One of the popular, and yet deplorable, tactics in use today is 'Victimization'. It works very simply, you paint yourself up as a victim and then do your best to reap the rewards of your victimhood. Frequently the rewards are a more positive public opinion or a gathering a like minds to pat you on the back and commiserate your victimhood. Why I find this deplorable is that it's often used by people who are not the victim in the least.
I'll use two cases in point, the first is the Discovery Institute.
In the case of the DI, they like to complain that they are being discriminated against by the rest of the scientific community. First I do have to question whether or not they are actually part of the scientific community. I have made my feelings quite clear that I place them squarely within the religious community, very near other conservative Christian Groups. But be that as it may, do they have difficulty finding acceptance within the scientific community? They certainly do! However, are they the victims of discrimination? No they are not!.
There are standards within the scientific community that the DI refuses to measure up to. These standards revolve around the methodology used to perform scientific work. Refusing to perform to those standards doesn't make you a victim of discrimination, it does make your whines and complaint exactly what they are, whines and complaints. The scientific community has been resistant to any number of pseudo-scientific ideas, and justifiable so. I don't see any Astrologers whining about discrimination, do you? The DI claim some very specific examples like:
OK, enough about the DI for a moment. My other example is going to annoy some folks. Conservative Christians are using the very same method for the very same reasons. In this country we have been engaged in a long debate over LGBT rights, currently the right of gay people to get married. One of the interesting analogies involves people refusing service to gay couples over religious reasons. Just today on the radio I heard that a civil servant in Kentucky was refusing the give out marriage licenses to gay couples because of her religious beliefs. I don't know if she has been fired, but she already has a lawyer and the lawyer is already crying 'Religious Discrimination'. My question is this, is she a victim of religious discrimination if she is required to provide services to gay couples? An analogy I have also been hearing lately goes like this:
While it sounds simple enough, I think the conservative Christians are missing the point, or at least reversing the issue. Should the gay community be compared to the Nazi's or should Conservative Christians be the Nazis in this little example? I bet that comment pisses some folks off, but what I hope instead is it makes them think about it.
When you look at the relationship of the Jews to the Nazi's who were the criminals and who were the actual victims? When you ask a Jewish baker to provide a service, you are asking the victim to provide a service to their oppressor. Is that the case of the religious public servant providing a service to a gay couple?
Look at the treatment of gays by Conservative Christians? Look at the physical attacks, the claims of how evil and dangerous gays are, and how many time gays are accused of being child molesters. How about 'conversion therapies' aimed at 'fixing' gay people. Who is the actual victim and who is the oppressor here? Do gays have a history of discriminating against Christians or is it the other way around. And it's not history, it's current! The discrimination goes on, especially when a public servant refuses service on the basis of her religious beliefs. The clerk is the one doing the discriminating, gay couples are on the receiving end.
Conservative Christians like to claim there is an attack on Christianity in this country. When their behavior is designed to refuse the same rights and privileges they take for granted to another group of US citizens, then they are right, it is an attack. But it is one brought about by their own behavior and one they well deserve to lose. It's not discrimination and they [Conservative Christians] aren't a victim!
In each case the real victims are the ones being painted in the negative light, yet it is the ones doing the painting who are claiming the mantle of 'Victim'. Please give it some thought the next time you hear someone from the DI claiming that real scientists don't take them seriously, or someone who refuses to obey the law, particularly a public servant, who refuses to do their job because of their personal beliefs. Identify who the real victim is, and it's not always the one claiming to be the victim!