Let me cite two examples of how government authorities, operating with full civil powers, have made it clear that there are certain people who are unwanted and should not exist.
Afghanistan: You’ve probably been following the case of the Afghani Christian who was facing death for the heinous crime of following Jesus Christ. Here’s a snippet from an AP article about his being granted asylum in Italy (Whew!):
Notice the details: Rahman was a medical aid worker who was spending his life helping destitute Afghan refugees. How despicable to have trash like him polluting the Afghan society! Right? He simply believed that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior and would not be convinced to renounce his faith.
[Abdul] Rahman was put on trial last week for converting 16 years ago while he was a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He faced the death penalty under Afghanistan’s Islamic laws.
For several days, therefore, before determined diplomatic efforts secured his release, it looked like Rahman would become yet another Christian martyr, being put to death for his belief. For instance, here is what a leader had to say about poor Mr. Rahman:
"We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," says Abdul Raoulf ofAnd here is what the prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, claimed: “He is known as a microbe in society, and he should be cut off and removed from the rest of Muslim society and should be killed."
the nation's principal Muslim body, the Afghan Ulama Council. "Cut off his head! We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left." Needless to say, Imam Raoulf is one of Afghanistan's leading "moderate" clerics.
We get the point. Christians are unwanted people in that Islam society.
San Francisco: Such atrocious behavior could never happen in the U.S., could it? Don’t be so sure. Travel now to San Francisco, where the San Francisco Chronicle chronicles the disheartening story of Christians being unwanted people also in San Francisco:
More than 25,000 evangelical Christian youth landed Friday in San Francisco for a two-day rally at AT&T Park against "the virtue terrorism" of popular culture, and they were greeted by an official city condemnation and a clutch of protesters who said their event amounted to a "fascist mega-pep rally…."Notice that it is an elected official spouting this xenophobia, and we find out he’s speaking to about fifty irate counterprotesters, compared to the twenty-five thousand wholesome Christian kids who have gathered to study “‘God's instruction book’ to guide young people away from the corrupting influence of popular culture” and “to counter a popular culture that … glamorizes violence and sex.”
That's bad news to Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who told counterprotesters at City Hall on Friday that while such fundamentalists may be small in number, "they're loud, they're obnoxious, they're disgusting, and they should get out of San Francisco."
Can’t have that in San Francisco! One brilliant wordsmith, Peter Cobb, an organizer with Not In Our Name, revealed why: “There is a real intolerancy to homosexuality in a lot of these organizations."
But surely Leno’s just a loose cannon, right? Unfortunately, no.
“Earlier this week,” the story continues, “the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution condemning the ‘act of provocation’ by what it termed an ‘anti-gay,’ ‘anti-choice’ organization that aimed to ‘negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city.’” Apparently the irony of “America's most tolerant and progressive city” being intolerant toward Christians was lost on the resolution’s author, Supervisor Tom Ammiano.
We get the point again: Christians are unwanted people in San Francisco, too.
Hosnia Wafayosofi, who works at the jail where Abdul Rahman was held, told a reporter, "We will cut him into little pieces." Then she made a cutting motion with her hands. Perhaps Supervisor Ammiano and Assemblyman Leno can learn some further techniques from Wafayosofi.
Afghanistan. San Francisco. It’s coming soon to a location near you. Get used to being unwanted people.
It shouldn’t surprise us. We’ve been forewarned. “If the world hates you,” Jesus cautioned, “be aware that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you” (see John 15:18-25 for a fuller explanation).