The early Christians were often at a loss as to how they were going to survive the Roman Empire. Indeed, many didn’t. The first three centuries of Christianity produced martyr after bloody martyr–pulled apart limb by severed limb, cast in iron cows that were heated by fire, torn apart by lions, tigers and bears, they were stabbed, pierced, choked, racked, raped, maimed, gored and mutilated all within sight of a boisterous audience.
Unfortunately, the persecutions of Nero, Diocletian, and Galerius have nothing on what will soon be known as . . .
THE LAST GREAT PERSECUTION!!
What is THE LAST GREAT PERSECUTION!!?
Funny you should ask. I’ll tell you. Prepare thyself. Make sure you are sitting down. Lock your doors. Hide your Bibles (and yo’ kids and yo’ wife). Pray to every saint that has ever existed–and Liam Neeson, too. Here it is:
Alaskan Airlines is no longer serving prayer cards to patrons who fly first class.
That’s right. The joy of knowing that if you have more money than those poor suckers in coach that you are going to receive a special blessing, via the manufacturing of mawkish cards that rip scripture out of context, is a thing of the past. I’m just happy that Polycarp, Perpetua, and Michael Sattler were fortunate enough to be tortured and killed before having to face . . .
THE LAST GREAT PERSECUTION!!
So, let it be known, from this day forward, as it has been decreed (no doubt with the help from the Prince of Lies), that if you are a Christian, and you are flying first class, then just forget about receiving a lovely ‘Psalm’ to help you make it through such trying times as these–okay, granted, you have to exclude almost 60% of the Psalms, as that’s about the percentage of how many of them are lamentations, but you know what I’m saying.
Anyway, the question now is this: Will Christians just stand idly by? Will we not rise and ‘take back’ our country from those secularist socialists who have kicked Jesus out of first class? Will we all switch to Southwest with those relatively entertaining ‘bags fly free’ commercials? Will we refuse to fly first class to tourist destinations where locals endure slave-labor wages so that we can enjoy the exploited parts of a country that they themselves cannot even enjoy?
Did I mention that only those people in first class receive prayer cards?
Hmm . . . I only wonder what Bonhoeffer would do?
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.