A small, but elite group of Americans demonstrate signs of anti-Christian hostility, sociologists David Williamson and George Yancey claim in their new book, So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States?
In an email interview with The Christian Post, Yancey, professor of sociology at the University of North Texas, explained that Christians are fortunate in one sense, because those with anti-Christian hostility are small in number; but in another sense, they should be concerned, because those with “Christianophobia” tend to be powerful elites with influence in certain important areas, such as higher education.
The data for their research comes from a large national survey, the American National Election Survey, and interviews they conducted with members of liberal advocacy organizations.
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.
Here is a transcript of that interview:
CP: Why did you, and co-author David Williamson, want to research and write about anti-Christian hostility?
Yancey: There is a lot of literature on hostility toward many different groups but just about none on hostility toward Christians. Yet when we collected qualitative data from cultural progressive activists we quickly saw some of the unnecessary vitriol and fears within many of our respondents. We also saw the social status of those who exhibited this hatred and many of them would be in positions that allowed them to at least subtly act on their anger and fears. That motivated us to take a more systematic look at Christianophobia and speculate on how this phenomenon influences certain social aspects in the United States.
Another aspect that drove me to work on this project was that while I consistently saw evidence of Christianophobia in other areas of my life and in our society, unlike other types of intolerances, those who exhibited Christianophobia do not tend to think that they are intolerant. 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.
SOURCE: The Christian Post