The Subtleties of Religious Persecution

Christians Being Persecuted

A lot of articles have come out recently outlining the subtleties of racism, homophobia, sexism, and every other politically expedient offensive behavior. One of the more popular topics is “institutionalized racism.” The idea being that while the civil rights movement did bring about an end to socially acceptable blatant racism, the institutions – apparently all of them – have ingrained in them a subtle but serious form of racism that in many ways is more serious than anything so superficial as “the ‘N’ word”. Or so the story goes one way or another. There are plenty such articles floating around.

What I haven’t seen is anything concerning religious persecution in America. Those same folks obsessed with rainbows and 15 year old children getting sex changes seem to miss the biggest problem our society continues to face. That of religious persecution.

Don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of compassion for Mosques and Islam, especially in urban areas. The cause of the Buddhist monks in Tibet has caused rise of a bumper-sticker movement rivaled only by “co-exist” and “Obama-Biden”. However, the perception among Americans is that Christianity – much like white skin – represents the majority and therefore by default neither needs nor deserves any defense.

Ironically, this same society has actively proclaimed for decades now, more and more loudly, that we are “not” a “Christian nation”. Choosing whichever position – majority/minority – based on expediency. When convenient, Christians are the majority and must submit to the “underprivileged” minority opposition. When inconvenient, then Christians represent an obsolete part of our nation’s history. A part that we have “evolved” beyond. Yes society is by nature sociopathic. Adjusting its morals to its desires and effectively eliminating nearly all absolutes.

Therein lies the problem. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 7 that Christians are always a minority:

For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

So there aren’t 2 answers, there is only 1. True Christians always will be a minority. Such a fact will never stop a true sociopath though. When convenient, the sociopath will themselves invoke the name Jesus, as “evidence” of their assertion that Christians are the majority and therefore must relegate ourselves to silence.

Again from Matthew 7:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”

So here is when religious persecution becomes common-place and socially acceptable. When much of it is coming from others that claim to be Christians. They come in all stripes. From those that have friends that are living in what Jesus would call “sin” and want to defend their friends as an act of supposed “love”. To those that know lots of people that claim to be Christian, reinforcing the idea that real Christians come a dime-a-dozen. Yet, again, the road is narrow. Yet again, not everyone that claims to be Christian is.

jesus says judging you

Therefore, in a nation, a world even, that protects “minorities”; the “few” that Jesus spoke of, those hated by the world because they are not “of the world”, they will be and are persecuted without hesitation and without criticism. The same as has always been.

Just try to be salt and light in a school, or government office, even most secular workplaces have tolerance for everything but the word of God.

If you would like to enjoy an excellent commentary on this topic I suggest you rent the entertaining movie “Time Changer” (2002). You may even be lulled into believing that the struggles you’ve faced are not persecution when they really are. Rest assured, the motivation can be subtle but the outcome is every bit as damaging as any “institutionalized racism” today.

Time Changer Excellent Movie

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Carrots, Shelves, and Foster Care

“There are those who snatch the fatherless child from the breast, and they take a pledge against the poor.” – Job 24:9

I may be the first and last to ever tell you this, but foster care is not very Christian, not very godly, and seldom does anyone any good.

The above information did not come easily. It came from having thought exactly the opposite. What better example of serving “widows and orphans” than foster care, right? Even if most aren’t actually orphans, there must be someone out there somewhere that are in the system because of a tragic accident right? Well maybe, but if you become a foster parent you won’t likely meet them.

Who will you meet? You’ll meet several people. You’ll meet the children, the caseworker, some visitation center staff, and a lawyer. Yes, the children are everything you’ve imagined & then some. Adorable, vulnerable, and damaged. “Nobody ever told them about Jesus!” … “They just need love…” … and so on the cliches go. Every lie has a tiny bit of truth. While it may be true that the should-be-but-isn’t-verbal 3-year-old hasn’t been told about Jesus, and you might get to be the first to tell them about a bearded man living in the middle of her chest somewhere, they sure need a lot more than love. In fact, what may have been more important to them than anything you might do is what you could have avoided. YOU, yes you…

You see, the child you are caring for is neglected per a perfect standard where first words come at 1 year old and parents live up to a standard that you and I would approve of. You know a standard of Sunday School and Baby Mozart CDs, Bible stories before bed and lavish hugs and kisses. You know the kind of stuff one mom at a church sneers at another mom at the same church for doing differently. Or even something less convincing.

Remember the scene from Cheaper By The Dozen where the mean-spirited neighbor says: “l always knew one of your kids would land on a milk carton.”???

However that child almost certainly will NOT be an orphan. In fact, they probably have very loving parents. If you’ve followed the news concerning foster care in a very objective way you would have learned that you may have that child because the parents failed to file a letter with the school district (https://www.facebook.com/bringthestanleykidshome) or they allowed their kids to walk to the nearby park and some neighbor “thought” they were in danger (http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/maryland-couple-want-free-range-kids-but-not-all-do/2015/01/14/d406c0be-9c0f-11e4-bcfb-059ec7a93ddc_story.html), or had an ax to grind, or were just plain jealous.

I’m not aware of any scripture that says that it is God’s will that we take children from their parents to “win them for Christ.” In fact, I know plenty of amazing parents that don’t expect their own children to choose Christ until they’re older and ready to. There’s good orthodox theology about “the age of accountability”.

Don’t get me wrong here, a lot of these kids are getting off to a bad start. Believe it or not God can use “bad starts” (just ask Joseph). Yet we play God when we take them away from the parents that God gave them to. Most studies show that far beyond the “neglect” a child experiences when left in their bedroom too long because their parent was hungover, being removed from their home for even a day (more-less the common 6-12 months of foster care) is downright traumatic. Leave it to the government to make a bad situation worse!

When jumping through all of the hoops to become foster parents we were pretty naive. We thought we were helping, we were the “good guys”, and we were serving God. We didn’t even know that we would get paid. Now we know, not only do you get paid to foster, but you get paid monthly after adopting. With enough kids it can be quite a revenue stream. Of course, so long as your heart is in the right place, it doesn’t hurt to take some profit right?

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Matthew 6:24

CARROT MEET SHELF: It’s easy to rationalize that this is a good thing. I know great people that do it, really great people, but here’s the reality. By signing up to be a foster parent with the government you become little more than a refrigerator shelf in their ever expanding walk-in cooler. They have no religious standards at all. Their standards are purely bureaucratic. I’m not complaining about the paperwork. In an ideal world that would just be due diligence. However, the world is far from ideal and all that really happens is that the government, while maintaining full control of those children (you are NOT their guardian, you are only a caretaker), they accept absolutely 0 responsibility for them. If you don’t believe me, search around for a few of the nightmare stories of foster parents who have been scapegoated by the government. “The House Always Wins” and DSS will not accept any responsibility when things go wrong. Especially when they failed to disclose serious known health problems. Want to know what a caseworker’s real job is? Watch them turn on the tears in “compassion” for those dear children whose names they don’t remember and who haven’t aged since the day they seized them from their parents. Something akin to an actor would be pretty accurate for some.

Even though their mandate is to protect children that is not what they do at all. They actually use children as carrots to try to coax their parents into jumping through punitive hoops.  Under the guise of “treatment” or “rehabilitation” they have a hay-day punishing parents for everything from substance use (including legal substances), to having the nerve to question their authority in any form or fashion. Just do a Google search for CPS and “legal kidnapping”. The facts are out there.

So are you on some noble cause from God when you enter the system? Not likely. Instead, you’ve been manipulated into letting your faith carry over to faith in government. You have become the “veggie drawer” that the government can toss their “carrots” (the dear children) in between court hearings. You’ve become a tool.

“Well, if I don’t do it, then the ones who will may not be as godly as me…” Not really, they rely on your gullibility, and if you don’t do it the fact is they just will have 4 less shelves (or however many “beds” you qualify for) to use for their shenanigans.

While I respect and frankly adore the heart that is drawn by compassion to hurting children, I also abhor the naivety that allows such hearts to be used for evil. Yes, I said it, foster care is downright evil (in most cases).

For example, our placements:

1. Siblings, taken from mom, because they were left unsupervised. Mom tested positive for substance. We had a tough time with the children because they were much more rowdy than our own children and were endangering our children and themselves. After some disagreements with the caseworker, the caseworker just sent them back to their mom. (Apparently, the shelf wasn’t low maintenance enough?) The kids are fine.

2. Infant, seized at the hospital because mom tested positive for opiates. Mom admits to using a friend’s pain prescription because she was in pain. We raise infant for first 6 months of her life while mom jumps through hoop after hoop. Mom gets back a 6 month old and does a fine job. Did that child really “need” to attach to a different mom? I think not. If we weren’t there would some “bad, bad” person have gotten the child? Probably not. In fact, maybe they would have not seized the child if they didn’t have any more shelves? Oh, and get this… we packed the child’s things for her discharge date only to get a call from the caseworker: “I don’t really feel like driving to the mom’s tonight, so I’ll reschedule this for next week.” No exaggeration, and that’s just what she did, I believe it was 5 days later when she finally got around to it.

3. Siblings, 1 toddler. Government does not allow us to use our own pediatrician. We follow instructions. Child has bad reaction to shots given by PRN at clinic we’re forced to go to. Child gets very sick. For weeks we try to contact caseworker. No answers, no returned calls… (remember, cold storage should not require maintenance!) finally get through. True words from caseworker: “You can’t handle it? We need to move them?” The very next day the child has a seizure.

What about mom? Well, mom is substance dependent but the kids (all 4) were well fed and happy kids. Yet she wouldn’t jump through the hoops just the way she was ordered to so we continued on thinking we’re protecting them from their substance dependent mother. Ironically, just like our caseworker who carried on about the wonders of benzos while she wasn’t giving us any medical history on those children. Turns out both, yes BOTH, had significant chronic problems. When the paramedics showed up during the seizure one looks up and says: “300 blood sugar?” Turns out mom is diabetic. Wanna bet she knew that? Wanna bet she knew her child might be too? Wanna bet we definitely didn’t know?

“I don’t know what’s happening here, but I know it’s wrong!” – Caseworker from “Mr. Peabody and Sherman”. A must-see before considering foster care. Someone on that writing team experienced the reality.

They went on to ask us about her “diabetes” about which we knew NOTHING. The government went on to blame us for everything, and moved the children. AFAIK they are still separated from their mom, probably stuck in another, less troublesome, icebox.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters. Please be sure that God and not greed is calling you if you choose to partner with our godless government to give them more shelves to store their carrots on. Realize, they are not going to assign a child-development specialist to take the case for these children. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to determine exactly what the caseworker is qualified for, other than developing long lists of punitive “study hall” type requirements  to batter non-compliant parents with. Oh, and acting “appalled” at anything they can label “neglectful” or “abusive” in some cases including being “forced” to sit in a pew for an hour. Now, if they could only remember that kid’s name they’d write you up! What are they 6 months? Oh that was 3 years ago? Well, whatever, they shouldn’t have to sit there, that’s neglect..no abusive… yeah! Appalled!!!

Pat Robertson got hammered by non-believers and believers alike for his tactless comments on adoption. We believers should be pretty careful when we find ourselves on the same-side as the world. It is almost impossible, because the world represents “enmity” with God. His points may have been poorly worded but he was right about one thing. There is NO Biblical mandate that anyone should be part of taking children from their parents. Almost ALL true orphans in our society end up with family. Grand-parents or Aunts/Uncles. Even if you’re a loving foster home now, ask God to help you see this through His eyes. How does He feel about the government’s standards for child removal? Doesn’t He make His sun shine on the righteous and the unrighteous?

Imagine this… phone rings: “we’ve got a sibling group, they need a home tonight.” .. You pray: “Lord, should we take them…???” It’s so hard to hear God, that’s what you’ve jumped through all of the hoops to do isn’t it? There are 3 of them… the income would sure be welcome wouldn’t it? .. You call them back: “Ok, yes, we’ll take them.”

The next day, the next week, the next month… 3 months later… whatever it is. Front page news: “Home-school family in [put your county here] in lawsuit to reclaim their children who were seized because of ‘religious extremism’.” “Per the local Child Protective Services: ‘We have evolved beyond the need for fantasy gods and religious indoctrination. These children were at risk of being brainwashed with proselytization, and we stepped in to protect their young minds thanks to the help of good citizens that have gotten with the program and empower us to do this. We’ll fight the ‘good fight’ and put all of your taxpayer funds into fighting to keep these children away from their parents.” Don’t worry, their parents are poor, they can’t resist long.

Don’t believe it can happen? Just ask the Stanley family of Arkansas mentioned above. How dare they “make” their daughters wear old fashioned skirts! Good thing those foster homes were there to store those kids while the government punished their parents for having values.

*BTW, since these parts never make the news Pat Robertson did apologize for his lack of tact. Nobody bothered to publish it: http://www.patrobertson.com/recentnews/orphans-8-17-12.asp

UPDATE 8/2015: Found this fantastic Ted Talk on the subject:

“The industry is committed to taking children from families.” … “and that frankly does more damage than the abuse and neglect that brought the child to my attention in the first place.”

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