Outing Christians

Yesterday I noted the letter from Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan in 112 AD. Pliny had begun arresting and torturing Christians for the crime of, among other things, obeying the law.


Think about that for a minute.

It should be noted that Pliny the Younger had been given anonymous lists of who the Christians in his province were. As he wrote Emperor Trajan

[A]s I investigated the matter, types began to multiply as so often happens, and charges started to spread. An anonymous notebook was presented with many names in it.

In the same way today, there are more and more concerted, anonymous efforts to harass Christians for their support for traditional marriage. An anonymous website in Houston, TX put up the names and addresses of individuals opposed to a gay rights measure there. An effort in California targeted Christians for harassment for donating to Proposition 8.

What’s so fascinating, in light of current events, is Emperor Trajan’s response back to Pliny the Younger. He wrote, in part,

Anonymous lists should have no part in any charge made. That is thoroughly bad practice and not in accordance with the spirit of the age.

When the present age is too much even for a Roman Emperor, I expect a man on horse riding out of the clouds any day.



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