On feeling ‘Persecuted’

An interesting comment from the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, at the Edinburgh Book Festival:

Christians in Britain and the US who claim that they are persecuted should “grow up” and not exaggerate what amounts to feeling “mildly uncomfortable”, according to Rowan Williams, who last year stepped down as archbishop of Canterbury after an often turbulent decade.
“When you’ve had any contact with real persecuted minorities you learn to use the word very chastely,” he said. “Persecution is not being made to feel mildly uncomfortable. ‘For goodness sake, grow up,’ I want to say.”

True persecution was “systematic brutality and often murderous hostility that means that every morning you wonder if you and your children are going to live through the day”. He cited the experience of a woman he met in India “who had seen her husband butchered by a mob”.

This blog has previously tried to track examples of the language of persecution being appropriated by interest groups. Is implicit in the whole Winterval bollocks, and most complaints about political correctness equate someone disagreeing with you, or telling you they think you are an unpleasant person, with genuine free speech violations.

I’ve also noted how its funny that everyone, everywhere, seems to think that they’re culture is under threat. This is born out of a lazy solopsism, where people percieve only change in, and criticism of, their own culture, whilst assuming (incorrectly) that all other cultures are monolithic and stable.

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