of formality and camaraderie. They are called Dining Outs and Dining Ins. At these get togethers soldiers put on dress uniforms and eat a formal meal, which is followed by toasts beginning with the Commander in Chief all the way down the chain of command. At the end of these events an informal time follows where a lot of people get drunk. It is always understood that an individual with reservations against drinking or problems with drink are excused from using wine during the toasts. They use water. The difference between a Dining In and a Dining Out is that with one officers and noncoms bring their ladies, and with the other they are left at home. In both cases those who object to the after dinner drinking session or dancing are free to leave without prejudice after the formal observances. The commander of the 3/41 evidently had other ideas about such things. He did not want anyone to make toasts without using alcoholic beverage. This coupled with the fact that the man had made a spectacle of himself by driving a remote controlled toy Russian T55 tank through the food at the last event made Chuck, whose story I am about to tell you, willing to stand 24 hours of continuous duty rather than to expose his wife to such folly. The officers and other ncos harrassed Chuck in the days coming up to the event, and then when it came time to stand his duty they did not relieve him when the duty cycle was over. Instead Chuck was required to go forward to other work. This refusal to relieve continued for several days until finally Chuck fell asleep on duty. It was then he was put under charges. At the courts martial I testified on his behalf but it did no good. They probably did not like the fact I told them how improper and unprofessional their behavior had been, especially since the young man's commander, who was the root cause of the situation was also in charge the court. Chuck was reduced in rank and fined among other things. But the root problem lay with the fact a Christian who was trying to behave properly was persecuted by ungodly people who hated him for doing so.
The hatred of Christianity is so virulent that once, when I was passing out tracts with my children, a man came out on the loading docks at one place and started cursing at my daughter who was probably all of about four or five years old at the time. I was dumbfounded at his language and actions until he threatened to call the police. Then I recovered my senses and told him to go ahead, I knew we were not breaking any laws but I was not too sure about whether the verbal assault and threatening might be illegal or not. One time I got a call from the school my son was attending in South Carolina. They were upset because he was out on the school yard telling kids when they misbehaved that they would go to hell unless they quit acting like that. I do not know what response they expected from me, but I told them that he had it almost right; I would keep working on him. The truth is antiChristianism is rampant in the public school, whether you are talking about teacher or textbooks.
Concerning the Public Schools, I do know something about what I claim in relation to that. I worked from fourth to twelfth grades during the space of a few years after my retirement. I have actually seen the subtle and overt prejudices present in the textbooks, and I have seen evidences of teacher prejudices. These did not occur in the school in which I worked, but came to me through my involvement in the practice of Counseling and had to work with upset parents and students. I have also seen the practice of unbiblical socialist intrusions into the home through the Public School System. I know that these things exist. I have witnessed them in action, not just read about them.
Overseas I had occasion to see prejudice against Christians. Sometimes it was aimed at indigenous people who were believers. For instance, the some ten thousand native Christians in Turkey have the fact they are Christian imprinted on all their legal paperwork in that country. What do you suppose happens to the level of cooperation they receive from Muslim officials every time they need to get something done? Turkey, like most Islamic countries is a land where you bribe everyone to do their jobs. It costs Christians more. I have also seen countries like Turkey mistreat Christians who were visiting their country. As a matter of fact, this has happened to Christian servicemen and women, and our government did nothing.
After Hitler fell, some members of the Theosophical Society stated Hitlerís big mistake was that he started with the Jews when he should have begun with the Christians. At the close of the Twentieth Century it was declared that more Christians had died as martyrs in that century than any other. That is quite a statement to anyone who knows anything about what has happened to believers in the past. The reporting of what is going on needs to be made and emphasized. This is the reason we have decided to make a special section in the Minister of Education reports to cover the important topic of AntiChristianism.