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Signs of Christian privilege

Signs of Christian privilege

Even in a society that is increasingly secular, are Christians still privileged over other religions?

Here is one answer from Sam Killerman who created a list of 30 or more indicators of Christian privilege at the blog “It’s Pronounced Metrosexual.”

Following is a list of privileges granted to people in the U.S. (and many western nations) for being Christian. If you identify as Christian, there’s a good chance you’ve never thought about these things. In response to the ever-increasing “War on Christianity” headlines, I thought it prudent to create this list…

You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.

Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible.

It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.

You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values.

Holidays celebrating your faith are so widely supported you can often forget they are limited to your faith (e.g. wish someone a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Easter” without considering their faith).

You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.

A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.

You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.

If you are being tried in court, you can assume that the jury of “your peers” will share your faith and not hold that against you in weighing decisions.

When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.

Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.

Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.


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C. Wingate

I’m a skeptic about privilege as a theory anyway, but ringing the changes on this:

I remember when running the acolytes that I constantly had kids who weren’t there because the soccer league scheduled against church.

The only Christian religious goods store in the area is Adventist (the Catholic store closed some years back). Every Halal grocery (of which there are dozens) sells Islamic goods. Selection of devotional material at regular bookstores generally stinks.

I get a lot of tolerance for religious holidays, (a) because I am a salaried professional, and (b) I work for an Orthodox Jew. People who work retail, I am told, don’t get off so easily.

After that, it gets sketchy. Anglican church schools tend to be pricey; there’s an Adventist school nearby but it was never on my list. The public school system is not notably faith-friendly, and in polyreligious Montgomery County here the Jewish high holy days are taken off. Meanwhile the local Sunni mosque and the Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral sit side-by-side and use each other parking lots as needed. I can appreciate that it is not so everywhere in the country, but I am perpetually bothered by the tone that there is something wrong with me because the abstract advantages I supposedly have.

Ann Fontaine

I see arrogant clergy, incompetent bureaucrats, and a membership that isn’t committed to preserving this treasure driving the Church into the ground.

I apologize, Harriet, for failing to live up to your exacting standards [Just curious: did Jesus fail your test, too?]

JC Fisher,

Just Another Sinner.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Christianity is privileged in this country to the point where state legislators in Maine, Maryland, New York, and elsewhere had to write silly exemptions into marriage equality bills just to get them passed into law. Conservative churches claim that same-sex couples marrying civilly is an affrotn to their conscience. The Roman Catholic Church is one of them and is not without political clout in many states.

A lessening of the privilege of Christianity would be great for LGBTs and others whose existence poses a threat for fundamentalist identities. A denial of thousands of rights at the same level and over 1100 at the federal level is not the same thing as some religious nut whose conscience is offended.

If I had time, I would discuss worship in public schools by churches, a real threat to separation of church and state.

Gary Paul Gilbert

Harriet Baber

On the contrary, Gregory Orloff. I love the Church with all my heart and soul and being. Watching the Episcopal Church die–and it is dying, now at less than 1% of the US population–and being unable to do anything about it is more than I can take. I’ve seen the silliness and mismanagement of the hierarchy, the stupid decisions and counterproductive policies on top of routine inefficiency and waste. If I didn’t love the Church with everything I am I wouldn’t be so angry.

Anglicanism is religion at its best: theologically liberal (“not our business to make windows into men’s souls”), liberal on ethics and social policy but metaphysically committed. And above all it is THE liturgical church, the church with the richest liturgical tradition, the church that more than any other embodies God in beauty. Go elsewhere? Fine. Where else I can find an ultra-liturgical church that does high church to the hilt, is committed to supernaturalism, to the existence of a God who is, as Luhrmann the anthropologist put it disparigingly, “as objectively real as a doorpost,” but is completely in line with secular ethics and the politics of the left? Start my own church? Do you have a kit?

I see arrogant clergy, incompetent bureaucrats, and a membership that isn’t committed to preserving this treasure driving the Church into the ground. I tried for years as a church member to do something about it, but there was no way. The church’s program was set so I quit. So now I wail and gnash my teeth, and write cranky blog posts when I’m supposed to be working–like now.

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