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The Dangers Of The Christian Predilection Toward Victimhood And Martyrdom


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Here is the link to the podcast & its discussion:






I just heard a great and informative podcast, the guest of which is a christian scholar at Notre Dame University who is blowing the whistle on the christian fabrications and exaggerations of persecution, victimhood and martyrdom.  It is very interesting to me that an active christian, who is also a scholar at Notre Dame University, is willing to be a whistleblower on the fabrications beneath the notions of christian persecution and the ongoing christian predilection toward developing a persecution complex.  It will be interesting to see what happens with her employment over the next few years.


After listening, I really wanted to get feedback for others who had experiences themselves or who had family/friends/acquaintances who were sucked in by the damaging fabrications around christian victimhood and martyrdom. (Hence, why I brought this over from the podcast area on ExC.)


In my own experience, christians perpetuated the myth that the world and certain nefarious unseen deities are always after them and their souls.

They create the artificial notion that they are in some kind of ongoing "spiritual battle" and must be wary of the people around them and, of course, the unseen evils that are vying specifically for their very soul.  Depending on the christian faction that they come from, the presence of this suspicion and victim-outlook may be more or less apparent.  Unfortunately, many christians go as far as attempting to artificially stir up trouble so that they can point to their "mistreatment" as proof-positive that their message of being a victim or martyr for jesus is true.  Onlookers name that accurately as "leading with the chin."  The entire outlook is both arrogant and solipsistic.


Over the past decade I've learned more about the psychology of martyrdom and related complexes like perpetuated victimhood.  It is not good news for any christian that once they get hold of the idea that they are (artificially created) victims of evil forces, that they must hang onto that victimhood, because it means something important to their standing with their all-seeing god of judgment.  Easy to see examples include Pat Robertson, Dead Falwell, Tim LaHaye, Baptist, Presbyterian, Restorationist and Pentecostal pronouncements of ongoing "great spiritual warfare" where souls are lost, nations are punished and individual christians are singled out to have their faith tested by their "just" god.


A rule of thumb about victimhood and martyr complexes is that a person who is actually a victim can recover to a non-victim stance in life.  They can return to healthy functioning in the world with a high degree of success and a return to sanity.  However, it is also true that when a victim holds onto their victimhood --real or imagined-- they enter a martyr frame-of-reference.  When that happens, when they begin to hold onto their victimhood, the possibility of recovering to a sane, functional stance in life reduces to near zero.  At that point, their martyr belief becomes the hermeneutic through which all experience is interpreted. 


The martyr point-of-reference becomes the sole mediating factor in life and they lose the ability to return to sane functioning.  This is one of the unlovely facts of religious indoctrination. It creates a form of insanity that is harmful for the person and possibly those around him or her.  it is also almost impossible to recover from. 


Those who believe themselves to be victims and martyrs in "spiritual warfare" are frequently those who treat family, friends and others in the most harmful ways using emotional abuse, shame, fear, toxic guilt to create self-fulfilling prophecy of persecution.  Besides those who engage in the well-known emotional abuses, there are also some who turn to physical abuse of themselves and others.  In all cases, the christian fallacies and behavior around persecution, victimhood and martyrdom are both toxic, dangerous and pernicious.


It is one clear example of the true adage, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."


Have you had experiences around christian persecution, victimhood or martyrdom? What were they? Where did they originate? How are you recovering from them? What are your thoughts about the matter? 





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