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30+ Examples of Christian Privilege

Posted: Fri, February 08, 2013 | By: Special Guest



by Sam Killermann

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.

(This essay was originally published on It’s Pronounced Metrosexual. After that it was cross-posted at Everyday Feminism HERE with permission.  Republished at Transhumanity.net with author’s permission.)

In response to the ever-increasing “War on Christianity” headlines, I thought it prudent to create this list.

Try and be more cognizant of these items and you’ll start to realize how much work we have to do to make the United States a place that is truly safe and accessible for folks of all belief systems.

Please comment below if you have any additions or revisions to make!

  1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
  2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible.
  3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
  4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values.
  5. 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).
  6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
  7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
  8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
  9. 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.
  10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
  11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens a time a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.
  12. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.
  13. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
  14. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.
  15. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.
  16. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
  17. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.
  18. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
  19. You can travel to any part of the country and know your religion will be accepted, safe, and you will have access to religious spaces to practice your faith.
  20. Your faith can be an aspect of your identity without being a defining aspect (e.g., people won’t think of you as their “Christian” friend)
  21. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
  22. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
  23. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
  24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
  25. It is unlikely you will be judged by the actions of other members of your faith.
  26. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.
  27. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.
  28. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
  29. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
  30. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
  31. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
  32. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
  33. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
  34. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
  35. Share more in the comments below!

Sam Killermann is a Staff Writer for Everyday Feminism and the person behind It’s Pronounced Metrosexual, a comedy show and blog focused on issues of identity, stereotypes, and oppression. A social justice advocate and ally, Sam performs the show at colleges around the country and writes for the site when he is at home in Austin, TX. Follow on Twitter @Killermann.

     

     

     

     



Comments:

#14 is not correctly stated.  It should read

“It is easy for you to find your faith POSITIVELY depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.” 

I changed the word “accurately” to “positively,” because the judeochristian faith is NOT portrayed accurately; it is simply portrayed in a positive light.

By Katerina1982 on Feb 08, 2013 at 8:30pm

This is a comment I wrote responding to a recent article by Valerie Tarico at IEET:

“What we have to do is level with Christians and other of the religious; we must stop temporising. What 95+ percent of us don’t do is be frank with our relatives who are religious— that has got to stop. We can go along with the spirit of religion (no pun intended) yet we ought to tell them their religion itself is gobbledygook. And insincere as well: unless they possess room temperature IQs, Christians must know Prosperity Christianity is entirely revisionist: the Bible states “you may have abundant life” not in the context of today’s glomming smarm—but, rather, a decent life. The Bible specifically says to sell what one has and give to the poor. IMO taxing churches is not the worst proposal one might put forth; not so much for the revenue going to the poor, but to cut back on churches’ power. A priest shall learneth to be humble!
A priest shall learn his humble place.”

This is not to stealth-advocate the end of religion—there’s no way to do that now—and perhaps for the rest of the century. Religious commenters at h+ sites frequently assume we are anti-religious fanatics (as we often assume they are “fascists”).

By Alan Brooks on Feb 10, 2013 at 5:15am

...PS,
I happen to like religion; yet that is IMO a weakness, not any kind of an asset. Since the religious say faith is a private matter, it is up to me to decide whether religion in my life is based on weakness or strength.

By Alan Brooks on Feb 10, 2013 at 5:22am


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