‘So Many Christians, So Few Lions’
George Yancey, co-author of a new book – So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? – claims that ‘Christianophobes’ in the US are small in number, but general hold powerful positions in certain important areas, such as higher education.
Yancey, above, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, co-wrote the book with fellow sociologist David Williamson.
He said an in interview with the Christian Post that Christians ought to be concerned by the influence of “this small but elite group”.
The data for the sociologists’ research comes from a large national survey, the American National Election Survey, and interviews they conducted with members of liberal advocacy organisations.
The title of the book is a reference to how some Christians were put to death during the Roman Empire, and the phrase can be found on bumper stickers.
Several of the interviewees used some variant of the “so few lions” theme when describing their attitudes toward Christians.
Yancey added that he and Williamson, associate professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, hope their book will make those who are hostile toward Christians more aware of their own biases so that they can correct them.
Asked why he and Williamson would want to research and write about anti-Christian hostility, Yancy replied:
There is a lot of literature on hostility toward many different groups but just about none on hostility toward Christians.
Usually those who do not like blacks or Muslims admit that they are intolerant but simply try to justify their intolerance. Those with Christianophobia tend to deny that they are intolerant but rather that they are fairly interpreting social reality.
Envisioning themselves as fair and free of intolerance allows them to blame those they detest rather than recognize how their emotions have distorted their intellectual judgments.
By documenting just how hateful some of the attitudes are toward Christians, and who tends to have such hateful attitudes, I hope to bring Christianophobia into the light so that we, as a society, can discuss this social problem and how we might address bigotry in all of its myriad forms.
He pointed out that:
In the minds of many of the respondents Christians are ignorant, intolerant and stupid individuals who are unable to think for themselves. The general image they have of Christians is that they are a backward, non-critical thinking, child-like people who do not like science and want to interfere with the lives of everyone else.
But even worse, they see ordinary Christians as having been manipulated by evil Christian leaders and will vote in whatever way those leaders want. They believe that those leaders are trying to set up a theocracy to force everybody to accept their Christian beliefs. So, for some with Christianophobia, this is a struggle for our society and our ability to move toward a progressive society. Christians are often seen as the great evil force that blocks our society from achieving this progressive paradise.
Yancy conceded that:
More people have hostility toward atheists than toward Christians, but those individuals do not tend to be white or highly educated. Thus, they do not have the level of per-capita power of those who do not like Christians … If you want to get elected to political office, then atheists are at a disadvantage since more people do not like them.
But if you want to get a higher education, then you will run into a lot more people with power who hate Christians than [those] who hate atheists.