Rowan Williams, who retired as Archbishop of Canterbury last year to return to academic life, said, “I am always very uneasy when people sometimes in this country or the United States talk about persecution of Christians, or rather, believers.”

Christians in Britain and the United States may fairly complain about being ridiculed, Williams acknowledged. But he contrasted that experience with the “murderous hostility” faced by Christians in other parts of the world.

“I think we are made to feel uncomfortable at times. We're made to feel as if we're idiots -- perish the thought! But that kind of level of not being taken very seriously or being made fun of; I mean for goodness sake, grow up.”

To be fair, the U.S. Catholic bishops and others who have raised alarms about threats to religious freedom don't talk only about rhetorical slights. For example, the bishops argue that when the government or the courts legalize same-sex civil marriage, “conflict results on a massive scale between the law and religious institutions and families.... Religious liberty is then threatened.” Really?