It's no secret Bill Maher hates everything to do with religion and God.
Recently, he got very personal in his attacks on Christianity in America — explaining how he is sick and tired of complaints that believers are being persecuted.
In one of the classic unfunny non sequiturs of the 21st century, Maher said on his sleazy HBO show, "Real Time": "Conservatives who constantly whine that Christianity is under attack from liberals have to explain why there are over 300,000 churches in the U.S. but only 400 Whole Foods. Clearly, your side is winning. ... Mike Huckabee says, 'We are moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.' Ted Cruz says, 'There's no room for Christians in today's Democratic Party.' What? Eighty percent of Democrats in Congress are Christian and 78 percent of Democratic governors. You can look this s—- up, you know."
Well, let me clarify a few things.
It may be true that 80 percent of Democrats in Congress claim to be Christians. It may be true that 78 percent of Democratic governors claim to be Christians. It is definitely true that the Democratic president of the United States claims to be a Christian.
But Christianity is a faith judged by deeds, not by words. In fact, 100 percent of politicians tell you they are people of integrity, honesty and love for their country and Constitution.
But back to Maher.
Christianity in America is not competing with Whole Foods. It is competing for a place in America's worldview — and it is losing.
Christianity and Judaism defined all that was great about America — its commitment to liberty generally, its birthing of the concept that free speech, freedom of religion and freedom of the press are in fact unalienable rights. The idea of limited government and self-government under the law and will of the people comes directly from the Bible Jews and Christians share to this day.
It's not only true that Christians and Jews are facing a new wave of marginalization and persecution in America today but also true that those precious freedoms are under assault. That's why you see Christian bakers, photographers, videographers, florists and caterers being fined, driven out of business and prosecuted for adhering to their faith by declining to participate in same-sex weddings.
And how many of the more than 300,000 churches in America are really providing the salt and light in their communities for which they were charged by their Lord and savior? I would say those bakers, photographers, videographers, florists and caterers have done more for that cause than most of the churches.
There's one more thing Maher should know about Christian persecution and "winning," as he puts it.
The church saw its greatest growth and success during its most intense period of persecution — in the first century. It saw its worst failures when it tolerated and even took part in persecution.
After the death and resurrection of Jesus, a handful of disciples, facing almost unimaginable persecution, turned the world upside down. All but one of Jesus' apostles met gruesome deaths. Their followers were crucified, and their bodies were used as burning torches to light the streets of Rome. They were dragged into the Colosseum to face hungry lions for the entertainment of the city.
Persecution couldn't stop the spread of Christianity — not the genuine form of faith of the early believers.
And it won't stop the faith of the genuine believers today — much as Bill Maher might wish it would.
To find out more about Joseph Farah and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.