A recent post the the Wild Hunt as opened up the topic of the invisible privileges enjoyed by Christians in America. The debate at Jason’s site as well as the one going on at Occult Corpus is interesting in the amount of intelligent/ell written opinions. Yes there are a few attacks on Christians for their privilege many posts are interested in pointing out the holes in the logic of persecution many which is common in a Christian dialogue.
What privileges do Christan enjoy that many minority faiths do not? Well here is a list for the sake of clarification. Feel free to comment and debate the nature of this list. It would be interesting to see what folks think of these privileges and if it is only Christians who enjoy them.
When looking at the language many groups use it is easy to see a feeling that “persecuted Christians” feel like a minority or at least want people to think they are. When you hear preachers using the language of the “few real Christians” , making fun of ” Only on Sundays Christians’, and using fatalistic militant language you do get a sense that they see themselves as a minority. The use of passages ( which I’m to lazy to look up now) which were written when the Christian set was very young and growing suggest that there is a need to feel small and vulnerable regardless of their population.
The Wild Hunt is a pagan news blog and does have a pagan view in mind. As a pagan I can say that, yes Christianity does appear as this monolithic boogie man who wants to crush us. It is VERY easy to believe that given that the common face in the general media, not simply the Pagan one, lacks the love doctrine so vital to the faith. What most folks see is a large, wealthy, and united religious front who will damn to Hell ( metaphorically and sometimes literally), is really a diverse group of people who share some religious traits and bitterly feud over others. Tell a Mormon he is a Christian and then convince a Baptists that that same Mormon is just as Christian as he.
It is very difficult and often risky to be a minority religion in the US. While being lynched is a rare event minority religions do experience a tangible level of persecution, usually in the form of inappropriate questions, loss of ease of access to services, public humiliation, and difficulty with general populace once religion becomes a factor. I’m never likely to see a restaurant offer my religions group a church discount without having to PROVE to them I’m a real church. I’m often put in a position of lying or facing some kind of social booboo when I’m asked ” Where do I go to church” ( folks in the southern states might recognize that question little more. Jason does an excellent job detailing the challenges and interests of a broad spectrum of minority religions in the US and this entry is a prime example of carefully exposing the common boons that Christians experience in America and pointing out the irony that the group in power commonly utilizes a persecution trope.
My best friend is a Christian..in fact I cal him Christ-like in order to remove the taint that Christian has in the mindset of many people. We’ve been freinds for almost 15 years, which is more than half our lives. ( Say hi to the 29 year olds). We discuss religions frequently and from my experiences with his Church and freinds I can say the angry hate filled rhetoric is rarer than one might think. However the general ignorance of other faiths, use of Christians paradigms as a panacea for all, and the favoring of religious authority over secular authority is very common. Being fair to do see a similar practice in Paganism as well. As Rose , an OC poster, pointed out you’ll hear a few Pagans who are so bereft of good history that they rant about the burning times and when they’ll return. As a guy who works in the professional world I don’t wear my Pagansim and am often told I don’t look Pagan enough or that I must be some playgan or a spy when I attend events in my chosen style of dress ( sorry for not dressing like I got lost on my way to a LARP). However I do get many folks who assume I’m a Christian because I’m white, have a clean cut look, and am breathing.
Anyone attacking the intelligence level of a member of any faith is simply waving their ad hom around and hoping someone sees it and thinks its nice. However Christianity does have an inherent issue with learning outside of its niche. The common Christian as well as the common American ( Wonder if there is a link there…. 😉 ) are woefully ignorant of others. It is not that being moral is a buzzkill and therefore no one likes it, I can point you in the direction of several folks who don’t drink, give into lust, or what not and do so outside of a religious morality. The issue is that people have with Christians is that there is a common “with us or against us” mentality in the faith. As stated before this trait pops up often in response to encountering differences in others and is usually over come by forming relationships with people. This is a large part of what makes folks think Christians are dullards. It is a religious and cultural trait which encourages passive ignorance and is difficult to work around.