Examples Of Christian Privilege

Following are some examples of Christian privilege in the USA:

From Kathy Goodman and Tricia Seifert:
  •  It is likely that state and federal holidays coincide with my religious practices, thereby having little to no impact on my job and/or education.
  • I can talk openly about my religious practices without concern for how it will be received by others.
  • When told about the history of civilization, I can be sure that I am shown people of my religion made it what it is.
  • I can have a “Jesus is Lord” bumper sticker or Icthus (Christian Fish) on my car and not worry about someone vandalizing my car because of it.
  • I can share my holiday greetings without being fully conscious of how it may impact those who do not celebrate the same holidays.
  • I am probably unencumbered by having to explain why I am or am not doing things related to my religious norms on a daily basis.
  • If I wish, I can usually or exclusively be among those from my religious group most of the time (in work, school, or at home).
  • I can assume that my safety, or the safety of my family, will not be put in jeopardy by disclosing my religion to others at work or at school.
  • It is likely that mass media represents my religion widely AND positively.
  • I can speak or write about my religion, and even critique other religions, and have these perspectives listened to and published with relative ease and without much fear of reprisal.
  • Law enforcement officials will likely assume I am a non-threatening person if my religion is disclosed to them. In fact, disclosure may actually help law enforcement officials perceive me as being “in the right” or “unbiased."
  • I can talk about my religion, even proselytize, and be characterized as “sharing the word,” instead of imposing my ideas on others.
  • When swearing an oath, I am probably making this oath by placing my hand on the scripture of my religion.
Austin Cline here and here:
  • Religious groups are automatically exempted from most taxes. Any charity can apply and usually get tax exempt status, but religious groups have a much easier time applying for and receiving tax exemptions.
  • Religious groups like churches have carte blanche to build and expand as much as they want; those who complain are labeled anti-religious bigots. The fact that they sincerely object to massive churches in residential areas is simply dismissed.
  • It is argued that the religious preferences of the majority count for more than the religious equality of the minority. Non-Christians are told that they must be “tolerant” of Christians using the state to further their own religious interests.
  • Efforts to insert sectarian prayers into political events, like town council or school board meetings. If the majority is Christian, then their religious beliefs should be accorded a privileged status by government bodies.
  • Sometimes, Christians act as though other religions are inferior and don’t merit equal consideration. Examples of this include the claim that only “Merry Christmas” is acceptable while “Happy Holidays” is not, or the idea that Christian holidays, but not non-Christian ones, can be recognized as government holidays.
  • Defense of Christian privilege often occurs in the context of complaints about the secularization of society. In reality, people are complaining about the loss of Christian hegemony and unjustified social privilege, not secularization. They are lamenting the de-Christianization of American society rather than its secularization.
Atheist Revolution:
  • The state of Florida actually exempts faith-based day-care centers from state inspection and licensing while requiring both of secular day-care centers. (note:  It is this blogger's understanding that this actually is wide-spread)
  • Christian billboards are commonplace, but atheist billboards are typically met with vandalism, protests, and calls to the billboard owner.
  • Public school teachers may come under fire for criticizing religion but are expected to criticize every other form of idiocy.
And last, but certainly not least, is the Parsonage Tax Exemption for ALL religions.   This is an exemption from federal taxes for most of the money ordained clergy of all faiths spend on housing, which typically represents roughly a third of their compensation.  The tax break is not available to the staff at secular nonprofit organizations whose scale and charitable aims compare to those of religious ministries.

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