It has come to our attention that a small but vocal minority of individuals has expressed concern that a certain Supreme Court decision may adversely affect their lives. The word they often use is “persecution.” At the present time, their fears appear to be ill defined; when specified at all, they range from the unlikely (boycotts and hefty fines) to the delusional (re-education camps). Free-floating fears can be the most devastating, because they are not grounded in reality and thus can never be vanquished. They may haunt the sufferer late into the night if unchecked. Fortunately, history has provided us with a long and impressive variety of ways that a minority has actually been persecuted in the past—so long, in fact, that the following brief sample only scratches the surface. It also focuses largely, though not entirely, on the last fifty years and the United States, when, in fact, the acts of persecution in question date back for millennia and span the globe. (All examples cited are matters of public record, though help in verifying them will gladly be provided.)
Because the list was hastily assembled and is thus woefully incomplete, readers are encouraged to augment it with suggestions of their own in the Comments section below.
We present the list in the sincere hope that it helps nervous and anxious members of special-interest groups find much-needed slumber, so that they may face the challenges ahead.
1. From a very early age, teach them that God loves everyone but them.
2. From an early age, teach them that Jesus preached love, but include a number of other things he never actually said that all suggest he hated them.
3. If they challenge these teachings and insist that Jesus must have loved them after all, tell them that people should love the sinner and hate the sin, thus reinforcing the notion that they are sinners, and remind them that sinners go to Hell.
4. Through a series of songs and stories, make it clear that they are not welcome in church at all.
5. If they attempt to establish their own houses of worship, prevent them from joining forces with or gaining any credibility from more established churches.
6. Tell them they can change if they will simply attend a re-education camp.
7. Send them to a re-education camp whether they want to attend one or not.
8. Spray paint hateful epithets on the outsides of and otherwise vandalize their homes, businesses, places of worship, and other places where they are known to congregate.
9. Place obscene phone calls to their homes and businesses at all hours of the day and night.
10. Mail them death threats.
11. Issue bomb threats.
12. Follow through on the death and bomb threats from time to time.
13. Kick them out of the homes they grew up in.
14. When they are homeless, deny them access to social services.
15. When they are in school, tease and bully them so relentlessly that they commit suicide.
16. When they are in school, don’t teach them anything about anyone like them who might serve as a positive role model.
17. Should anyone offer examples of people like them from throughout history, accuse the researchers of being “revisionists,” “wishful thinkers,” or “propagandists,” and of promoting an “agenda” contrary to the aims of proper education.
18. When they are in school, don’t teach them anything about sexuality. Encourage them never to have sex until they are married, and then refuse them the ability to get married.
19. Prevent them from becoming teachers themselves, and fire them if they somehow manage to infiltrate the educational system, on the grounds that they are bad influences on children.
20. If someone actually is a bad influence on children (molesting them in school or in church, for instance), allow him or her to continue holding a good-paying job for decades, or relocate him or her to other parts of the country so no one will catch on.
21. When they reach adolescence, constantly ask them if they’ve met anyone “special,” knowing that they will be obliged to lie or change the subject. Remind them that lying is a sin and/or force them to seek professional psychological help for their confusion.
22. Drill it into their heads for at least the first 20 years of their existence that their lives will not be complete unless and until they get married, then deny them the result to do so with someone they actually love.
23. If they marry someone who is not like them in order to pretend to be normal, oblige them to remain unhappily married for the rest of their lives.
24. If they somehow marry someone who is like them, refuse to call it a “marriage.”
25. If they want the “marriage” to take place in a church, refuse to allow it. Remind church officials that they are the ones being victimized in this arrangement.
26. While you refuse to allow them to marry, jokingly remind them that at least they can’t get divorced, either. This will remind them in a humorous way that, should their marriage end, as many do, there will be no legal means of dividing their property.
27. Should you decide to allow some of them to get married, see to it that their marriage is only recognized in certain parts of the country, so that if something happens to one or both of them while they are traveling in another part of the country, they will not have easy access to legal and medical resources.
28. If they are not pleased with the above arrangement and decide not to visit parts of the country where their marriage license is not legally binding, accuse them of using a boycott to bully others who do not share their way of life.
29. If they do get married, constantly ask them which is the husband and which is the wife, then grow confused and irate no matter how they respond.
30. When their spouse dies, allow his or her family to take possession of all of his or her belongings, whether a will is in place or not.
31. When their spouse dies, refuse to allow them to sign the deceased person’s death certificate.
32. Teach them that they cannot be fully adult unless and until they raise children of their own, then deny them the right to have kids.
33. If they still try to adopt or bear children, remove the kids from them and never let them see their children as long as they live.
34. Ostracize their children at school.
35. Instill in them from an early age a sense that in order to be a true hero they must serve their country, then deprive them of the right to do so.
36. Conduct lengthy and well-publicized congressional hearings in which you allow large numbers of men to voice elaborate fear-driven fantasies of being raped by them and insist that allowing them to serve in the military will harm troop morale.
37. Pass a law that prevents anyone in the military from asking them about their way of life, but also prevents them from volunteering this information if they do not find anything shameful about it.
38. Create 75 or more years’ worth of motion pictures in which they are portrayed as figures to be pitied or laughed at, depicting them as lonely people whose best options are murder or suicide. Ideally both.
39. Create 15 to 25 years of films in which they are portrayed as best friends and next door neighbors who provide valuable advice to the main characters and comic relief but are completely expendable, thus continuing the notion that they are to be pitied or laughed at but eliminating, for the most part, the murder and suicide angles.
40. Release a steady stream of best-selling comedy albums and rap songs in which they are called horrible names and mocked relentlessly in the most graphic terms imaginable.
41. Publish a large number of books, many of them best sellers, which portray them as morally depraved and mentally ill individuals.
42. Classify these books as nonfiction.
43. Publish a large number of works of literature over an even longer period of time in which they are portrayed as murderers, drug addicts, hustlers, and thieves.
44. Encourage them to embrace these works as cherished representations of their lives.
45. Bar them from public displays of affection.
46. If they appear affectionate in public, beat them up or kill them.
47. Bar them from displays of affection in private establishments, forcing them to create their own establishments in which to congregate.
48. See to it that the owners of the places where they congregate are members of organized crime.
49. Regularly conduct police raids on the places where they congregate.
51. Open fire on large numbers of them in places where they congregate, then exploit the tragedy for political gain.
52. Make it impossible for them to find partners in public places, then conduct sting operations on places they meet in private, publishing their names in local newspapers when they are caught, thus ending their careers.
53. Encourage them to live in special enclaves or “ghettos” in bad neighborhoods. When they improve the neighborhoods, vilify them for gentrifying these areas.
54. If they request that you refer to them by a different gender pronoun or name, refuse to do so and laugh at them behind their backs.
55. Or to their faces, if you are the host of a network news program.
56. If they identify as a different gender than the one you think is appropriate for them, pass laws that force them to use the restrooms that will make them feel the least comfortable.
57. Refuse to allow them work as government employees on the grounds that they are security risks.
58. If they are talented writers or artists, offer them grants for their work, then deny them the money, citing their work as perverse. Make sure the only thing the general public knows about them is the alleged perversity of their “art,” then accuse them of cashing in on their notoriety.
59. If they continue to produce literature or art, threaten the funding of every venue where they attempt to present their work.
60. Create a national loyalty oath that all applicants for future grants, including both individuals and organizations, are required to sign in which they promise not to promote their way of life.
61. Stage public protests of their work. Don't worry if only a handful of protesters show up, because local and national media outlets will feel obliged to cover the demonstrations at length in an attempt to give equal airtime to dissenting opinions.
62. Any time local or national media outlets pay even the slightest attention to anything they do, complain that the mainstream media are promoting an indecent lifestyle and contributing to the downfall of morality.
63. When local or national media outlets give them any coverage at all, boycott their advertisers.
64. If they are actors or public figures, assure them their careers will be over unless they keep their true selves a closely guarded secret until they die.
65. While they are alive, spread hurtful rumors about them.
66. After they die, accuse anyone who raises questions about their true selves of being a “revisionist,” “wishful thinker,” or “propagandist,” and of attempting to tarnish their sterling reputations.
67. If they are public figures who refuse to hide their true selves, assure that they are only seen as serving special interests.
68. If they are actors, question their ability to convincingly portray characters from other groups.
69. Hire actors who are not like them to play people like them in films, and applaud their bravery for doing so.
70. Make it very clear that the actors who are not like them are, in fact, not like them at all, reminding everyone (including them) that being like them is a miserable fate.
71. Link them to other groups you dislike, including drug users, child abusers, and members of religious groups and political parties with which you disagree.
72. Launch whisper campaigns about members of any of the groups you dislike, tied to the main one, with the goal of destroying their careers.
73. Refuse to allow them work in health care on the grounds that they may spread communicable diseases to “innocent” people.
74. Should a communicable disease begin to sicken and kill many of them, do not discuss it all for a very long time, either in the mainstream media or in the halls of government.
75. Should a communicable disease begin to sicken and kill many of them, blame the sick and dying people for bringing their fate upon themselves.
76. When the president of your country pays little if any attention to the communicable disease that is killing them off during his entire time in office, applaud him as a Great Communicator.
77. Should a communicable disease that affects them and other people you do not like begin to spread into your own population, spread hysteria throughout the land, singling them out as murderers.
78. Propose that they be quarantined.
79. Fire them from their jobs.
80. If they attempt to write or make art about what is happening to their community during the health crisis, pay no attention to it.
81. If they attempt to write or make art about what is happening to their community during the health crisis, denounce them from the floor of the Senate and rip their filthy, unspeakable work into pieces before television cameras.
82. When their loved ones are dying, refuse them treatment.
83. When their loved ones are dying, refuse to allow them to see each other.
84. After their loved ones die, do not name them in the dead person’s obituary, even if they have lived together for half a century.
85. If you do name one of them in the obituary, refer to him simply as a “longtime companion,” even if this was not a term they ever used for each other.
86. When experimental medicines are discovered that may prevent more of them from becoming sick or dying, make the drugs as difficult to obtain and as expensive as possible.
87. Encourage pharmaceutical companies to collect huge profits from the experimental drugs.
88. Do everything in your power to block affordable health care to them, assuring that large insurance companies will also continue to collect huge profits from them.
89. When you grow tired of hearing about the health crisis, stop talking about it entirely.
90. Mass produce signs that proclaim in huge block letters that God hates them, and display them at funerals. Any funerals, anywhere, at any time.
91. Send them to jail for many, many years, if not for life.
92. Have the American Psychiatric Association declare them mentally ill.
93. Perform frontal lobotomies on them.
94. Subject them to electroshock therapy.
95. Have them chemically castrated.
96. Have them physically castrated.
97. Round them up, pin pink triangles on them, and send them to death camps.
98. Set them on fire in the public square.
99. Behead them in the public square.
100. Treat them as if they are all exactly the same, even if they look, act, and think nothing alike.
101. Deny they exist.
written July 2015; updated June 2016
(To be completed by the reader)