Social Justice Advocates Handbook: A Guide to Gender Understanding

30+ Examples of Christian Privilege

by Sam Killermann · 968 comments

in Privilege Lists,Social Justice

"Not on the List" Comic

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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.  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 of times 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.
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  24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
  25. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.
  26. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.
  27. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
  28. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
  29. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
  30. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
  31. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
  32. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
  33. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
  34. Share more in the comments below!

Written by Sam Killermann

Sam is a writer and performer who uses those skills as an ally to advance progress in the realms of LGBT equality and social justice. He tours the country speaking to college students about stereotypes, prejudice, and oppression, and writes for this site when he's at home in Austin, TX.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Heather-Boster/537236235 Heather Boster

    How about this? 

    “In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.”

    To anyone who doesn’t believe this happens, google pagan mom loses custody. 

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Added.  Thanks for contributing, Heather!

    • Rebecca of Ask An Atheist

      or “Atheist dad loses custody” or “Agnostic dad loses custody”

      • David Rosenzweig

        Let’s add “Dad assumed to be Jewish because of name loses custody.” My ex’s lawyer used my last name to stress the point that I was not Christian. It went down hill fast and far after that.

        • Max Rocket

          Good grief! Where did that happen, and did you talk to the news media about it?

  • Ben Stallings

    I’m confused about the wording of #9… why will your peers hold your faith against you if they share it?

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Reworded.  Thanks, Ben.  I forgot the ever-important and meaning-altering word “not.”  

  • Orthodox Xian

    While, having been born in a predominantly Muslim country, I value what the U.S. has afforded me and my family…in that we are able to practice our Christian religion openly and without fear of persecution. However, the list given by this article is a bit ridiculous. I will respond to the first 10. 

    1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays. >> Not really. I’m Orthodox Christian. And number two, my law school’s graduation is on a Sunday MORNING (as have been many other important events)…because my law school (which is not predominantly jewish) is catering to those who observe a Saturday sabbath. Christians are expected to be more flexible in skipping church. Thanks. 2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible. >> My religious holidays have been commercialized, and that is somehow a good thing for me? Nope. 3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays. >>What are you talking about? What items? Plastic easter eggs? A Christmas tree? That has nothing to do with “religion”. Plus most food in stores is Kosher anyway where I live (NYC). 4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values. >>No one was pressured to celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ. They were pressured to get gifts and new toys at the same time their friends were. 5. Holidays celebrating your faith are so widely supported you can often forget they are limited to your faith. >> Nope. Trust me, when I am celebrating Easter, there is no way to forget that Easter, the RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ, is central to Christianity only. 6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats. >> Really? 7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized. >>Really? I’ve seen Christian bumper stickers being scratched off. 8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited. >> Really? I had a professor in law school ask who was Christian, only for him to mock those of us who raised their hands. Fake Christianity is not inhibited. Real faith is looked down upon. 9. If you are being tried in court, you can assume that the jury of “your peers” will share your faith and hold that against you.>> Huh? What does this even mean? 10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith. >> How is this Christian privilege? Perhaps. I mean, if you think in terms of feeling alienated and having to swear on a Bible as a reminder that you are different. Ok. I will give you this one.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      I’ll play along.  1. You don’t get time off for Christmas?  2. The fact that you can complain about how popular your faith’s holidays are is a demonstration of an incredible amount of privilege.  3. Bibles, crucifixes, whatever else they sell at all those Christian stores (here’s a common one in Austin: http://www.familychristian.com/).  And yes, little plastic eggs.  4. People are pressured to celebrate Christian holidays thousands of times a day during holiday seasons.  If you had played the Halloween card here I would have been more impressed.  5. You’ve never wished a Happy Easter to someone not knowing their faith?  6. Relative to other faiths, a few in particular, yes.  Really.  In fact, more people are met with violence and threats at the hands and mouths of Christians than otherwise.  7. It’s easier to replace a sticker than a windshield or tire (not that sticker scratching is okay – it’s not).  8. That professor is an ass.  And again, you are simply reinforcing the idea of privilege by bifurcating your faith and saying that “fake” practitioners of your faith have privileges that you don’t.  An uneducated white person doesn’t have the same education as a law-school graduated white person, but that doesn’t erase the idea that easy access to higher education is a white privilege.  9. Typo.  Fixed it.  Now feel free to present a flimsy counterpoint.  10. Thanks :)  1 in 10′s not bad.

      Thanks for adding a very important addition to the list: you can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.  In a US privilege head-to-head, Jews would definitely top Muslims, but I can’t imagine a Jew dismissing the privileges of access to Kosher food, the “commercialization” of Hanukkah, and the availability of synagogues.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692587963 Liz Jones

        Please don’t overlook the fact that the poster is a practitioner of Orthodox Christianity, whose religious holidays fall on different days than Catholic and Protestant holidays, so it may NOT be a given for  her to get religious holidays off. 

      • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

        Orthodox Christianity (if I recall correctly) uses the Julian calendar.  Mainstream Catholic and Protestant Christianity, on the other hand, uses the Gregorian calendar.  So no, Orthodox Christians, in the US, are not automatically given their religious holidays off from work.

        • Lex

          This list pertains more to protestant Christians — and that distinction is extremely important.

          Other Christian denominations are considered outsiders by a significant (and vocal) chunk of protestants. I have come across many Southern Baptists who would tell you that Orthodox Christians aren’t really Christian because they believe wrong. I would say the order of preference goes: Protestant > Catholic > Orthodox > Jewish > Muslim > Hindu > Pagan/Agnostic/Atheist. I am not sure where Buddhism, Sikh, Shinto, etc would fit in there. Where they draw the going to hell cutoff varies greatly among denominations, churches, and individuals.

    • http://omo.peacockfairy.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

       With the exception of the Orthodox / Julian calendar holidays, everything you’ve pointed out and whined about are exceptions that sort of prove the rules, or are complete non-issues.

      2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays
      are readily accessible. >> My religious holidays have been
      commercialized, and that is somehow a good thing for me? Nope.

      Name me one Channukah pop-song that’s not by Adam Sandler.  Better yet:  Name me one song pertaining to ANY polytheistic religion (Hindu, Shinto, certain Buddhist sects, most pagan religions…)

      3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to
      practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays. >>What are
      you talking about? What items? Plastic easter eggs? A Christmas tree?
      That has nothing to do with “religion”. Plus most food in stores is
      Kosher anyway where I live (NYC).

      I was able to Google up several Christian book stores in Manhattan very easily.  I have easily found dozens of general grocery stores, including a Kroger in 28th Street, that are not Kosher-speciality.  Commercial “kosher” food is almost never overseen by a rabbi and is just a marketing term used to indicate that it complies with every other Jewish dietary law –most packaged food is kosher by default, and the fact that you see signage pointing this out all over NYC speaks more to the fact that NYC has a higher concentrated Jewish population than almost anywhere else in the States –just like Dearborn, Michigan has a higher concentration of Muslims than anywhere else in the States, so “Halal” is all over everything in metro-Detroit.

      4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that
      may conflict with your religious values. >>No one was pressured to
      celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ. They were pressured
      to get gifts and new toys at the same time their friends were.

      Except for the fact that, as a non-Christian, I have been pressured to do so.  I have had people, point blank, tell me that I should be celebrating Christmas.

      5. Holidays celebrating your faith are so widely supported you can often
      forget they are limited to your faith. >> Nope. Trust me, when I
      am celebrating Easter, there is no way to forget that Easter, the
      RESURRECTION of Jesus Christ, is central to Christianity only.

      Except for the fact that the secularised trappings of Christmas and Easter are actively employed by a majority of Christians in Western society, which does, in fact, lead many to forget that those holidays are, in fact, limited to Christianity.  The closest holiday of polytheistic origin to Christmas is the Roman Saturnalia, which absolutely was not celebrated on 24 & 25 December.

      6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats. >> Really?
      Yes, really.  The few Christians who may be actively threatened?  This is typically for something other than being Christian –and not to mention that, by sheer per-capita numbers, non-Christians are threatened in Western society for simply being non-Christian at practically hundreds of times greater the rate than Christians are threatened for practising Christianity.

      7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your
      car being vandalized. >>Really? I’ve seen Christian bumper
      stickers being scratched off.

      Do you know what “likely” means?  Do you understand the principles of probability?  I can guarantee you, for every one Christian bumper sticker you’ve seen “scratched off”, I’ve seen at least ten times as many cars bearing Hindu, pagan, Buddhist, or even atheist stickers and emblems not only have their stickers “scratched off” and emblems broken, but sugar in the petrol tanks, cars egged, I’ve even seen in a parking lot a case where somebody literally took a shit on the hood of the car in the hot sun, the paint of the car keyed up on the door panels, and at the rear bumper, a “Coexist” sticker “scratched off” and the words “Jesus Saves” written in the dust on the back windscreen.  I can guarantee you, for every sticker you’ve seen “scratched off” (a vague description), I’ve seen between five and ten counts of genuine and clear vandalism to cars bearing non-Christian slogans.

      8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned,
      mocked, or inhibited. >> Really? I had a professor in law school
      ask who was Christian, only for him to mock those of us who raised their
      hands. Fake Christianity is not inhibited. Real faith is looked down
      upon.

      And where is this professor now?  I’d find it hard to believe if this has continued without reprimand.

      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.>>
      Huh? What does this even mean?

      You really are sheltered, huh?  Clear typo aside, what that means is that there is no shortage of cases where all or predominantly Christian juries have immediately formed unfavourable opinions of a defendant because they were of a non-Christian religion.

      10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious
      scripture pertaining to your faith. >> How is this Christian
      privilege? Perhaps. I mean, if you think in terms of feeling alienated
      and having to swear on a Bible as a reminder that you are different. Ok.
      I will give you this one.

      Are you serious?  How is that not Christian privilege?  The fact that you don’t even understand that there’s privilege there that has nothing to do with some vague concession of “alienation” proves that it is a privilege that you take for granted.  What does it mean for you, as a Christian, to have to swear on The Bible?  Now think about that long and hard.  Try not to hurt yourself in the thinking process.  What meaning can it possibly have to a Hindu to swear on a Christian text to tell the truth?  This is not their holy book, they might as well swear on the pages of Tom Sawyer, as it would probably mean about as much to them. 

      • Megan

        2. This comment isn’t meant to contest the fact that there’s not a lot of pop-songs for Channukah (or other non-Christian holidays)… but I just wanted to throw it out there that the Canadian band “Barenaked Ladies” has a winter/holiday album that has Christmas, Channukah, and winter season songs. Just in case someone is looking for that: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barenaked_for_the_Holidays

      • Randi

        I’m not a Christian (and never had to swear an oath in court) and reading this one was in fact the most jarring to me. Having not had to swear an oath in court before, it never dawned on me that I might be required to swear on the KJ bible. The fact that this person doesn’t think this is Christian privilege is INSANE. To me, this was suddenly the most offensive of the list. Also, what happened to division of church (pah! more likely christian privilege) and state. Shouldn’t I be swearing on the constitution or something?

        • http://twitter.com/ViveLeShelby Shelby

          I agree! I was surprised in elementary school when I found out that people swear on the bible in court. I assumed it would be the constitution, because that’s the most important secular document to our country. And I found out all of this right after the separation of church and state was explained to me, so it was even more confusing. I definitely agree that this is one of the most offensive examples of Christian privilege on the list, because it’s so obvious, like “In God we Trust” on money, and use of prayer and God language in other legal and government settings. It makes me feel like the Bill of Rights doesn’t actually matter as much as the opinions of the people in charge, because they’re free to make whatever rules they want as long as the majority supports them, often times at the expense of minorities (Or people who just aren’t loud mouths!).

        • Valerie Finnigan

          Nobody is required to swear or affirm on any book of scripture. Every time I’ve been in a courtroom, we simply swore/affirmed while raising our right hands.

          • http://medusas-mirror.blogspot.ca/ Fionnabhair

            The first time I had to swear an oath in court, I was handed a bible, because it was simply assumed that I would use it to swear my oath. The option to affirm is available, but many people simply assume that a person will swear their oath on the bible, which is an example of Christian privilege. This is especially true in small communities and/or communities where there is a strong religious presence.

            A woman who spoke on my behalf was presented with a bible as well. She’s Buddhist, but use the bible to take her oath anyway. While I was able to say that I was an atheist, and would prefer to affirm, that is not always an *easy* thing to say, and having to push back against sometimes overwhelming Christian privilege can be very trying and sometimes it’s just easier and simpler to let people assume default Christianity.

            I actually lost my case, and had to appeal the decision (and I easily and handily won the appeal, with the judge stating that he had no idea on what grounds the original decision against me was made). I can’t help but wonder if my choice to affirm rather than swear on the bible, my declaration of atheism, hurt my case the first time around.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            I actually do live in a small community with a very strong religious presence, and was never once presented any book upon which to place my hand. It just proves that Christian privilege varies widely from one region to the next.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Whenever I had to swear or affirm anything in court, I simply had to raise my right hand, and I live in an area with a strong religious supermajority.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.neubauer Jessica Neubauer

        Good points all, and you write clearly and concisely. But please don’t feed the trolls

      • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

        OK, would YOU swear, “So help me Goddess?” How would it feel for YOU to be forced to swear on my Grimoire? This is an exercise in stepping OUT of your theological/cultural circle enough to imagine what it is like to be other than who you are. The Oppressed survive by learning how the Oppressors think, so we can “pass” if need be, or be prepared for the next attack. One mark of the Privileged is that they find it very difficult to think how someone from the other “side” feels.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nell.webbish Nell Webbish

      OX, you are making a very common mistake when discussing privilege … you are personalizing it instead of stepping back and seeing how privilege works on the macro level. I understand the struggle. As a white woman it took me a long time to fully understand how white privilege exists in the world. Grasping it once makes it easier to see how it works in other areas also.

      I strongly recommend that you read the blog post linked below. Though it is focused on male privilege, it is one of the most outstanding explanations of what privilege is and is not that I have ever found. http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

      Finally, recognizing your own privilege is not tantamount to admitting culpability for things outside of your control. It is not an accusation that you have not worked in your life or struggled or that at times people were rude or hateful to you. It is simply a recognition of what it means to be a member of a group that is considered a cultural default.

      Denying it exists with trite and silly objections is not very admirable.

  • Guest

    reading this is like someone telling you that your car getting stolen is no big deal because you have three other cars. 

    • http://www.ericteske.com/ Eric Teske

      I don’t think that’s an accurate analogy. Reading this is like having someone point out the fact that you drive a safe luxurious car, being annoyed when people mention their unsafe cars, or feeling attacked when someone else also buys a luxurious car. 

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      What Eric said, OR I can completely grant you that analogy, if you realize that Christians are the only ones who have four (-teen? -hundred?) cars so when one is stolen it’s not that big of a deal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692587963 Liz Jones

    As an addendum to point 3, though, it’s not only that it’s easy enough to find a specific store selling Christian religious articles. It’s that you probably won’t find a Big Box store that DOESN’T carry Christian Bibles (at the very least) and other religious books (primarily of the pop Christian self-help or fiction variety). 

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      That’s a great addendum.  Thanks, Liz.  A much better way of putting it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692587963 Liz Jones

    Sorry, that was meant to be under my previous comment … 

  • Lynne Whitehorn

    You won’t get hassled and bullied as a child/adolescent in school.

  • Eliot

    Also, there are generally a variety of easily accessible places of worship for varying branches of Christianity, sometimes within walking distance, rather than two hours by car, and not your specific path but the closest you could find. However I should have worded that. 

    • Eliot

       The conversion troops that find it their duty to proselytize at every opportunity are nearly always Christian, too, so it would be instantly less awkward upon meeting them when you don’t have to give an insistent “no.” Even if they aren’t the same branch as you, they generally smile and look for people of other faiths.

  • Lindat

    Your new partner’s (is that the inclusive word? boyfriend/girlfriend/partner) grandparents won’t immediately hate you on account of your religion.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Thanks for the suggestion!  However, I’m sorry to say that’s a near-universally unfortunate thing about religion and relationships.  I would posit that it’s actually less of an issue with Christians than it is with other faiths.

      And partner was a perfectly inclusive word to use :)

  • Guest12

    Or how about wills and marriage certificates being invalidated because your state just banned your religion’s laws on property, inheritance and marriage because of xenophobia.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Wow, this happens?  Can you explain a bit more?

  • http://twitter.com/TrUUlySocial Thomas Earthman

     You can hang out with other members of your faith, and it isn’t automatically “a group of Christians”.

    You almost never have to explain the major tenants of your faith to those you meet, much less explain away negative stereotypes.

    You rarely have to teach your children about other faiths so that they get cultural and literary references.

    • sylvan_bob

      The following doesn’t really add to the discussion, or the article, which I really appreciated, it’s just maybe an interesting little ‘related’ story.
      When I was a kid in England, we were nominal Anglicans. I was baptised but we never went to church. I think the neighbour lady ragged on my father and he came and told my sister – 5 years old and me 8, that we were going to start going to Sunday School. Then he added, almost as an afterthought, You’re living in a Christian Culture and you should know a bit about it. I think we only went twice and all I remember about it is the story I’ve just told you.

  • Wildfire

    Interesting. Not all of these are true in my country. Although I am personally a Christian and live in a ‘Western’ country it is apparently more secular than the USA. I’ll be interested to read the comments & further discussion. :) 

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Thanks for the comment.  I’m curious, which country do you live in?  

  • Ben

    “…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 faiths.”
    What about people of no faith?!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Do you have difficulty practicing your lack of faith?  I’m not sure I understand the point.  Care to elaborate a bit?  I promise I’m not being sarcastic.  I would like to hear more, because I think there’s definitely a privilege to having faith in general (societal privilege, not afterlife privilege).

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=677370257 Jamie Roberts

        Atheists are distrusted in general, even tying with rapists in studies  ( http://digitaljournal.com/article/315425 ), are equated with anti-Americanism ( http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheitsHated.htm ), and are more hated than Muslims, black people, and gay people ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination_against_atheists#United_States ). The US didn’t have our first openly atheist congressperson until 2007.

        Rather depressingly, theists typically believe atheists are immoral because they lack a god to keep them in line. Which doesn’t say much about the “morality” of religious people, when you think about it.

        • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

          Hi Jamie, I really appreciate the comment (especially the links!).  I’ve revised the intro a bit, but I am really thinking what you and Ben are getting at here is a power differential between theists and atheists, not Christians and atheists. 

          Interestingly enough, though, another Christian privilege might be that any other form of belief system is inadvertently compared against Christianity.

          • Matt

            Imagine being an atheist in the military. We are sworn in saying “…so help me God”.
            I’ve been to numerous base meetings where an invocation is said. All of them end with “in Jesus’s name, we pray”.
            When I was up for a job performance review, my Chief asked me if I believe in God (he has a bible prominently displayed on his desk).

          • MM

            woah.

          • Dilirium

            A great friend of mine was killed in Afghanistan. He was a devout pagan, but EVERY ONE of his platoon mates talked about his being christian and gave him a christian funeral. I came to find out, from some of his other friends that he had to to avoid reprisals.

          • Pixie Stix

            Funny, when I signed up with the military, I “so affirmed.” I didn’t have to mention God in any way.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

            THAT’S so true!

            As a Pagan theologian, I often find that the HARDEST thing to teach is that what is normative for the Abrahamic Faiths (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) is NOT normative for all religion!

            For example, many believe that a REAL religion must have a creed — not true, that was a Christian invention, inspired partly by Imperial designs, The Unitarians have managed without one for two centuries. Yet many Pagan seem to think it’s essential. Happily, Pagans are as independent-minded as UUs, so it will never be possible to impose one!

          • Sarah

            Modern-style Unitarians have actually been around for about 650 years, and the term was first used in 1600.

        • Erin

          Your general point about including atheists in these considerations is solid. However, claiming that atheists are “more hated than Muslims, black people and gay people” is a vast over statement. Citing Wikipedia, of all things, to back up this claim is inadequate. I agree, atheists are treated with suspicion, pity, scorn, hatred. No argument there. But the claim in relation to other groups is neither necessary to make your point powerfully; nor supportable by EVIDENCE. Wikipedia is not a scholarly source, nor are its “stats and facts” checked for accuracy or reliability.

          • RustNSplinters

            But Sam Harris IS a good source, and he states the same thing in his book “Letter to a Christian Nation” and in one of his articles, saying that people were far more likely to vote for a black person, a person of a different faith, or a gay person more so than an atheist:

            “SEVERAL POLLS indicate that the term “atheism” has acquired such an extraordinary stigma in the United States that being an atheist is now a perfect impediment to a career in politics (in a way that being black, Muslim or homosexual is not). According to a recent Newsweek poll, only 37% of Americans would vote for an otherwise qualified atheist for president. – See more at: http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/10-myths-and-10-truths-about-atheism1#sthash.fBccGJET.dpuf

            So yes, it IS true.

          • Sannity

            You are inferring that just because atheists may not be trusted, they are therefore also hated. They may or may not be hated, but it certainly does not follow from your (Sam Harris’s) observation.

          • MommaJo

            I am of the opinion that atheists are considered in such a negative light mostly due to theists believing that atheism is the same as anti-theism. I wonder if there isn’t some notion that if you don’t believe in “our God” you must be against Him….

          • charity

            No, athiests may be preferred less by the general population, but that does not make them “more hated”. Random Muslims are beaten when there is suspicion of any muslims pariticpating in terroist attacks. Gay people are still regularly beaten and sometimes killed in the US. Black churches still get burned down. Athiests may not get voted into congress, and may get ignored at or not invited to dinner parties, but I don’t know of too many acts
            of violence committed against athiests. I would think acts of violence as a much better operations deinfition of hatred than who the average person would or wouldn’t vote for.

          • Sara Knox

            That’s not true. Wikipedia is checked for accuracy and reliability by millions of people every day. Unsubstantiated claims in Wikipedia are quickly removed, and all other statements are expected to have cited sources. Though Wikipedia may not be a source itself, ITS sources are legitimate, in this case the source is
            ^ Penny Edgell; Joseph Gerteis, and Douglas Hartmann (April 2006). “Atheists As “Other”: Moral Boundaries and Cultural Membership in American Society”. American Sociological Review 71 (2): 218.

        • cwsculptor

          Recently a woman who has lived in the US for decades and completed all her citizen requirements could not be sworn in as a citizen. Because she was a pacificist, she could not swear to “take up arms” in defense of the US, if need be, and because she was an atheist she could not produce a letter on the stationary of her “church” attesting to her pacifist views.
          http://forum.slowtwitch.com/forum/Slowtwitch_Forums_C1/Lavender_Room_F4/Anyone_following_the_atheist-denied-citizenship_story_P4629012/
          Margaret Doughty, an atheist and permanent U.S. resident for more than 30 years,was told by immigration authorities this month that she has until Friday to officially join a church that forbids violence or her application for naturalized citizenship will be rejected.

          • callmequirky

            That is insane cwsculptor! It should be put on Change.org or something similar. With no religion or atheism/agnosticism being the fastest growing “religious” demographic in the U.S. this stupid rule about having a church attest for pacifist purposes to become a citizen needs to be changed immediately.

            I have personally found being an atheist mostly just awkward within my family circle, and maybe some social circles, but looking at this list, and reading the article above, it really hits home how pervasive Christianity and religion in general are within this society. (I’m lucky enough to live in the Pac NW where there are lots of folks similar to me.)

      • David

        Samuel, the very form of your question indicates part of the struggle. Atheists don’t have a “lack” of faith any more than they have a “lack” of tentacles. However, because we don’t share in the prevalent mythology we are, in actuality, more of a minority than people of any religion.

        People of faith have codified their morality through their faith traditions. Because the ideas of “right and wrong” come from the instructions of god, atheists most therefore have a lack of morality. Everything you noted in your article applies just as aptly to an atheist.

    • LMarsena

      Faith in science and logic is indeed faith. If religion is a set of beliefs pertaining to the meaning of life and death and the creation of the universe, then science is an acceptable form of faith.

      • Max Rocket

        The scientific method is actually the polar opposite of “faith.” Look it up.

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          “Faith” means “complete trust”, so yes, it’s possible to put one’s faith in science and logic and come out worse for the wear. “Faith” is also not the “polar opposite” of the scientific method. The two concepts are like comparing apples and power tools.

  • Tasha Douglas

    How about, one’s faith causing someone to attain employment via religious networking.  Managers from Christian churches are more likely to, “hand out” jobs to their congregation members than to go through the regular interview processes.  I know this is illegal, however, I have seen it happen on more than one occasion.

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Tasha, I think this likely happens, but I can’t say it’d be limited to a Christian privilege.  It’s a privilege that comes with membership to any group that is in charge of hiring.

      • Kerri Hurman

        Hey Sam…for those people that say you’re anti-Christian, anti-religious etc yada yada, this one response should show it’s not about unfairly attacking anyone….just saying ” be thankful for what you have instead of angry because not everyone believes as you do” which is where I think most of the persecution arguments stem from.
        keep up the fantastic work you do…. we’re behind you!

  • Guest

    I appreciate that you’ve made a list of things you believe to be advantages of being Christian; however, I’m unsure of how accurately these can be interpreted.  For example:
    1. Yes, admittedly we are “guaranteed” Christmas off, but other than Christmas (and for some jobs even that), you are never “guaranteed time off.”  Doesn’t everyone, regardless of faith, get those days off, too?  The days off are not given because we are Christian, but because of (by now) mostly tradition.  So while I cannot dismiss that Christmas is a day we celebrate, we do not get it off solely because of our faith.  Your statement seems to imply “Christians get their special days off and are guaranteed to because of their faith, while other faiths do not.”  Some people still work on Christmas, Christian or not.  No one is denied time off because of their religion, or if they are that’s against the constitution.  A better phrasing would be, *1-2 of the mandatory federal days off for the year coincide with Christian holidays, and most other religions do not have a holiday which happens to coincide, so most Christians, who work “regular” jobs, do not need to take off 2 additional days a year for holidays which they would intend to celebrate either way.”

    You probably didn’t phrase it that way because it loses most of the effectiveness of “making Christians think harder about their faith.”

    2 & 3. I kind of fail to understand how this is something that makes the US “unfruendly” toward other faiths.  Christian business come and go, and they can fail like any other business venture.  The fact that Christians have devoted COUNTLESS hours and funds towards support for Christian things is precisely why there is a prevalence of what we see.  If other faiths had spent as much time and effort as Christians had in America, then they would also see a prevalence of their things in the USA.  Christians are supposed to tithe 10% to the church.  Do you support local Atheist/Jewish/Agnostic/Hindu/Buddhist/Shinto shrine with that amount of money?  I live in Japan, and Fushimi Inari is an example fo the money Shinto followers spend on their religion for that temple.  Thousands of orange tori lined up back to back.  It’s astounding.  So is that found to be offensive to me?  No way!  It’s amazing that they’ve donated so much for those gates.  I don’t agree with the religion, but you can’t fault the prevalence because the people have poured their time, energy, money, and talent into it, can you?  I don’t know if it qualifies as making the US “unsafe” as you mentioned… if there was a market for Hindu or Buddhist sutras or literature, then people would buy it.  Right?

    I could go down your entire list like this, I almost feel like.  Do all mothers lose their children because they’re not Christian?  No!  It may have happened, and that’s a tragedy.  I don’t agree with a ruling for that reason alone AT ALL.  But just because it happened once, doesn’t mean you can add it as a blanket statement for the entire US as if “it were guaranteed that we’d get our child simply because we’re Christian in a court of law.”  We’re not, or we’re not supposed to.  So it’s a shame, but it’s also rather saddening, to me, to think that Christians are being written about as if we want that, or as if we’re oppressing others because of it as if it were LAW.  It’s not.

    Also, this blog seems to only focus on those living in America.  I’m living overseas in Japan, and I don’t feel entitled to Christian parapernalia over here.  Your argument against other religions which have not had as much time or effort coming to America, would be the same as if I started yelling at the Japanese that it’s not fair there isn’t more Christian stuff in their own country, right?  It doesn’t make sense, because most of your arguments are only a minority of the time (or part, sometimes admittedly over half).

    You also write about how our faith “is accepted everywhere” and yet your blog, in itself, shows that you are saying things against my faith, and there’s a rising group of people who think just like you do.  You are passive-agressively attacking Christianity, then doing exactly what you claim we do — holding up somekind of “victim” flag when attacked back.  “I was just trying to write something peaceful”, but your intro paragraph says much to the opposite.  I’ve been accosted and ridiculed, especially in my college, for holding my faith in Christ and believing it can coexist with the beliefs of much of science.  Students regularly laughed at anyone in my group.  So to say we can go “anywhere” without ridicule is… well, ridiculous (which you said in 8).

    Now I can’t say that all your points are invalid, but your blog purports that Christians “get some kind of preferencial treatment, and are holding down other groups and religions.”  Which certainly is not the case.  We tolerate, but do not agree or accept the beliefs as correct of others.  Other groups yell at us and scream that “WE MUST ACCEPT YOU!” and that is when we say no.  We are called not to force our beliefs on others, but we do offer.  We do not force people to be Christian, but when you infringe on our own rights as Christians, that is when we feel attacked.  We CANNOT accept your points of view, but we can be certainly more than willing to let you hold them even though we think they’re wrong.  Your blog does well to try and point things out, but your view of the world, and about how coexisting and living together practically can work… still needs to develop a bit more.  There will always be conflict, but your arguments need to show depth of insight for both sides, and not just your own with some “this happened once” reasons to try and make the other side “back-down.”

    • Guest

      My point here, to make this much shorter and simpler, is that not all of your arguments are “the norm”, and even fewer are “priviledges only for Christians, while all other beliefs are not allowed (and/or do not ALSO practice) the same concept, ideas, or actions towards opposing groups as well.

      • Tom Ryberg

        This is kind of like saying, “heterosexuals don’t have any privilege that homosexuals don’t have, because everyone, including homosexuals, are entitled to marry people of the opposite sex.”  Is it not?

      • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

        I honestly can’t figure out what you’re trying to say in this short and simple version.  If you want to give it another whack, I’d be happy to read and respond.And a lot of what you talk about in the essay above is similar to what another commenter, “Orthodox Xian,” wrote, so scroll down (or up) and read my questions/reactions there if you’d like some food for thought.  Beyond the similarities, there are a few things you wrote that I’ll address.  I’ll paraphrase then respond to each.

        1. Christians have devoted countless hours to acquire these privileges.  Absolutely true.  I can’t think of a harder-working, more-effectively-proselytizing group than Christians.  But it doesn’t matter if it’s taken a lot of work or not, the statements of privilege still stand (even if you had to kill for them, pun intended).

        2. This article is focused on America, yes.  I thought I made that clear with the opening sentence.

        3. I never said anything against Christianity in this article.  I’m not attacking Christianity, actively or passive-aggressively.  I’m simply counting facts.

        4. I don’t think anything in this article purports that Christians are actively “holding down other groups,” but yes, other articles I’ve written “purport” that.  Because it’s true.  It’s also genuinely flabbergasting to me that you’re arguing it’s not the case.  Some Christians (and some branches of Christianity) devote their free time and free money to “holding down” a lot of other groups, religious and otherwise.

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Doesn’t everyone, regardless of faith, get those days off, too? The days off are not given because we are Christian, but because of (by now) mostly tradition.

      And why is that a tradition? Because Christianity is the dominant religious culture in Western society. You might as well be saying “everybody has the right to marry; it’s just the law states that it’s only to be between a man and a woman, cos of tradition”. If a Hindu in North America wants to work on Christmas and have Diwali off, s/he’d have to make a special request for it; sure, at a lot of places now, allegedly speaking, anybody who wants Christmas off has to request it, too, but I’m in a progressive county in a Blue state, and I’m telling you, there’s pretty much nothing but the 7-Eleven and a few Chinese restaurants open on Christmas.

      To try and say that this “tradition” of having Christmas off has nothing to do with Christianity is patently absurd.

    • Origami_Isopod

      “We CANNOT accept your points of view, but we can be certainly more than
      willing to let you hold them even though we think they’re wrong.” Awww, how generous of you. Did you want a cookie?

    • http://www.facebook.com/nell.webbish Nell Webbish

      I don’t believe you are understanding the concept of “privilege”. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, especially if you happen to belong to multiple groups that dominate in your culture of origin.

      Most people with any level of intellectual integrity recognize that in any culture, minority groups experience specific disadvantages from being the minority. What is more difficult to admit is that the majority group members experience specific advantages from being the majority, and these advantages are what make-up privilege.

      It doesn’t mean that individual members of the majority group do not face personal challenges and hurdles in their lives. They are not immune from bad things happening to them. But there membership in the majority group increases the likelihood that handling life’s problems will be made easier for them in some manner.

      As for you comments about “force” etc., these complete miss the point. Privilege is not about what the majority group “does” to the minorities groups. It is about default assumptions that underlie the culture that often make things easier or at least more comfortable for people who belong to that default.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.neubauer Jessica Neubauer

        Thank you Neil. Now can you rewrite that in words of 4 letters or less so that I can repost it on Dominionist pages?

  • Ssecrist1750

    Sammy K - 

    I have multiple points for consideration.

    1.) I love and miss you.
    2.) This is an excellent concept for discussion, and I really see it as an ultimate concept (i.e., one that really cannot be argued.  Once posited, any attempt to refute it only reinforces your point).  Because of this, I empathize with those whose personal experiences don’t necessarily align with these privileges.  I don’t think, developmentally speaking, that it is possible to fully grasp your position without a deeper understanding of privilege, power, and oppression.  I concede that I just now found the gem of a website, so I am not as familiar with its content as I should be.  I wonder, do you address the concepts of power, privilege, and oppression more generally? 
    3.) This article was so well written.  
    4.) How can I get involved?  Do you take submissions?  

    You rock for doing this work.  What I love most is that you do this work in a very Sammy K kind of way. :-) Keep on keepin’ on. 

    Scotty

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Scotty!

      1.) Ditto back atcha.
      2.) That’s a really, really solid point, and I think you may have just suggested my next article topic.  I talk about oppression in my show (which is from where this website and these articles stem), but I am just now realizing I’ve never written up an explanation.  That’ll be a really helpful thing to be able to link to.  Thanksamill!
      3.) Well thanks.
      4.) I’m going to email you, then let’s talk.

      I’m happy to hear that.  I think it lines up with my me-ness pretty well, so it’s good to have that affirmed.

      sK

  • Ashley

    Sam, 

    As a Christian, I have to say that I think this is a well written article that helps me to once again stop and think about the experiences of those around me.  For me this article in no way came across as an attack on Christianity, but a recognition of privilege that exists, just as many other forms of privilege exist.  It was a mixture of things that I think of regularly and some that I had not considered before, but once I read realized how true they were.  Of course, there are moments where I could site exceptions I’ve experienced to some of these privileges, but they are just that exceptions to the more general rule of the privilege I experience on a regular basis.  

    What upsets me is not this article, but hearing how many angry/mean responses that you received in various forms to the article.  For me that kind of unwarranted outrage, and quite frankly the hate that is too often spewed from some Christians (or at least some who choose to claim Christianity as their religion), has no place in my faith.  Intellectual dialogue about differing points of view is important, and I understand that faith/religion/spirituality is very personal, but I believe that people can be passionate and civil at the same time.  

    Thank you for the work that you are doing!

    • http://samuelkillermann.com/ Samuel Killermann

      Hi Ashley, 

      Thank you for the comment!  I really appreciate your words, and I find your perspective on this stuff refreshing.  I know it’s a “bad apple” not necessarily a “bad barrel” situation, it’s just unfortunate that the bad apples seem to be the loudest apples.

      Thanks for speaking up, good apple!  :)sK

      • Johnny Gordon

        The worst apples always get the most attention, usually because of the odor!

      • Mothr Nght

        Thank you Sam and thanks Ashley!! As a practicing Muslim I can relate to the other side of all of these. Voices like yours needs to be heard.

      • Luke Jones

        As a Christian reading this article, I feel extremely misunderstood. It is indeed popular to call oneself a Christian, but it is unpopular to love Jesus, pray regularly, read the Bible in order to know the God you love, or walk in the ways that He has commanded.

        This article is written about those who want to be called Christians but neither love Christ nor know him. As a Christ-follower, I feel on the opposite side of many of these.

        • natsera

          Luke, it is clear you didn’t understand a word of this article. Any Christian, however they practice, can rest assured of these privileges; as a Jew, I can’t. I lived for 3 years in western Nebraska, and my son was the only Jewish child in his school, and while I would have LIKED to send him to a Jewish school, or even a Sunday school, there weren’t any. YOU never encountered a situation like this, unless you were hermiting in the mountains!

        • Rabbit

          Which ones do you feel that you’re on the opposite side of?

    • Lizzie Crowe

      and thank you for your willingness to think this over and be aware of how this affects others. Happy Holy Days!

      • Man in the Golden Suit

        MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY EASTER TO ALL!!!!!!!

    • Brenda Rainey Cunningham

      I agree with you Ashley. People, including Christians, need to embrace our differences. I love learning and knowing about other religions, cultural practices, customs, celebrations, and more. I am genuinely interested in our differences and would never judge or mock any of them. When I look at people, meet people and take care of people (I’m a nurse), I see individuals with hearts and feelings just like I have. I don’t see a religion, a color, a heterosexual or homosexual or other differences. I see people who are most likely friends I have not met yet.

      • Chris Warren Bevauns

        I can’t embrace any faith that oppresses woman, gays or other marginal groups. Christianity is a blight on humanity and you only need to look as far as your own scripture to see the hate and ugliness that effects American non-Christians every day.

        • llokken

          Sorry you feel that way, Chris. I have to tell you though that you are wrong and you are not being fair. Many Christian denominations – at least some anyway –
          don’t oppress women, welcome and accept gays, and promote understanding
          of others’ religions and beliefs. The sad thing is that those who are
          most vocal about being Christians today really aren’t Christians at all.
          Many loud politicians, radio shock jocks, and Fox “news” employees are
          destroying people’s desire to have anything to do with religion. They
          say they live by the Bible but are really just hung up on the negativity
          of the Old Testament.They are often judgmental and arrogant. I grew up
          in a conservative, Lutheran church and left it for the very reasons you
          mentioned and those I just mentioned. I now work for the United Church
          of Christ and I feel God in my life again and “hear” Him speaking to me
          (not an actual voice, of course). We are the most progressive
          denomination there is. We not only welcome everyone, our denomination
          even ordains members of the LGBTQ community and women are often in
          leadership roles. We have had a Muslim speaker at our church, regularly
          help with building projects on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, have
          one of the county’s emergency food pantries located in our church, and
          started a community garden with special emphasis on helping the poor and
          Hmong women in our community. We try our best to not be judgmental and
          do everything we can to make everyone who walks through the doors of our
          church feel welcome and accepted.

          • redsandrita

            Dear Hokken, although you are clearly defending Christianity – and your church in particular – I have to say that your biases still shine through. You “even” ordain LGBTQ folks, huh? Wow. That’s quite a stretch. That you mention women in leadership roles only goes to say how unusual that really is in Christian organization. And a single Muslim speaker? Gee, that’s real diversity. I bet you know everything there is to know now. Oh, and you go to a reservation to do good works? Were you invited? Or is this a missionary project? Because we didn’t really appreciate missionaries attempting to disrupt our cultural traditions on my reservation, fyi. I don’t mean to mock everything you do; it’s clear your church is trying to be different. One can assume, by your comments,that the members of you church AREN’T mostly impoverished LGBTQ Muslim women of Hmong descent who happen to live on a reservation. That you feel comfortable identifying your good works by simple social markers that stress their difference, you center the world on your own identity. THAT is the essence of privilege: being the “norm.” Which was the point of the original post, in case you missed it.

          • spose

            redsandrita VERY VERY VERY WELL PUT!!

          • llokken

            I did not miss the point of the original post. It isn’t fair that many people feel superior because they identify themselves as Christians or that they appear to be or are treated better because of it. I am not so much defending Christianity, as you put it, as I am pointing out that you can’t lump all Christian into the same category. We are not all extremists. We do not all think that Christianity is the one right or true religion. I, myself have no desire to convince everyone that they have to believe in God or Christ. You obviously don’t know me at all by the cruel words you posted. You sound like you have been hurt, well I am sorry if that is the case, but don’t take it out on me. This was just a small snap shot of the ways that our church reaches out to help and to try to understand others. I would never presume to know everything or say that I am right. I am very open minded and accepting of all faiths and people whether they believe in God or not.

            As far as our trips to Pine Ridge go, we do not go as missionaries or try to convert anyone and yes, WE ARE INVITED!. (Besides, you of all people should know that we have the same God.) We all felt horrible about how Native Americans have been mistreated and lied to by our corrupt government. We found the entire trip to be very educational and inspirational. Many of us who went will be going again and have signed several petitions including one telling the government to give the tribes back their sacred lands and honor the treaties. A couple of us were even willing to travel to White Clay to join in a protest against the white liquor store owners even at the risk of being arrested. Re-Member organizers wouldn’t allow us to go. I feel that it is wrong to try to change your culture or beliefs, It is horrible that Native American children are being taken away from their families and being placed in foster homes with white families while Native American foster homes are empty. I can’t help it if you see me as privileged and I know that in many ways, I am privileged. That is one of the reasons why I work to promote compassion and understanding and not narrow-mindedness. Many of the adult education classes that I offer at church do exactly that.

          • lynnnoe

            I believe that you didn’t mean it so, but by saying “no desire to convince everyone that they have to believe in God”, you are showing that you believe that ‘God’ only means your god. Most people you meet probably believe in God – just not always the one you believe in.

          • balance

            “you can’t lump all Christian into the same category”

            Then what good is the word “category” if we can’t use it as its definition of a grouping by a basic shared characteristic? A category doesn’t mean everything within it is exactly alike. All Christians ARE lumped together in the category of “Christians”. By definition.

          • Identity

            The UU church I go to is really open minded. Most of the members are Christian, but as a pagan I feel perfectly comfortable attending services, practicing my faith on the grounds on religious holidays, speaking about my faith at the UU pagan study group. The pagan study group here has “even” led a few Sunday services. Last summer (we are weird as a UU church and have summer services), I think every study group got a chance to lead a service. And that sort of thing continues throughout the year. During the rest of the year, the minister frequently talks about other faiths or even secular humanist ideas without mentioning any specific religion in some services, has guest speakers, frequently talks about equality and socioeconomic justice.
            And they do missionary work. They just don’t call it missionary work and don’t tie their social justice work with the UU like many Christian missionaries are wont to do. The social justice committee goals are voted on by the entire congregation.

            I realize the UU church here is quite the exception to the rule, but there actually are really open minded churches out there, even Christian ones (*gasp*).

          • sangsue

            I honestly feel that these so called Christians have taken the Old Testament G-d, completely tossed out the New Testament and have called the Old Testament G-d Jesus. All the kindness of Jesus and compassion have been thrown by the wayside.

          • Janessa Hall

            While we’re talking about Christian privilege, let’s make the assumption that kindness and compassion are the exclusive property of the Christian Bible (New Testament) and Jesus. I’m sure that folks in synagogues across the country would love to hear that.

          • sangsue

            You misunderstood. Isn’t Jesus supposed to be someone who gives aid to the poor and helps the sick? I never said it was the EXCLUSIVE property of the New Testament and maybe what I should have said is that it seems like the church of prosperity has become the church these Dominionist Christians are following now. They judge the poor and get joy out of denying them food, shelter and medical help. I apologize if I gave the impression that I was speaking about all Christians.

          • Janessa Hall

            I will try not to be as snippy in my reply this time, because I think you are honestly trying to understand my point. I don’t think you were speaking about all Christians. My point is that Jews do not follow the New Testament at all. Their entire Holy text is the Hebrew Bible (what Christians call the Old Testament.)
            When you say “Christians have taken the Old Testament G-d, completely tossed out the New Testament and have called the Old Testament G-d Jesus. All the kindness of Jesus and compassion have been thrown by the wayside.” This implies that the God of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible) does not have kindness and compassion. For those folks that do not HAVE a new testament, nor follow Jesus this idea is troubling. Jews find kindness and compassion in God, even without the Gospels.

          • Klypto

            As an atheist I am still waiting for me and others to be accepted and not looked upon as evil because we do not believe in religious dogma. Year after year the polls say we are the most hated and distrusted people in the country.Why ? Because we do not believe in supernatural claims of religion. Very seldom do you see mass outrage from the religious when members of the church commit scandalous crimes such as child rape and milking people of money while living in millionaire estates. Only when people speak out against this sort of thing will weed out the “bad apples”. You can usually find these in the heirarchy of most religions. I have no problem what a person or group believes but many seem to put themselves on a moral pedestal because of what they believe.

          • Delpheas

            Well, seeing as God claims kindness and compassion as His in the hebrew scriptures, that assumption would be false.

          • Delpheas

            Old Testament God and Jesus are one and the same. There is no difference. The passages people generally looks at to say they are different need to be looked at in context of the whole Bible. Is there a consistent character being represented as God from Genesis to Revelation(answer is yes, one just needs to look and seek understanding)

          • Identity

            Not all Christians believe that God and Jesus are the same.

          • llokken

            sangsue, That is the point I was trying to make. The sermon at our church yesterday was about how many Christians use the Old Testament to judge others and condemn those that don’t agree with them. They don’t live as Christians in that they don’t base how they live on Jesus and his teachings. The definition of Christian is:

            1. of, pertaining to, or derived from Jesus Christ or His teachings: a Christian faith.
            2. of, pertaining to, believing in, or belonging to the religion based on the teachings of Jesus Christ: Spain is a Christian country.
            3. of or pertaining to Christians: many Christian deaths in the Crusades.
            4. exhibiting a spirit proper to a follower of Jesus Christ; Christlike: She displayed true Christian charity.
            5. decent; respectable: They gave him a good Christian burial.

          • amynrob

            Wow, that definition is interesting (and it’s the kind of word you never look up because you know what it means by context.) Note that someone who fits only one of those definitions is still “by definition” a Christian, and I think some here are trying to clam that ONLY definitions 1 and 4 are valid (that is, only those who follow Jesus’ example or those who are “Christlike” can properly be called Christian.) Definitions 2 and 3 could clearly be applied to people who as it turns out are bad, evil, sinful, but were raised to believe in Christianity. History, by the way, is so full of really despicable people who call themselves Christian and who by any normal definition WERE Christians (in the cultural sense) that it’s silly to claim that NONE of them were Christians just because they were terrible. Now, the 5th definition is the most telling and shows the bias of our culture. Christian = decent or respectable. My mom’s friend used to pay a compliment to someone who had done a kindness by saying “That’s mighty Christian of you!” I always took this as a terrible comment, as though only Christians preached decency, so an act of decency or kindness was obviously a sign of being Christian. This is offensive enough today in our mostly multicultural country that people probably don’t say it, but it’s still revealing and shows the history of the term. (In a predominantly Muslim country, it wouldn’t surprise me to have people do the same kind of thing and attribute a kind act to someone’s spiritual devotion to Islam. It’s not just a Christian thing to believe that all followers are or should be good–it’s a natural but wrong bias that applies to the dominant religion in any culture.)

          • Janessa Hall

            See my comment to sangsue below about the “negativity” of the Old Testament. Additionally, I get really tired of the “no true Scotsman” argument with Christianity. Whenever a Christian makes an ass of themselves, Christians are always ready to say “Well that person isn’t really a Christian.” Yes, they are. They are just a Christian that is also a bad person. Christianity, just like all faiths (or lack of faith) is a diverse community with both good people and bad. You don’t get to decide that someone isn’t a Christian just because you don’t like them. Sorry, you don’t get to stop claiming Fred Phelps and similar ilk.

          • Excerpt from Mere Christianity

            The name
            Christians was first given at Antioch (Acts xi. 26) to “the disciples,” to
            those who accepted the teaching of the apostles. The point is not a theological,
            or moral one. It is only a question of using words so that we can all
            understand what is being said. When a man who accepts the Christian doctrine
            lives unworthily of it, it is much clearer to say he is a bad Christian than
            to say he is not a Christian.

          • kimc

            but in this case, it is not necessarily that one person is a bad Christian, it is that one branch of “Christianity” has strayed so far from the teachings of Jesus that it is no longer that religion, and the people who follow it are misguided. Those misguided people think they are Christians, but, if the religion they follow has become the opposite of what Jesus taught, are they?

          • a-nonny-moose

            You nailed it KimC. Our postmodern philosophy within the US culture has made this an epidemic in the church. The branches of these unChristianised ‘churches’ can be broken up like this:
            1. Word of Faith /Prosperity Movements (preach you instead of Jesus and borrow from the Metaphysical Cults/Occult/Gnostic/MysticNew Age
            3. New Apostolic Reformation Movement preach uh… fairlands and mountain mandates?
            2. Seeker-Sensitive Movement (preach you instead of Jesus and borrow from pop-psychology/neo-fascism/marketing ploys.
            3. Emergent church movement (preach you and community instead of Jesus and borrow neo-fascistic philosophies and often deny fundamental Christian doctrines to be at one with the community at large.

            As a Christian I have gone through all these and have come out of them. They are not Christian. They are pseudo-Christian cults. If proper spending could be given to credible Christian institutes to investigate the movements to biblical Christianity, a lot of social problems would go away.

          • avikraft

            well think about the psuedo Jewish cults created by apostate Jews and promoted and funded by evangelical churches. Pretending they are making Jews more Jewish when they are really covertly making them xtians whose children and grandchildren will eventually become part of the church and cease to be Jewish altogether. Is this what xtianity is about .? Deception infiltration and trying to uproot the faith of the Jewish peoples fore fathers . Do you know how much grief it causes a Jewish parent when their child is tricked into joining one of these cults. Do you know how many families have been torn apart . Haven’t xtians caused enough hurt to the Jewish people with their slanders hatreds persecutions and murder.? Just leave us alone already and let us practice our faith . Enough is enough

          • Gary

            As I recall Paul, when speaking of missionary work, wrote that to the Jews he was a Jew and to the Romans he was a Roman. If that not telling people what they want to hear to convert them i don’t know what is.

          • Garrett Winters

            Paul might not have considered himself a Christian because maybe it wasn’t an organized faith at that moment…Jesus never called himself a Christian, but the King of Jews. His followers probably considered themselves Jews as well back then…

          • Delpheas

            Well, seeing as the term Christian was created to apply to those who lived their lives the way the people had witnessed Jesus live his, anyone who does not at least attempt to walk in his footsteps, is not a true christian. They also need to be ready to acknowledge that they fail at doing so every day in some fashion.

          • julie shender

            the thing is, they’re not christians. all religions have rules. if a wiccan casts curses, they are shunned by those who follow the rules (an it harm none, do what ye will). likewise, if a christian fails to abide by thier basic tenants (love your brother, not just the christian ones but all humanity, and let god decide who is worthy of the kingdom), then you are in fact not a true christian. it’s not about liking or disliking a person. it’s about taking back the religion from people who just wear the jewelry and spout nonsense. all religions have them – they wear the cross, pentacle, star of david, what have you…they spout some of the rhetoric, usually a bastardized version, but they are not trulu practicing the religion. I am of the thought that if we could take away the people who are in it for the jewelry, presents, and false excuse to hate others, the scales would read very differently.

          • http://www.facebook.com/denise.canter.77 Denise Canter

            The people you speak of who just “wear the jewelry” sure seem to be voted into legislative office by the votes of other christians. Does that then mean that Christians can’t tell the difference between a good Christian and a bad Christian? And, if so, why do they continue to vote for the hateful, the vengeful, the bigoted and those who would choose not to help the poor and infirm?

          • kimc

            Yes. They cannot tell the difference. They go by what the people call themselves, agreeing that if you say you are a Christian, you must be a Christian.

            And the test has become to hate gays, disapprove of choice, and love guns and hate taxes. Those are not what Jesus taught.

          • Jomari Peterson

            I can dig this comment.

          • Sorcha Love

            Wow, what kind of Christians do you guys have there in America? Geesh. I’m here in Australia and I’m a Catholic, but I neither hate gays, disprove of choice. Idk about taxes, I mean they’re pretty tedious and I can’t comment about guns, I’ve never had one. No wonder we Christians are getting such a bad rep if they’re truly like over there. I hope you meet someone who can prove to you not all Christians are like the ones you have met. And I’m sorry you have met such poor representatives of our faith as a whole. We’re not that bad! I promise!

          • Anonymous

            I must agree with you, Sorcha Love. I myself am a Catholic, and I live in the United States. I also don’t hate gays or disapprove of choice. Yes, taxes are annoying. No, I don’t own a gun. In my opinion, the image of “Christians” in America is very poor. The only Christians, or people of any faith for that matter, that I know who are against gays are on TV and in the media. I have NEVER heard of Christians disapproving of choice. I do not understand what has happened to understanding and acceptance in our country. That goes for everyone, Christians, Jews, Muslims, whites, Asians, blacks, EVERYONE! Our acceptance and love for one another has been lost in politics, media, and other things. Where is our humanity?

          • franki

            The differentiation between a “good” christian and a “bad” christian is unnecessarily made. All christians found in the scriptures are “bad christians” (Romans 3). That is the gospel of grace – that while we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5)

          • a-nonny-moose

            Due to postmodern culture and the plethora of false of teachers in the American churches, the church has been dumbed down. Sadly, Christians are taught how to read themselves into a movie plot rather than have a bible read to them from behind the pulpit. If that is the persons daily intake of spiritual intelligence, then of course they are not going to be able to tell if another person is a Christian or not. For example, a famous preacher by the name of TD Jakes denies the trinity. 1700 years ago, Christianity would have excommunicated Jakes from the church and labeled him a heretic so people would not be harmed and divided over damaging teachings.

            If this was done today, TBN and all the scamming preachers wouldn’t exist and people would not feel so threatened by these false notions of Christianity.

          • Janessa Hall

            All religions have rules, but Christianity is based primarily on orthodoxy (correct beliefs) and not orthopraxy (correct behaviors). To be a Christian you have to accept that Jesus is the son of God and make some confession of faith and then you are a Christian. You may do terrible things, but unless your beliefs change, you are still a Christian.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            No. Certain denominations are defined by orthodoxy, but orthopraxy is how to tell a real Christian from the rest. Remember that the Bible says a lot of things about people who acknowledge the Lord with their lips while their hearts remain far from godly. It says of believers that they’ll be known by their fruits. And it says explicitly that faith without works is dead.

          • Janessa Hall

            But it doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t believe the right things you don’t receive salvation. I’m not saying that Christianity is devoid of concern about orthopraxy, but that orthodoxy is the most important. Because works cannot get you into heaven, not matter how good you are. That’s why sanctification by grace is so important.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Not all Christian denominations place the same emphasis on salvation by grace.

          • Identity

            If you don’t do the right things, you still might not receive salvation. As one of my former Christian friends said: the point of Christianity is that everyone is a jerk and no one “deserves” love/salvation, which is why you should love them anyway. I think the idea is that if you really believe in Christ’s teachings, it will show in your works. Maybe not all the time and maybe not in the most perfect way.

          • a-nonny-moose

            You’re right – but it’s not entirely true. What you believe ultimately should modify behaviour. WIthin Christianity it goes like this:
            Because Christ forgave you, forgive others.
            Just as Christ gave up his life for you, give up your life for others.

            No where in the New Testament cuhrch is bad or immoral behaviour tolerated.

          • Jomari Peterson

            Boom Boom

          • Dr. Robert Hasslein

            Yes, they are. They’re Christian. They believe that God incarnated himself as a man and died in order to redeem all those who believe in him. That’s what a Christian is. Not to belabor the point, but they’re Christian.

            Whether they’re particularly good Christians depends, of course, entirely on what your opinion of what a good Christian is. But you don’t get to remove the label just because you feel someone’s misusing it. I wish I could say Christopher Hitchens wasn’t an atheist; I’m an atheist myself and his hateful buffoonery was embarrassing and damaging to the public perception of atheists. But I can’t do that, because Christopher Hitchens didn’t believe in a deity and that’s what an atheist is.

            Arguing that these particular Christians aren’t Christians by virtue of not loving their neighbors or failing to keep commandments is specious, for two reasons:

            A) Lots of non-Christians love their neighbors and follow the Ten Commandments (if not by that exact name), so these things are not distinguishing features of Christianity in the same way that belief in the divinity and resurrection of Jesus is.

            B) The Bible makes it clear that Jesus does not turn people away for sinning or otherwise failing to actively follow the church’s moral exhortations. Jesus will forgive all on the proviso that you believe in him. You don’t stop being a Christian when you sin. You stop being a Christian when you no longer believe that Jesus died for our sins.

          • jason

            so…if I call myself a Republican….but I always vote the Democratic ticket…..what am I?!
            You cannot both believe that GOD is LORD and then also turn people away from GOD. Even in our Bible there is a story about many coming to Christ saying “LORD, LORD” but HE turns them away and says “I never knew you.”
            So I think it’s imperative to remember that there ARE sheeps in wolves clothing…who are NOT in fact sheep. And if we take them into our homes, believing they are in fact sheep…..we will be eaten.

          • jason

            *obviously, I meant to say “wolves in sheep’s clothing” hahaha!

          • Guest

            Actually, the point of Christianity is that no one, Christian or non-Christian, follows the 10 Commandments. Who of us can say that we have truly loved God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Have never lied, stolen, coveted something even in our own hearts, had lustful thoughts or hateful thoughts, arrogance or pride, and on and on the list goes? None, Yep, no not one. That’s the point of the Gospel, that there are no ‘good’ people, only repentant ones. But thank you for the point you made.

          • Charles

            I seem to notice Jesus saying “depart from me you wicked into everlasting fire” for “I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was sick and in prison and you did not comfort me”. He was much harsher and did not say “believe in me” only he stated very clearly “he who believes in me will do the things I do” and with that he was clear that “belief only” doesn’t name you a follower of Christ, actions do.

          • Melanie Shepard

            If actions is what makes one a Christian, then Jesus Christ died for nothing. Why even go through that if no to redeem and save the world?

          • TravelingTxn

            The thing about the love thy neighbor passage is that it IS limited to other Christians if you are being biblical about it. Similar to the “though Shalt not Kill” which was only referring to not killing other jews. Over the years as Christianity has had to deal with other cultures it has become more ecumenical, but going by the bible it is not a very friendly religion towards those of other religions, and Jesus was no fan of gentiles.

          • Panclasta

            “if a wiccan casts curses, they are shunned by those who follow the rules”

            that’s understandable.

            ” if a christian fails to abide by thier basic tenants (love your
            brother, not just the christian ones but all humanity, and let god
            decide who is worthy of the kingdom), then you are in fact not a true
            christian.”

            Yet they’re still running around without being shunned.

            I know there are progressive christians out there. However, very few of them are willing to be vocal in their opposition to right wing fundies. If those fundies aren’t true christians, then the “real” christians” need to stand up (I know a few that do). And if they won’t stand up, i am justified in lumping them in with the rest.

          • amynrob

            Excellent point. I have been vaguely uncomfortable with this tactic in many discussions/conversations, but I wasn’t exactly clear why, until this comment put a finger on it. Thanks. As a Christian, I think it might be better to say that such bad or intolerant Christians should be described as “not true followers of Christ” although they are of course Christians. That is, they are Christians in many senses–culturally, perhaps churchgoing–but whether they realize it or not, their actions are not in keeping with Christ’s teachings. I would argue that most people, maybe even most Christians, would agree that Fred Phelps is NOT a follower of the teachings of Christ.

          • Jennifer Beadle

            Fred Phelps sees the Bible in legal terms. He unfortunately is a purist, who has no sense of anything grey. He however is very much a Christian with that view. He follows the letter of the law and not the spirit.

          • jason

            following the letter of the law is the exact OPPOSITE of what the teachings of Christ are……so I would say that he is “very much NOT a Christian”.
            The only harsh words Jesus ever spoke were to those adhering strongly to the “law” without having the concept of mercy, grace, and love.

          • avikraft

            the law has shown more mercy to Jewish people then the hatred venom and lies that has caused so much grief to the Jewish people . leave our law alone . If you have chosen Paul above Moses and king David thats your business but to us Paul was nothing more then a liar an anti semite and an enemy of G-d . Still I wont try to change your beliefs so stop trying to change mine. . Gentiles are not under the law any way but they will be punished if they oppress and persecute the Jewish people who are bound by the law and eternal covenants between the Jewish people and Y-H-V-H

          • Nilsa M. Gonzalez

            I totally agree with you. It is really funny when people relate the actions of other individual to their beliefs.

          • a-nonny-moose

            Kind of true Delpheas. What is becoming dangerous in my experience is how society is telling how a Christian should behave, how they should practice their faith, what they should confess and how they should fit into societies definition of a Christian. This is not right.

            We need definitions back. Theologians need to be bought to task and specifically define what it means to be a Christian so that people can know the truth and not make wrong judgments.

          • a-nonny-moose

            Hey Janessa, sadly you can have bad Christians. I am know fan of Christian elitism. It is sickening. It’s pride and all people can all suffer from that.

            However, to rightly accuse Christianity of being evil because of shocking events or atrocities committed, you really need to look further into that persons confession. Christian movements can become dangerous cults if they do not continue to remain in Christian teaching. Consider Jim Jones, the KKK or Hanson. The Westborough Baptist church also seems to fall into this category.

            On a more larger scale, the Roman Catholic Church also fits this bill as does Mormonism and Jehovah Witnesses. A simple test to know the difference between a Christian and someone who confesses to be one is to test what they believe to their own scriptures.

            It is hard to tell these days best on false teachers in America creating many false Christan movements like the seeker-sensitive movement, emergent church movement and the word of faith cults.

            In the ancient church, councils were called to clean up the state of the heresies and dangerous teachings causing ruckus in the churches. It would be interesting to see the government call renowned Christian scholars to flesh out the Christian faith today for the sake of the well-being of democracy and the the sorrowful state of the Christian church.

          • AgProv

            Errr… run that one past me again. The oldest and numerically largest denomination within Christianity is a “heretical dangerous cult”….?

            As all other denominations in Christianity are direct descendants and offshoots of Roman Catholicism (like it or not) then the logical conclusion is…..

          • Identity

            You have this sort of thing in every group. No group (religious, irreligious, cultural, ethnic, etc) is exempt from the bad apple rule. Overly concentrating on how some Christians claim the rule to the exclusion of other groups is dishonest.

            And I don’t think it’s so much about the “True Scotsman” as it is that “I don’t identify with those people; what they believe isn’t what I believe”. I feel similarly about certain pagans that I don’t/can’t identify with (Fiona Horne as a celebrity example, Otherkin who claim to be pagan, or those random con artists or predators that the media likes to focus on every now and then). What the believe, what they do, is so far removed from what I believe and practice that at some point it’s far easier for me to identify with my Christian friends than it is for me to identify with those people.

          • Jomari Peterson

            Technically, if we are going by what scriptures say. Christians should be known by their fruit. And when they fall out of line with the scripture and G-d’s will and are not willing to repent and reconcile themselves, they are supposed to be kicked out of the body (the church, the community). Thus, we do have the ability to make that separation. However, I understand why those on the outside would not agree, but this is part of the actual faith.

          • balance

            Maybe back when there was a unified body, if there ever was. Christian sects have been trying to disown or exterminate each other for ages, and excommunicating apostates/heretics/sinners only happens in the authoritarian ones that are used to having power & authority.

          • Westwoodman

            The distinction is simple: A Christian that openly espouses extreme views…i.e. Fred Phelps…is almost automatically assumed to be exactly what he/she is…an extremist and atypical of the whole. To some degree that’s true of the more extremists within the Jewish faith. However that “benefit of the doubt” is not extended elsewhere, especially to Muslims. The extreme voice is assumed to be the only voice.

            Why is that so? I think there are probably two reasons. The first is that western education teaches us very little about the Muslim religion, so it seems like something “strange” and “foreign.” Many of the beliefs, or at least what we hear (an obligation to kill all infidels) seem automatically “wrong.” The second thing, equally troubling, is that the media never seems to report anyone within the Muslim community denying the extremists. It’s hard to know how much of that perception is true and how much is the media choosing what to report. I do know that given the sectarian violence within the Muslim community they are likely less inclined to publicly repudiate their extremists.

            All of that said, the items listed in the article are valid. The privilege is present, and we need to equalize our society. It isn’t going to be easy.

          • TamarLove

            My thoughts exactly!!!!

          • wordsvoices

            I think that the correct response would not be “Well, that person isn’t really a Christian” but rather “That person doesn’t understand what it means to be a Christian.” Or “that person is not living up to Christian ideals.” I have always differentiated between Christianity and “Churchianity.” Bigots, hatemongers and extremists are part of the latter, not the former.

          • carolyn

            I agree, Janessa. However, I think people that truly understand the Christian faith know that people are not perfect, which is the whole concept of why Jesus died on the cross-so they could be forgiven for their sins, which includes being ignorant. The people that say “they aren’t real Christians” themselves really aren’t because they would know this one basic fundamental concept of the religion. Hope that makes sense. I haven’t had enough caffeine yet to speak humanly.

          • Fyrefairy

            I would also like to add that as a non-Christian/ used to be Christian, I hate when people tell me that since I am no longer Christian, I never really was one. Yes, I was. I found a religion that was better suited to me and one that I believe in more than I ever did Christianity. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t a Christian once upon a time.

          • jedbeetle

            Bokken -

            I like your post, and, indeed, I am familiar with many of the more compassionate churches and branches. For brief perspective, I was raised Hindu in America in an Ashram. My early perspective on Christianity, Judaism, and Islam was that they were practically the same religion.

            What I like about your post is that it shows a church which should be a good example to other churches. What concerns me, though, is that there is little active reform within Christianity itself. To say something like, “Well, we a very open and accepting church, but those other churches are just bad apples,” is a bit of a cop-op. Indeed, the practices of one church vs. another church, or one mosque vs another mosque, or one synagogue vs another synagogue, can be so disparate that it is almost wrong to call them the same religion. Looked at from the outside, as a whole, each of these religions is quite tainted by extremist, super-conservative, extremely orthodox cores which are often very vocal, or very active, both in the world, and within the religion itself – working very hard to maintain and drawn members within the core of extremism. What I haven’t seen much of is the active rejection of the dangerous orthodoxies by the more positive and compassionate branches of churches. I don’t know what this would look like, but I feel strongly that an active establishing of a new core for teach of he world religions, one that publicly denounces the hate, vitriol, and violence practiced by large swaths of its members, and one which actively attempts to draw members out of the darkness.

            In other words, I don’t want to hear about how your church is so much better than other churches, or even that it is setting a positive example for other churches – I want to know what you and your church are doing to fix your religion. Because it is, taken as a whole, broken.

          • Identity

            As a pagan, I’m actually glad to hear about llokken’s church. I think it goes a very long way towards fixing what is broken when you lead by example.

          • jedbeetle

            I don’t disagree, but leading by example in these large religions seems more to create many branches of a belief which can accomodate all manner of people’s political and social persuasions rather than dealing with the core issues of the religion which allow for the sort of intolerance and discrimination practiced by, even made standard by, the other branches.
            Also, I’d love to see proselytizing Pagan groups. That’s a religion that needs spreading :)

          • balance

            Sorry, we don’t proselytize because it is disrespectful to do so, and unnecessary. People come to it on their own. In droves, as it happens. :)

          • Barbara

            lloken, being Christian means you don’t have to worry about your most holy scripture being referred to as “old” and “negative.” Please think about this Christian privilege! Thank you.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            The Bible gets called “old” and “negative” all the time.

          • Leo

            You said, “Many Christian denominations – at least some anyway – don’t oppress women, welcome and accept gays, and promote understanding of others’ religions and beliefs. ”

            Can you please name the ones you know. And if possible, can you include evidence supporting your claim?

            Thank you.

            Leo

          • llokken

            The United Church of Christ is one denomination. Methodists, Episcopalians, and ELCA are a few more.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            The Society of Friends (Quakers), have given women equal voice and standing since the beginning, but they’ve always been a relatively small sect. There was also a splinter about a century ago, the Evangelical Friends, and basically they’re more Evangelist than Quaker, with the only major trait of the SoC that they’ve retained is pacifism.

          • RallyMonkey

            Presbyterian

          • Identity

            The Universalist Unitarian church accepts people of all lifestyles and creeds. There are some UU churches (some in the Chicago area) that mostly serve LGBT and straight allies. The UU church encourages women in ministry (the intern minister at my local UU is female). The UU promotes understanding and tolerance and actively works towards social justice.

            Did you see the orange signs (“Standing on the side of love”) at the recent SCOTUS ruling on Prop 8? Those were UUs. UUs also held those signs last year in Arizona when the annual UU congregation was held there so that everyone could show up in support of immigrants and their families who were housed in a prison camp outside in tents in 100+ degree weather.

            Now, the UU accepts people of all faiths, so they’re not really a Christian denomination, but Christians are still a majority because of sheer numbers.

          • Kira

            Do you keep the Bible as your holy book? If so you should be aware that it is filled with oppressive bigotry and hate. There may also be some warm fuzzies in there, likely the passages most often referred to in sermons. You may overlook the negative messages in your Bible but not everyone will. Now I do not doubt that you and your congregation have some great outreach programs, however you are a part of the larger group that call themselves “Christians” and like it or not, that group includes those who find homosexuals abhorrent and believe that women are meant to fill a subservient role. I could go on but all I really have to do is point out is that you are the ones breaking away from the Bible to do what YOU think is moral and right. Perhaps it is you who are not the true Christians.

          • llokken

            Kira, Apparently you did not read the definition of Christian and have not studied the Bible (not that I am an expert in theology either). Our church tries to live according to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus is in the New Testament of the Bible so your argument about breaking away from the Bible makes no sense. We don’t view the Bible the same as some other denominations. We realize that it is not meant to be taken literally and that it you have to take many things into account when reading it. It often contradicts itself. Many verses that extremist Christians use as a weapon and a means to spread hatred are in the Old Testament and are taken out of context and are out-dated. Many people don’t know that the Jews had over 600 laws in the Bible. The majority of them were, for lack of a better word, dismissed in the New Testament. We believe that “God is still speaking.”

            I also want to point out that my beliefs are very open-minded. I feel that there are many paths to God. There is no one true religion. I feel that God uses different religions and belief systems, different versions of “himself” (not that God has a gender) to allow people to find a way to believe in “him” – a higher being.

          • Identity

            When is it okay to attack someone for their beliefs? When is it okay to attack someone who is genuinely trying to do good, compassionate work? When is it okay to judge someone and try to make a single person answer for the crimes of the group?

            I don’t think it ever is. Privilege or not.

          • balance

            Criticisms are not always “attacks”. It’s pretty much the height of privilege to think you’re automatically protected from criticism because it’s a “rude attack” to have any complaints. Beliefs are one thing, but we’re complaining about harmful behaviors & attitudes, not personal beliefs or compassionate actions. It’s also not asking someone to answer for the crimes of the group to ask why they choose to associate with a group known for its crimes or to help them see the crimes in the first place and explore what’s going on and what the options are.

          • balance

            Excellent point, Kira! Christianity arose in a patriarchal time and culture. There are God-mandated genocides (yes, that’s plural) and other atrocities in the bible, and the Christians who don’t ignore that or don’t remain ignorant of what-all is in there are often those who become ex-Christians… or who find it uncomfortable to reconcile Christ with the bible. Wanting to follow Christ after that makes you not fit in with the majority of bible-believing Christians.

          • cinda

            Chris…..Now you have the poop on this issue…..you can indeed embrace a faith that oppresses women, gays or other marginal groups….you just have to become a christian. I bet you feel lots better about the christians now……I am so glad that you got straightened out so that I too would not be disillusioned like you were……UGH! Whoops, you aren’t Chris, you are the one that got her straightened out….You must feel so invigorated knowing that you just saved the world by looking like a total moron…… please……………

          • John

            I consider “most” (80%) Christian to be staunch atheist. They project that they have the path to God for all people and this is sinful. Which is extremely arrogant and egotistical and God is the opposite of that. God cannot be found any book written by the hand of man. God is not a set of beliefs. And you do forgive bad behavior that your are still wired to commit. You become an enable causing a path of destruction. This so called forgiveness is like a drug that continues the old behavior which has lead to many egotistic wars and Killing of millions of people You must do the work to complete these behavior and become conscious of them. Pushing or layer over Bad destructive behavior only causes these behavior’s to reside deep within in the unconsciously mind only to surface when the superficial beliefs subside. It is time for Christians to be judged only by their actions not their beliefs and believe me I have seen many many Christian that are terrible and every now and than on a rare occasion you will find a Christian that consciously make choices with the intend to make a difference with humanity..

          • anonny-moose

            Hey Chris W.B,
            Are you saying that Christianity even from it’s very beginnings oppressed women? Stop the hate speech on Christians if you do not know what you are talking about. Get educated on the topic before bashing them.

          • brent

            First I agree with you that there are many Christian denominations that are wonderful as you describe. What makes them wonderful is that they ignore much of what is actually written in the bible. Why not go all the way and let go of a misguided belief in God? Secular organizations unfortunately don’t yet offer the same social / community support but hopefully that will change over time.

          • Mike Hitchcock

            Wow! A church that follows the teachings of Jesus over the bigoted rantings of St Paul. More power to you.

          • Lisa Dollar

            I am a member of a UCC church with a gay female pastor and a straight male associate pastor, and whose mission is the last sentence of your comment. I grew up LCMS and this church is the most at home I have ever felt in a church.

          • Kayt Rivermoon

            Hokken, Agreed the UCC’s are good folk. They helped me, indirectly, do some healing from wounds I suffered from fundamentalism. Though I’m happily Pagan now, I can respect ya’ll and what you are doing. YOU folk are following Christ. I don’t know WHAT those Other guys are doing.

          • Panclasta

            “The sad thing is that those who are
            most vocal about being Christians today really aren’t Christians at all.
            Many loud politicians, radio shock jocks, and Fox “news” employees are
            destroying people’s desire to have anything to do with religion.”

            ‘No true Scotsman’, eh?

          • jason

            The Lutheran Church (ELCA) also ordains women and gay clergy…..just FYI.

            But I’d have to say that many of the items on this list don’t seem neccessarily true. For example, “#6 You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats” — Christians are the number 1 target of religious based murder in the world. There are more Christians being targeted by violence today than ever before in history. Also, my company doesn’t GIVE anyone time off for religious holidays of any kind. We are allowed to take personal time off….but we can do that on any day of the year. Sadly, I think that there isn’t much “privilege” anymore – because there are so many lawsuits agains that “privilege.” We certainly wouldn’t see any article like this being written from Eygpt, Israel, Turkey, India, China, etc…..

          • Gary

            I can recall being in church as a youth and hearing someone say a woman’s place was in the home, bare-foot and pregnant.

          • Sassy

            Re-examine what was written. He did not say all christians or christian religion is bad. He very correctly pointed out that therre are certain advantages that christians automatically have because it is the dominant religion in our country. He made no judgements about religion. Those came from your mind. I am happy for you that you have such a wonderful spiritual feeling about where you work and it does sound like there are some awesome things going on there. Yay! Christian privilege is just as real as white privilege, heterosexual privilege, age privilege, male privilege. Acknowledging it’s existence doesn’t mean you support it, just that you are aware and will be more aware in your dealings with others. Even those who do not seek out having the privilege still benefit from it. Might I suggest you pull the rafter from your own eye before attempting to remove the splinter from your brothers. Blessed Be.

          • TheGodless

            I think they are meaning your underlying doctrine and not just certain denominations. No matter how it is all parsed, there are serious issues with Christianity’s holy book, particularly because it states that women are inferior and must be silent, followers of Jesus should hate and leave their family, disobedient children should be killed, and atheists are fools that can do no good, and LGBTs are abominations that should be killed. While there may be moderate, accepting, and peaceful Christians and Muslims and Jews for that matter, there is no such thing as a moderate, accepting, and peaceful Bible, Quran, or Torah.

          • Amused Norn

            The people who disagree with the shock-jock loudmouths are not the ones that need to hear that loudmouths do not represent your faith. It is the people that *agree* with them, that listen to them daily, that cite them in conversation, those are the ones that need to hear that the loudmouth’s sentiments are un-Christian, hateful, and will not be be supported. If that thought makes you uncomfortable, in a “what would people think if I told them that their radio friends are filled with hate and not love” way, that’s a good sign that you’re working against the privilege talked about here.

          • Tom

            You sound a lot more fair-minded than many Christians, but you still use the term “Him” to refer to God. It kind of depresses me if even the most progressive version of Christianity still does that. I don’t believe in God, but if I did, I think I’d try to find a term to refer to God that didn’t suggest the male gender, perpetuating the patriarchy we live in.

          • llokken

            Tom, I only use the word “Him” for lack of a better word. I don’t believe God has a gender or is a physical being. I don’t like the patriarchy either.

          • Mylo

            I hate to say it, but that “our denomination even ordains members of the LGBTQ community” is written in such a way to suggest that it earns your denomination brownie points is precisely an example of Christian privilege. Spirituality of those identifying as LGBTQ is a God-given right, not a special circumstance to be allowed in very rare cases by “the most progressive” churches.

          • llokken

            That’s not the way I meant it though, Mylo. I meant it as a way of saying that everyone is accepted, equal, and worthy of being ordained.

        • Julian Knight

          Religion, especially organised religion, is the blight upon humanity. Not a single spirituality or belief. I have many friends who are Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Pagan, etc… They know I am an atheist, yet they do not try to convert me, and I do not try to convert them. It is the fanatics of any religion that makes that belief look bad, from the Westboro Baptist Church to the Taliban. Time to lose organised religion, but keep spirituality. After all, who knows, we may die and all go to Valhalla, or Elysium, or Heaven, or Paradise, or Hel, or Hades, or Hell, or Purgatory, or nothingness… Nobody really knows.

          • Artcile by David Wolpe

            To be spiritual but not religious confines your devotional life to
            feeling good. If we have learned one thing about human nature, however,
            it is that people’s internal sense of goodness does not always match
            their behavior. To know whether your actions are good, a window is a
            more effective tool than a mirror. Ask others. Be part of a community.
            In short, join. Being religious does not mean you have to agree with all
            the positions and practices of your own group; I don’t even hold with
            everything done in my own synagogue, and I’m the Rabbi. But it does mean
            testing yourself in the arena of others.

          • Vittorio

            Based on your comment you aren’t an atheist or you are still in the process of becoming an atheist . An atheist is convinced that there is nothing after-death.

        • Tore Sinding Bekkedal

          I’m an anti-theist myself; I believe that faith has a deleterious effect on mankind.

          That said, you have to separate the religion from its practice, anything else is disingenuous. People run soup kitchens, youth clubs and thrift stores citing the same Bible as inspiration that other people used to justify the Spanish Inquisition.

          Let’s be honest, most holy scripture is anything but holy to its followers. The only alternative is abandoning the scripture; you *have* to take liberties in interpreting any moral written 2000 years ago. Neighbours don’t have a whole lot of oxen to covet anymore.

          Our moral compasses evolve, and to reconcile faith with progress, theologians invent reasons to ignore or raise certain parts of scripture. Women are no longer property as they are in the Bible, gays are no longer sexual aberrances, etcetera.

          Citing homophobia in the bible to link Christian oppression of gays misses the fact that there are a whole host of tremendous evils endorsed by the Bible, but nearly all Christians would call atrocious – slavery is a good example

          • jedbeetle

            Anti-theism is a belief, just as strong as a theist belief. Atheism can be just as judgmental, proselytizing, unbending, and unreasonable as any extreme theism.

          • Tore Sinding Bekkedal

            I’m sorry, I can’t agree with the first point: Anti-theism is to me the opinion that religion is a bad deal for mankind – opinion, not a belief. And atheism is, by definition, the absence of religious belief.

            But I’ll happily agree to your second claim. Atheists can certainly be morons – who are often made all the more grating by their smug repetition of quotes and talking points made by real thinkers – in essence, standing on the toes of giants.

          • Rob Rowald

            The ability of people to be morons knows no bounds; be it religious or otherwise.

          • jedbeetle

            Yeah, that is an important distinction, you’re right.

            Both cases are belief though. Having spoken to some atheists and anti-theists (often one and the same), I’ve concluded that their beliefs are, in fact, very strong. Just because it is a belief which actively negates the beliefs of others doesn’t make this “absence of beliefs” any less a belief itself. Many religious beliefs come with negating beliefs themselves – Jesus Christ is our savior and no one else can fill that role, for example. Anti-theism is, itself, an agressive belief.

            with belief, the mind essentially collects data over time and comes to certain conclusions or agreements. Belief itself is a practice – an ongoing mental activity, a framework within which thought and behavior operate. It is a deep process- one we rarely take the time to question or change once established – but not an unconscious one.

            I have decided to remain, in a sense, agnostic. I feel that deciding definitely one way or the other, with regards to spiritual/mystical/religious dimensions, limits ones experience and understanding of the world, culture, and our fellow human beings.

          • Kate McIntyre

            ANYONE can be a moron. It has nothing whatsoever to do with their faith or lack thereof. Arguing that point is fruitless.

          • Rob Rowald

            Anti-theism does not equal atheism.

          • jedbeetle

            You’re right, and I apologize for blurring the lines. But I would still say they are both beliefs – inasmuch as any opinion or any perspective or the belief in nothing is still a belief.
            Many vocal atheists are anti-theists. Anti-theism seems very dangerous to me – it is married to a kind of fascism at its very core.

          • Rob Rowald

            The very definition of atheism is an absence of belief of any kind, but I understand your point of view. yes many of the militant atheists are anti-theists, just as many christians are anti-. every group has the people you wish would just shut up and mind their own.

          • jedbeetle

            The very definition of atheism is not “an absence of belief of any kind.” Why do atheists really want it to mean that? – maybe to elevate themselves beyond belief, or separate themselves from “believers.” Which I can understand, I guess, but, frankly, it comes across as arrogant. Traditionally, atheism is simply believing that a god or gods do not exist, or that religious beliefs are wrong, or to have no religious beliefs – even then, belief itself is a far broader thing than “religious belief.” Further, Atheism is entirely dependent on belief – since atheism is a reaction to another belief. It would not be definable without the existence of the original belief in god(s).

          • http://abominationblueberry.tumblr.com/ Stephanie

            So, what you’re saying is that being an Atheist is essentially impossible? I’m sure almost everybody believes in something, whether that something is a philosophy, science, a deity or deities, an absence of a deity or deities, existence, theirself, Cthulu, humanity, flying spaghetti monsters. Atheism is the belief that there is no god or higher power, not the absence of all belief altogether. To be an Atheist you have to believe. Just instead of believing in something you believe in the absence of something. If Atheism was the complete absence of any form of belief then everything the rest of society says about us is true. We’re evil and not to be trusted. And probably sociopaths.

          • http://abominationblueberry.tumblr.com/ Stephanie

            And sorry, I think I descended into emotional/hyperbolic response in the last couple sentences.

          • Delpheas

            Women are not property in the Bible, and I believe the same reasons given for divorce(and why God hates it, unless necessary) also apply to slavery.

          • Dr. Robert Hasslein

            “Women are not property in the Bible”

            I suggest you re-read the book of Exodus. Especially chapters 20 and 21.

          • RallyMonkey

            I suggest you read the stuff that comes after the Hebrew Bible. The Law, w/ the exception of the 10 commandments, was thrown out. (at least, that’s how most Christian/Catholic/Orthodox/Armenian Apostolic sects read it).

          • balance

            Then why is it still included in the Holy Scriptures, and cited a lot to admonish people?

        • Dana F. Davis

          I think that’s a rather bizarre comment considering the fact that you are apparently an American and therefore heavily steeped in its cultural belief system. In America even the Muslim and the Jew are Christians. Because Christian belief is so seamlessly intertwined in all aspects of our lives as to be most unrecognizable to those who presume even to be irreligious. If you are “American,” you are Christian, and whether you believe or not is irrelevant.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            By that logic, there weren’t any Christians at all until maybe 600CE.

          • Ravenschild

            Im sure many Wiccans,Pagans,Heathens,FSM folks, etc would take offense to that Dana. Might want to rethink that last sentence. First folks forget that many of the founding fathers were deists rather than Christians. Second many of the founding fathers blatantly stated that they were opposed to any organized religion as well as the fact that many of them also stated that the US was not founded on the Christian religion. The Treaty of Tripoli specifically states that,which was initiated under Washington’s presidency and signed under Adams’.

          • Swarn Gill

            It is true that Christianity is pervasive in our literature, and in our culture, but I am not sure how you can see that everyone is Christian even if you don’t believe. Perhaps you can give an example of what you mean. What particular aspects of my life as an atheist might I do that are “Christian”. The fact that I celebrate Christmas? The holiday to me celebrates togetherness and family. Also it is simply the time I have off, so why not make use of it? Do you say we are all Christian, because most of us are good people and do not kill and steal? The values of Christianity are shared by many faiths, so I am not sure what you consider particular Christian values. Even the dogma of Christianity originated in many older faiths. Perhaps you could expand on what you mean.

          • J

            You can think of Christmas as a family holiday all you want – that does not negate that it is primarily religious in nature (celebrating the birth of the person for whom the holiday is named…). It only serves to confirm the rationale behind this list.

          • Swarn Gill

            That was not the point of my reply to Dana. Why does having a celebration at Christmas make me a Christian even though I am not? This seems to be the position she is taking. This is why I asked for an example. And the celebration of Christmas comes from an older celebration of the winter solstice so historically that time of year has been celebrated way before Christianity. Holidays are what you make them to be. Constantine I showed that to be true.

          • Dana F. Davis

            Whoa, wait a minute. I never said it did. In fact, much of our Christmas celebration descends to us via the “Druid” religion which was alive and well at the time of American settlement. And even as late as our Salem Witch trials (superstition here is of specific form decidedly Druid in nature). For that matter so do the rights of women, divorce, the very idea that wise-men should sit in judgement, i.e.; the concept of courts. All were incorporated in America as what was eventually to become the Modern Protestant.

          • Steve-o

            Actually, Christmas was started so that Christians wouldn’t be shunned for not celebrating saturnalia, which is the pagan holidtheir the winter solstice. Jesus was actually born in the spring, so Christmas really has nothing to do with the birth of your lord, other than to make a holiday so that early Christians weren’t treated the way that current Christians treat members of other religions.

          • Tore Sinding Bekkedal

            Here in Scandinavia, we didn’t even bother to change the name; Christmas is still called “jul” (which remains in English in some words, like “yuletide” which literally means “Christmas time”). :)

          • me

            christmas is the new name for solstice, saturnalia, yule, etc. if you want to celebrate the birth of yeshua of nazareth, do so in the spring, when the shepherds would have been “watching their flocks by night” in december, it was too cold, even in the holy land. non christians use the word “christmas” the same way we use the word “kleenex” or “tylenol” to mean “tissues” or “acetaminofen [sic]” people have been convening and celebrating family and life around the time of the winter solstice since long before mary got knocked up. the oldest traditions were a celebration of surviving the halfway point of hard, cold, starving winters, and being able to “see the light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak, and know they would most likely survive through another growing season.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Christmas is only the new English name for a certain holiday concurrent with the winter solstice. French retains the old name, Noel. In Irish, it’s Nollaig. And as already pointed out, it’s Jul in Scandinavia. Even the Christians in these countries use those names.

          • sangsue

            Actually the Christians took the Pagan holiday of Yule (December 25) and made it the birthday of Jesus as a way to take the Pagan holiday and the observances (the tree, the Yule log) as its own. The same thing is for Easter. Do you think it’s a coincidence that the symbols including an Easter egg (the symbol of birth) and the bunny (symbol of nature) are a part of this holiday? Do you think it’s a coincidence that Christmas and Easter both take place near the Spring and Winter Solstice?

          • Dana F. Davis

            We could begin with the idea that you feel empowered to challenge authority. We could discus freedom of conscience, voiced as freedom of opinion, we could discus “liberty,” pluralism, abortion, the Geneva Convention. In fact, we could discus virtually every aspect of your life; if you are American there is nothing that has not been influenced by this particular sect known to us as “Puritan.”

          • http://www.facebook.com/denise.canter.77 Denise Canter

            Hanukkah falls in the same time of the year. Why do you choose to celebrate Christmas and not Hanukkah? It is the arrogance of religion, Christianity in particular, that they seem to think they invented morality, that nobody can be moral, or can’t do good without god. Just as they seem to think they invented marriage, as we have seen in the last few days. If I hear “one man, one woman, just the way god created it”, I think I’m going to puke.

          • sangsue

            Because then they wouldn’t feel superior, Denise. Chanukah is a closet holiday and depending on where you live, a menorah in your window can mean a rock thrown through your window or maybe even a cross burned on your lawn. And the police not doing a damned thing.

          • Shimi Kramer

            Umm….this is the type of naivety that I mentioned above. But this can be fixed with understanding and education.

            Dana – The most basic tenet of Christianity is Jesus. Neither Judaism nor Islam agree with that. As a Jew, I think Jesus (well, Joshua actually) was nothing more than a regular Jew living at the time. Period. That is completely incompatible with Christianity. Therefore, while I as a Jew have no problems at all living in a nation of Christians, and will be the first to wish you well on your holidays, that does not mean that I am in any way shape or form even remotely a Christian myself just because I live here.

            You may be confusing Christianity with citizenship or residency in the United States. They are not related at all.

          • Dana F. Davis

            Actually you are because so much of our belief system as Americans – and virtually all of the main tenets of our belief system – date to our first American religious communities. You are correct, these cannot aptly be labeled as “Christian” in the sense of a modern Protestantism, which was not born in America until 1790, but so much is intertwined in our daily lives and our cultural perspective as to be virtually inseparable; it must therefore fall under this blanket label of “Christian” – if you are an American, you are Christian – and whether one believes or not is irrelevant. .

          • Cassandra

            You are a fantastic example of Christian entitlement at it’s worst.

          • Dana F. Davis

            Not true, I’ve never even read the bible in a religious context. What I am is a cultural historian, and yes, I have certainly approached in an historical context.

          • sangsue

            Cultural Historian my ass. You’re a bigot who looks for an excuse to shove your Christianity down my throat. You just found a pretty way to do it. I am not Christian. I was born in this country and until it’s against the last not to be Christian and be an American, I’m Jewish. Whether you respect that is irrelevant and so are you.

          • Dana F. Davis

            Are you an imported Jew? Because if you were born here you’re a culturally tempered by Christianity Jew. Which, I would hope, would make you far more pluralistic than Judaism has been traditionally. And i do believe it has. And so I rest my case.

          • sangsue

            You just don’t get it, do you? I’m not a Messianic Jew who believes that Jesus is my savior. I’m Jewish and believe that Jesus was a prophet and the Messiah has yet to come.

          • Dana F. Davis

            I’m not a Christian that believes Jesus was my savior. I’m an American that believes virtually every aspect of the cultural mindset descends to us via a particular sect of dissenters known to us as the Puritan. Our particular brand of “freedom” could not have been born of the Roman Catholic or the Jew anywhere in the world. On the other, had it not been for Roman Catholicism there would have been no dissenters destined to become Americans. While this is certainly a Protestant country, it must also be noted that modern Protestantism was not born here in America until 1790 in Gloucester, MA. You need to ask yourself, are the main tenets of my belief system derived of “made in America” or are they derived of Judaism. Because if you were made in America, you are a Christian and whether you choose to believe or not is irreverent.

          • balance

            It is not inseparable, and that’s the flaw in your argument.

          • sangsue

            Excuse me? I don’t know how to tell you this but there is a separation of church and state in this country, at least for now. But thank you for proving my point. As a Jew, it’s great to know that my religion is so insignificant that in order to be an American I have to be a Christian. Maybe we should force conversions next.

          • Steve-o

            How dare you say that Jews and Muslims are Christians. That’s the ol’ American Christian mentality. Screw all other religions, they’re just heretics, terrorists, and money grubbers. Only Christians are so holier than thou with their heads so far up their asses that they can see their own stomachs to think that members of a religion that predates their’s by 4000 years is part of their religion. Actually, Jesus was a Jew. He was never a Christian, so comments like that demean your lord, who’s a Jew. This is not a Christian nation, and I will fight to the death to keep it that way

          • sangsue

            Marry me! :)

          • theprinterlady

            Really? American does NOT equal “Christian”, and not even the much beloved founders of America intended it to be “A Christian Nation”… and in fact made it clear that it was NOT. The idea of the separation of church and state is ingrained in our constitution… to say otherwise is not learned. http://www.tourosynagogue.org/index.php/history-learning/gw-letter)

          • Dana F. Davis

            The idea of separation of church and state can be traced to John Wycliffe; the doctrine of separation as a matter of societal structure and law – a separation that Calvin did not favor – dates to our very first Puritan communities and their study of Wycliffe. Even separation, which is something today’s “progressive” adamantly supports, traces its cultural roots directly to this specific form, to this belief specific sect, of Christianity. What you interpret as “Christian” was not qualified in America until 1790, when one half of a congregation rose in Gloucester, MA, to leave the church, to discard predestination, with the simple words: “God has revealed to me a new light.” This was not incidentally, a reference to the “light” of the Methodist but even so modern Protestantism was not born in America until 1790.

          • balance

            It does influence the culture of America and all of Western Civilization, but you’re veering of the rails, there, Dana. I’m keenly interested in this intersection between Abrahamic faiths and culture, so I’m not taking it lightly nor misunderstanding you.

        • Agnieszka Brzoza

          I believe that the hate is not from God. Faith is different from Religion. And Religion is a human construction, much like Government. We complain about Government every day, but as an American, I am happy to have roads, police, firefighters, libraries, etc, just like as a Jew, I am happy to have the Torah, my Rabbi, a congregation, other religious texts, etc.

        • Delpheas

          The Christian scriptures do not oppress any marginal groups, in fact if one reads the bible one finds a God who despises the wickedness of the oppressor, and doesn’t close his door to anyone. No where in the Christian scriptures does it say to harm, hurt, or oppress anyone for any reason.

          The oppression sadly comes from the practitioners of the religion, who misunderstand and misinterpret(often because they don’t read the Bible for themselves but only go on what others have told them.)

          Now, if we want to point fingers at a faith that does promote a certain level of intolerance towards women, gays or other marginal groups, look at Islam, Shari’a law requires the execution of gays, and does not grant any of the rights to Women that they have in the U.S. There are also many other examples like that throughout the world.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Now, if we want to point fingers at a faith that does promote a certain level of intolerance towards women, gays or other marginal groups, look at Islam, Shari’a law requires the execution of gays, and does not grant any of the rights to Women that they have in the U.S. There are also many other examples like that throughout the world.

            I’ve actually read the Quran. I know, I know, I’m pagan, right? What gives? Well, I wanted to see what the big deal was, and I found a site that was giving them away for free. Shari’a law is clearly not based on the Quran WRT women (in the words of Mohammed, women have rights to education, even to divorce a husband who is not fulfilling all of his duties to her), and while mainstream interpretations of the Quran tend to feel that certain verses condemn homosexuality and cross-dressing, there are more liberal and / or progressive sects that don’t feel that way, and there’s apparently a lot of homoerotic literature written by Medieval Muslims.

            If you want to point fingers at an entire religion as universally mistreating women and GBLTs, you’re going to have to keep looking.

          • me

            thanks, i didn’t know this, but i suspected as much, since all the ingredients for the same are in the bible, i figured the koran could be misinterpreted the same way (and is, sadly).

          • Emily Montan

            I was going to say that Ruadhan! Thank you. Most uninformed spiritualists who are attached to a specific form of worship don’t know about other religions. The Quran is the holy book for Islam. Shari’a is certain men’s interpretation of the Quran. Therefore, it makes any Shari’a less spiritual/holy. I worked with a man who had a beautiful Quran and we would discuss it a lot. I am a pagan Unitarian Universalist and we honor all faiths. If many of the Christians were to be properly educated on all forms of faith and sacred text, we would not have the list of privileges. BTW all, Christmas comes from Christ’s Mass. Even though it is all wrong on time of year, it still has Christ/Christian in the name.

          • Dana F. Davis

            Well, I must ask you, what is a “religion” if not but the “rules to live by’? I’ve read the quran too by the way; I was not impressed. It would seem it is all about “law” – how to respond to the neighbor that wrongs you. Love is not a central theme.

          • sangsue

            Love isn’t a central theme in Dominionist Christianity either. Except of course if you’re a white male Christian. Otherwise they’d be happy for you to die.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            There are many Christian sects in which “love” is not a central theme, either. Dominionists. Calvinists. The “prosperity gospel” movement. Menonites are more about simplicity than love. The various movements that seem to stress “the End Times”, which isn’t even in their bible.

          • Dana F. Davis

            Judaism too is not known for pluralism.

          • sangsue

            But the Christians who are Dominionists want Shari’a…only a Christian one. They’d be quite happy with the Christian Taliban where women have no right to work or even read and are forced to be pregnant all the time. Oh and they’d give women female circumcisions because we’re just all little sluts anyway. They want the country to obey what THEY consider to be a sin. Only their way matters. They’d be very happy to have Iran and Saudi Arabia in a Christian flavor.

          • balance

            No oppression by the God of the Bible and His servants??? Did you read the same book I read?

        • Lee

          I guess those Christians who don’t do those things don’t get to claim privilege number 21?

        • Matthew Joseph Hahn

          Chris, I am so sorry that has been your experience. Here’s one Christian that doesn’t like bigotry of any kind. My family and I left our church when we saw things going in the wrong direction. Believe me, Chris, there are plenty of us who don’t buy into the hatred and feel quite threatened ourselves by the extremists who have so successfully taken over. I can understand, as much as a married straight guy could, why you are pissed off. I just wanted to take a brief moment and say there is at least on Christian straight white guy who agrees with almost everything you have to say.

        • Meghan

          I guaranty you, you will not be able to find any organized anything that hasn’t a whole mess of ugliness staining the corner. Even the boy scouts openly denounced homosexuality until very recently. The trick is to remember that it is usually a very small, obnoxiously loud and ignorant, minority that is usually responsible for that ugliness.

          • dragon847

            The boy scouts still do not allow gay troop leaders.

        • Chris H

          As with llokken, I am also a member of the United Church of Christ. One of the UCC sayings is, “Don’t place a period where there should be a comma, God is still speaking” I so agree that there is much that has been done in the name of Christianity that has been evil. There is a huge difference between the Old Testament and the Gospels, and it helps to know something about the history and culture OF THAT TIME to interpret why the Old Testament is as it is, and why the record of Jesus’ acts are so radical and incredibly counter-culture, remapped social restrictions, and upset and political and religious powers that be. That part is all about God being love, and your job is to feed the hungry, heal the sick, care for the widow–the lowliest form of woman with no hope of anything but a life of begging, for the lack of any husband. There was a LOT about how to protect and care for women there! many politicians in the US wrap themselves in the flag and glue Bible pages to it while defunding health care, treating the poor derogatively, eroding the rights of women to have health, safety, and economical stability. But yeah, I hear you. There is a lot of history and reality of Christianity that is not about the teachings of Christ but about political or religious power. When I take the 4 books that the faith is founded on–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John–I see a lot of good. And I am all in favor of an “Occupy God” movement where reasonable Christians share “the good news” louder than others shout hateful rhetoric.

        • Cinda

          Chris…..Now you have the poop on this issue…..you can indeed embrace
          a faith that oppresses women, gays or other marginal groups….you just
          have to become a christian. I bet you feel lots better about the
          christians now……I am so glad that you got straightened out so that I
          too would not be disillusioned like you were……UGH! Whoops, you
          aren’t Chris, you are the one that got her straightened out….You must
          feel so invigorated knowing that you just saved the world by looking
          like a total moron…… please……………

          Sorry I couldn’t let that one go…..some of us just have big mouths…..Cinda

        • WitchHazyl

          I understand where you are coming from Chris, but that is a blanket statement that cannot be applied to every Christian organization/church. I was raised methodist… female clergy have been common there for a few decades. Openly gay people have attended church with me and are not seen as being any different than anyone else. I performed a wedding ceremony (I’m an ordained pagan) with a Lutheran minister (at the minister’s request) because the groom was pagan but his family was christian. It all depends on the church and the practitioner. Being pagan, I honestly cannot say that all pagans are honest, sweet, caring people. I can’t say all Muslims are out to destroy the free world. I’m sorry your experiences have had such a negative affect on you, and I hope that you eventually have better experiences.

        • http://www.celestinetarot.com/ Celestine Angel

          It’s not all Christians, only the loudest ones.

        • nofaith

          I trust you are not a Muslim.

        • TheodoreSeeber

          And thus, aren’t you being the hate you see in others?

        • PLBruns

          I’m concerned about your comments, Chris. While there ABSOLUTELY are many Christians who have forgotten Christ’s teachings, there are also many Christian denominations where all people are respected and valued. The United Church of Christ is one of them. It’s a relatively mainstream Christian denomination with a decided focus on social justice. As a lesbian and a Christian myself, I’m very comfortable with my church family. They demonstrate the best parts of Christianity. Please don’t paint all Christians with the same broad brushstroke of hatred. It’s as unfair a practice as oppressing women, gays and other marginal groups.

        • Krista Kay

          “oppresses woman, gays or other marginal groups….”

          I agree Chris!!

          There is only ONE GROUP that splashes acid in the face of their little muslim school girls, hangs their homosexual boys, behead their muslim wife and stone to death their muslim daughters who are RAPE VICTIMS !!!

    • Chris

      I think this applies to some Christians … I’m Greek Orthodox, and many of these don’t apply to me. Silly, I know … but there is a consensus group of Christians and “others” don’t fit in.

      You are doing wonderful work! Keep going!

      • Diana Moreland

        I can understand that because I am an Episcopal and though at one time it was the primary faith of most seniors… Its not know and may other Christians look at my faith as not Christian though being employed by an Episcopal Church does help on that part.( My dioceses holds our Summer camp at a Russian Orthodox church and I think it opens kids eyes I wish more Christians could open there eyes to the fact we have brother and sisters in Christ that do not always do thing the same and that just fine.

        • Rory

          Diana, Russian Orthodox and Episcopalian are both Christian – this article is making the point that people such as myself, Wiccan or Pagan if it makes you feel easier, do not have those “privileges of faith” that you might expect. I am not based in the USA, so for me it’s much less of an issue I think – we don’t have that separation of Church and State that you supposedly do, but we also don’t have various right-wing Christian groups trying to erode that right! A lot more live and let live over here.

          Would your children’s summer camp hold a celebration of the seasons, and the turning of the Wheel of the Year to gain a slight understanding of their place on this planet? Would you welcome a Buddhist to speak of mindfulness or a Muslim to discuss its place as a 21st century religion. Would you support other faith’s rights to different days off such as Samhain or summer solstice (this idea gets badly mocked in the tabloid papers in this country), would you think it strange if someone put a little statue of Ganesh-ji on their computer, how would you feel about working with someone in hijab?

          The point is, it seems to jar some people when they hear that you’re not Christian, and if you have a discussion about concepts of deity, the very idea that there are different ideas, or that deity could be perceived as feminine elicits some strong, usually negative emotions, despite the person having said “god is gender neutral” – they don’t really believe it.

          • Nic

            I am not Diana, but I am Episcopalian. Yes that would all be acceptable, it is one of the reasons that the other Christian faiths get so mad at us. We have a focus on spirituality and understand that there are many different ways to worship the higher power that we call God.

          • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

            I am U U, Rory. We have Pagans, Wiccans, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics & many other “ex” somethings. We do hold celebrations of seasons & our Celestial Celebrations Circles celebrate many pagan traditions. We believe that there are many paths to the One & we celebrate faith traditions from many sources. So, there ARE some religions in America who are willing to accept & look at other faiths (even Christianity). Even though most of the founding fathers were Unitarian or Universalist, most Christians view us as a “cult” right up there with devil worship.

          • Cerridwen Aligningenergies

            As a lifelong UU, I just want to clarify that you aren’t necessarily an “ex” anything as a UU, although the UU churches are often filled primarily by “ex” somethings. UU’s have their own issues with privilege, especially class and racial privilege. But as a UU growing up in the Midwest, I was literally kicked out of a “Christian” club at my public school because of my beliefs, and tendency to raise questions. There was no UU church in my town and so I was definitely considered an outsider. This meant that when I showed up to join the Brownies (young girl scouts), I felt really, really the outsider since the girls had already bonded through the local church. I didn’t stay and missed out on whatever the girl scouts might have offered me.

          • Glenna Jones-Kachtik

            I grew up Methodist but never joined Brownies or Scouts so, I am not sure what you missed out on. My husband is a life long UU but grew up in a big city with a U U church with an active Youth Group. I know that I never could go back to being Methodist again, because i have too many questions that wouldn’t be satisfied because there really ARE no answers for them.

          • Kris

            Rory, where are you from. I just saw this article, I too am Pagan, I grew up in a Jewish household, so I have not really had any of the privileges mentioned in this article. I agree that if one is open to other sects of Christianity being taught, then also, should other religions be discussed.
            Thank you for asking the questions you did. I am happy to see the answers.

        • NotSoSilentObserver

          I too was raised in the Episcopal church. I had someone question my allegiance to Jesus the other day because I told them i grew up in the church. It was insinuated that because we support homosexuality we are really devil worshipers. When did we become non-christians??? I must have missed it. Honestly though. If being a Christian to them involves so much hatred, I dont want to be their kind of Christian. I will stick with my gay loving, women ordaining faith thank you very much :)

    • Guest

      Thanks for being so civil and honest about this. :-)

    • http://www.celestinetarot.com/ Celestine Angel

      Thanks for being awesome!

    • Dutchess

      Well said!

    • sindarintech

      Technically speaking, it’s not an article. I would categorize it more as a blog entry.

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  • onyxkatze

    There’s always:
    “People will not try to ‘save’ you.”

    That’s one of the reasons I haven’t wholly come out of the broom closet…

    • parker

      true when i was in 6th grade a lot of kids on my bus told me i was going to hell because i wasnt a christian.

      • Prairie Dingo

        I’m Christian (by birth…) and I’ve had other Christians try to save me because I wasn’t THEIR kind of Christian. I think Christians are perfectly capable of discriminating against themselves, which seems to me quite a sad reality… =0p

        • Ted

          No one is christian by birth. Just by post-birth indoctrination.

          • Chris Warren Bevauns

            Yes!

          • Jerry Taggart

            No one is anything by birth other than able and eager to learn from those who are teaching. The teaching can be accepted or rejected–one can choose to accept what is taught without question or one can choose (eventually) to learn to ask questions and be willing to accept the answers that arrive.

          • RC

            Geezus Xmas, you dolts know what s/he meant.

          • Slartibast

            +100
            We are culture adapting machines at birth, and those that “control” the message defines your belief system. And the “rulers knew this back when the emerging cognitive evolution was treatening the rulers. And then they made religion.
            The “false” double thinking this have imprinted in our culture.
            It is realy simple when you get it, like it seems you have. Hope for more “get it”. It needs time to evolve as a cognitive realisation,

          • KAReed

            You are mistaken or misled. There are MILLIONS of people who are Christians, by birth, in the same way there are people who are Jewish, by birth.

          • Swarn Gill

            Religion is taught, not inherent, so Jerry is in fact correct. You are only Jewish by birth in that you may have a big nose and curly hair. But to believe in Judaism or even place value on Jewish traditions and customs, this is a taught behavior.

        • L G

          Same here Prairie Dingo! Try growing up one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was accused of Satan worship to snake handling and I was for sure going to Hell, which the JW’s don’t even believe in as far as eternal hell burning fire forever and ever!! I have actually asked some preachers if I did not convert to “their” church, would they view me as going to Hell. They all said yes!

          With over 41,000 Christian denominations of just Christianity who has it actually right and is the “one” true faith the Bible speaks about??

          I researched Christianity for a good 15 years (Still do here and there and find it all fascinating actually) and found all of Christianity lacking. I am of no religious faith.

          Are there good Christians? Yes. Are they just good people no matter what? Possibly, hard to tell. Are their good Atheists? Yes. So you do not need religion to be a good person. For a number of reasons I find most Christians hypocrites when it comes to their religion.

      • AMRS

        As a Catholic I’ve repeatedly been told that I’m going to hell. This may be true, but probably not because I am Catholic..

        • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          I dunno, have to read Jack Chick’s “Death Cookie“? I grew up Catholic, so I know it’s a load of bollocks, and yeah, Jack Chick is more often assumed to be a parody by mainstream Protestants (he’s dead serious, by the way), but there’s a pretty vocal rabid anti-Catholic minority among KJV-only Evangelical Protestants.

          • dwreid

            My mom is one of those KJV-only Evangelical Protestants. You should have seen the look on her face when I explained that “the Real Bible” was sponsored by King James, a king who wore dresses and was an avowed homosexual. It was like she’d discovered a turd in her favorite punch bowl.

            Ahhhh… memories.

          • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Sounds awesome. Wish there were pictures. :-)

          • Kris

            Awesome, the King who deliberately misinterpreted the Greek that was interpreted from the Hebrew to put most Christians I have met favourite quote to me: Thou Shalt Not Suffer a Witch to Live… when in all actuality the Hebrew read Poisoner… Love it. I am sure your mom turned Puce….

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Thumbs up for puce. Puce doesn’t get enough live.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            I’ve had people hand me “Death Cookie” and other Chick tracks in an effort to “rescue” me from the Catholic Church.

          • Anonymous

            ” I grew up Catholic, so I know it’s a load of bollocks”

            What a sound argument.

    • Man in the Golden Suit

      Do you have a moment to talk about Jesus our lord and savoir?

      ps.. MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY EASTER!

      • L G

        LOL!

    • Valerie Finnigan

      People try to “save” me, too, and I’m a Christian. I’m just the “wrong” kind.

  • exprudentiavirtus

    Good points.

  • RachelBailey

    You likely will not be accosted in public and told you are a horrible evil person that will suffer eternally because you are wearing jewelry and or clothing that pertains to your religion.  You aren’t likely going to have someone call social services on your family because of your religion.

    • Renee

      I love this one! I have a pentacle ring and I was waiting on a table when they saw it and said “oh, so you’re a satanist and going to hell then?” Really? I felt I had to hide my jewelry after that just so I wouldn’t get into religious debates when I’m trying to do my job.

      • Elizabeth Enloe

        I wear an Ankh ring, Not because I am a pagan, but because it represents eternal life, and next to that I wear a double mask of Comedy & Tragedy faces.. Yes my career field is in Theatrical Design, but it is a symbol of life’s ups and downs as well.I also have a number of beautiful crosses: from cloisonne and plique a jour to a heavy gold Saints cross with Jesus in the center, And my favorite cross is made of gold wires where the cross and the frame are made of tiny chain, and the back-ground is simply straight wires. I had a larger collection before someone decided to break in & steal them; they were silver and special, One was a Rose Crusaders Cross, and another was a square Jerusalem Cross, with a purple stone, Plus a tiny gold etched cross given to me when I joined the church. Later I replaced that with a Dogwood designed on a textured cross. But I gave that to my God-niece’s daughter after she broke hers. Also i gave all of my God niece’s family each heavy ornate embellished cloisonne, As well as the plique a jour stained glass kind. But it’m not like i wear them every day.

      • RachelBailey

        I realize this is really late response, but…. I’ve had similar issues over my Pagan jewelry. I refused to hide or remove it, even after people complained, and even after my boss threatened me. I told him he either had to go tell every Christian to take off or hide their cross and I’d do it, or I was keeping mine, and if he’d pushed it I’d sue on grounds of religious discrimination. He hated me after that, but let it go. I refuse to hide from bigots or submit to lesser treatment for convenience. (I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t. That is a deeply personal choice everyone has to make, and I understand the decision either way). I just can’t live with myself.

  • karen

    This year I’ve been working on finding ways to talk about privilege and entitlement, and this list really nails one area of privilege solidly, and some of the comments absolutely illustrate the reluctance of the privileged to see the logic, so stuck are they on protecting the norms to which they (probably unconsciously) believe they are entitled.

    Thanks for this. I’m sharing widely, but also internalising for future discussions. Together we can make things better.

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  • Quinn

    As a Christian and believer in Jesus, I have to strongly disagree with many of these listed “privileges”. I personally have been mocked several times for my belief and had to listen to insults having to do with my faith..

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      So?

      Institutionalised privilege is not about the freedom to never be mocked or insulted. It’s the perk of being the assumed default person in a society. If you’re white, middle class, male, heterosexual, cisgender, relatively able-bodied, English-as-a-first-language speaking, and Christian, you’re the assumed default in North America, and that is a privilege. If you’re any one, or a combination of those things, you’re still a part of the assumed default in North America.

    • Origami_Isopod

      I wonder how often you shoved your faith down people’s throats trying to “save” them. Or the people who “insulted” your faith were expressing anger at other people having done so.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nell.webbish Nell Webbish

      You are making the mistake of personalizing the concept of privilege. I understand that, as a white woman, it took me a long time to really grasp how white privilege works in the US. I don’t mean to spam this blog with this link, but it really is one of the most outstandingly clear descriptions of privilege I’ve come across. It is focused on male privilege but the concept translates to any form of privilege: http://whatever.scalzi.com/2012/05/15/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is/

  • Liz

    Prayers offered at secular events (club meetings, neighborhood potlucks) will reflect your faith traditions.

    I am reflecting on this list as a Universalist who actively does not identify as a Christian. As a part of an atypical protestant sect (Quaker), I still have several of the assumed privileges. thanks for posting.

    • Sarah

      I work for a union, and they start and end most meetings with a prayer. I’m Jewish by birth and was raised UU, and they make me so uncomfortable. When I’ve voiced my concerns, rather than have anyone reconsider featuring prayer so prominently, I’ve been invited to lunchtime Bible study.

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  • Jim Philips

    Thanks so much for posting! It makes me happy, in a way, that I work in the software industry, which is extremely diverse. People don’t feel entitled to so many presumptions in that kind of environment.

  • Kathleen

    I don’t know that I agree with all of these. It could be more of an exception than a rule, or it could just be specifically where I live, but I’m frequently mocked, judged, laughed at, etc. Because Christian is such a common religion, many think I’m just a follower. The less common a religion is, the more seriously people take followers of that religion. But no one is respected like an atheist. Is this just something that happens around me?

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Privilege, in this context, is not “the freedom to never be made fun of or judged harshly by one’s peers” –”privilege” is the benefit of being the assumed default in a society. The fact of the matter is, when you say that “Christian” is the most common religion around you, you admit that you’re the assumed default, and thus you admit that you’re privileged. Privileged people receive the same backlash you speak of all the time –I grew up white and poor in a predominantly black and poor neighbourhood, while I don’t think my whiteness has benefited me in my life, in any measurable way, I can’t deny that, as a teen, I probably could’ve walked into a rich, or even middle class, or at least less poor neighbourhood with considerably less suspicion cos my skin colour is the assumed default for those neighbourhoods, and Western society in general. But back home? Yeah, other kids picked on me, cos I was the white kid (among other reasons), but I don’t have my head so far up my own arse that I assume that their taunting and mockery at my expense meant that American society respects black people and thinks Anglo-Celts are scum –their taunting and mockery meant the exact opposite: It was brought on by centuries of racialised subjugation of the proletariat, and a reflection of society’s expectations of white families.

      See, I live in this place called Reality. I invite you to visit some time.

      • Kathleen

        That was ridiculously uncalled for. I was asking for someone to explain it to me if I was incorrect, so there was absolutely no need for you to be rude. I live in a place where we do our best to educate, not demean others when they make a mistake.

        • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          If you think you have the slightest interest in social justice, the definition of “privilege” in this context is fairly easy to find. It’s even been mentioned in this thread, if I’m not mistaken. I shouldn’t have to teach you. You clearly have Internet access, so if you want to be a meaningful participant in this conversation, why don’t you care enough to read a 101 page, first? Hell, just about everybody and their grandmother has mocked Paris Hilton, and not only is she stupid rich, she’s so spoilt with privilege that she didn’t even have to serve her full DUI sentance –clearly the definition you brought to the table is so wrong that even the simplest, jargon-free definition of “privilege” is easily proved false.

          But hey, turn around and make it about how I’m just a big ol’ meanie-mo; go on, tell that story again.

          • http://twitter.com/Kathleenx2 Kathleen Leonard

            So I should do a google search of a definition you’re claiming to be wrong? Im confused there. But since I’m not good enough to be educated by you I guess I’m stuck being confused.

            No one in my seventeen years has targeted me for wanting to be informed, so thank you for the new experience. Now I’d appreciate it if you stopped using your greater amount I knowledge to make other people feel small. The whole reason Sam made this site was to educate the uneducated, or at least that’s how it appears to me. And you’re kind of taking it ten steps back by reacting this way. It’s unfortunate that I thought this site would for the most part be a safe space to have a discussion, but sadly I was mistaken. Now I’d sincerely appreciate if this conversation was dropped here and now, but I don’t suppose you’ll do that. So I guess I have to.

            Congratulations. You won. You achieved your goal of making me feel unbelievably small. I’d give you your trophy but.

          • Origami_Isopod

            Grow a thicker skin.

          • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Except that I already explained it a week ago, so either you really are too stupid to have noticed and retained that information, or you’re trolling.

            Either way, it is absolutely NOT my duty to constantly repeat myself in a feeble hope of education snits like you who, at half my age, assume they know everything .

          • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            And you win the pity party. You can just sit back and feel sorry for yourself, cos other people expect you to act like an adult in an adult conversation. Yep, I’m just so mean for expecting you to hold your own in a discussion you voluntarily joined.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Magreve Suzanne Michelle

            Read my reply to your tormenter. Be brave, Kathleen. Your opinion is as worthy as anyone elses.

          • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            You’re a hilarious troll. LOLLERCOASTER.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Wait a minute. You are dismissing, downplaying, and outright denying that so-called Christian privilege does not apply to all Christians despite mounting evidence. You are accusing people who have been victims of religious discrimination themselves of having persecution complexes. And you have the unmitigated gall to call someone else a troll. You know what that makes you? Insensitive, and likely a hypocrite, as I’ve observed you to be rather trollish yourself.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Except that is does apply to all Christians as soon as non-Christians come to the table. That’s what you seem unable to grasp. The very people who would joyfully call Mormons a “wacky fringe group” put that aside to support Mitt Romney the second some people brought to the table “evidence” that Obama “is a secret Muslim” –cos why? Even “wacky fringe” Christianity will trump non-Christianity EVERY TIME a situation in the US puts the two at a large scale.

            See, your problem is that you don’t seem to think any religions outside of “the Big [Abrahamic] Three” [Christianity, Islam, Judaism] exist, and you believe that some Christian sects are on the same level as non-Christians, no matter how much that can be proved false. Your problem is that you’ve created this image of the world and how it works for yourself, and anything that goes against that mental image of yours is somehow your opponent’s problem to reconcile, and not your own.

            Your problem is is that while you’re qiick to point out other people’s faults, you’re even quicker to forget that sometimes, if a lot of people are telling you that you’re wrong, the problem is no longer “other people”, the problem is yourself.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            People who resort to blanket generalizations, such as your description of how “all Christians” behave when non-Christians come to the table, instead of logical arguments are appealing to and revealing their own prejudice. You are in no position to complain about Christian privilege when you take part in the non-Christian privilege of painting all Christians with the same broad brush.

            I have given quite a bit of consideration to the non-Abrahamic faiths. However, because this is a discussion about Christians, I didn’t think it particularly relevant to bring up- except in this context. Hindus enjoy significant privilege in India. Theravada Buddhism is so privileged it is the official religion in Thailand, boys are required to serve some time in a monastery, and laws are passed against disrespecting Buddhism. This article is not true about Christianity per se. It’s true about any group or religion where it makes up a majority of a population and has the majority of power.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Magreve Suzanne Michelle

            You are a bit harsh to Kathleen. Your points are good ones. If you want her (or anyone) to hear you, attack mode is not a recommended start.

            I am new to this site, but the discussion is AMAZING. Everyone on it is to be complimented. “Jargon” represents shortcuts for “those who know” … I too may be in the great “christian default” of the USA, but … I have two bffs of 30+ years: one is a Unitarian, one a Jew. I think an equally important point in the US is that, if one SEEKS diversity, one can surely find it. Even a little diversity … is a step in the right direction.

            I am thinking longingly of Paul Winter’s “Common Ground” song: “… in a circle of friends, in a circle of sound, all our voices will blend, when we find common ground …” It takes a LONG time to learn how to move toward that circle. Me, I am a left-of-center Roman Catholic … in college, I would describe myself as “an existential Taoist with leanings toward Judaism” … either shut the other person up, or we had a BRILLIANT discussion of how faith practice had shaped our lives. Faith practice, in its best sense, is not meant as a cudgel … but that is what is easily visible (Romney gave a LOT of moulah to charity, and I think that is a great thing, and I am not a Republican). Not all Christians have “eyes to see and ears to hear” … forgiving shortcomings is a human sentiment, coopted by a lot of faith practice, AND a few atheists I count as friends too.

            “Christmas” was set when it was precisely to offer early christians something other than the Roman Saturnalia. Another legend says Jesus was conceived under the sign of Virgo and born under Gemini. It often surprises modern Christians that Jesus (assuming he did exist) was a Jew, of standard Jewish practice and possibly a member of the Essene sect. I find that MOST Christians are woefully uninformed about the history of their own faith practices, whatever camp they count themselves in (and I am VERY prejudiced on this account: King James is a bad translation, the book was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, NOT “English” … start there, and it is fragmented and incomplete, useful, but not whole (the Koran, by contrast is far more “whole” and preserved)).

            Me, I’m a citizen of the Federation, trapped in the past by a broken time traveling device. And if you laughed, that’s a good thing.

          • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            You think I’m “harsh”, but the fact of the matter is, “Kathleen” is like so many other people who just sit back and barely make an attempt to participate in the discussion, cos in reality, she expects everyone else to spoon-feed her information that is sitting right in front of her, to basically take the test for her when it’s open book, and then flail around with her “poor me, you big fascist meanie poo-poo head! What makes you so mean?!? WHAAAAA!!!!!”

            Guess what? She’s no victim. If her stupid self had bothered to read the comments, she’d've discovered that the definition of “privilege” being used in this discussion had already been laid out –by myself, about a week before. And I suspect you’re just another troll here to tokenise people and be a well-mannered douche canoe.

    • Origami_Isopod

      HAHAHAHA, yeah, atheists are “respected.” Google “Jessica Ahlquist” and “Damon Fowler.”

      • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.ledford.3 Lisa Ledford

        Props to you for knowing who those people are, Origami_Isopod. How on earth are atheists ‘respected’? I’m really curious as to how someone can think that.

        • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          They think that cos they have a typical Christian persecution complex –in their minds, no-one c

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  • Caterpillargirl78

    You can also, most likely, expect your children won’t be mocked, ridiculed, and bullied on a daily basis due to their religion or lack thereof.

    I had a child go through the majority of 4th grade being called “satan’s daughter”, being taunted daily, attempts at conversions, and just harassment on a near daily basis because she didn’t feel the need to lie when a group of kids kept pressuring her on where she went to church. She is not ashamed that she does not have faith in any religion and didn’t see the need to lie. After losing many friends, daily taunting, etc, she decided maybe it was something best kept to herself.

    • http://twitter.com/EleyseMiller eleyse miller

      being Jehovah’s Witness as a kid I was teased so much for not celebrating holidays like Christmas, Halloween, etc and also for not saying the pledge of allegiance (which over the years I’ve gotten in trouble countless times for)
      It just overall sucked because we often did activities around the holidays which I could obviously not participate in.

      • mrk222

        I try to be very respectful, but I had an incident in which a JW student not only did not participate but felt free to carry on a conversation while the Star Spangled Banner was played at the beginning of the school day. I don’t have any understanding of why a religion would find it offensive to respect the COUNTRY in which one lives, but in NO CASE should it condone DIS-RESPECT of that country.

        • Dallas79

          Honest question. Would you stand in total silence and respect while a Muslim prayer was recited around you? JW’s view blind patriotism to the country of one’s residence (which is usually just a chance factor of where you were born) through a lens of indifference. Really, it’s not disrespect as much as indifference. Disrespect would be booing, being loud or disruptive on purpose. Your taking offense is all in how you are interpreting it; and that’s not their fault or responsibility.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Thanks for clearing that up, and correcting something I had previously said. I do remember that JW’s dislike blind reverence of any sort, be it religious or patriotic, and it’s one of the things I actually kind of like about that sect –but the theology I just can’t at all agree with, because it’s at odds with reality as I’ve experienced it.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            I sure would stand in silence if someone of a different faith was praying in my presence. It happens all the time where I live. Just because I don’t share that faith doesn’t mean I don’t have to behave appropriately when I find someone engaging in some sacred conversation.

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          As far as I understand JW’s opt out of participation in national anthems and pledges, and even voting, because to that sect’s understanding of their theology, it’s at least symbolic of putting another entity on the same level as, if not higher than, their god.

          I grew up Catholic, so I may not be even mostly correct in that, but that’s how it was explained to me.

    • MommaJo

      My daughter had a similar experience- one “Christian” boy even telling her he would like to “ram a pencil through her neck” because she identified herself as agnostic. As a young girl unsure about her beliefs, she was definitely not enticed to explore that brand of Christian love….

      • Ankynan

        I’m so sorry. He was *not* a “christian” boy, but he certainly had hate-filled parents. I hope he learns better!

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          Wrong.

          Mhttp://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/no-true-scotsman/

        • MommaJo

          –MommaJo’s daughter she mentioned in the above post–
          He was definitely a hate-filled person. He also got his group of friends to mock me in the hallways and in class calling me, a “devil worshiper.” Unfortunately he was only suspended for two days, which is ridiculous. But he’s lucky my parents didn’t call the cops.
          Fast forward two years and I found out that he (19 at the time) knocked up a younger girl (14-15 years old). My only complaint about “Christians” like him is that they only pay attention to certain parts of The Bible and blatantly ignore others. If you’re going to abide by the rules set forth by your religion, why pick and choose?

    • Lyric Powers

      My son just finished fourth grade and he went through the exact same thing. One child told him that he would ‘slap him upside the head with the bible’ if he didn’t read it.

  • Jessie Rushie

    I think it’s really interesting to see this from an English perspective as, for me in my daily life anyway, I have found much the opposite of many of these points. For example, unless in a church group, I am almost always the “Christian one”, I have often been accosted/confronted about my faith by almost strangers, when I have children they will almost definitely be more surrounded by non-Christians, and there is almost no reference to my faith in day to day culture except mis-understood Christmas decorations. Sadly, also people THINK that they have a good understanding but really have no idea about my faith or what I believe and because of this, they assume things about me – which can be insulting and hurtful. I am in university and often feel very isolated when discussions arise as if I put my point across I often get interrogated and have to prove myself constantly, whilst atheists are just accepted as right immediately. Also, as I don’t smoke and don’t drink a lot, I get pressured into feeling that my explanation of “it’s what I believe” is “wrong” and “invalid”.
    Of course, I am grateful that it is so widely accepted to a point, but it is interesting how this appears to differ across the pond.

    p.s. I promise I’m not trying to say there aren’t the privileges put above in other places, this just personal experience.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nell.webbish Nell Webbish

      I think the confusion is that you are thinking of privilege as being specifically about “being Christian”. It’s not. Privilege is about the power dynamics between a majority group and minority groups. Privilege exists in all cultures. Most people belong to both majority groups and minority groups, depending on what trait you are looking at. So most people experience both the benefits and the disadvantages of privilege working in their culture.

      • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

        Yes, but that’s not the point.

    • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

      In Europe, the King’s religion was the religion of the land.
      Since no colony had a religious majority in one colony without being a minority in another, after the Revolution, the churches accepted that NO church would be the “established” (state supported) church.

      In the US, people had to support their churches of their own free will, and to their own liking. First this resulted in a HUGE multitude of tiny sects in the US, each claiming to be the right one. Today there are 2 large groups of denominations which cooperate in maintaining seminaries and doing some social justice/issue work:
      1. the “mainline” mostly liberal Protestants and Catholics (for most purposes), Quakers; Unitarian Universalists, and sometimes the Reformed Jews;
      2. the Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Independent Bible churches and (on some issues) Catholics, and Orthodox Jews all of which have been gathered by the Republicans to make up the Radical Religious Right.

      It is because religion is FREE and paid for by the people that religion is so much more vigorous in the US than in any European nation (even Ireland.)

  • Joseph Dutton

    A few valid points on that list, but most are laughably wrong. It’s more like a list of false accusations and whiny ‘poor pitiful minority me’ complaints. This list is insulting and degrading toward people of a different faith and culture than your own.

    • Origami_Isopod

      Argument by assertion. Prove it.

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      A few valid points on that list, but most are laughably wrong.

      Not a valid argument. Source it, or you basically admit that you’re talking crap.

    • Nell Webbish

      This list is “insulting and degrading” only to people who are not only still oblivious to their own privilege but who are also actively looking for opportunities to prove how victimized they are.

      • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

        They complain because they think that they are oppressed if they can’t force their religious norms on everyone else.

        How would they like it if we made THEM swear on one of OUR holy books?

  • woodsong

    I’ve got one to add.
    “People around you are likely to accept your faith as an indication that you are good and trustworthy without consideration of your actual behavior.”

    How many times have we heard about friends/neighbors of convicted criminals saying something like “Oh! I can’t believe he’d do such a thing! He goes to my church every Sunday!”?

    • Womanista

      My fave is when you see classified ads that read “Christian mom will clean your house” or ‘Christian Business’ on your receipt or see the Christian fish on a plumber’s truck. So effing what?

      • Max Rocket

        I hate that narcissistic bs

      • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

        On the other hand, that’s pretty much how I know who NOT to hire. I’m looking for a plumber, not a new and exciting opportunity to get preached at.

        • L G

          Exactly! Anyone bragging about there faith being so good you should hire them would make me run the other way! I don’t care what faith it is!!

      • Vin Rohm

        People with no character will use symbols like that to misrepresent themselves. I’ll never call one of them….I don’t trust them.

    • L G

      And many are IN the church to make people think just those things about them!

  • Bobby23

    “When you enter a hotel, you have lots of chances to find a Bible”

    • ProudPagan

      I’ve been in many hotels over the years and every single one contained a Christian Bible, until recently, in Quebec. I was so happy, I cried.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Workhoven/1553839236 Mark Workhoven

    This
    list seems to have a lot of redundancies. For example, “You can go
    anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith,”
    “Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays
    are readily accessible” and “It is easy to find stores that carry items
    that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays”
    and many other things on the list are all pretty much the same thing.
    They could all be combined into one complaint called, “Most people
    believe something different than I do.”

    Well,
    sorry. But the Constitution requires freedom of religion and equality
    under the law, it doesn’t require most people to avoid their own beliefs
    so some people won’t feel like a minority. I wouldn’t go to Israel and
    complain that everyone there is Jewish.

    Other
    things are just wrong, like the assertion that minority religions can’t
    get their holidays off. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    forbids that. As for Christians, the only religious holiday they get off
    is Christmas, which non-Christians get to take off as well so they can
    relax or do whatever. The list is complaining about ONE DAY.
    Also,
    politicians can take the oath of office on any book they want. And
    there are lots of Temples and Mosques, so I don’t think Jews and Muslims
    are banned from building stuff.

    However,
    there are some legit beefs here about bigotry, which is obviously a
    problem. Minorities do face discrimination because of racism, which is a
    big disadvantage for Muslims, Jews and others. I don’t have an easy
    solution for that.

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      What about the non-Christians who don’t want Christmas off? Or who at least want to pick their guaranteed annual day off from work.

      • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

        When I worked at hospitals and a nursing home, I felt bad for my Xian co-workers who had to be away from their kids on Xmas and Thanksgiving. So I volunteered to work then because I didn’t have children (I didn’t DARE say because I didn’t have a church service to attend.)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/Magreve Suzanne Michelle

    Sam, LOVE the inverse positioning! I would add that you might want to reconsider thinking of the sexes as “opposite” … I prefer to think of them as “complementary” … I think this too is a prejudice that’s got to go. If we can see ourselves in a world where we cooperate and complement each others’ skills … we may get a little farther than if we coopt and compete.

  • ann

    # You don’t have to ask for special meats (without pork for instance) – except if you are a vegan. You don’t have to ask this the school/summer camp for your children.

    # The title should be Christian in US – and maybe even “protestant in US”.
    I live in Europe in a mainly catholic country. I my country no president would ever refer to God in any speech. An emphasis on christian religion by a “public” person can even be
    suspected to hide discrimination – by public person I name for instance
    politicians, teachers payed by the taxes.

    [Sorry for the mistakes. I am not a native English speaker and never lived in an English speaking country.]

    • jerel642

      To add on to your first point, if you’re Christian and you ask what ingredients are in something, you are treated with the same respect as someone who is vegetarian/vegan or has food allergies.

      I am proud of my faith, so when someone says “Oh, are you allergic?” I say, “No, Jewish.” The good news is that, in some quarters, this has been met with genuine, respectful interest. Other times, not so much.

      • http://www.facebook.com/teenytinybat Heather Coleman

        Sorry, but I take issue with this: “…if you’re Christian and you ask what ingredients are in something, you
        are treated with the same respect as someone who is vegetarian/vegan or
        has food allergies.”

        Speaking as a vegan, we are typically not shown the same respect as someone with food allergies when we question the ingredients of a dish; generally, we are usually ridiculed for our ethical, non-religious-inspired decision to abstain from animal products.

        • Emegf

          As a person with allergies and intolerances I also get no respect because now the diet I must follow 100% of the time to prevent being sick is now the new “fad” diet or I’m just being “picky” and demanding “special” treatment. I’ve had people deliberately contaminate my food to “prove” to me I don’t have any medical reason for my food choices. Then I get sick and they think it’s funny. Well until I throw up all over them do to their “joke” then I’m just plain gross…

          • Shelly Lloyd

            I agree with Emegf, I have a documented egg allergy. It sucks, and I wish I could eat eggs or things made with eggs, but that would only make me sick as a dog. I developed this allergy in my 20′s before that I loved eggs. I spent 6 months sick as a dog before the doctors realized it was egg products making me sick, and making me break out in hives. Once we took eggs out of my diet I improved. But it makes me sad cause I miss having eggs.While some people are understanding about it, others think I am only “faking it” to get out of eating eggs or egg products. My mother in law is one of those people and is always trying to get me to eat eggs or something with eggs. My husband is under the delusion that I will “out grow” my egg allergy and is always asking me to try something with eggs to see if I’m over it. UGH!

          • Valerie Finnigan

            I also have a food allergy, and too often when I’d ask waitstaff if whatever I contemplated ordering had, say, strawberries, I’d hear, “I don’t know.”

          • Emegf

            Having worked in the food industry the wait staff should know and if they don’t they can go into the kitchen and ask or ask someone who does know to go out and talk with you. Staff who don’t know what’s in their menu items is one who is poorly trained.

            A tip – if you can before going to a restaurant call ahead and talk to the manager, head chef or cook. That way you can get answers before you go also you will know if they can accommodate you or not . If not you can go else where or like some do take your own safe food.

          • Heather Coleman

            That’s just plain horrible (and dangerous).

    • Annie.

      Yes, mainline protestant in the US would be more accurate but then, I’m pretty accustomed to people not really understanding my religion because I’m not the right kind of Christian.

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  • Michelle

    I really liked your piece — until I read your dismissive responses to the comments about Atheists. Here’s something to consider: http://newsjunkiepost.com/2009/09/19/research-finds-that-atheists-are-most-hated-and-distrusted-minority/ To be fair, this is the 2009 version of this study, and I believe I read somewhere recently that Atheists have dropped to the No. 2 most hated group in the U.S. But still.

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      While I can understand feeling like maybe he’s slighted atheists, here’s the thing: Atheism, in spite of what many people on the Internet clearly want to believe, is not a religion, at least not in any traditional sense of the word. Furthermore,the previous comment that you are most likely referring to does, in fact, concede that theists are privileged over atheists in North American society, so I guess you’re complaining that you missed that part?

  • Jonathan

    A few observations from my life as member of one of the larger Christian faiths of this privileged class.

    1) Every job I have worked in high school, I was forced to work Christmas and Easter. Wow members of “minority religion” were able to get days off on short notice due to their holidays, even if all TTO was supposed to be closed for that day. This was because, the company was more worried about being sued by them for religious discrimination than by “Mainstream religion.”

    2) Any day of the week, any time of the year, I can turn on the TV and find a program, actor, or comedian mocking my religion.

    3) Because the items required to practice my faith have everyday non-religious uses. Candles, incense, table clothes, water and bread are all easy to come by.

    4) I can’t publicly celebrate my religious holidays, without being treated like some social pariah that is trying to force his religion on other people.

    5) See #4 above.

    6) Due to Constant media coverage of Individuals with Anna my religion, doing certain criminal acts, despite the statistical occurrence of it being no greater than any other organization religious or otherwise, If I publicly worship I am treated like I am already guilty of those same actions. And often have to defend myself from verbal threats and abuse over it.

    7) Cars have been vandalized during religious service for no other reason than they were parked at my place of worship. When worshipping during certain times of the year, we need to provide security to protect people from being attacked in the parking lot while coming or going.

    8) I cannot express, wear, or display anything regarding my religion at work without being disciplined for creating a “hostile work environment.” But my office has a conference room scheduled for two hours out of every day to provide a place to pray for a different religion.

    9) I wouldn’t expect a jury of my faith. And depending on the nature of the case, I can expect them to hold my religion against me.

    10) Funny point on that, in the gospel, Jesus says that is a sin to do so, but most Christians don’t know that.

    11) Negative references to my faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone regardless of their faith.

    12) Many political analysts say that it is impossible for members of certain Christian faiths to ever be elected to certain political offices.

    13) Bush was constantly mocked for expressing his religion while in office. Obama’s faith is constantly challenged and mocked.

    14) It’s just as easy to find my faith misrepresented in television, movies, books, and other media.

    15) I can reasonably assume that anyone I encounter will think they have a decent understanding of my beliefs, but in truth know almost nothing and what they think they know is wrong.

    16) I’m required to take annual diversity training to learn more about other religions. Members of those other religions are not required to learn anything about mine.

    17) My wife cannot get work in our town, and has been denied interviews, because she won’t violate the tenants of her faith by working on the Sabbath.

    18) There are careers that won’t hire some one of my faith because they think every one of my faith will do certain criminal actions.

    19) True only if you think having to deal with vandalism, bomb threats, and the need for security to be accepted and safe.

    20) Maybe not the “Christian friend” but often labeled as the “Jesus freak” or “bible thumping” friend.

    21) But get treated with doubt, disbelief, and the exception to my faith when I stand against discrimination for other faiths, life styles, or LBGT despite that acceptance of such is the official stance of my faith.

    24) I’m often expected to not only speak on behalf of all members of my faith, but also on behalf of all members of other faiths because people constantly make the false assumption that all Christian faiths are the same.

    25) I could assume that. But I would be wrong.

    26) If my children practice their faith in school they will be expelled, but a member of another faith won’t because it would be discrimination to do so.

    Related note, every tenured professor of my department in college was either Hindi or Islam. And when they tried to hire a new professor who was of my faith, they couldn’t because he was a white male, and the University president said they could only hire a minority, so they went with a doctor from India.

    27) Your friends are those you choose to associate with. This doesn’t magically change just because you belong to a different faith.

    28) The local education institution of my faith was forced to close. And education institution of my wife’s faith isn’t considered a “real education” by other institutions when it comes to the sciences, because they integrate their faith.

    29 & 30) Both have happened.

    31) Not true at all.

    32) Also not true. Even with me saying this, I expect it will happen in response to this.

    33) Given all of the above, and that I’m a member of one of the larger Christian faiths, forgive me if I don’t feel all that privileged.

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      By Zeus, you’re an insufferable whiner.

      Oh,boo-fucking-hoo, Bill Mahr makes fun of your religious group. Guess what? That’s not evidence of systematic social oppression. People mock Paris Hilton tenfold, and I guarantee you that she doesn’t deny her own privilege even a quarter as much as you do.

      More, without context on some of your anecdotes, I’m going to call bullshit. NO-WHERE in North America are the cars of church parishoners *ever* vandalised “just for being at church”; it’s got to be either a personal attack on the individual/s who own those particular cars, OR it’s an attack by association because that particular church has been involved in a local or national (or international) scandal. It’s never random, and never about religion, in and of itself –it’s about something else.

      • vnoz

        Actually your comment about people’s vehicles not being attacked while one is at a house of worship is untrue in my experience as congregants in my faith have had that happen before. They were in services which were lengthy and came out to find slurs and damage to their vehicles.

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          That’s cos you’re a liar. Seriously, kiddo. Pics or it didn’t happen. I’m sick of you death-cultists pretending that you’re persecuted and making shit up, as if repeating your lies enough means it really happened.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        Baloney. When cars in my parish’s parking lot were littered with propaganda, it was of the kind calling the Catholic Church “the whore Babylon.” It most certainly was not about any particular scandal. It was purely and simply malicious harassment of people just for being Catholic of supportive enough of Catholicism to attend Mass. I’ve seen it happen more than once at parishes I’ve attended. I’ve also seen examples of kids thinking they can get away with spray-painting our statue of Jesus because they rightfully know that the Catholic community is not all that powerful where I live.

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          So?

          Sticking tracts on your windscreen is not “vandalism”, nor is it at all in line with systematic harassment akin to what hundreds of thousands of Muslims in the States faced after 11 September 2001, nor is it the same as the flash mobs that make an appearance at Planned Parenthood centres (sometimes every few months since the late 1980s) with the express purpose of shaming people and blocking entry to the doors.

          As for the rest, pics or it never happened, and you’re just another liar throwing yourself a pity party cos you want to play Oppression Olympics.

  • Andy

    most of these are not true in UK.

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      There are only nearly forty towns, including Glasgow (one of the UK’s largest cities, by population) that have, in only the last four years, lifted an “unofficial” ban on Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a ban put in place under accusations of “blasphemy”.

      And, of course, in spite of the fact that there is no legal barrier from those outside the CofE being Prime Minister, there has never formally been a Catholic one. *checks out the comments* “I don’t think it’s right that he selects the head of the Anglican church and then converts to Catholicism. Tim, Oxford” “A decent Christian would have established his beliefs before his high office and most certainly not after… I never knew him. Hugh E Torrance, London England” “Blair had always made it clear that he had very strong
      Christian beliefs and that these were brought into play when he made
      decisions. His Christian zeal came through strongly when he made the
      decision to invade IRAQ. ….Roger Bacon, Cranleigh Surrey” …and many more. Clearly Americans, all of them.

      And, just as I remember, there’s apparently practically nothing open in London on Christmas Day, so I doubt that’s untrue in smaller towns. Just like in the States.

      I’m so tired of my fellow Brits insisting things like “the UK is far more secular” or “it’s only Americans who are crazy when it comes to religion”. It’s just not true. But this isn’t even about “crazy Christians”, it’s about Christian privilege –i.e., the added benefits when a society assumes the default person, at least nominally, identifies as Christian. It’s going to take far more than insisting “most of these” aren’t true for the UK to convince me of that –just looking at the first ten, I can tell you, all of them are true. In the next ten, maybe numbers 13, 17, and 20 are commonly perceived as being “untrue”, but I tell you, as of the time those comments were made to that article about Tony Blair, I don’t even think it’s true to say “maybe for Protestants, but not Catholics” –at least on Great Britain, N.Ie, that might be another story. So I’m already through more than half the list, and it’s all just as true for the UK as it is for the States –so how is “most of it” untrue? Is there an obscure definition of “most” that you’re using, and I’m not? Cos last I checked, nearly two-thirds of a sum would qualify as “most”.

      • guest

        No , I disagree with this although it is not in the scope of the discussion about America. But Jews have been treated horridly throughout British Hsitory. check your law codes for 80 -1200 just for an ancient start and don’t forget the 1900′s too. So much for equality there.

  • Mike

    This is what you get in a nation founded on Christian principles…nothing wrong with it, unlike today’s liberal thinkers, the founding fathers of this nation were much less tolerant of other beliefsystems, they practiced slavery and intended nothing but to install ONE NATION UNDER GOD, not Allah, Buddah or Captain Cangaroo, so that Christians of all denominations might have a home in the world…try to advocate the above mentioned liberties in countries like Syria, Iran, or India, they will laugh you out of town…

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      That line from The Pledge of Allegiance wasn’t added until the 1940s, after a campaign from The Knights of Columbus, and Thomas Jefferson edited the KJV bible into what is now known as The Jefferson Bible, which is essentially a New Testament without any “supernatural” elements. Oh, and Jefferson owned a Qran, too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/christa.landon Christa Landon

      Wait one minute. You don’t get your own facts. Many of the Founders were DEISTS, not believing that Jesus was God. Many were Free Masons. Look it up. Thomas Paine was an outright atheist. His friend Jefferson edited out all the miracles and the resurrection in what is now published as the Jefferson Bible.

  • Grace

    As a Christian planning on going to seminary, I came to this article expecting it to be…well, simple bashing of Christianity. Thank you for defeating that assumption. This article, with the exception a couple points being exaggerated/not true, was very accurate. Also, in all honesty, a lot of the “war on Christianity” comes not from outside sources but from within the Church. With people focused on making sure they have “intelligent design” taught in schools, twisting Scripture for hate on gays, and worried about people saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”, the amount of people with knowledge of basic Christian beliefs like the Trinity, who read the Bible cover-to-cover, and who study God’s Word and Him quite a bit decreasing is embarrassingly low compared to Christianity’s history and is, in all honesty, embarrassing for us as Christians. Thank you for this article; maybe it will be a wake-up call to many Christians out there that claim Christianity is being “attacked” by others and will instead pick up a Bible or volunteer at a homeless shelter.

    • David

      Grace, I’m curious upon what you base the assumption that some of the points in this article are exaggerated or not true. As in any other kind of discrimination, members of the privileged class often have no experiential basis to understand the privileges they take for granted or the impact on those who don’t enjoy them. To simply dismiss any part of this article as untrue, without any evidence or even indication of what parts you disagree with, affirms the article’s core truth.

      • Ankynan

        Not #14. Most people assume they “know” what’s true about my beliefs, but they are thinking of the loud, nasty haters.

    • Dilirium

      Grace, I appreciate how you feel, but I have personally experienced each and every one of these items and much worse. I have personally been threatened to be burned at the stake. I have had jobs denied me, been fired, and made very uncomfortable at school for nothing more than being pagan. Fortunately I have found a city with a pan-denominational pagan church, but to do so, I had to leave the state I lived in.
      I am glad that you are able to open your mind for this, but make no mistake, EVERY single item here is true, and it’s mild.

    • Alien Attack

      1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
      (I’m quite certain every working American appreciates these holidays)
      2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible (Music and Television programs exist for nearly every major religion)
      3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
      (There are literally THOUSANDS of stores across the country that cater to specific religions….THOUSANDS)
      4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values
      (Nobody is pressured to celebrate any holiday. Especially these days where religious material is being removed from all aspects of the public sphere, no matter the religion)
      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).
      (This is a completely generalized and subjective assumption. Many people of faith are sensitive to the beliefs of others)
      6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
      (This is completely untrue. Christians are being targeted now, more than ever, everywhere in the world, including the US)
      7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
      (Again, a totally unfounded claim. Christians are targeted every day in America. Churches are vandalized. Nativity scenes are smashed in fornt yards. Crosses are burned, as well as Bibles)
      8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
      (Without being mocked? Do you read the news, my friend? No religion is mocked more than Christianity)
      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.
      (You can never assume that anyone will share your belief. Especially in this society, where atheism, humanism, pluralism, relativism, and so on are becoming so prevalent)
      10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
      (Not anymore, this practice was suspended years ago. Now they raise their right hand and simply swear to tell the truth)
      11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.
      (Where are these positive references and what makes positive references to any faith unique to Christians? Every time I see Christianity in the news, it is in a bad light)
      12. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.
      (Again, speculation, and judging by the way Christianity is being removed via LAW, it would be safer to assume that more politicians are leaning the other direction)
      13. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
      (Really? So, when a lawmaker uses Scripture to back up a position he is met with applaus and accolades? Not so, he is met with opposition from all fronts. Do you read the news?)
      14. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.
      (LOLOL…I just have to laugh at this one. The true Gospel has been perverted and twisted and misrepresented in all facet of out society. This one is just flat out wrong)
      15. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.
      (Again, totally unfounded! I know Christians who don’t understand what they believe or why)
      16. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
      (Really? So Christians are not lambasted for being ignorant and insensitive to others people’s beliefs?)
      17. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.
      (Again, pure speculation. I wonder what a Christian working in a biology lab would feel about this claim. It is against most company policy to have a Bible of the desk or to display any religious material whatsoever for fear of offending)
      18. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
      (Really? So, a Christian could go into a public relations career with an Atheist organization and they would not have a problem with his beliefs?)
      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.
      (All religions share this freedom. How many mosques and synagogues and religious center for Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions are there. Christianity is not universally accepted in America and there is opposition where ever we go)
      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)
      (This is simply not true! As a Christian I know that my beliefs defines ans shapes the way people view me. That’s a fact with all religions)
      21. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
      (Ever heard of Westboro Baptist Church? That is the image that people see when they think of Christians. So, those who act contrary to that image ARE considered the exception, even though we are the majority.)
      22. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
      (Are you serious? Do you read the news? Christian organizations are now being treated as RADICAL extremists. The DHA and the military train their people to scrutinize us closely more closely precisely because they see us as a threat and domestic terrorists).
      23. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
      (Permits for Church buildings are routinely opposed by community groups who see them as a threat? Do you read the news?)
      24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
      (Perhaps this is the problem. I would be honored to speak on behalf of all the members of my faith)
      25. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.
      (Such speculation. You do realize that that 18% of the population is Protestant. That means 82% of the population does not share my faith.)
      26. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.
      (WHAT??!!!! You do realize that schools do not teach Christianity right? They teach children that God does not exist and that evolution is true. Where are you getting this stuff?)
      27. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
      (This will take careful effort on the part of the parents to be sure their children find good decent friends who share the faith)
      28. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
      (Easily accessible? Maybe if you are wealthy? Private schools cost a fortune. NO public school teaches about faith and the VAST majority of the student population go to public school, including Christian children whose parents cannot afford private)
      29. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
      (Again, unfounded. Adoption agencies are more than ever scrutinizing the religious beliefs of potential parents, regardless of religion)
      30. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
      (Is this a policy in divorce court? Or is this another speculation?)
      31. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
      (WHAT!?! Are you kidding me again? NO public schools offer faith teaching. NONE. Public secular colleges offer courses in RELIGION, but not just Christianity. Most colleges offer comparative religion courses where ALL religions are covered.)
      32. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
      (Is complaining about being attacked an attack on other religions?)
      33. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
      (There are privileges to every religion and non-religion.)

      This entire list is speculative, one-sided, and poorly researched. Most of the claims are verifiably untrue by simply flipping on the local news once a day. The others are merely unfounded. I challenge you to post this rebuttal on your page in the name of honest discussion, so that we can dialogue about it rather than accepting these claims as fact when, in fact, they are not.

      • Robert Rawlings

        1. I have been forced to work these “holidays” by employers who knew I was not religious. Not mention having to wait for my mail because of a holiday I do not celebrate.
        2. Yes they exist, but how easy is it to actually find them in comparison to christian ones. Can I just turn on my TV in the early morning and find some Hindu paid programming?
        3. I can not find any stores in my area that are willing to openly advertise anything non-christian for fear of the “community” shutting them down.
        4. I am not pressured to celebrate Christmas? Even though most channels show an abundance of Christmas programming, I am treated differently if I do not say Happy Holiday or Merry Christmas even though as an atheist I do not celebrate any of the “holidays”, and of course I do not have to walk past all sorts of decorations on the way into most stores because it has all been removed from the public sphere.
        5. Your kidding right? Your argument completely ignores the idea stated. Yes many religious people are accepting, but many are not and neither of these facts address that you probably still say Happy Easter/Merry Christmas to people without considering what their faith is.

      • Dallas79

        It’s you who has made unverifiable claims, attempting to back them up only with “REALLY?” rather than evidence. As you can see in just this handful of comments, no one but you is challenging the general knowledge that all these points are true (with exception of #14, discussed above).

        Watch something other than Fox entertainment “news” sometime. You have a really naive and one-sided view of the state of things that’s clearly blind to the privileges you enjoy.

      • TheologyGraduate

        Blindness and goggles – entirely absorbed in the internal Foucauldian discourse of a religion waning due to natural societal shifts, not the conflict it sees in simple non-agreement. Free your mind; conflict only breeds conflict. By all means keep your faith, but open your eyes and see that you are not under ‘attack’ from the majority, and ignore those that do attack you.

        I actually agree that the direction of society and its self definition as ‘secular’ is creating a form of Saidian ‘othering’ towards religion, but it is not aimed at Christianity, particularly in the US where Christianity still enjoys a special place. I do think however that religion these days is labelled as in the best case ‘traditional’ (used to imply a degree of redunadancy), and in the worst case ‘archaic’ (denoting a non-progressive discardable entity). This shift is almost as unhealthy as the east-west dichotomy as described by Said and should be avoided.

        I think we all need to remember that difference doesn’t define a person but similarity does. You clearly have strong beliefs, as does everyone else who has bothered to post here, and probably read this. We are all much more alike than we’d often admit. After all, “it is impossible to live in a world of difference and survive it humanly”.

        One little note that you probably shouldn’t read and is just a shred of my opinion that I am unfortunately too passionate about not to post – evolution IS real; it is not teaching the non-existence of God to teach it. There are greater theological challenges to its rejection by a LONG way than to accept it. Genesis is definitively non-literal, I wont give reasons because they wont change peoples minds – there are books to go to for that.

      • Kate JW

        I’m sorry, but your obsession to respond to every item on this list says to me that you just don’t understand your privileged status and have never had to walk a mile in a Muslim’s shoes, for instance.

    • Kate JW

      Besides which, those that carp about the difference between “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas” don’t seem to know that the word holidy stems from the words holy day. I wonder: if they knew that, would the complaining stop?

  • Maenad

    When people ask “Are you religious?” You can just answer, “Yes.”, rather than “Yes, but…” because you don’t want them to make a false assumption about you.

    You can use “God” or “god” as a word or name, and the other person will likely assume correctly which one you’re referring to, without your prefacing it with “my”, “the” or “a”, or choosing an alternate word to distinguish your deity from the one that’s commonly perceived.

    People will probably not assume you’re an atheist or agnostic just because you’ve stated that you don’t share some particular belief or engage in some particular practice.

    People will not assume that you have no system of values/ethics because of your choice of religion.

    People will not generally assume that your faith is a phase you’re going through, or that you adopted it specifically as a rejection of, or rebellion against, another faith.

    People will not usually ask “how did you get into that?!” or “what do your parents think of that?” (despite your being an adult!) when you tell them which religion you belong to.

    It’s likely that people will not assume you came to your faith through coersion or brainwashing.

    You can donate money to a clergy person or religious organization, and it’s likely that others won’t accuse you of being in a cult because of it.

    Teenagers in your religion can easily find others of the same faith to connect with and groups to join, organized by competent adult role models, and no one will accuse those adults of corrupting the youth, or question their motivations. The same is true for teaching young children about your faith.

    Accurate information is readily available about your religion, and you generally don’t have to correct other people’s misunderstandings about the basic tenets, practices, or symbols of your faith.

    One who has the calling to do so can (in most denominations) take on leadership roles, work in a place of worship, or assume a monastic life as a viable choice of career vocation. Many religions do not have large enough communities to support paid clergy, or don’t have permanent buildings dedicated to their faith in most areas.

    • http://vernonhuffman.blogspot.com/ Vernon Huffman

      I must admit that I believe most Christians came to their faith through coercion or brainwashing.

      • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

        That’s how it usually happens. Theirs is a way of coercion and violence, brainwashing and genocide.

        • Elizabeth Enloe

          It is a tradition, not brain washing. Who did you learn from, or did your parents put a tape recorder under your bed with this information. Were you held captive or given the choice to be Muslim or Die??? Since I believe there is only one God, whatever your faith calls Him is fine by me. A Rose is a Rose by any other name, so it is with God; Who, is a sexless being nether male or female. Like the wheel God is the hub and the spokes lead out to different names and beliefs. It matters not the name, but that you can “Follows His commandments, live a good & honest life, and walk humbly with your God.”

          • Joe Walsh

            It’s a tradition of brainwashing.

            All cults share in it, some are currently more violent than others, but no more violent than the rest have been in ages past.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            No, my parents just sent me to Catholic school –run by an order of Felician Sisters, which are generally the strictest orders in North America– and made damned sure I knew every day what would and would not “send [me] to hell”. I’d be beaten if I tried to explain the organic, polytheistic/pagan theology that matched reality as I saw it, and when I got too old to beat, they’d threaten to cut me off. That’s brainwashing and coercion –and missionaries still to this day take part in it, pretending to come with food and medical assistance and clean water “for everyone”, but then when the queue forms, suddenly now there’s a catch: accept “Jesus Christ” and get aide, or keep to one’s indigenous beliefs and die of starvation or from curable infections. That is coercion and brainwashing.

          • Penelope Clearwater

            Hi Ruadhán,

            I am so sorry that you had this experience. As someone who came to faith in the Christian God though reading and comparing the Bible, Quran, Dhammapada, and Upanishads, reading books by many theologians (including atheists), and having conversations with religious leaders in many faiths, I do believe that those who accept Jesus into their hearts can look forward to Paradise after this earth. I believe that the “Heaven” is really just being with God, which is the answer to all of the longings we have in this life. Conversely, “Hell” is eternal separation from Him.
            That’s why I become so sad when I hear your story and others from Catholic schools where nuns do not really share their faith at all, but instead take out some sort of anger on the kids. What a distorted world we live in.

            I’m not trying to convert you, but I would like for you to know that the Protestant church (the majority of believers in America) rebelled against the Catholic church on issues like: we think that praying to saints is stupid, giving money to the church in no way absolves our sins (like where the hell is that in the Bible), women are just as qualified for ministry as men, etc.
            By the way, if anyone tells you that there are certain “things” that will get you into heaven or send you to hell, then they are not a Christian. There is only one way: believing in God and telling him that you want to be with him. If you don’t, that’s your decision. But no one, NO ONE, should beat you for that choice.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Whoah! Misconception about my religion alert! Catholicism does not teach worship of saints. It teaches that the saints are capable of praying for us. Asking Mary, or Joseph, or St. Peter to pray for us is no different to us than asking friends or family to pray for us. We also don’t believe that donations get people into Heaven. In fact, if you read any Church history, you’d know that the selling of indulgences was abolished shortly after Luther brought up that point. And the Catholic Church recognizes many kinds of ministry that are not limited to ordained clergy and are open to women, sometimes open only to women. In fact, the Catholic Church recognizes all Catholics as members of a sort of unordained priesthood, which is why any Catholic in an emergency situation can perform a Baptism, and all are taught how to do it.

          • Bor1am

            Penelope, if believing in God and telling him you want to be with him is the only way to get into heaven, then believers from all religions will be going to heaven, not just Christians, because all believers want to be with their God, no matter what name they may use for him.

          • Shilpa Chidrian

            Ah but she means the Christian God, who sent his son to take the punishment which wrongdoers (everyone) deserve. Because those sins have been punished, believers no longer carry the sins which prevent them from being with their God.
            That is what makes Christianity different from every other faith, especially from Judaism, which used to be obsessed with purity. Christianity does not say, “I’ve been good, and so…” but instead “I am not good, but yet…”

          • Bor1am

            Yes, Christianity is different from every other religion for it teaches that we are not good because we are born with original sin, that little babies are doomed to punishment in hell from the moment they are born. So, any person who doesn’t happen to believe in Jesus or never hears anything about him is doomed to hell, no matter what good they have done.

            To me, if God is our father, he does not condemn his children to a fiery hell for all eternity, no matter what they may have done or what they believe. No human father would do this to his children, and God is a greater father than any human father. To believe in hell is to believe that human beings are more just than God.

            And if God had to have Jesus tortured and killed in order to save us, what does this say about the power of God? If God can save us, he will do it without needing to use a human sacrifice. Otherwise he is a weak being.

            What we are is what he created, and our tendencies to do right or wrong can only come from him. So how can he condemn us? We are the creations, the children, of God, and whether we are good or bad, he loves us all no matter what.

            As it says in the epistle of First John, God is love, and this is how we should see and understand him. The God is pure love, and love does not condemn any of its creations to a hell nor does he cast them away from him. The God of love does not set aside any of its creations as better than others or more worthy of being with God. The God of love accepts us as the human beings that he created, and no more than that, for such a God hopes for the best, but accepts the worst. This is the loving Father God that Jesus spoke of. To see God as judging and condemning, as a being that casts his own children into hellfire, is to see him as a tyrant, not as a loving father.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            This flies in the face of some hurricane survivors I know who received help through Catholic Charities. They got help, no strings attached.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            No, your friends, (who I’m assuming are Americans, yes?), were assumed to be Christian because they’re American. It doesn’t work that way in a lot of other countries.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            You obviously don’t know how Catholic Charities works.

      • Brad

        scare the crap out of them while they are young and then they are so brainwashed when they grow up that they dont even know it.

      • Kathy Stuart

        I figured this out during discussion with a member of the clergy of my parent’s church, he said to me that people that didn’t belong to this particular fundie faith were all going to hell. All of them.
        I asked about a theoretical gentle bushman in Africa who had never raised his voice in anger, never broken any of the ten commandments because that is the way of his people, not because god told them so. Yes he said, him too and all of his kind. They are heathens and will burn in hell. But, I said they don’t know who Jesus is. Doesn’t matter he said. Fuck you and your god I said.

        • Ankynan

          He’s NOT following the Bible when he says that. The gentle bushman assuredly is.

          • Joe Walsh

            the theoretical gentle bushman is a vastly better person than any who behaves similarly in hopes of an eternal reward.

          • L G

            Yes, the bushman doesn’t do what is right due to a God handing out rewards or punishments for doing what He says. He does it because it was innately right! So do we actually need religion of any kind to do what is right. Many Atheist prove we do not!

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          Some Christian sects are also very adamant that unbaptised children of Christian parents are destined for hell, until they are baptised. If your baby was stillborn? Hell. Childhood cancer, and the kid was unbaptised? Hell. The baby dies in an accident on the way to christening? Hell.

          As Ghandi said, Christians are very unlike their Christ. They took a pacifist, gnosis-based Jewish fringe sect that borrowed from a lot of Hellenes philosophies, and turned it into a path of hatred and violence.

          • L G

            Yes, I was told my daughter who died of SIDS would not make the resurrection if I did not stay in my religion because children who are not of decision making age will not come back unless I, the parent, stayed in the faith. My spouse left the church so they said it was up to me. No Hell, because my Christian faith, as others, do not believe in that. But no resurrection either. What kind of a God would allow such a thing if as the Bible says we are His children? Would you do that to an innocent child of yours?? Took me a long time but I left, and after researching Christianity, I never went back.

      • I was Betty Lankford then!

        No I disagree, you end up being one faith or another for multiple reasons. My mother’s family were Disciples of Christ. My dad was a Methodist and went on to become an ordained minister of that faith. My grandmother told my mother that she would find it easier during their military life to find a Methodist church that a Disciples. So we were raise Methodist, and joined that faith, but visited with our grandparents if we were staying with them. I also went to Baptist Vacation Bible School, where ALL children were welcome, And in one town we decided to have the Methodist , the Baptist and the Disciples hold a joint Bible school, and that way we could go for 2 weeks instead of just one. There was a lot of harmony in that little East Texas town, and a lot of good people. I was allowed to go to my friend’s church if I stayed over the weekend, and frequently joined my Best Friend at The Church of Christ. Nobody ever ask my father the Methodist Minister at the time. “what on earth was he letting his children do.going to some other church.They just accepted it as perfectly normal , or keep their true feelings to themsleves!

      • Man in the Golden Suit

        Merry Christmas and Happy Easter!

      • L G

        The vast majority of people are born to their faith by location alone. Most will never change that faith either, even if they do not practice it. It is tradition. Religion “runs” in families, Most Americans are Christian only because they were born here. Same with the other faiths across the planet. So it always amazes me why people argue that their is the one and only right and true faith.

        Even more so with Christianity because they have more than 41,000 different denominations. All believing differently on who, if anyone really goes to Hell, or Heaven, who God is, who Jesus is, what the holy spirit is, where you go when you die, what will happen to the earth, what goes on at Armageddon, after it, and a trillion other things.They cannot agree among themselves, so why should anyone listen to them at all?

        The more you research and know about religions the more you are amazed. Not always in a good way either, although sometimes that happens too.

        Look at the Catholic Church. They now condemn homosexuality, but just about a thousand years ago they celebrated it and even married same sex couples in the Church. Something I would think most Christians will never know. Knowledge changes your mind on many things!

        Even the Bible itself, which is not complete from what I found in my research, tells you to make sure of all things and never to take anyone’s word for anything when it comes to God. How many “Christians” do any of us know who actually research “Christianity”?

  • Erin

    Some great thoughts here that will generate dialogue and – I hope – some reflection. One thoughts, however: your article is DEEPLY indebted to Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (http://www.amptoons.com/blog/files/mcintosh.html). A nod in her direction is definitely warranted, as your tone, languaging, and format are leaning heavily on her example. Citing your inspirations / sources makes your argument that much stronger – not to mention, some folks might be inspired to head over and read her article, which is a foundational, seminal text in its own right. Peace, and thanks!

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  • holly

    As a Mormon (and I consider us Christian, though I understand the arguments against), this was an interesting read. My faith gives me some of these privileges (common holidays, safety), but leaves me very much out of others. Tokenism, media and in-person misunderstandings and misrepresentations are all common. Fascinating.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Come to where I live. The strong LDS privilege might give you a bit of culture shock, even though public schools no longer grant credit for seminary.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jessica.neubauer Jessica Neubauer

    I hate being the exception; If a white Christian male is hired into a job and screws up, his replacement is still likely to be a white Christian male. Now let’s try it again- A Muslim is hired into a job and screws up, a black guy, a woman, an atheist is hired into a job and screws up. 9 times out of ten, afterward, when a replacement is being sought; “Well we tried a Muslim guy once, he didn’t work out”. Christianity in America is never being judged by what the last person who shared a faith with you did wrong. Now try it as a black female agnostic.

  • http://twitter.com/ViveLeShelby Shelby

    Thank you for writing this article. Skimming through the comments reaffirmed my original suspicion that it would be a heated topic, not only because talking about any kind of privilege can make people uncomfortable and defensive, but also because religion is very personal. It can be hard to take something so personal and see it in the context of an outsider and see its effects in the world at large. It’s easy to read this list and subconsciously start ranking things as “things I do” and “things I probably do” and “things I definitely don’t do” or else “important things” and “things people should get over/things that don’t matter/things that don’t *really* happen” without realizing that the fact that any of these things happen at all, the fact that they contribute to privilege in some way, is what’s bad, not what any individual thinks they do or thinks matters more or less. The comments on this post range from supportive to defensive to dismissive to neutral, but I just wanted to add my voice to the support, because I’m glad that you tackled this issue. The more people who confront power disparity and share with others, the more privilege is weakened, and the closer we can all get to equality on issues like this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aurora.alexander.7 Aurora Alexander

    In general this is interesting, but 10 isn’t exactly true. http://atheism.about.com/od/ideasforatheistactivism/a/AffirmSwear.htm

  • Garland

    Hog wash.! I’ll not even address the inaccurate assumptions asserted here. They indicate that we are privileged because we have two holidays – Christmas and Easter. WOW! There are several other holidays that are celebrated that have nothing to do with Christianity. Several of the exceptions are simply not true and some are afforded to other religions. I happen pastor a Baptist church where people are welcome to come and worship the Lord if they chose. Yes there are restrictions as to who may become a member but in no way suppress others to come and worship. And by the way Sam, you are welcome to come and worship with us. If you have attended most public school k-12 and schools of higher learning you will discover that Christians are not that welcome and are many times ridiculed by their teachers. I could go one but it would not serve any goal. I respect your opinion, but please be faithful in realizing that it is only an opinion.

    • Welp.

      Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Mardi Gras, and Halloween are all Christian holidays celebrated in the US. They have exactly as much to do with Christianity as Easter and Christmas do (Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s moreso).

      I might not get most of those off, but I do get two days off for Christmas, compared to my zero days off for Passover, Saturnalia, etc. I’d have to order in anything for a non-Christian celebration that wasn’t candles, whereas I can get pink and red hearts on Valentine’s, green shamrocks on St. Patrick’s, beads on Mardi Gras, and skulls on Halloween–all at the goddamn dollar store. You might cry “THAT’S NOT CHRISTIAN THERE SHOULD BE CROSSES AND JESUS AND STUFF”, but I could get a crucifix year around from the dollar store and a plastic nativity scene starting in late September.

  • Clinton

    I never find Christianity accurately depicted by anyone or anything, other then that this list is very true.

  • Jessica

    one more example: i have a small tattoo of a jewish star on my wrist, and my mom worries that donning my jewish identity in a way that can’t be easily removed will get me into trouble. how many people with a cross tattoo think “oh crap, now everybody’s gonna know i’m a christian!” ?

    • Brad

      I thought the bible said that you are going to hell if you get tattooed? No good christian should have one anywhere.

      • Max Rocket

        Ha!

      • mrk222

        actually, that is no good Jew should be tattooed.

        • addctd2badideas

          It depends on how you look at it. It’s about the same level of trespass as eating a bacon cheeseburger. It won’t preclude you from being buried in a Jewish cemetery despite the myth.

      • Elizabeth Enloe

        I believe the Bible says in all it’s translation that “your body is a temple” and that you are forbidden to be tattooed. The Nazi not only tattooed their Jewish prisoners, but Cremated them as well, because there is some mention of not being creamated
        in the Torah… I’m not sure why but it gave the Nazis one more way to dehumanize their captives, and their beliefs.

        • tony

          If you look at it though like I said earlier it is the interpratation, If we are to treat our bodies as a temple then why is it wrong to get tattooed? What have they always done in temples? Drew on the walls, so with that said some could say that to get tattoos could be treating your body as a temple.

      • Tony

        Actually the bible states that you should not tattoo your body with Pagan markings. Just like everyone pushes an eye for an eye but they stop there and fail to read on. It then states that it is not for us to carry out. That is the problem. People pull what they want out and say well the bible says it. Yes it does say it but read on and you will find out it is not what you think. I am a Pagan and I will say that Christianity will fall not because of the bible but the wrongful interpritation of it.

      • Stayce

        That was so OT, Brad; we now live under Grace. I occasionally ask my friends, “Where should I get my first tattoo and what should it be: a cross, an anchor, a fish, a star, etc.

      • CB

        Being Jewish, I’m sure Jessica isn’t concerned with being a “good christian”…

  • yeahha

    This is true. Thanks for bringing into perspective, as a Christian! Its very true, all of it. And I’m aware of my privilege but its always good to be reminded, to keep it in check. Have a great day.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sisi-Ville/100001764145762 Sisi Ville

    Thank you for that. I often have to justify taking a few days off for Jewish Holy Days. Somehow it is greedy of me to want to celebrate my holidays even if I am using my meager 2 weeks worth of vacation time on it instead of getting to use for an actual vacation. And then on Xmas I am still expected to work for free because its “not my holiday”.

    • sangsue

      Oh yes, I know that one. I married someone who wasn’t Jewish so my co-workers resented me if I dared to take my vacation to visit his family during the Christmas or Easter holidays. And if the holidays came out on the same time, like they sometimes do? They made damned sure to let me know that my holiday didn’t matter and I had no right to take off a Christian holiday….

  • James

    Here’s another one for you, Sam.

    “You are not likely to have to skip company/work-related meals because the food they serve includes certain items forbidden by your religious diet”

    I remember a friend of mine, who is a Jew that keeps Kosher, had a lot of problems whenever my boss would order food for us because it often contained pork of some variety. My boss, who at least professed to be a Christian, didn’t seem to care that Kosher means no pork. After a while my friend ended up just bringing a lunch from home. What was meant to be a treat for the employees was just another day for my friend.

    As a follower of Jesus but not within the realms of the mainstream conservative branches of Christianity, I see a lot of these as heart-breaking realities while others- like the one about politicians being of the same faith- as not being anything to brag about.

  • Tya

    Another example of Christian privilege – you can claim a holiday as being of Christian origin and change the meaning of that holiday entirely and this will grant you time off work/school/etc (ie Easter and Christmas). This happens even if the history clearly shows the holidays roots are based entirely in another faith.

  • http://twitter.com/electricbluegal Jessica Francis

    Thanks Sam. I can certainly voch for the truth of your article having been raised as a Christian and then working in a predominately Islamic community in London. However I am now a practising Buddhist but have decided to raise my children as Catholic due to points 26-28. While I can’t claim to suffer the assumption of being a terrorist I am fairly sick of being dismissed by people who really have no understanding of the strength of Buddhism and the fact that there are quite a few similarities between this and major faiths. You’re doing good work and I hope people open their eyes to the common points in all the faiths.

  • Curmudgeonly

    I would use “other faith” and “lack of faith” together. For example: “The judge won’t immediately grant custody to your ex because of your lack of faith.” No atheist presidents, and all that. Or

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1448138864 Virginia Curtis-Threadgill

    I hope that my non-Christian friends do think of me as their Christian friend. I think this is a well-thought out list, and well-stated. I am blessed to be living in a place where my Christian beliefs are widely taught and accepted. I know this. In the scope of religions of the world, Christianity is a small percentage. If we call ourselves followers of Christ, we should behave accordingly. Jesus loved everybody, healed everybody, and had compassion for everyone! No exceptions. His greatest reproach was “Go and sin no more” . He is our example and the one we need to emulate. Not some guy in a pulpit somewhere w/ a $200 suit. Love is the Way!

  • darlene

    You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith. – Not sure this applies to Christians that much, these days or ever. I was raised as a Christian, but am embarrassed to be called one because of the lack of this from Christians.

  • S.

    When discovering your religion, people don’t feel the need to list all the other people of your faith that they’ve ever known, or every event of your faith that they’ve ever attended.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennifer.kant Jennifer Kant

    I had an experience where I was talking with a nice woman in a store about my job as a teacher and my life and we got to the topic of my family. When I talked about my parents and how great they are and are still in a happy marriage after almost 40 years the woman said, “Oh that is so nice to hear. They must be good Christians.” I explained that actually, my mother is Jewish and my father is Christian and they make it work very well because their morals are the same and not entirely just based on a faith, but more on life experience and education. She was a little surprised to hear it at first, but in the end she was very sweet and I think I changed her view a little bit on diversity. I’m not sure how to phrase this one into a bullet point, but perhaps someone else has an idea or a similar story.

  • Tai

    How about “your faith is not considered “dead” nor mythology when it’s covered in the educational system?” If you call abrahamic religions “mythology” hell breaks loose, but I have been in classes where, despite there being people of varying ethnicities and faiths, their religious beliefs were called “myths.” I was stunned to see a Hindu student be told, to his face, that his religious beliefs were “fables and assorted myths from antiquity” but when any of us spoke up about the hypocrisy of the matter, we were reminded to not include Christianity because “that’s a real, modern religion.”

    • NonReligious

      Technically, the term “myth” is absolutely correct, and SHOULD be applied to the Abrahamic faiths as well. It just denotes the body of beliefs behind any religion regarding the supernatural, including supernaturally affected history. There were any number of students in my anthro classes that got quite offended when the prof corrected that one, including Christians of several stripes, a few Jews, a Hindi, and a pagan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eberry2010 Elizabeth Sodapopoulos

    I love your site, but I actually have a huge problem with this list. I’m Orthodox Christian, and while I do get to enjoy a some of these “benefits” of being a Christian, I am just as much of an outsider sometimes. We celebrate some of our holidays on different days, like Easter. We have icons that protestants insist that we worship. Many Catholics I know are also made to feel like heretics or outsiders. So, I believe this list should be “Protestant Privilege” and definitely not Christian privilege. There’s a pretty huge difference!

  • Justifiably Jaded

    How about this: Christians are allowed to freely and publicly debase, demoralize, demonize, and spread outright lies about any religious, cultural or demographic group that they have issue with (based on their interpretation of the bible) but if these other groups in any way attack Christianity (like point out the fact that the Bible is written and ALTERED by man, not god) they get all bent out of shape.

    When was the last time you drove down the interstate and saw a billboard with some Christian meme on it. Now…when was the last time you drove down the interstate and saw a billboard professing ANYTHING non-Christian whatsoever. I shudder to think of how many complaints the billboard owner would receive.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      I drove about a 100 mile round trip today and saw no Christian billboards.

      • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

        So you’re a responsible driver who pays more attention to the roads than to advertising. Want a cookie? I bet you don’t answer your phone when driving, either.

  • Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage

    1 example of religious privilege.

    1) You can follow a fictional religion and pretend it’s real without being labeled a lunatic.

  • Bunko

    How about this one? “You can openly criticize or mock my faith without fear of violent repercussions.”

    • http://ofthespiae.hellenistai.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Goddamn, you’re an idiot.

  • Amanda C

    This is so very true! And being in ministry myself and drawing from many spiritual sources I find it to be accurate that Christian privilege exists.

    There’s a flip side too that in the realms where there is an effort to be spiritually inclusive “Christian” becomes a bad word, and heaven forbid you bring up Jesus or the cross as something meaningful to share in certain purposefully interfaith spaces. I have in my experience found that some people would rather do a meditation or read something Buddha wrote than risk sharing New Testament materials and upsetting anyone, even if that means being less authentic to themselves. Interfaith should mean still being different faiths but dialoguing together about what’s meaningful, not shutting up one group entirely so that everyone else can dialogue without them (though there is some need for those spaces too).

    I personally find that progressiveness must mean cultural humility, religious and spiritual humility, especially for Christians in the US–not shutting up the Christians but opening up the dominant culture to recognizing the things on this list and bolstering curiosity about other faiths rather than suspicion. In return I would hope that Jesus and the cross doesn’t have to disappear, but rather other faiths are more strongly accepted and given space for visibility and given voices to prevent invisibility.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lucas.burton.79 Lucas Burton

    Hi Sam, I’m really glad that I ended up here from someone’s tweet. For the longest time I’ve focused so much on male, white and straight privilege that I really haven’t taken the time to consider this type of privilege, although I have definitely noticed in when I visit the USA. Having said that, I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness, who identify themselves as Christian, but definitely do not fit into this privileged position. Therefore I don’t know whether the generic umbrella term is entirely accurate, but perhaps I’m being alittle pedantic. Nevertheless great article and will definitely share this! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/suddenlysara1 Sara Jakubowski

    People will not automatically assume you do horrible things like sacrificing small animals / put hexes on people / worship Satan…

  • GodBless

    This is because……God loves us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevMandaAdams Manda Lynn Adams

    Hi Sam, thanks very much for this! I used some of this in my sermon on Sunday. http://youtu.be/0OlxK6nRkX4

  • Teri W.

    Is this list really “Christian”-specific or U.S.-specific or Western-specific? Don’t these or similar “privileges” apply to the numerically dominant religion or sect in any country or region? I grant you the need to answer the “war on Christians” meme. IJSTM that you won’t necessarily win over too many “Christians” who know much about other countries and their faiths. Furthermore, you risk alienating Christian allies who haven’t felt all that “privileged” in this country, or for not very long, e.g., Catholics and Eastern Orthodox. In much of the country “Catholics need not [have] appl[ied]” well into the 1960s … and they’re the biggest single religious denomination in the land by far, Christian or otherwise! The Federal government(!) was trying to impose Protestantism on Alaska Native Russian Orthodox into the ’60s also … Alaska Natives who were Christian when the USA barely crossed the Allegheny Mountains! And many of America’s Orthodox Christians *don’t* celebrate holidays with Protestants and Catholics. I’m just not sure we should combat bigotry and political opportunism by means of intellectual dishonesty or narrowness. I’m out on the Web about my devout Eastern Orthodoxy/Christianity AND political progressivism … so I get it from both sides, the theocons and the irreligious … that’s just where I’m coming from! Just my two beads’ worth, Teri.

  • J

    I actually do have “Christian” friends that I tolerate. But they’re the ones that are super public about it, without being fundie (or why would I be acquaintances with them). I think that the young college world I live in is both Christian and Atheist privileged (or at the very least, “CE Christian” privileged, meaning people who are “Christian” but really only go to church on Christmas and Easter).

  • La Demonic Christmas Princess

    You don’t have to define your religion to everyone. (has anyone heard of Pantheism, dammit?)

  • Larissa Carey

    I know I’m going to be told that all I’m doing is proving #33 but not all of these are true of all situations. I can only speak to what I have experienced and I assume that what I have is uncommon, but I have been ask to speak on behalf of all the members of at least my subset of my faith (#24).
    I have been told that by being polite, gentle, or peaceful, I am an “exception” to those practicing your faith (#21).
    I have in fact been questioned and/or mocked for practicing my religious customs.(#8) I am thankful and aware that I have not been inhibited from doing so.
    I have felt the fear of violence or threats as a result of my faith. I will grant that it may be unfounded as a result of being accustom to being afraid and it spilling over to my faith, but it feels the same a the fear I feel as a result of not being cis-gender(#6).

    Other than these things I think that this has been a helpful reminder that not everyone has the same privileges that I have had in terms of faith.

  • Kelly

    Even our Pledge of Allegiance, which we are required to say every day in school, caters to Christianity. “One nation, under God”. I’ve often omitted that line myself, but kids often are called out/yelled at/shamed for doing things like that because they’re “being disrespectful to America”

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      The “under God” bit has only been in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

      The addition did not originate with, but was most visibly lobbied by the Catholic organisation, the Knights of Columbus.

  • Helen

    How about not being expected to celebrate a holiday that has very little to do with your religion, simply because the holiday happens to fall near Christmas (in my case, Chanukah is the holiday).

  • http://americanpunjabanpi.blogspot.com/ American Punjaban

    The only things I don’t 100% agree with are points 6 and 14. There is an increasing amount of violence and crime toward Christian churches in America. I would still rate #6 as being 75% true though. As for #14, the media dramatizes everything so Christianity is still depicted improperly sometimes. I would still give your point a high accuracy rate though.

    I left behind Christianity a while back when I realized how hypocritical the church was. The church of today is not the place it professes to be. It’s very sad.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Source on that?

      • http://americanpunjabanpi.blogspot.com/ American Punjaban

        Source on what? I said ‘I would rate’ them. There’s no source for that. As for the violence and crime toward churches you can find news reports fairly easily through Google. But here’s a resource to start you off.

        http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/january/deaths-from-church-attacks-rise-36-in-2012.html

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          Wow, as a “resource”, you pull up a Christian publication that uses its older articles to source its own statements.

          No bias here.(/sarcasm)

          • http://americanpunjabanpi.blogspot.com/ American Punjaban

            Who else would have the most vested interest in publicizing every incident. Google News is the best source for the real reports but the article (biased or not) will give you plenty of things to look for. You can’t possibly have missed the serial church burnings that went on a few years back and other incidents that have been all over the news could you? Or maybe they’re only in the news through the bible belt where I have the misfortune of living. If you’re not in this chain of churches, then maybe you don’t hear them as much as I do. It is wrong of me to assume that the news was nationwide.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Yeah, most church burnings come from other Christians. There have been strings of church burnings in the South since the 1940s, but you don’t mention those –cos it’s a widely accepted fact that those were (and sometimes still are) acts of Christian-on-Christian violence based on racism. Now, what topic is dividing Christians in the States *at least as much* as civil rights for people of colour, including voter registration in the South, and anti-miscegenation repeals in the 1960s? Hrmmmm…. If you can’t think of it, be sure and ask my homo self, I’m sure I could help you out. It doesn’t surprise me that Christians are attacking eachother again –it’s the way of most Christian sects, and has been for centuries.

            On the other hand, most mosques burned in the States are burned by Christians, not other Muslims. Most synagogues burned in the States are burned by Christians, not other Jews. Most pagan/occult/new age book stores are burned by Christians, not other pagans. And saying “most” in those cases is charitable, and assuming that somewhere, at some time, there has been at least one such arsonist who isn’t a Christian.

          • http://americanpunjabanpi.blogspot.com/ American Punjaban

            I know all about the ‘gay’ debates. I was still in the church when they started having anti-gay campaigns being started such as the recently failed cure the gay ranch (not it’s real name but I’m sure you know what I mean). The leader just came out and apologized for starting it. Another division going on in the church (more quietly) is whether or not females should be allowed to preach. Despite seeing people like Joyce Meyer on television, there is still entire denominations that completely denounce female preachers and churches have been split over the topic. I don’t subscribe to any of this crap which is why I left the church (as previously mentioned). I have no faith left in the Christian church for any reason. I could tell you some crazy stories of hypocrisy, shame and more.

            I also no longer care who commits the acts against the churches, I just know it happens. If we include anything outside of the US (which is not the point of the article at all) the atrocities aren’t committed by other Christians predominantly. There are just a lot more factors to consider in the US when it comes to violence against churches. For one, it only stands to reason that Christians feel more comfortable here (being a dominant factor in just about everything in life in the states) than Muslims, Sikhs, etc. do. Christians created most of the laws and thus know how to circumvent them so they are more prone to feel like they can get away with things that other religious groups would be. People don’t generally start picking on the biggest guy in the school yard first either. There is still an intense amount of Christian domination in parts of this country so many protests against Christian principles are done quietly as opposed to the marches, sit-ins, and rallies done elsewhere.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            I also no longer care who commits the acts against the churches, I just know it happens.

            Gee, funny, cos there’s a BIG difference between your “fact” with and without the context of who does it. Your stance makes Christians look like poo’ widdew pwesecyoot’d victooms –but with the context, it removes the wool you want to put over the eyes, and makes it clear that they’re bullies. They are violent, unconscionable, thugs who can’t just let people splinter, they have to make a statement that ruins lives.

            You only care “that it happens” because it means you can ignore the vile truth by removing important context.

          • http://americanpunjabanpi.blogspot.com/ American Punjaban

            My original comment was thought of and written with complacency based on things I had seen/heard. I stopped reading and paying attention to that when I left the church 2 years ago. It hasn’t been that long since I left and quite possibly the old sympathy came through in my comments inadvertently. There is no covering up the fact that Christianity has a lot of violence both in history and now. I wouldn’t call them all violent thugs as blanket statements are never good. I don’t know all Christians and thus can’t diagnose them all as the same. I grew up in one denomination, changed to another in adulthood so I only have experience with 2 out of many. Both were fairly aggressive in their beliefs and how they promoted and adhered to them. I would sincerely hope you’re not expecting me to be a representative of the entire Christian community. I am but one person with an opinion shaped by my life and not that of the millions of still practicing Christians and I am no religious scholar.

            I’m not sure I understand your last comment entirely. I’m not sure how to address parts of it. I’m also not so sure you are understanding me correctly as well. I’ve never said nor implied that Christians are all bullies, there’s no wool over my eyes (I don’t watch because I don’t care, I have my own life to live that doesn’t involve Christianity anymore), and I don’t think the vile truth has even been stated. I know you hinted at the gay marriage debate and that is indeed ugly. Again I don’t follow any more of it than I see on Facebook because I have no personal involvement that leads me to act or react. It’s not my calling. Nor is the debate over Christian violence. I think you read much more into my original comment that was meant or needed.

  • homeless agnostic

    “If you are homeless or hungry you will be fed after you say a prayer that reflects your religion.”

    • homeless agnostic

      …also “If you are a politician you can use you religion as your political platform and it will override all your past, present and future indiscretions.”

  • bawboh

    You can hold public office in any state you wish. (There are several states that won’t let you hold office if you aren’t Christian, or religious at all).

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      That’s still on the books? It’s sad that, as a pagan, I wouldn’t be at all surprised, if that’s still true.

      • bawboh

        It is. It’s in the Texas Constitution. These states still have it in their books:
        AR, MD, MA, NC,
        PA, SC, TN, TX

      • bawboh

        It is still true. It’s still in the Texas Constitution and on the books in the following states:
        AR, MD, MA, NC, PA, SC, TN, TX

  • Nicole

    There is nothing more frustrating than when people ask you which church you go to, which in Arkansas, they tend to do within five minutes of meeting you. When you are an atheist, you are suddenly forced to lie, or fudge the truth, or out yourself to someone who quite likely find you untrustworthy if they find out you are an atheist. And while I would love to be open and honest, it greatly impacts your business and social networking, and can lead to isolation and difficulty excelling in your career.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      It’s the same with being in the minority anywhere. This is not at all limited to atheists. A Catholic in a heavily Mormon part of the country can expect to be treated similarly- except it’s impossible to lie, because so-and-so at such-and-such a ward will mention never seeing you on Sundays.

  • Derek Hamel

    Aside from this being obviously anti-Christian, the purpose seems flawed. The U.S. government was built on Christian morals, and over 75% of the U.S. population identifies themselves as Christian. Of course the belief system of the VAST majority of the population is going to bleed into society and business. There are several statements that are ignorant and/or purely false. Such as “Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.” Did I understand this wrong? Because no public school teaches Christianity. It’s unconstitutional, and any side conversation where religion is taught by a faculty member can easily get that faculty member fired. This whole thing is biased and filled with hatred, or at least a large amount of resentment. So what is the issue here? Because many other countries would just kill you if you decided you didn’t believe what the majority believes. Instead, we have a few days off, and some of us prefer to associate with those who have the same moral standards. For those who didn’t realize that this country was founded, is populated, and is mostly run by Christians, please realize that that doesn’t make all Christians your enemy. Also, this post does not mean all Christians are self-serving bigots, which feels heavily implied. Many of these things are said as if Christianity was the cause, when Christianity could easily just be incidental (adoption, divorce, career). Everybody with cancer used straws, straws cause cancer. Christianity didn’t necessarily lose you that job, or custody of your kids. I would think anybody with a decent understanding of how democracy works would see that when the majority wants something that is somewhat beneficial, and doesn’t harm the whole, they usually get it. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most, if not all of these, fall under one significant fallacy–assumption. This seems like a gross generalization of Christians as inconsiderate, elitist, and presumptuous. If this post was meant in humor, or for introspection, I see it as in poor taste.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Public grammar schools are not institutions. The overwhelming majority of public colleges and universities offer courses on Christian studies.

      And as #33 notes: It sure is easy for Christians to try and dismiss this entire list as “hateful” thevway that you have, cos the only people guaranteed to tell you that you’re wrong to do so are a minority of non-Christians. I normally try and explain the concept of institutionalised “privilege” (which is kind of a jargonistic definition peculiar to sociology and the humanities), especially as it applies to less-considered groups by suggesting one take (in this case) “Christian privilege” with “white privilege”, but you really don’t seem willing to learn. The history of Christianity and its influence on Western history and society is ultimately irrelevant –the inequality was just as wrong then as it is, now.

      • Derek Hamel

        Public means government. Grammar schools, or public primary and secondary schools, are institutions, look up the definition of institution. Even if the post said colleges, there are significantly more private colleges than public. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the majority of private colleges provides Christian studies when the majority of the population is Christian, supply and demand. Also, among public colleges, the “privilege” spoken of extends to all the major world religions (ASU offers study in Daoism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslim, as well as general studies of religion among entire countries and cultures, and even Witchcraft), and the study of Christianity accounts for a very small minority of the courses offered. The post says “most public institutions” which implies that more than half teach Christianity, which is NOT TRUE. Your assessment of my comment was wrong, as well as your assumption of me and my willingness to learn. Calling me privileged because I’m Christian is like calling me fat because I’m American. Being an American didn’t make me fat, food and lack of willpower did. Christianity doesn’t make me privileged. What you think is privilege is actually the selfish act of individuals who just happen to be Christian. Like hating all Germans because of the holocaust, that doesn’t make sense. You’re use of #33 to counter my comment is also wrong. I didn’t dismiss anything that was said. Calling me dismissive and unwilling to learn was ignorant and presumptuous, as are many of the points in the article. Some of the statements are obvious and I admit, correct. The thing I’m having an issue with is the lumping in of the comments that are in themselves biased, ignorant, resentful, or just plain wrong. This article breeds hatred, not understanding, your comment is pretentious (You’re comments imply you think you’re better than I am) and rife with bigotry. Bigotry is going to exist among any two groups who have different beliefs, and you’re only propagating it, as is this article.

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          Really? You’re not being dismissive? I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    • guest

      Actually those principles are more Abrahamic than Christian that founded America- see earlier posts and history. Any push to teach “intelligent design” is an attempt to thrust Christian mythology rather than science and schools all over the country where Christian right wing extremist have been pushing their agendas are not COnstitutional. Why not the Lakota creation myth or the Algonquin myth. They were all here before us.
      I did not see this article as an attack on Christians but as a statement of the privileges that are given to Christians or have been demanded by them . So If Christians have two days off at a minimum with pay, why can’t adherents to other moral systems have the same. WHy just they use sick bank days to practice their moral systems.
      I do hate it, when one begins to talk about equality of moral systems. that some reactionary person becomes belligerent and starts to accuse others of Christian bashing.

  • Sheila Tagavilla Davis

    A big whopping YES times 30!

  • fern

    As someone has probably already said, atheists are disprivileged in similar ways, but without the bridge of “faith” that potentially creates common ground for people of different faiths.

  • Jeana Reaves

    You donot have to take off your religious symbol jewrey before a job interview.

  • Ben

    Hi Sam, I would caution you no to participate in what you so clearly advocate and that is fighting against persecution and stereotypes. This article saddens me because yes you are accurate in some realms but I feel your assessment is so broad sweeping and generalizing that you defamed those of us who are Christians and who believe that love is the most important part of our faith. We are literally commanded to love everyone, and the church has mightily failed in this task, it’s a tainted picture of Christ who did everything in the name of love. I’ve taken a stab at approaching your list, it doesn’t equal up to my personal experience whatsoever so I feel your list is very speculative and a misrepresentation.

    I hope you will hear out some of my thoughts. The bottom line is I pray that christians and gays and Christian gays can learn to love and respect one another. We all have a heart that beats inside of us and all of us are worthy of love.

    The
    cultural norms of this country are far from a christian status quo and
    it seems public consensus only wishes to dismiss or eliminate these
    values. I’ve attempted to respond to the list below:

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

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

    - True, but wasn’t isn’t in the age of the internet?

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

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

    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). – Yes, but these
    holidays have become increasingly secularized

    You
    can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats. – completely
    speculative and false, there have been many examples of church shootings
    in this country.

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

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

    -
    False if these customs involve “traditional marriage” which has been a
    point of attack, if you decide to be celibate or abstinent, or people
    don’t agree with your “fervor” or commitment.

    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. – completely speculative

    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.
    - this is being removed from court rooms everyday, though I’m sure their are heavy practices of its use

    Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.
    - I don’t trust what any politicians “faith” is, nor do I vote on this measure. speculative.

    Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
    - unless it’s about christian defined marriage, or abortion.

    It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media. – speculative and false

    You
    can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent
    understanding of your beliefs. – speculative and false, if they did they
    would understand that unlimited love and acceptance exits, Christ died
    for all, I blame the Christian church for this failure in tolerance and
    translation.

    You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
    - speculative and false, the politically correct dissuades this argument

    Your
    faith is accepted/supported at your workplace. – speculative and false,
    christian values are not shared in a secular context.

    You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
    -
    false, I literally lost out on a job opportunity after a gentlemen
    learned that I was Christain, his discriminatory views against what he
    interpreted them to be eliminated from consideration.

    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. – this is a stunning and false claim, Christians are
    martyrd and persecuted for their religion everyday, have you been
    reading about egypt recently? The underground church in China?

    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)
    - also not true and remarkably speculative

    You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
    -
    false, due to the fault of intolerant Christians it is sometimes
    perceived that I do not accept people for who they claim to be. love is
    love, christ puts no requirements on this.

    Fundraising
    to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as
    potentially threatening or terrorist behavior. -TBD, between political
    persecution of non status quo governmental agencies it seems very clear
    that the “evangelical right” are being targeted. I am not in this
    category but instead follow more libertarian principles.

    Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith. – “most likely true”

    You
    are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith. –
    completely false, due to the challenges and cultural clashes of the
    christian church I feel like I have to be an ambassador all the time, I
    am consistently apologizing on behalf of the church to my gay,
    non-christian, agnostic, atheist friends

    You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.
    - speculative and false, the majority of the time I am not and sometimes I prefer that.

    Without
    special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who
    share your faith. – speculative and false, public education does not
    advocate for christian moral values rather humanistic ones.

    Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith. – false, see last answer

    It
    is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from
    kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith. – easily
    accessible but not publicly funded, so high tuition costs make this an
    unrealistic reality.

    Disclosing
    your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being
    able to adopt children. – speculative, the most likely depends on the
    origin of adoption.

    In
    the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of
    your children to your ex because of your faith. – I don’t have in-depth
    knowledge of legal practices but this cannot be accurate.

    Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions. – true, as are many religion or philosophy classes.

    You
    can complain about your religion being under attack without it being
    perceived as an attack on another religion. – speculative, more true
    here in the US but not in places where the coptic church exits right now
    – Egypt.

    You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
    -
    No, it clearly does have “certain” privileges, but this article is
    wildly inaccurate, in its attempt to stereotype and paint a
    wide stroke of limited understanding.

  • Lori Pulliam Rew

    How about the “you will not feel the need to censor how/what you say in a new group of people for fear of being immediately cast out.”

  • Jo

    26 & 27 are duplicates

  • taxkiller

    You can pretend to be a supporter of this list with a pithy one liner when in truth your just pissed off with a God you think doesn’t care.

  • Li

    Re #10: In Virginia, a witness being sworn in to testify in a legal proceeding swears or affirms to tell the truth, etc. No Bible or any other religious text is involved.

  • Thetruthhurts

    Hmm. Some accurate points, but most of this way off base, IMO. Christianity is where much of American culture comes from, for better and for worse, which accounts for most of your points. Go to India and complain about Hinduism.
    #6-I take serious offense to this. Is there some Buddhist-killing epidemic going on in the US that I’m not aware of? Are Muslims being rounded up and tortured in Iowa right now? I do know that the Bible is illegal in 52 countries, and that in many places besides the US, Christians are violently taken out of their underground churches, beaten, raped, tortured, and killed in front of their families. Are you aware of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for 283 days and counting? He’s guilty of being a Christian, and working in orphanages. What a horrible man. Do you know how many places in the world have been violently hostile to Christians since their faiths’ inception? Name me places that haven’t. Rant over.
    8. Constant criticism, friend. Hence, this article.
    9. That’s pretty ignorant. No one can assume any such thing.
    11. I don’t see your point. No one’s stopping Jews from making positive references to their faith.
    12. Ha! They can say what they want, 99.9% of politicians are professional liars. They trust in themselves and in their own power.
    13. Really?
    14. Not in my experience. What do you really know about Christianity?
    15. See #14.
    16. No one is penalized for not knowing Christian customs. See #14.
    17. Along with every other faith…
    18. Are you talking about Muslims owning gas stations. Because that’s all I can think of. 20. Depends on who you’re talking to.
    21. Again, depends on who you’re talking to. Al Qaeda extremists didn’t do Muslims any favors in that respect.
    22. Ha ha! Funny. See # 21.
    23. A mosque doesn’t belong near ground zero of 9/11 in the same way that a Christian church shouldn’t be built near Auschwitz. Besides that, what are you referring to? 24. Constantly.
    25. Never.
    26. Hardly ever.
    27. How would anyone know? Teachers can’t share their faith in the classroom.
    28. By “easily accessible” do you mean location-wise, or price-wise?
    30. Depends on who your lawyer is.
    31. More like the history of my faith. My faith is shunned and mocked by most educational institutions, or at least professors, as a fairy tale.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Wow, you really do have the wool pulled over your own eyes.

      Go back to your obscenely popular little death cult and pretend that you and your fellow cultists know what persecution actually is

      • Thetruthhurts

        Death cult? Would love for you to elaborate on that. What is your definition of persecution?

      • Thetruthhurts

        I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you say, “death cult.” Care to elaborate?

        I have never claimed to be persecuted. What would you define as persecution?

  • Jon

    I think religion is bupkiss, but the weight of a ton of your examples is diminished by the fact that this would be true with any group that has a high percentage of members in some other setting. You could pick analogous examples for football fans in a certain city, college alums in a certain location, or pretty much anything else.

    • Colin

      Right. I was thinking the same thing, but really, that’s what privilege means. It means that as a part of the majority, there are certain things you can take for granted, and which grants you access to certain things that out-groups either don’t have or don’t have as good access to.

      I don’t think this is meant to be about the benefits of Christianity per se so much as it is about what’s it like to be Christian in a majority-Christian culture. This list would probably work just as well as a privilege of being Muslim in, say, Turkey.

  • Vicki Trusselli

    well written……

  • Tay

    I absolutely agree with the way you’ve presented these facts. my parents are extremist christians and they consistently make it seem like everyone is warring on their religion and then turn around and attack mine. I am showing them this because i feel that they need perspective in the things they claim are happening.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      If they truly believe that Christianity, or rather, their preferred brand of said, is actually being persecuted in American culture, it’s unlikely that any amount of truth and reasoning will gain them any perspective.

  • Atheist

    Pretty darned apt, I would say. Hopefully, it will give Christians something to think about.

  • Ms Gail 18

    You may also add, when a Christian commits a crime, he/she is not identified as a Christian.

  • Kyle

    I would argue that a lot of these points aren’t really a “privilege” so to speak. Some points have legitimacy behind them but others just seem like whining. Sure life as someone practicing a religion other than Christianity is going to be different but that’s because in the Western world the dominant faith is Christianity (although now it’s very easy to be labeled as the “christian friend”). Go to the middle east or Africa as a Christian and I assure you the tables will turn, and not in your favor. As for some of the “opportunities” that this list suggests members of other faiths miss out on, it seems like some of the points aren’t based on any kind of universal law or statute but isolated instances. If there aren’t enough religious schools or stores in your area then it’s most likely because there aren’t enough people in the area demanding that service. What kind of person would set a up a business that didn’t have sufficient demand? Don’t get your religious holidays off work? Ask your boss or ask a coworker to trade you days off. Do something. Think it’s unfair that Christmas and Easter are widely recognized? Do some history homework and read up on them. They aren’t even Christian. So sit back and enjoy life while your Christian friends celebrate pagan holidays and ignore the holidays Christ himself celebrated. Before this rant gets too long: The idea behind the list is great and all but it doesn’t really do anything to promote acceptance and equality. It just gives a list of things that people can use in arguments that keep us angry and divided.

  • Lugasamom

    Can I add in that you don’t have to send in an absence excuse for missing school on one of your religious holidays because you already have off?

  • holly

    I agree 100% on this and I think it is bullshit.

  • Sam Samson

    Hey Sam. Thanks for this article. ‘Even as a Christian’ I try to be empathic and sympathetic to others. Close-mindedness helps no one. That being said, our society is changing. Genuine Christians are dwindling. You’d be pressed to find a group of children in this day and age where mentioning God and Jesus isn’t joked about or taboo ground. The point that ‘without special effort your children will have a multitude of friends/teachers who share your faith’ is increasingly not so. I, as a critical thinker, enjoyed your article. But I’m afraid that some people that hate on Christians to hate on Christians are using Christian privilege as a justification for hate. Which is not the answer. We could all benefit from empathizing with the person in the other shoes, and instead of fighting ‘War on Christianity headlines’ with ‘Christians have too much privilege’, we should all look inwardly as to whether our actions are truly justified.

  • Willow Polson

    I think #12 is incorrect…?

  • Scottsm777

    Excellent reminder of how important and how hard it is to practice true religious tolerance

  • http://becomingsupermommy.blogspot.com/ Lea

    You have never been the center of a conversation of people telling you about every other person they’ve ever met LIKE YOU, (“I babysat for a Jewish family once,” “My dentist is Jewish,” “We think my dad’s grandpa was Jewish,” “My psychiatrist is Jewish, do you know her?”)

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Oh, ye gods, I *hate* suddenly finding myself in those conversations.

    • sangsue

      Or have the experience I had when I stayed overnight at a friend’s house and was the Jewish friend and her dad asked me tons of things about Israel and treated me like I was the “Jew in the Zoo,” someone to be observed like some foreign creature until I gently told him that being Jewish is a religion and a culture and to say I’m supposed to know everything about it is the same as saying that every Catholic is supposed to know everything about Vatican City.

  • Anonymous

    “You are required to feel guilty at all times because you weren’t born as a minority religion in a predominantly Christian country.”

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Oh, shut the fuck up.

  • tdsthomas

    I guess my question is, what’s the point? You could make these statements about a ton of things. You could substitute the word “American” for the word religion, and most of the statements hold true. Or the word, “Male” or “Female”. ect.

    “A bumper sticker supporting America won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.”

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Except this isn’t about all religions, it’s only about Christianity and its privileged status in the United States.

  • isthisnameokay

    Well, nowadays, under this anti-American, anti-Biblical administration, Christianity IS under attack and many people have been fired, overlooked, and killed, because of this religion.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Do you have a source on that? Does it hold up to scrutiny? Or are you just a crazy person having a temper tantrum cos people are finally taking a stand against your church and its bullying ways?

  • Craig Barth

    How about “reference to your deity is on every piece of your nation’s currency.”

  • Lokibrenna

    You can’t realistically hope to become the president in this country unless you subscribe to some form of Christianity

  • Meaghan

    You can talk about your religion constantly with non-believers and not be accused of being an “extremist” trying to convert people.

  • Mott 10

    Sam, I was orphaned at 3 1/2. Foster care till 7 then adopted. I knew the name of God before I was orphaned. I knew the Law. Forced to be Catholic, I did not believe as they did. The Priest handed us a list of things I should not do, It became my to do list. God wasn’t there, studied Christianity, loved it God name not there by 9, I also learned Buddhism and Hinduism. By 11, I began to study Islam. No one had the name of God. When I was 25 I studied Judaism, saw God’s name right away. Stayed there. Yet I learned love of different religions in my journey, all Religions a place where I belong. Judaism is my God, HaShem, and my heart, but I know and respect all religions.

  • Kate C.

    A lot of these can be equally applied to the Jewish community (not all, but close to half), and if you don’t think people harass Christians for their faith, then you’ve been lucky enough to avoid the militant atheists. It’s nowhere near as common, but it does happen, and there are some marginally famous people who do it. (Penn Jillette, for example) Also, for a while non-Christians did not have to swear on a Bible, although it wouldn’t surprise me if that has changed thanks to right-wing idiots.

    Most of your points are valid, though.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      The fact that some atheists harass Christians isn’t really relevant, though, because atheists simply don’t have the weight of institutionalised power behind their harrassment (some Christians like to claim that Christians are excluded from sciences by atheists, but this simply isn’t true; “creation science” has long been dismissed from Earth sciences as mythology, not science, and many leading scientists are religious, they’ve just personally reconciled their religious beliefs with their scientific research). Christians have that institutionalised power, so it means a whole lot more to be proselytised at by Christians, as a non-Christian, than it means for the occasional atheist (in comparison ) to pester Christians.

  • David

    Sam,
    I enjoyed your article.

    All of the religions mentioned in the image worship the same God. It isn’t until we as a humane human society realise that basic tenet that we as a species can all move forward into the future of a Unified, Loving society.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Since when do Hindus worship the god of Abraham?

  • ataturkey

    I’m as secular (and non-christian) as they come, but I think this piece is totally off the mark. Practically none of this can be defined as “privilege” and the rest are just confusing.

    Without going through the entire list, here are some of my thoughts:

    1 & 2. Non-Christians get off for their holidays as well, and other than Christmas (largely secularized) and Easter, Christians don’t just ‘get off work’. But in a country which is 80% Christian (higher if you count people of Christian background or parentage but no longer practicing), one should expect that such holidays will be celebrated — this isn’t ‘privilege’ — it is common sense that a population in which one demographic or religion has a super-majority, will exert a certain cultural influence.

    3. It is just as easy to find stores, both actual and on-line, which enable non-Christians to practice their faith. At least in the NY area I have seen more stores selling Judaica than Christian-themed products.

    6. In America, everyone can worship freely without the threat of violence. Aside from the rare hateful comments directed against Mosques or Synagogues, practically all non-Christians in the US go to their place of worship without any fear.

    7. Pure conjecture. Also, I would reckon that in some places in NYC or San Francisco, having a Christian bumper sticker might make one more likely to have one’s car vandalized.

    9. That entirely depends on the region. Can an Evangelical Protestant in heavily Catholic and Jewish Queens or Nassau County, NY be assured he will be judged by peers who share the same faith?

    16-18. WTF are you talking about?

    20. If your friends see you as an identity/religion as opposed to you as an individual, find new friends. This isn’t an example of “Christian privilege”.

    12, 25-27. This isn’t “privilege”, it is statistical probability.

    31. Find me a major public institution that doesn’t offer a single course in a non-Christian religion and I will send you a check.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      You really can’t claim to be as “non- Christian” as they come until you can finally stop the apologetics and see it as it is.

      • ataturkey

        You exhibit a terrible lack of tolerance and anti-intellectualism. First, I am not doing ‘apologetics’ – I am not defending Christianity or the Christian faith. I am merely pointing out that the above are not examples of “Christian privilege”, or are poor examples of it. I am not Christian, or a believer of any kind, but that doesn’t mean, unlike you, that I will suspend rational thought and go for anything that fits a predisposed worldview. Second, just because someone doesn’t jump on the “Christian privilege” bandwaggon, doesn’t mean that person is lying about being non-Christian. Think before you speak or accuse.

  • juffie

    beautiful and thought provoking article … guess some folks just hate having their thoughts provoked!

  • Bruce Hanson

    Sam, there are “Christians”, and then there are Christians. This is much like Protestants and Catholics in Ireland, less about spirituality and Jesus, and much more about corporate power. I have spent 43 years of my life researching the one without the quotations, after my first 25 years as an agnosticatheist. The reason those 25 years were spent that way was because of “Christians”, people who model a false Christianity, based on being good, going to church, tithing, and more often than looking down their noses at people who were different. This is what Jesus said then, and it certainly applies to now.

    Mark 7:6-8
    He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
    “‘These people honor me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far from me.
    They worship me in vain;
    their teachings are merely human rules. ’
    You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.”

    I tell you this because I want you to understand the often misunderstood position of a Christian.
    Jesus said I had two requirements if I wanted to follow Him: 1)Love God with all my heart, mind, and soul. 2) Love my neighbor as myself. Nothing else! No list of things I must do. No go to church. No attendance or giving records just love. I want to explain how this plays out in practice. I AM required to love everyone, that means heterosexuals, homosexuals, any kind of sexuals, Muslims,Jews, gangbangers, and murderers. As part of my believing in Jesus, I believe in the inerrancy of scripture. Understand that if doctrinally I am against homosexuality,

    Romans 1:26-27
    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

  • Rab

    As an atheist, I so do refer to my Christian friends as such. Lol. But also as an atheist living in a Christian country I rarely tell anyone I am atheist for the fear of them 1 trying to save me and 2 just thinking I am a bad person.

  • Bruce Hanson

    Forgive me, no more room and essential I finish. I wish it were some other way. I have a number of friends who are gay. I don’t see them as somehow of a lower caste because they don’t agree with me. I love them, they love me, and are differences should not come between us. I stand on what I believe to be true just as you do, and there is no way I would deny anyone that right.
    I do want to say that we call it Christmas, but for most Christians it is still Santa, Gifts, and everything commercial. The truth is every holiday we have, religious or otherwise has been hijacked by $$$$$$$$. We have become One Nation Under Bucks. I have the greatest respect for your beliefs, Sam, and would not deny you anything. If I lost all 30 of these privileges you listed, it would not impact my faith in the least. By the way, I expect that in 15-25 years, none of those privileges will still exist.
    God Bless Bruce Hanson

  • Geoff

    You can place a sign outside your house or place of worshulip saying something quite nasty or judgementa. Eg. “The fool says there is no god”. Atheists are supposed to suck that up.
    But if an atheist put up a sign saying all Christians were fools he’d probably find himself in court.

  • Sara

    Many civic gatherings will open with a prayer to your god.
    50% of the entertainment at your senior center will be music associated with your religion.

  • Betsy

    Except for 1 and 10 and perhaps another one or two, this list is not really a list of privileges. It is a description of what happens in a majority culture or when economics of scale determine availability of product. In regard to number 5, I try to be sensitive to the beliefs of others and express good wishes on certain holidays. However, if I am in a group and expressing my good feelings to people in regard to a generally celebrated holiday, I certainly would deliberately exclude someone from that expression based upon my assumptions regarding their religious beliefs. My Muslim friends and I often celebrate Christian holidays together and they have included us in the celebration of their happy times. It is a matter of relationship, not what words you say.

    By the way, would you like to make a list of privileges available to Muslims in Saudi Arabia?

    • Betsy

      I meant wouldn’t exclude.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      this list is not really a list of privileges. It is a description of what happens in a majority culture

      Except that’s what “privilege”, in this context, is.

  • Danielle

    As a Christian, I definitely understand that Christians have more privileges than most. However, half of your list is circumstantial, not fact that the occurance will happen. 6, 8 and 19 are completely false. Christians are generalized and ridculed daily, even though all Christians are different. Also, despite the fact that Christian radicals are small in number, the bias media chooses to portray them as an example for the masses. Yes, you can be murdered because you are a Christian and no, Christianity is not widely accepted everywhere. My friend who is Pakistani, is religiously a Christian. In Pakistan, places of worship or companies where it is assumed Christians worship or work there, can be bombed at anytime. There are also many other countries where Christianity is heavily looked down upon. Anyway, interesting and thought provoking article.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Oh my numerous gods, you’re stupid.

      First off, not only is this list specifically particular to where Christianity, it’s particularly specific to the English speaking world. Similarly, a list on “white privilege” only applies to countries where white people have either dominated or colonised.

      Secondly, you know who else gets ridiculed and generalised daily? Politicians. Film stars. Socialites. Donald Trump. I highly doubt that even someone as smple as yourself would try to argue that those people lack privilege.

  • CJ

    This is very well done. Thanks. I recently left Christianity and now am more Pagan. Nothing organized or ritualistic. But I feel I’ve come back to my roots and I’m more comfortable with myself than when I was trying to force myself to follow the religion I was raised in. When I told a friend, now an ex-friend, she immediately launched into a diatribe about how she went through that phase and I’d get over it and that she would pray for my soul. A lot of, “I’m going to say something you don’t want to hear” bs and 20min of how if I don’t change I will go to hell… Wow, ok. Since I am older than her by almost 7yrs, I’m 37, it amused me that she spoke to me like I was an errant child and not the adult I am. Se has barely spoken to me since and usually completely ignores any attempt at communication by me to her. I think it’s sad because we had been friends 13yrs, but I’m not going to lie to keep friends. I don’t think anyone should have to lie about who they are and what they believe to keep friends or anything else.

  • Amethyst

    I am very openly pagan and am lucky enough to live in a community where I am accepted. However, that has not always been the case. I have been fired from jobs, lost friends and been physically threatened many times in the past. My children have suffered at the hands of bullies because of it. And usually by people who attend church every Sunday and tell me that Christianity is a religion of love and peace :(

  • Jessie Matthews

    GREAT piece! So shared!!! <3

  • james penn

    I actually am all too aware of the fact that I have to give a convoluted, nuanced answer that goes for 15 minutes to the question ‘are you religious?’, as if I should feel ashamed for being religious at all.

  • AngeliqueH

    I find a lot to appreciate about this post, but as others have pointed out, it does seem to assume a certain homogeny among Christians. We are not all the same- not in belief, not in practice and not in culture.

    What I think you’ve described is ‘American Churchianity’ and in that, I find it very accurate…

  • MsMarie

    What an interesting article. I personally think that there are degrees of faith and that those at the extreme end of the born again christian religious faith are in some cases treated as cults as well by those who are more moderate in view. I’m not saying they are as villified as some non-Christian religions, but I think some of your examples apply against them as well. It certainly is true though that there are many privileges in general to being a Christian in the US.

  • Chelsea

    The chances of having somebody else’s religion shoved down your throat is very, very small.

    As my girlfriend likes to say… religion is like a penis. I’m fine with you having one, i’m glad your happy with it! That doesn’t mean I’m okay with seeing it, hearing all about it, or having it forced on me.

    • Annie

      I think that’s probably false, actually. People who want to shove their Christianity down your throat don’t necessarily stop to find out if you’re their sort of person first. Or they’ll make an assumption based on your hairstyle or your clothing choices or maybe they figure out you’re the wrong kind of Christian.

      I think there’s an assumption running through this whole piece that the bad behavior experienced by non-Christians sets them apart. It doesn’t. I’m a Christian and I’ve had other Christians tell me I’m going to hell. I’ve been shunned or bullied by Christians or having the wrong beliefs or practices. And I’ve had non-Christians likewise shun or criticize or misunderstand or tell me I’m a hateful bigot or require me to speak for all Christians and answer, for the love of God, for the damn Crusades because that’s totally my responsibility. I have never seen what I’d consider a genuinely accurate representation of my faith in television or movies in the whole course of my life, although I have seen some that are probably more sympathetic than what some have to put up with, for which I am sorry. Mostly, I see misunderstanding and misinterpretation everywhere–I mean, look at this thread. Apparently my problem is that I’ve been brainwashed! Great, thank you for that. I haven’t heard that one in the last twenty minutes.

      So, really, I hear what you’re saying and I don’t think this is privilege because being a Christian in itself doesn’t get you out of most of this. I still have to take Good Friday off from work and I have to explain to people that I don’t eat meat or dairy during Lent and put up with the dude at the bus stop who saw the crucifix around my neck and now wants to tell me that Christianity sucks because, you know, the Crusades and/or would like to take a minute to tell me about Jesus Christ because he’s determined that I’m the wrong kind of Christian.

      We’re talking about incivility. Not privilege.

  • Melinda Hailey

    I must say that I took away from this very inspiring article not only the point that Sam was making, but also the fact that, while the means has not always been appropriate (even more so these days with the various corruptions in different sects of Christianity), we have and are continuing to accomplish what God asked us to from the very beginning…..There are very few places on Earth that one can go and find someone within arm’s length that does not know about God. Although there is much wrong within the Christian Church as a whole, it makes me feel good to know that we have spread the Name of God to every corner of the world…as he said we should do so many many years ago. And for those very few and remote places where people have not yet heard the name of God, we as a Church are still working together to reach those people. No, the message that is delivered is not always what you or I would call correct, but that is one more person who has an opportunity to become one of God’s children. I think that it’s important that, while as a religion we are very torn and broken right now, we all remember that we have a common thread, regardless of domination…the desire to please Christ and spread His Word. If we could all just stop fighting long enough for everyone to hear and understand that message we would actually touch people instead of shouting our own view point of religion at them and then we would all be a lot closer to salvation!

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      No.
      The last thing the world ever needed was the spread of Christianity, its violence, its hate.

  • Lulu

    I am a tattooist. I was in line waiting to check out one day and the woman behind me started a conversation. Wanted to know if I thought the blue of the wall paper border matched the pillows she was buying. We talked about it and the woman behind her got in on it to. It was nice. People sharing with people. She was so friendly she was even placing her hand on my shoulder and laughing. THEN she noticed my tattooed forearm. She proceeded to tell me that Jesus did not like tattoos but the would still except me but I must not get any more tattoos because it was wrong. I was stunned. I told her I did not believe that was the case and expressed that it was a very ancient rite and that many faiths practiced. I asked her if she actually believed that a child living in the rainforest, for example, who’s family has always lived there, who has their own belief system was going to burn in hell? Is the Dali Lama going to burn in hell? I think Jesus is not that cruel. That God is too big for just one religion. She had nothing to do with it. Went back to preaching at me. I finally had to turn my back on her. She was intense. I let am moment go by and turned back around and told her I had one more thing to share and that was that our Tattoo shop had been in business for 15 years and each year we take a large percentage of our prophet and give it to cold and hungry elders and children living on the Native American Reservations in South Dakota and other places, like a good “Christian” would do. She said nothing. I was pretty shook up. Went to my next stop and a young woman waiting on me asked if I was alright. I said yes. Then I said, well not really, and told her what had just happened. She told me she was so sorry to hear that and that gets the same thing because she is Asian. I was sad to hear that but you know her compassion and kindness kind of washed all that ugly encounter away. Judge not. Least you be judged. It goes something like that…right? Thanks for the article.

  • Lindsy Fish

    Good Afternoon Sam,

    I
    like the idea of this (because Christians do seem to have an edge in
    some ways, and we do really need to understand that fact), but there are a few problems that I can see with this. I tried to go through this
    point-by-point, but there are too many and it got a little more
    angry-sounding than I actually am.

    In my experience,
    the majority of these only apply if the area a person is from is not
    multicultural. Some of them (like holidays and practising religious
    customs) depend on the type of work a person does and the person’s supervisor. Unpleasant people are unpleasant people no matter their faith. Even things like oath-taking are going more toward centre. A person can “affirm” rather than swear an oath, which makes no reference to deity. I know that in my city a Quran is available in a witness box for swearing on as well as a Bible.

    I
    won’t dispute that the majority (if not all!) of these are true in
    certain communities, and I grieve that. It should not be true anywhere. I just don’t see a lot of these
    where I live, though I admit it’s easier to get anything that’s
    culturally diverse here than in a lot of places in North America.

    Thank you for your article. I found it very interesting.

  • Melinda Hailey

    How about this…from the other angle. When I tell people I’m a lesbian, they automatically assume I am NOT a Christian.

  • Ankynan

    As “one who follows the teachings of Jesus to the best of my ability”, I have to protest #14. My faith is NOT “accurately depicted” in the various forms of media. What most people perceive “christianity” to be is very distorted. That leads to some associated issues with #15 & #2. The rest, though: absolutely. And as a “[cumbersome self-description]“, I try to act towards others as I would want them act towards me if the roles were reversed.

  • Bec

    I have a beautiful gold cross that my mother gave me many years ago and a sterling descending dove pendant given to me by a dear friend. Sometimes when I wear them, someone will say to me, “I see you are a believer, too.” I’m always rather taken aback by that statement because aren’t we all believers in something. I want to tell them, “I believe in a lot of things, but I doubt I believe the same things you do,” but because these statements often come from customers, I generally don’t say anything to them, but I do need to come up with a snappy response that won’t get me fired.

  • TryIslamInstead

    this reads like you just now noticed a dominant religion in your culture.

  • Alien Attack

    1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
    (I’m quite certain every working American appreciates these holidays)
    2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible (Music and Television programs exist for nearly every major religion)
    3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
    (There are literally THOUSANDS of stores across the country that cater to specific religions….THOUSANDS)
    4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values
    (Nobody is pressured to celebrate any holiday. Especially these days where religious material is being removed from all aspects of the public sphere, no matter the religion)
    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).
    (This is a completely generalized and subjective assumption. Many people of faith are sensitive to the beliefs of others)
    6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
    (This is completely untrue. Christians are being targeted now, more than ever, everywhere in the world, including the US)
    7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
    (Again, a totally unfounded claim. Christians are targeted every day in America. Churches are vandalized. Nativity scenes are smashed in fornt yards. Crosses are burned, as well as Bibles)
    8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
    (Without being mocked? Do you read the news, my friend? No religion is mocked more than Christianity)
    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.
    (You can never assume that anyone will share your belief. Especially in this society, where atheism, humanism, pluralism, relativism, and so on are becoming so prevalent)
    10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
    (Not anymore, this practice was suspended years ago. Now they raise their right hand and simply swear to tell the truth)
    11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.
    (Where are these positive references and what makes positive references to any faith unique to Christians? Every time I see Christianity in the news, it is in a bad light)
    12. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.
    (Again, speculation, and judging by the way Christianity is being removed via LAW, it would be safer to assume that more politicians are leaning the other direction)
    13. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
    (Really? So, when a lawmaker uses Scripture to back up a position he is met with applaus and accolades? Not so, he is met with opposition from all fronts. Do you read the news?)
    14. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.
    (LOLOL…I just have to laugh at this one. The true Gospel has been perverted and twisted and misrepresented in all facet of out society. This one is just flat out wrong)
    15. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.
    (Again, totally unfounded! I know Christians who don’t understand what they believe or why)
    16. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
    (Really? So Christians are not lambasted for being ignorant and insensitive to others people’s beliefs?)
    17. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.
    (Again, pure speculation. I wonder what a Christian working in a biology lab would feel about this claim. It is against most company policy to have a Bible of the desk or to display any religious material whatsoever for fear of offending)
    18. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
    (Really? So, a Christian could go into a public relations career with an Atheist organization and they would not have a problem with his beliefs?)
    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.
    (All religions share this freedom. How many mosques and synagogues and religious center for Buddhism, Hinduism and other religions are there. Christianity is not universally accepted in America and there is opposition where ever we go)
    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)
    (This is simply not true! As a Christian I know that my beliefs defines ans shapes the way people view me. That’s a fact with all religions)
    21. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
    (Ever heard of Westboro Baptist Church? That is the image that people see when they think of Christians. So, those who act contrary to that image ARE considered the exception, even though we are the majority.)
    22. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
    (Are you serious? Do you read the news? Christian organizations are now being treated as RADICAL extremists. The DHA and the military train their people to scrutinize us closely more closely precisely because they see us as a threat and domestic terrorists).
    23. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
    (Permits for Church buildings are routinely opposed by community groups who see them as a threat? Do you read the news?)
    24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
    (Perhaps this is the problem. I would be honored to speak on behalf of all the members of my faith)
    25. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.
    (Such speculation. You do realize that that 18% of the population is Protestant. That means 82% of the population does not share my faith.)
    26. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.
    (WHAT??!!!! You do realize that schools do not teach Christianity right? They teach children that God does not exist and that evolution is true. Where are you getting this stuff?)
    27. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.
    (This will take careful effort on the part of the parents to be sure their children find good decent friends who share the faith)
    28. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
    (Easily accessible? Maybe if you are wealthy? Private schools cost a fortune. NO public school teaches about faith and the VAST majority of the student population go to public school, including Christian children whose parents cannot afford private)
    29. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
    (Again, unfounded. Adoption agencies are more than ever scrutinizing the religious beliefs of potential parents, regardless of religion)
    30. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
    (Is this a policy in divorce court? Or is this another speculation?)
    31. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
    (WHAT!?! Are you kidding me again? NO public schools offer faith teaching. NONE. Public secular colleges offer courses in RELIGION, but not just Christianity. Most colleges offer comparative religion courses where ALL religions are covered.)
    32. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
    (Is complaining about being attacked an attack on other religions?)
    33. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
    (There are privileges to every religion and non-religion.)

    This entire list is speculative, one-sided, and poorly researched. Most of the claims are verifiably untrue by simply flipping on the local news once a day. The others are merely unfounded. I challenge you to post this rebuttal on your page in the name of honest discussion, so that we can dialogue about it rather than accepting these claims as fact when, in fact, they are not.

    • Rick M.

      Ok… Point by point on a few of these here:

      1 – That’s not the point. Yes, many Americans and others who are not Christian get Christian holidays off. The point is, however, that it’s NOT a holiday of your faith and that you often don’t get holidays of your own faith off (or, at least, have to go through long explanations to get them off). I had to spend about an hour explaining to one of my old managers why October 31st (Samhain) and November 1st (All Saint’s Day) are religious holidays for my faith. And what these devout Southern Christians didn’t get was that All Saint’s Day is a CHRISTIAN holiday. (And, because I wasn’t a devout Southern Baptist, they got rid of me at the earliest opportunity after that.)

      2 – I believe you missed the key words of that point: “readily accessible”. Yes, there are those things for other religions. But in the West… they are much harder to find and much less prevalent than Christian oriented ones.

      3 – And the vast majority are Christian oriented.

      4 – Try being someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas or Easter in many countries… including the US… and see how well that gets received by the majority Christian community. (Unless you live in one of the much less prominent non-Christian communities.) Or see the response someone gets when they say “I’m sorry, I’m not a Christian” when someone says “Happy Easter” or “Merry Christmas” to them. (And I’m not talking the impulse many have to “save” the poor, misguided non-Christian.)

      5 – Which is why some say “Happy Holidays”, yes. But, let’s face it… when Texas passes a law/policy/whatever which specifically says that someone can’t be sued for saying “Merry Christmas” (without giving the same protection to the Wiccans and yule, the Jews and Chanukah, etc…) then something’s wrong and sections of the government are trying to push those things on others even in an indirect manner.

      6 – I would love for you to explain this one to me. Without it being anger over how so many Christians are saying that people of other faiths fighting back for their equal rights and considerations and freedom from anti- messages, propaganda, and other defamation is a “War on the Christian Religion”.

      7 – Ok… Well, we know who’s burning most of the crosses out there. But even if some Christian cars get tagged… chances are slim that it’s religious based. In large part because there’s more Christians in the West than non-Christians. Also because the level of indignant outrage is so much higher if a Christian’s car gets vandalized for religious reasons that if a non-Christian’s is. (Though to be honest… I haven’t seen much of either get tagged.)

      8 -Hmmm… I don’t QUITE agree with you there. Yes, Christianity has become increasingly mocked… However: by comparison to the demonization of other religions by Christians, or even using it to demonize other Christians (see the “Barack Obama is a secret Muslim” conspiracy theories by the Conservative Right as one of their tactics against him during the elections)… Christianity doesn’t even really come close.

      9 – Yes, those religions are becoming more prevalent (as are things like Agnosticism and generalized spirituality). However, there is still a significantly dominant presence of those identifying as Christian in the West that while you are right that you cannot assume, it is still a damn good bet that most of the people on the jury will either be Christian, or not hold it against you. (Whereas a Christian jury WILL be much more likely hold it against a defendant, for example, who is a Wiccan, a Jew, a Muslim, an Atheist, and so forth.)

      10 – In many courts in many places, yes. But not all. And “So help me God” is still a part of a swearing in oath for testimony in many places as well. So you’re only partly right.

      11 – Apparently you’re not on a lot of social media where you get people posting “inspirational, spiritual, uplifting Christian messages” rather frequently. Then there’s also all of the same messages and “positive scripture notes” on church signs all over the Western world (or at least in the United States for sure. Can’t drive a mile here in the South, even along back-roads, without seeing at least two) This type of “positive message” thing is MUCH less pronounced in the Western world for non-Christian religions. (Then again, Christianity is one of the few world religions where you’re pretty much expected to constantly and actively show that you’re a Christian and to recruit others to your religion.)

      12 – You have apparently REALLY not been paying attention to politics. The GOP, for example, is pushing their agendas based on “Christian values” or “in defense of Christian morality” now more than ever. It is VERY rare for a non-Christian to get elected into political office in the West, and in the United States in particular. I have always said that we would have a black POTUS before we ever have a female one, and a female POTUS before we ever have a non-Christian one. (And thus far I’m being proven right.)

      13 – Yes, we read the news. And no, a politician who uses scripture and Christianity to back their agenda is NOT met with opposition on all sides. Yes, they ARE met with opposition by those who feel that law should not be based on the corruptions of the morality of one religion being used to justify oppression of equality… But it sure as hell isn’t from all sides, because there are a LOT of professed Christians backing these agendas, campaigning for them, and more… all because it IS cloaked in cherry-picked scripture.

      14 – I agree with you on this one, but probably for a different reason. It tends to be the politicians, the lobbyists, the ultra-Conservatives (both in the media and out), and many religious officials… and the rabid followers of all of them… who don’t seem to really understand the teachings of Christ and Christianity s a whole.

      15 – Agreed… And much of this is due to those I have listed n my previous reply to point #14.

      16 – I will agree with you on this one for the most part. Though I will say that much of it comes from there being so many Christians who feel superior in their religion that they have no need to understand other faiths. (I have met and conversed with a great many of this type.) Unfortunately, this also is due to Christian leaders in general, and much of their congregations, demeaning and demonizing other religions and questioning the faith and convictions of those who DO try to take the time to understand other religions. So while I agree that it is wrong to lambast anyone for ignorance, it is just as wrong for so many Christians to perpetuate such ignorance… particularly under threat of ostracism.

      17 – I have yet to work for a company with such policies, or which say things like that one cannot wear a cross/crucifix around their next, or whatever. I have also worked in places where outspoken Christianity was both allowed and encouraged, where people have been reading the Bible while on-duty at work and not a thing was said against it. And as for the Christian working at the biology lab… said Christian likely doesn’t have any problem with the study of biology or they wouldn’t be working there.

      18 – Actually, there are far fewer “Atheist organizations” and businesses than there are “Christian organizations” and businesses. Few enough that it’s likely not a concern for the Christian. And honestly… While there are pushy Atheists out there, I am willing to bet good money that a Christian employee who doesn’t make an issue of their religion and try to push it on the other employees will likely be much more accepted and tolerated than the non-Christian in a strongly Christian workplace even if it is simply known that they are not Christian but aren’t pushy about their faith. (I know this one from years of experience in a number of workplaces.)

      19 – Virtually every country in the Western World (which is what this list addresses) has Christian representation and the ability to find a place of worship with some ease, even if Christianity is not the official religion of the country. If we look at the United States, you can find a number of Christian churches in every city, town, or village. Sites of worship for other religions are much harder to find and most often are restricted to larger cities (if the area even allows it. I’m fairly sure that finding a Mosque or a Sikh temple in the South is going to be one per state, IF that…) So you’re pretty far off base on that one.

      20 – Yes. Your faith and religion defines how you see the world and who you are. HOWEVER… the point was that Christianity is such a majority that saying “he’s my Christian friend” would be like saying “He’s my white friend” when you’re a white person… it tends to be assumed in this country because Christianity is the majority religion. Other religions are in the minority enough that someone being a Wiccan, Hindu, Muslim, and such are uncommon enough by comparison that it is viable to most people as an identifier or even an explanation for certain behaviors or outlooks. Being a non-Christian in the West is like being one of the only 5 buffalo in a herd of horses. (“Have you met Bob?” “Which one is Bob again?” “He’s my friend who’s a buffalo.” “Oh, THAT Bob…”)

      21 – No. You’re wrong on that one. Westboro is what most people see as an extremist exception to Christians in general. I don’t think ANYBODY but the most deluded sees WBC as representative of Christianity. It’s like seeing Osama Bi Laden (a radicalized, fundamentalist) as having been representative of all Muslims. It’s just as ignorant and deluded.

      22 – Can you cite facts on this one? Because while SOME professed Christian radicals may be under scrutiny as hate groups (e.g., Westboro), most churches raising funds to support their congregations are NOT under intense scrutiny as terrorist groups. Compared to public scrutiny of any Mosque (for example) or Muslim group seeking to raise funds… the Christian groups are scott free. Christianity and Christian churches in general are NOT being listed as radical extremists by a long shot.

      23 – What news are you reading? (And what about, for example, the Mosque one Muslim group tried to establish a block or two from WTC Ground Zero and the lashing out against it was so severe it was ridiculous. Including those who said it was “disrespectful of Ground Zero”, that it was “an insult”, that it was intended “to glorify the terrorist attack”, and much more…) It is far easier for a Christian church to gain approval in most areas than any non-Christian place of worship. (And it’s even HARDER for non-Christian groups to get approval in many “red states” with stricter religious views and less acceptance of religious diversity.)

      24 – Please… don’t. You seem to be trying to in your response… and it’s not looking good.

      25 – *facepalm* According to the CIA World Factbook (https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/), a recognized authority and accepted as effectively accurate resource for world data, the United States is: Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian
      1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified
      2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

      This means that MORE THAN HALF of the people in this country share your same generalized beliefs. Add in the Roman Catholics and other Christians, and you have 76.8% of the population of the United States being Christian in some form or another… and therefore also sharing your basic religious outlooks if not your specific denomination. (Where you got 18% from is completely beyond me.)

      26 – No. Schools do NOT teach that “God does not exist”. Teaching evolutionary theory and science is NOT the same as teaching that “Christianity is fake”. And the point there was NOT that the teachers will teach your religion. Only that you could be reasonably sure that your child’s teachers would likely be of the same broad religion of Christianity (if not the exact same denomination).

      27 -You said “This will take careful effort on the part of the parents to be sure their children find good decent friends who share the faith”… This pretty much indicates to me that you believe that anyone who does NOT share your specific religious views is neither good nor decent. Which also shows an incredible level of intolerance… something Jesus actually spoke out against. It also shows that you expect to have strict and absolute control over your children… which not only shows that you expect to take away their free will (God’s second gift to mankind, after life), but such strict control over your children and insistence on religious isolation is more likely to actually drive them AWAY from Christianity once they move out. That, and completely ostracize them socially (because of a lack of ability to relate to or interact effectively with anyone who doesn’t share their narrow religious upbringing) out in the real world until they decide that such a strict perspective both isn’t conducive to a good life nor is it what Christ taught.

      28 – I agree with you to a point. Yes, many religious oriented schools are private schools. However, there are also a large number of religious schools which are not. (Though the only problem there is, at least for Protestants, is that many of the free Christian schools are Catholic schools.)

      29 – Where do you get this information on heightened scrutiny of Christians by adoption agencies? And if anything, I am willing to bet that it is only certain Christian groups which face more intense scrutiny (e.g., Coptic Christians, or Christian Scientists… in order to ensure the child’s physical health and well being in light of some of the more extreme practices of both such as extreme fasting for the former and rejection of medical treatment of any sort by the latter) compared to certain overall religions in the West (e.g., Islam, Wiccan, Shamanist, etc.).

      30 – Eh… I have similar questions on this one myself. Though I will say that I will assert that due to the natural influence of religious bias, that a Christian judge would be more likely to side with a Christian parent as being able to provide “a better upbringing and stronger moral grounding” than a non-Christian parent unless there is overwhelming evidence in favor of the other parent. This is because we are all influenced in our decisions by personal perspectives, outlooks, and experiences no matter how objective we try to be. And a judge is no different. (Just look at some of the behavior of the SCOTUS over the last decade or two.)

      31 – Ok. This is the only point I actually agree with you completely. (And this is coming from the guy who has actively taken college courses in religious studies… so yeah. I have yet to see or hear of a college course outside of a Christian/Theological college which specifically teaches Christianity only. Most teach classes in comparative religion.)

      32 – The current “War on Religion” as it is stated is often only a reference to people criticizing or finding fault with how Christianity has been used to attempt to justify law and public policy DESPITE so much evidence that this country was NOT founded as a Christian nation, that there is intended to be freedom of religion for ALL< and that there is NEVER intended to be a State religion. However, Christian groups, Christian politicians, and even hard-Conservative Christian voters attempt to push Christian perspectives (albeit distorted ones) into law to force their moral and religious views on others (thus, establishing a de facto State religion). The "War on Religion" didn't exist in the public perception until non-Christians started fighting back against the increasing and more forceful attempts by those claiming to be Christians to force their morality onto the people by law. So yes… all this bitching about the "War on Religion" (aka: the "War on Christianity") is often supported by most Conservative Christians and is not seen in itself as being an attack on another religion. Whereas if someone said there was a "War on Islam" or a "War on Paganism", it would generally be taken as a shot at the Christians in the country. (And yes, incidentally, Christianity HAS declared war on both in the past. You know… the Crusades and the Inquisitions.)

      33 – In the Western World, the only religion which has inherent privileges at large is Christianity. The others only have some cultural privileges within their own small and isolated communities (e.g., a Jewish person might be accorded a little more consideration in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood). Otherwise, I would LOVE to explain to me how any religion but Christian gets special privileges anywhere they go in the Western World.

      Oh, and by the way, you basically did exactly what #33 said. You dismissed the idea that being a Christian gains certain privileges (such as the previous 32 points.)

  • Josh

    “When your religious holiday rolls around, the terrorist threat level doesn’t go up.”

    “No one will try to claim your religion as their own just to seem ironic or edgy.”

    “You can wear your religious garments and symbols openly with little or no fear of persecution and judgement from strangers.”

  • B.J.

    You can form major lobbying groups to fight in the government for your faith to have special privileges without people freaking out or even thinking it’s unusual.

  • Dyana Collins

    What about “people will not view my religion as a threat to society due to a few people who commit acts in the name of it”? (Ie. people don’t think that the Westboro Baptist Church represents all Christians, but when it comes to the terrorists on 9/11, people think they represent all Muslims)

  • Anne

    Thank you for writing this article and pointing out the disparities between Christianity and other non-Christian religions.

    Everyone deserves the right to pray and worship as they see fit. As a non-Christian, I have, at times, been met with hostility because of my religious choice.

    But, this country was NOT founded on freedom of religion. It was the freedom to chose to be Protestant or Catholic within the Christian Church.

    Sadly, I do not see this bias ending anytime soon. As long as one religious group thinks their way is the only way to salvation or grace, persecution will continue.

    I do not see the Church ending this bias. It will probable be resolved as an extension of a person’s rights and civil liberties.

    Until that time, we should strive to accept, tolerate and respect a person’s right to choose.

    • Rick M.

      Actually, it WAS founded to include freedom of religion for all. (A couple of our Founding Fathers weren’t even Christians for the most part.)

      It’s the current behavior of the Conservative Christians and their assertions that this was a country founded on Christianity and (as you state it) that freedom of religion only means what type of Christianity you can follow that makes many people feel that this country wasn’t founded with the intent to include actual religious freedom.

  • alrotundo

    I am very impressed. Well thought out.

  • Drew Rick

    - You can always fall back on a career in a healthcare or educational organization managed by your faith and funded by the government with taxes from everyone, including non-members of your faith. Same for charitable organizations whose only charitable mission is to preach your faith to non-believers.

  • Joe

    Every nation has a religious majority; one might as well travel to Saudi Arabia and complain about “Muslim Privilege”. It’s sad that adults believe the tribal superstitions of primitives. Atheism is the thinking man’s position.

    • Rick M.

      Atheism is a religion (and classified as such) just like any other. And many great thinkers were religious.

      To argue that Atheism is as much a religion:

      The religious mind accepts and believes in the existence of one or more Divine Powers without empirical prof for or against its existence. It is taken on faith that their viewpoint and beliefs are truth.

      The Atheist mind accepts and believes in the non-existence of any Divine Powers without empirical proof for or against such non-existence. It is taken on faith that their viewpoint and beliefs are truth.

      Both are sides of the same basic coin. Both assert that their beliefs are true but neither has the proof to back them… therefore both beliefs are based on faith.

      (And before you say that scientific discovery and evolution and such support the belief that God does not exist… no, it doesn’t. It doesn’t prove the lack of a divine being any more than a book and popular opinion prove that God does exist. Even the origins of life can only be speculated on by both religion and science. And both have a multitude of theories and stories even…)

  • Janet

    The accuracy of this list depends somewhat on where one lives and works. My family lived for over a decade in an American city in which Jewish holy days were celebrated with time off from schools just as for Christmas. That seemed normal to us until we moved to another region where this never happened. It was a shock to us. Also, in both of the aforementioned cities, I was often referred to as someone’s Christian friend. The work environment in which I worked was extremely hostile toward Christians, who were all assumed to be rabid, conservative lunatics. I got into the habit of saying, “I’m a Christian, and I do/don’t….” to indicate that Christians could be politically progressive and open to dialogue on social issues. It became clear to me that neither religion or the lack of faith made anyone more or less tolerant than anyone else.

  • Joe Walsh

    14… Not so much accurate as whitewashed into seeming innocuousness.
    15… similarly, most who share the faith are as disgustingly ignorant of “you”
    those are my only disagreements with the list.

  • Christi

    I disagree with number 32. Strongly.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      That’s cos you’re naïve.

  • Man in the Golden Suit

    Sam,
    no matter how well written your post is, i would like to say that opinions are like assholes.. everyone has one.. and you sir have just shown the world your asshole.. thank you and have a good night, sir asshole!

    Man in the Golden Suit

    • Rick M.

      And that’s your opinion.

  • Rik Converse

    You can be granted conscientious objection because you are affiliated with your religion – where as if you just believe it’s wrong it will be denied. (now obsolete but during the 60′s very common)

    • Rick M.

      Actually, you could only really be granted conscientious objector status on religious grounds if it can be shown that you are a follower of a religion with a staunch position (and adherence to such) against going to war or being an aggressor in violence.

      The three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) in general are definitely NOT on such a list. There are a few religious sub-sects which are included, however, such as the Church of Universal Life, Quakers, Amish, and Mennonites. Buddhists can also claim such an exemption (the Buddhist monks of Xiaolin, for example, still qualify because their faith says to not be the aggressor but that one may be prepared and willing to defend themselves and those unable to defend themselves if needed).

      There are a handful of others, but it is a very small list compared to the number of religions worldwide… and as I said, one cannot claim such exemption simply being a Christian because there is a long proven history of the Christian Church (both the Catholic and Protestant sides of the fence) having no real issue with going to war on offense or defense.

      • Rik Converse

        More is the pity.
        It always seemed like a shell game to me. It didn’t matter what YOU believed. It mattered if you had enough of an organization behind you to make it uncomfortable to take you.

    • Kate JW

      Actually, my brother, who was very active in our UCC church, applied for CO status in 1972-ish, had five letters with his application, all from ordained ministers, and he was denied. When he appealed, he was told that he was denied because the church camp that had offered him alternate-service employment wasn’t sufficiently disruptive to his life (i.e., too close to home). When he secured promise of employment at a church-affiliated hospital 1,500 miles from home, THEN he was given his CO status.

      • Rik Converse

        Well, they did make it hard…and punitive. Why should alternative service have to be disruptive? I’m sure some guy in San Diego, for example, got posted there or nearby in Camp Pendleton. Having to do “alternative service” or service of any kind is disruptive enough.
        Good on your brother, btw!

  • Elizabeth L. Enloe

    Tell all that the a preacher etc, child, when they are in public school and are the Only girl/boy of your faith in High School!! It’s hard growing up a minister’s child, and worse when you are all alone for real. and ostrasized for your beliefs. But when they United my church with Northern and Southern branches it changed the whole thing!!! It doesn’t feel like my church, so a few years I decided to try my Maternal grandparents faith, which I had gone to off and on as a child, and it too had changes their rituals, and I wasn’t at home there either. Elizabeth L. Enloe from EAST tEXAS.

  • Rick M.

    To be honest, I’m not too sure #14 or #15 are entirely accurate.

    Why?

    Because there is a big difference between what many of the politicians, activists, and even religious officials claim as the tenets of Christianity and what are actually the teachings of Christ.

    So many people say that “God’s Word doesn’t change” and that we should live by the Bible now as it was written then because that’s what God intended (without allowing for changes in culture and perspective over time… which I don’t see God as neglecting if He is an omniscient being). The problem is, this tends to only be the case when they are trying to fight against equality, against welfare, against acting peacefully, against healthcare, against freedom of choice, against freedom of religion… (Remember, God gave free will, which means it is for each person to decide how they will live their lives, not for someone else to dictate for them because to do so is to attempt to negate God’s greatest gift to mankind… And no. He did NOT say that this was granted to only a few.)

    Jesus taught charity, humility, benevolence, tolerance, acceptance, compassion… he taught us to care for the poor, to love everyone regardless of who they are, to not judge others, to heal the sick and to feed and clothe the poor, and so much more.

    And yet, so many Christians… and those who claim to be Christians (and yes, this includes many religious officials) do not seem to understand or accept the tenets and teachings of that feith they profess to follow, live, support, and teach.

    This lack of understanding, this often false and false-hearted, and teaching of personal agendas ind intolerances wrapped in the cloak of religious morality… is one of the main reasons I turned my back on the Christian Church as a formal and organized religion and never looked back. (Even though yes, I do follow a great many of the written teachings of Christ though I no longer consider myself a Christian.)

    Just my opinion here. Yours may differ.

  • bhv

    You can (wrongfully) claim to live in a nation created for persons of your faith.

  • FWeathers

    I take a lot of crap for my faith, regularly get told I’m pretty cool for a Christian, and don’t make any of the assumptions listed here. I don’t care about being surrounded with “my kind” (my paraphrase, not yours) as I think my kind are just people. That said, I’d imagine there are those who do think this way, or at least behave as though they do. I was raised atheist, and grew up in a Catholic community. I never felt insulted when they did what they do, and unless someone of faith (or of no faith) is really being insulting, the whining needs to stop.

  • Rusty Horn

    You’re able to keep the US Congress from accomplishing ANYTHING of significance for three years.

  • Daryl

    You don’t have to listen to, “What do you mean you haven’t taught them the true meaning of Christmas?!” When talking with your mother in law.

  • Kate JW

    #14, about representation by Hollywood: I suspect they get ALL religious depictions wrong in some way. I can only speak for Protestantism, but when church services are written into a script, they’re generally pretty shallow. “Soul Man,” a short-lived series with Dan Ayckroyd as an Episcopal priest, was thoughtful and honest, and so, doomed to the dustbin of “brilliant but cancelled” shows. Patty Duke starred in a five-episode show called “Amazing Grace,” where she played a minister of an undefined denomination. It was so good it was yanked after only five episodes. But, in general, Christian church services as written by Hollywood writers show an appalling lack of knowledge of Christian church services. Or maybe that’s what happens after the writer is done and it enters the meat grinder of everybody else up the ladder from writer who get their hands on the script. God forbid that any hymn beside “Amazing Grace” should be heard playing! And I’m not speaking as one who wants to see hell fire and brimstone or speaking in tongues. I’m pretty vanilla, one might say, having belonged to UCC, Presbyterian, and now Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

  • RH

    Maybe it’s because we were founded under religious freedom AS A CHRISTIAN NATION.

    • sangsue

      Ah! Only Christians should have freedom to practice their religion, even though the US has a separation of church and state. Got it.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Mohammedan] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

      It seems the Founding Fathers of the United States disagreed with you on that.

  • Nermeh Kerder

    You will already be assumed to have some degree of morality by others sharing your faith.

  • Stayce

    It isn’t considered improper to eat peanut butter by itself, with chocolate, or on bread with jelly.

  • Claire

    I was raised as a Catholic but chose to become a Baha’i, since my religion is not very well known people tend to define the Baha’i Faith based on me and my personal opinions. To me that is much like looking at Oral Robert’s or any other Christian Leader and thinking ALL Christians believe exactly what he believes.

  • goov

    Don’t forget another privilege is that the media, movies, talk show host etc can make fun of (on a daily basis) Christians with extreme hatred, rudeness and just plain meanness and not fear being killed by extremist members ….oh wait, that’s a different religion…. Just saying. For as much as people hate Christianity, everyone sure feels safe making fun of it…..

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      No, the people you vaguely allude to make fun of extremists, not the whole of Christianity. Even Bill Mahr is careful to point out that he has no problem with people like his mother, who is Catholic, but not an extremist who thinks everyone needs to be Catholic. Even Penn Jilette, who has been called out by some of the deluded Christians in the comments here, for allegedly being some great offender of hating on the Christians has actually made a YouTube video voicing the admiration he actually has for proselytising, saying that if someone genuinely believes this is doing good for others, he admires their convictions and commitment to people.

      • Valerie Finnigan

        Every person who has a prejudice against any group can point out a few token members who are “nice” or “clean,” or can point out one or two things they “admire” about people they routinely call deluded or evil. I’ve had the misfortune of meeting neo-Nazis who claim they only hate Zionists, the Catholic hierarchy, flamboyant homosexuals, and “dirty” or “ignorant” people. And of course they claim some token “friends” from these groups. Who’s to say Bill Maher and Penn Gillette aren’t engaging in similar tokenism?

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          So?

  • Penelope Clearwater

    I disagree with 14. I commonly see Christians depicted as either judgmental jerks or boring librarian types. Most of the Christians I know are born-again believers who are grateful for their salvation and just wish that everyone else knew the Good News.

  • someone

    Many of these are specific to the US. But ALSO I think you need a disclaimer saying that the idea of Christian Privilege as a whole may not exist in some places – in some countries there’s some pretty major persecution going on. Still, good article for reminding western Christians that sometimes being asked not to force their beliefs on everyone else isn’t same as being persecuted :-)

  • Pegasus

    I am a Christian. Someone close to me sent this to me and here is my response……I find this to be extremely offensive and 99 percent BS. WE ARE IN CANADA, A PLACE FOR EVERYONE!! However i do have a problem with having to conform to the all the religions around the globe when Christians around the world are being blown up, shot down and gang raped. Maybe you should look into this a little further before passing judgement!!!!! Please do not send anything like this to my timeline again, and in return, i will not send Christian things to you. Fair…or what…. I am sorry for being so harsh, but i read about the persecution of Christians world-wide and i am not sure if you know this but Canada is NOT considered to be a Christian nation. And btw, no one seems to complain when they get the day of of work for 2 holidays a year!! Christmas is now about “SANTA” and Easter is about “the EASTER BUNNY”. So who is dumping on who, huh…. People try to get out of their violent countries to come here, so why should i have to walk on eggshells in Canada…I practice my faith in my home and at church, so are you telling me i cant say anything…. All over the world people can bring their beliefs to Canada, but that doesnt mean that i can no longer be ME!!! And i will also say that, Canada is EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING BUT CHRISTIAN!! Newly “created” offshoots of other religions being mixed together – how am i supposed to know who believes what, so excuse me that i am no mind-reader!! SO BACK OFF!! Enough, i get it. DONT BRING IT UP AGAIN!! I took it from BLEEP but why would you post this on my timeline, when you seem to enjoy the benefits of me BEING A CHRISTIAN!! Try it with anyone else, and guess what, no help! You called me your angel..that would suggest to me you believe in angels. Excuse me for speaking of God, but they kinda go together…so you make up your mind and say what you really mean. I helped you today and went out of my way to get my family members to look after my son, and do you know why…. BECAUSE I AM A CHRISTIAN!! I truly hope this isnt the end of our friendship – you had your say and now i have had mine. Now lets just get over it!!

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Wow, you really are a simple little cow, aren’t you?

  • Stirfry

    1. Atheists don’t really bitch all that much about having
    Christmas off, do they? If so, I’m sure no one would mind if they worked that
    day.

    2. Tell the overwhelmingly liberal media and Hollywood
    production machine to make more programming aimed at different holidays. I
    can’t imagine too many Christmas movies are cranked out in the basements of
    Baptist churches.

    3. Again, become an entrepreneur or contact businesses with
    requests for merchandise that panders to different religions. Going along with
    that whole “it’s the Christians’ fault” thing, I don’t think too many
    large, mainstream corporations are purchasing Jesus t-shirts printed at church
    socials.

    4. When someone wishes me “Happy Hanukkah”, I
    don’t guess it ever crossed my mind that I was being “pressured” to
    celebrate their religions. I know that’s never my intent when I say,
    “Merry Christmas”.

    5. If someone wishes you a “happy” anything, why
    bitch about it? They’re offering you a positive sentiment from THEIR heart, and
    you should take it as such, and wish them a happy-whatever-YOU-celebrate
    without having to weep & make a blog about it.

    6. Those Christian churches in Egypt just rolllll out the
    welcome mat.

    7. “Likely”. An assumption.

    8. Yeah. Christians are never mocked or inhibited. Anyone
    remember the atheist organization’s smug-and-smarmy treatment of Christmas billboards?
    That seemed really sweet & tolerant.

    9. Anyone can “assume”. Once can also
    “assume” that defense attorneys aren’t working for their clients’
    best interests to choose sympathetic jurors.

    10. If you don’t have the backbone to stand up for your beliefs
    & insist on your own sacred text, or lack thereof, this is one’s own
    shortcoming.

    11. Someone has obviously never searched the internet for
    the past 15 years.

    12. “Probably”. Riiiiight. To this, I can only
    say, campaign for different politicians if you wish for better representation.
    Better yet, if you really want to affect change, become a candidate and do
    something to better represent those of the label to which you choose to
    proscribe.

    13. More often than not, there is a (rightful) clamoring for
    separation of church and state, so this point is moot.

    14. This is merely a reiteration of Point 2, so I will
    merely reiterate my Counterpoint 2.

    15. “Reasonably assume”. We’ve begun to grasp at
    straws now. I’ve met a large number of people who don’t really know anything
    about what I believe. And, for the record, I’ve never filled them in unless
    asked.

    16. See above. And, if this is true, then Point 5 is a
    blatant misrepresentation, as Point 5 does, indeed, “penalize [you] for
    not knowing other people’s religious customs”.

    17. Where does the writer of this blog work, Darfur? Even in
    the “Bible Belt”, one of the stipulations of my previous workplace
    was “refrain from religious or political discussion”.

    18. So all Christians become nuns, carpenters or ministers,
    all pagans become palm-readers or shamans, and all atheists become nihilists.
    Got it.

    19. Again, Darfur? What time is it over there right now?

    20. So the myriad atheist sites spawned over “stupid,
    Christian idiots” and southerners who talk like, “thaynk ye,
    Jaysus” aren’t actually meant to be polarizing, demeaning & defining?
    I guess I’ll have to look again.

    21. See above.

    22. I guess it’s been awhile since I heard about Christians
    blowing people to smithereens and screaming “CRUSADE! CRUSADE!” Maybe
    I should watch the news more thoroughly.

    23. Christmas nativity sets. Not technically places of worship, but they still get panties in a
    twist & are almost always banned.

    24. True, Christians aren’t usually asked to speak on behalf
    of all their faith. A great many feel compelled to do so, however, as now, when
    attacked and belittled.

    25. How many times is this going to be reworded?

    26. I think we all know by now that separation of church and
    state extends to public schools. If you don’t like the faith practiced by your
    child’s teacher, even when she’s forbidden by law to share it, you’re
    discriminating against him/her. Otherwise, seek another school.

    27. See above. Additional note: If you want to consciously
    surround your child with people who share your faith, how is this a) not
    discrimination, and b) in any way encouraging of open-mindedness?

    28. A great many people are also capable of drying their
    tears and pursuing their career and scholastic goals withing proclaiming,
    “The Christians wouldn’t let me.” Also, this goes back to that
    entrepreneurial vein of discussion. Campaign, poll, fundraise, and get the ball
    rolling if you really want to affect change rather than complain.

    29. Unless, of course, the adoption agency hasn’t stepped
    into a time machine and gone back to Victorian London and does, in fact, exist
    in the 21st century.

    30. The just will probably, however, give children to the
    mother regardless her religion. So now just start bitching about gender roles,
    and you’re golden.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Why do you think think that the only choices are Christianity and atheism?

  • rick

    Sam, there is some truth with this list, but with only slight variations, can apply to any situation where there is a majority group of whatever, and a minority/minorities who are “different” .

  • Ullrismyfavorite

    I like that you posted this. I would like to add that I am surprised every day by the number of people around me that don’t even know the origins of modern protestant Christianity. I’ve recently moved to the “Bible Belt” and many of the “Christians” here don’t know that their Protestant Faith came from Catholicism and not the other way around. Nor do they know that those celebrations most dear to their faith are celebrated at the same time as the pagan counterparts encountered by early Christians in the evangelical spread of their faith into Northwestern Europe.

  • Bethany Spielman

    Another idea: You don’t have to “come out” as Christian and worry about ridicule or rejection.

    • Valerie Finnigan

      Actually, a lot of Christians do face ridicule and rejection when they make their beliefs known.

      • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

        Do you realise how naïve you sound? How truly sheltered and inexperienced you seem, to say ridiculous things like that?

        • Valerie Finnigan

          What’s so ridiculous about it? It happens to me frequently. You’d have to be sheltered and naive to deny it.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            No, it’s not. Cos it’s likely not simply because “they’re Christians” in Western countries, especially the United States. Sure, you want to simplify it down to that —it might make your position seem sympathetic— but the thing is, even in countries like France, where the government is far more secular than even Brits like to believe the UK government is, Christianity is still the assumed default. That reality is tenfold in the States.

            Since Christianity is the assumed default, why “come out” as Christian? Makes about as much sense as a “heterosexual coming-out day”. It’s assumed completely unnecessary (since you’re at least 75% likely to be so, anyway), and only an attention-seeking, holier-than-thou sort of tactic from annoying “born again” types, which is usually the result of cultish sects, like The Way Ministries.

            Furthermore, even the United States is embracing progressivism —slowly, but surely. How many of these people “ridiculed for being Christians” are preaching anti-progressive “ideals”? In a country that is gradually accepting same sex marriage, to the point that more and more Republicans in the federal government (who are far more likely to be Christian than the average American) are saying “hey, this is inevitable, and we should accept it into the laws of the land”, people are more likely to call bullshit when some-one insists things like “traditional [heterosexual-only] marriage” is core to “Christian values”.

            So no, I absolutely DO NOT believe that any Christian, especially in the States, is ever mocked or rejected simply for “being Christian”. There’s always a catch to it. Why? Christianity is still the assumed default. The rejection and derision of Christians is therefore always conditional on the kind of Christian that they are, not on the fact that they’re Christian, in general.

            But you want to simplify it to “just for being Christian”. At best, that makes you absurdly naïve; at worst, that makes you a dangerous extremist.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Because the United States is not a homogenized society with Christians of all denominations evenly distributed across the country and all sectors of society- and furthermore, not all denominations of Christianity are equally accepted all over the nation. I, for one, live in a part of the country where everyone is routinely assumed to be LDS. I work in a heavily non-religious or even atheistic industry and have worked with people who, assuming I share their views on religion, bash my faith to my face. And you keep denying it happens. I think I ought to know better than you what goes on in my life.

      • Rick M.

        I have yet to have encountered a Christian who has had to fear “coming out” as a Christian in the Western World. The only thing, at most, I have seen is a few jerkish Atheists who criticize any religion, not just Christianity.

        Other than that, the only ridicule or rejection I have seen of Christians is in reaction to those who avidly see themselves as having the duty to “save” and “enlighten” anyone who is not a Christian and who shove their beliefs in everyone’s faces either directly (by trying to “save” others and such) or indirectly (by doing things like talking CONSTANTLY about how wonderful Christian life is and how it feels so good that they’ve “found the light and one True way” and so forth). And in such cases, they receive the same attitude as most people get who try to basically flood others with the “glory and wonder” of their religion. And yeah, this includes the attitude many Pagans, Wiccans, Jews, Atheists, Muslims, New Agers, and the like get when they do the same about their beliefs.

        In other words, for the most part when a Christian isn’t waving the Bible around and constantly declaring their love for Christianity, I have yet to personally witness (or even hear from any of my many Christian friends and relatives) of any ridicule and rejection for people being respectfully Christian… other than dealing with those people who are jerks to ANYONE who doesn’t share their personal beliefs.

        • Valerie Finnigan

          So even talking about your faith is now disrespectful?

          Try being Catholic. Try being accused of racism, sexism, homophobia, and supporting child molesters all because of your religion. Try being accused of idolatry and apostasy by supposed fellow Christians. Then try to say with a straight face that Christians aren’t ridiculed for their faith.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            That really doesn’t carry the same weight as Christians practically lynching Muslims in the States after 11 September 2001.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            Which Christians were lynching which Muslims? I’ve seen some despicable instances of racial profiling, but no lynching. And really, the use of “lynching” in your hyperbole is offensive to people who had to deal with real lynchings.

          • Rick M.

            All right… How about “extreme and generalized racial profiling”? Or “accusing all Muslims of being terrorists”? Or “committing hate crimes and acts of vandalism against those thought to be Muslim or from the Middle-East”? Or how about the proclaimed Christian politicians using religion to attempt to paint Obama as a “secret Muslim” in an attempt to turn the Christian voters against him despite all evidence to the contrary?

            Ok. So maybe people weren’t literally or figuratively “lunching” Muslims.

            But when you have hundreds of black people in the public eye even (you know, the ones who DID have to deal with the lynchings in this country) saying in one form or another that after 9-11 that “Muslims are the new blacks” because of the treatment by so many people in the country… I don’t think it’s all that offensive to the people who had to deal with the real lynchings.

          • Rick M.

            Errr… “lynching”.

            (Though I don’t think most Muslims would object to a nice “lunching”. Something tasty and halal… They might feel a little special and respected when treated out to lunch.)

          • Rick M.

            Never said that talking about your faith was disrespectful. Read the entirety of what I wrote.

            What I was saying was that in my experience, those Christians who are not constantly in-your-face about either saving anyone who’s not a Christian, or about how “wonderful” it is to be a Christian tend to be given their own space. Just as a many of other religions can often be given their space when they’re not in-your-face.

            I have never had someone non-Christian attempt to convert me to their religion. I have never had someone who was non-Christian tell me that my soul needed “saving”. I have never had anyone who was a non-Christian tell me that because I no longer consider myself a Christian that I am doomed to burn for all eternity… in essence because while I follow the core tenets of Christianity and teachings of Christ I refuse to bow to the social and worldly power of the Church and organized religion.

            And for the record, I was baptized and brought up for much of my youth as Catholic and half my family is Catholic (the other half is predominantly Protestant). Later I became a more generalized Christian without specific denomination. After a time, I turned from the church because I disagreed with the politics, the agendas, the contradictory teachings, and the overall hypocrisy. Heck… I carry a St. Jude medallion with me at all times and count him as my Patron Saint and one of the guiding and supporting forces in my life.

            Also, for the record, I never said that Christians never get ridiculed for their faith. What I did indicate was that the Christians who get the ridicule are either targeted by those who ridicule ANYONE not of their faith (i.e., they don’t target Christians specifically), or receive attitude for being very in-your-face directly or indirectly about that they are Christian and how great it is… and the reaction they get is the same reaction most of a similar behavior get in the manner of backlash or annoyance.

            Trust me… I have been accused of all of the stuff you list (other than supporting child molesters) and more simply for being a hetero white male. Heck, even for not identifying myself as a Christian I have had Christians saying “Oh, so you’re a Satan worshiper?” (as though that’s the only other option to them…) So that’s hardly confined to Christians. And when it does come at Protestants and Catholics, it is often because of the way so many of the supposedly Christian politicians, religious leaders, and public figures behave. In large part because when you see the Catholic Church’s behavior in relation to child molestation cases among priests, and the virtually blind devotion many traditional Catholics have in following the Church hierarchy.

            I did not say that the ridicule those Christians (both Catholic and Protestant) who are respectful of others get is right. But it is overflow (however unfortunate) from the behavior of so many Christians who draw it to their religion as a whole because of their own behavior.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            But you are coming across as making excuses for what I see as bigotry on the basis of religion.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            You’re really determined to make sure people see you as being almost as oppressed as you think you are.

            Grow up. You’re not persecuted by the system, you’re just being made fun of by a tiny handful of individuals.

      • Bethany Spielman

        I’ve never heard of that in the United States.

        • Valerie Finnigan

          Well, the US is a very big country. Everything I’ve written about in these comments I’ve seen for myself in the US.

          • Bethany Spielman

            Then I’ll shrink the geographic, lol. I’ve never seen it in Wisconsin! :P

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          You haven’t heard of it, because it just plainly doesn’t happen.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            I am certain your beliefs include a prohibition of lying.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Define “lie”. When asked his definition of a man, Plato said “featherless bipeds” and was much praised for this. To illustrate this folly, Diogenes of Sinope plucked a chicken and brought it before Plato, proclaiming “behold, I have brought you a man!” Who lied?

            If you allege that I’ve not told the truth as I know it, then surely you can tell whether Plato or Diogenes failed to tell the truth, as well.

          • Valerie Finnigan

            You lied when you said the events I listed never happened- implying that I am lying.

  • LoriS

    Here are my additions to your list:

    - You won’t be sitting in a public place and overhear total strangers telling derogatory jokes about your religion or, in effect, you.

    - You won’t hear people turning your faith into a derogatory adjective or verb (such as a “Christian calculator” instead of cash register or “Christianing me down” instead of screwing me over)

    - You won’t be forced to take a day off or unable to go to the bank or post office when someone else’s faith is celebrated as a “national” holiday.

    - You won’t be accused of murdering someone who died 2000 years before you were born.

    - You will never be told, “Really? You don’t look Christian.”

  • sarahinez

    Since I don’t live in a sheltered Christian community, those have not been my experience since I was a child (and even then my infant baptism was “not going to save you,” according to a sixth-grade classmate). In particular, I do not assume 8, 14, 15, 21, 24 and 25.

  • Valerie Finnigan

    These are all very blanket generalizations. It’s unrealistic to think that this “Christian privilege” applies to all Christians. Try being Catholic in overwhelmingly LDS Idaho or Utah, or in the Bible belt, where a lot of people still don’t believe Catholics are even Christian. Think about the way Christians of a minority denomination may be treated before speaking generally about “Christian privilege.” Over half of these “privileges” do not apply to me, thanks for asking.

  • Bill

    Looks like we’re a Christian nation, after all.

  • Claremont

    Here’s another one: If you build a roadside shrine to someone who died in a car wreck, it’s in no danger of being vandalized, driven over, or destroyed. Seriously, when was the last time you saw a little white Star of David or pentacle or Om on the side of the road, bedecked with flowers and stuffed animals? I’ll tell you when… NEVER. Think about it.

  • TLGinGa

    Too many discrepancies to address, I’ll just address #19. I’m a Catholic in Meriwether County, Georgia.

  • Doktor Esperanto

    Sam Killermann, this article shows what a disingenuous, pseudo-intellectualistic cultural Marxist you are, and this article shows how you and other LGBT commissars like you on the Left always have an agenda and are never at peace with the world, and always run through sophomoric logical gyrations and inversions to justify your CS BS arguments. The United States is and always will be a nation founded upon Judeo-Christian morals, and we will fight any Islamic inclusion that you try to propse. Sam . . . you should be lined up against the wall and shot.

    • Doktor Esperanto

      *propose

    • Tiger

      I love hearing people talk about peace right before saying that the other person should be killed.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      You and filth like you make me remember why groups like Pink Pistols exist.

    • Rick M.

      And you, Herr Doktor, are just the type of person who exemplifies much of why so many younger people (and a number of older ones as well) are turning away from organized religion, in particular Christianity… and often turning to Atheism.

      They see so many people purporting to be Christians and devoted to following Christ as their Savior… and yet they have absolutely no clue what Christ taught. They claim to follow the Prince of Peace while at the same time bubbling up bellicose barrels of belligerent bulls**t such as you have done. They claim to follow a man who preached tolerance, acceptance, love, and understanding… all the while showing themselves for the ignorant, intolerant, hypocritical, rabidly fanatical extremists as you have shown yourself to be.

      As you accuse others of being disingenuous, pseudo-intellectuals who are trying to spread an intolerant agenda while never working for peace, perhaps you should first take the time to re-evaluate your own position and viewpoints. To actually look at yourself and those like you to see whether you actually follow in your heart and with your life the Savior you claim to… or if you are instead only blindly following the teachings of humans who are as intolerant as yourself, those who preach and support a corruption of Christianity to push hatred and ignorance cloaked in the guise of religion.

      But, I suppose it would create far too much cognitive dissonance within you to actually consider whether the dogma you hold so close to your breast is actually what was taught by Christ. And, unfortunately (as I expect you to likely demonstrate so effectively should you respond to this) a common defense for those with such a ideology against cognitive dissonance is to hold their flawed perspective even tighter, to attack back against the source of that which asks them to objectively examine their views and beliefs, and to seek to find justification for their dogma no matter how fragile it is in order to salve their egos against the possibility that they may have to admit to themselves that they may even possibly be mistaken.

      “And Jesus wept… not for me, but for thee.”

    • sangsue

      There’s a separation of church and state in this country. Maybe you should read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence sometime you yutz.

  • Shannon

    When you are attending a function through a club/organization and they are complaining about the “Holiday tree” and making snide comments about everything having to be pc. I think that more insulting to me as a non-Christian than a Christmas tree would!

  • Foxtrot Tango

    I am not amused by this article (and the others on this website trying to shame: non-transgenders, men, heterosexuals, etc.) While external criticism is valid and sometimes helps us focus on where we went wrong, this is an attempt to guilt people who think and act traditionally. In particular, this article believes all Christians are knuckle-draggers from Texas or Arkansas who hate gays and Muslims. How can it be that that “Most Muslims are good and peaceful” and yet no virtuous Christians exist? Should I be upset because my hometown has, say, 70 churches and only 1 madrassa?

  • BSmyth

    35. You can expect to open any American History or English book and not read about the “myths” of your deity and the belief in your deity not described as heretical, savage or uneducated.

  • sangsue

    I’m Jewish and every day I’m reminded that it’s a Christian nation that tolerates my religion, considers my holidays to be insignificant or invisible and apparently thinks we run the world order. The love for Israel is just a love for Israel, not for Jews and that’s because of the End of Days. When I was growing up, I saw Christmas specials, TV shows had a Christmas episode where the magic of Christmas made everything right again. I grew up in Queens and Long Island so I wasn’t treated like a minority but when I went to college, for the first time I learned how much of a minority I really was. I learned about all the adages like the fact that we have horns (my roommate actually looked for mine), we’re all rich (I wish) and we’re cheap. But compared to the shit that Muslims get from Christians, I know that I have it easy.

  • Moose

    Many of these points do not apply to Christians living in Canada!

  • BGenie

    I truly believe the only reason people (like Sam here) post things like this is because they are bigots ,themselves and want to justify it; or they simply want to start an argument just to see how far it’ll go.

    Personally I don’t believe in any organized religion, they are all oppressive, the bane of humanity’s existence and need to be eliminated for our species to move forward. If it is not, humanity will destroy itself ‘in the name of god’, or ‘allah’, or whatever other name the followers have given their ‘allmighty’ tormentor.

  • sheldong

    double parking for Sunday service without getting ticketed.

  • Paul Spencer

    Yes. This is a great thing to be reminded of.

    I don’t know if the culture in the US is much more pro-Christian than it is here in Australia but I know that number 8 (about not being mocked for your beliefs) is not necessarily true. I’m an atheist and probably move in some of the less Christian-friendly circles, but I see plenty of times where faith of all kinds, and especially the Abrahamic religions, is mocked pretty harshly. And number 14 (about finding your faith accurately depicted in media) is also slightly questionable I’d say. I mean, sometimes that’s true and sometimes I’d say it’s really not.

    But it’s important that this stuff is written and talked about, so thanks a lot for writing it. And I’m really heartened to see that Christians commenting here have acknowledged its validity too.

  • Zoe

    Reading this I realize what a bubble I live in. A friend who was Christian would indeed probably end up being labeled my “Christian friend” and I would probably jump in with “Oh, but they’re the good kind of Christian that follows what Jesus said rather than the Church”.

  • Cathe

    It”s true and that’s sad.

  • Heather

    I can say, as a Christian, I have seen Christian cars vandalized for their bumper stickers, and had my faith mocked and belittled. Also remember, not all Christians agree on all things Christian, so it is not as unified a front as as may seem from the outside. I personally, try to be open minded, and have friends who are pagan, atheist, Islamic, Taoist, Sikhs, and Buddhist who I enjoy for their company, not just their religion (though it is fun to ask about.. I know that don’t represent the whole, but I do like hearing their opinions.)

  • Jai Jackson

    This nation was founded by Christians and the National Church is Christian, Episcopal to be exact.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      And yet it’s not a state religion.

  • Dana F. Davis

    I think Bavaria grants some 40 Roman Catholic holidays. Are there dissenters and non believers? Of course, but I don’t think Roman Catholicism is threatened, rather it appears to be widely celebrated. And to rule as a result that the Bavarian is less rational and analytical would be absurd.

    • Hoss Martin

      Secularists hate the intellectual and spiritual underpinnings of the West.

  • Dino

    But isn’t this the same of any religion in it’s home turf. How would christians be treaded in countries where Muslims are the majority?

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      I take it you missed the part that carefully pointed out that this was specific to Western Christian nations, and more specifically, the United States.

  • Merrie Scully

    1 4 5 6 8 9 14 15 16 17 18 20 21 25 26 30 31 AND 32 are the biggest lies in this post.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      No, you’re just afraid to face your own baggage, and now you want to throw a hissy fit.

  • Swarn Gill

    If you are not of the Christian faith you have almost no chance of being elected for office. That’s a pretty nice privilege.

  • Shimi Kramer

    Speaking as a moderately-observant Jew, I utterly fail to see the point of this article. The United States is a nation of Christians. Period. Full stop. I believe that it is absolutely *ridiculous* to suggest that many of these things on the list are problems. It is true that I don’t automatically get time off work for Jewish holidays. It is true that synagogues are not as prevalent as churches, especially outside of major cities. But so what? This is a nation of Christians. I chose to live here. I think it is an amazing country, and the freedom afforded to me to practice my religion as a minority is amazing. The courtesy I’ve been shown at times has left me speechless.

    What do you think a Christian living in Israel would see? I’ve got news for you – it is a lot harder for a Christian in Israel than for a Jew in the US. For example, there are almost no private schools there, and nearly all schools’ curriculum assumes children are Jewish.

    The religious freedom in the Unites States (and Canada since this referred broadly to western countries) is excellent. It is absurd to suggest that all religions will be equal when the numbers are so heavily weighted for one.

    Is there still some work at the individual level? Sure! There’s ignorance that results in some problems every once in a while, and hate exists. Is that a broad issue nationwide? No.

    • sangsue

      I’m Jewish too but the United States has a separation of church and state so even though the Christians are in majority, to say this is a Christian nation basically says that you and I don’t belong here and we should have no rights. When last I checked, Israel doesn’t have a separation of church and state.

  • Timothy Goodness

    Interesting…. In my school district which is about 70% Catholic, with another 10% or so other Christian faiths the schools shut down for Jewish holidays in spite of the fact Jews are only 2% of the population of the country as a whole.

    I have also noticed that about 20 to 30% of the people in Congress are Jewish, as it seems are many of the appointed people in government. The two people at the front of the IRS scandal are both Jewish, are they not?

    I wonder what Mr. Killermann’s ethnic upbringing was?

    • Janessa Hall

      Seriously? Are the protocols of Zion on your bookshelf?

      • Timothy Goodness

        No, but maybe they should be on yours…

    • sangsue

      They may close down because there may be Jewish teachers. But thank you for spreading the stereotype that Jews run the world. Perhaps you should check me for my horns next.

      • Hoss Martin

        Previous poster pointed out facts, and you respond with ad hominem. You lose.

      • Timothy Goodness

        Hey, that’s not a bad idea!

        Again, 2% of the population, so how many should be teachers?

        I calls ‘em like I sees ‘em… Sounds to me like you have some Jewish self hate going on, there.

        • sangsue

          I have no self-hate you anti-semite. Jews are taught to value education and especially in the earlier part of last century tended to be teachers because that was one of the few places they could get jobs. All your hatred will choke you one day.

          • Timothy Goodness

            Wow… There it is, the ‘educated hate’ directed at someone for simply having the strength to say what others only think… What ever you do, don’t tell my Jewish wife I’m an anti Semite, please!
            Oh, but then again, she’s not a Semite, her family is from Europe just like 99% of the Jews in Israel who have no genetic claim to the lands they are stealing.

            BTW, I hope everyone noticed that the head of the FDA that is now in trouble for putting drugs on the market that are dangerous and don’t work is also Jewish. I guess it takes an “anti Semite” to point this out to the stupid goy, huh?

  • Cerridwen Aligningenergies

    More Christian privilege: It’s easy to find a place to worship in towns across the country. You aren’t constantly reminded that your ancestor’s places of worship were destroyed, desecrated and/or converted to another purpose or religion.

  • Poppins

    You can be open about about your faith at work without fear of being fired.

    Your church’s application for tax-exempt status will likely be processed with fewer questions and hold ups.

    Violence against members of your faith gets national media coverage; violence committed by members of your faith does not.

    If you are poor and in need of services you will have a multitude more programs available to you because of your faith.

    I could go on and on! Thank you for writing this. I’m so glad I found your site!

  • Batman

    Honestly, find any country with a religious majority (any religion) and this list will be true. It’s not limited to Western countries and Christianity. Also, #8 doesn’t belong on this list. Myself and many others do this to Christians all the time.

  • Isaac

    Some of these are thought-provoking, but most of them are not really examples of Christian privilege–they are simply the results of living in a majority-Christian nation. #23 isn’t really true either, because many churches face massive hurdles in constructing new facilities due to property tax issues. Overall, this doesn’t really hold water. I’m a gay atheist and I’ve never felt discriminated against in this society.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      but most of them are not really examples of Christian privilege–they
      are simply the results of living in a majority-Christian nation.

      That’s what “Christian privilege” IS, though. Sometimes “privilege” is about getting special prizes, sometimes it’s simply the “ordinary” benefits from being from the portion of the population assumed to be default.

  • Soren Kay

    I’d love to live where you live…

  • Louis Cypher

    Ya know, if you remove all of the legal based ideas, it’s not that bad. For example, having their holy days paid off from the workplace, getting rid of the Bible to swear on in legal situations (According to the country’s founding fathers, it shouldn’t be a Bible anyway because they said this country is NOT Christian-it should most likely be a copy of the constitution), and all things related, it’s not that bad of a list. Or perhaps Christians could walk their talk (stepping away from the hypocrisy that runs through their belief system) and give most of those privileges up. That would be showing compassion and love; two founding points of their faith. I’d take that! Just my thoughts….

  • Freer Hall

    Let’s take a trip to the rest of the world, openly practice Christianity and see how privileged we are!

    USA – the only nation on earth where 78% of people identify as a single religion and still guarantees freedom of any religion as the first (or any) line of its constitution.

    This person is proud to be an American, and I’m not even remotely Christian.

  • Jeremy Graeff

    Sam,

    Thank you for this piece! I appreciate the sensitivity you bring to this subject, giving believers a heightened awareness of the many gifts we have while challenging us to be more empathetic to people of other faiths.

  • Hoss Martin

    Problem?

    Western society is historically Christian. This is a
    fact of life. This article seems to approach society from the viewpoint
    from the perspective that there is, or ought to be, such a thing as a
    neutral public domain. But the fact is that no culture is empty at its
    intellectual and spiritual core. And just like in Morocco that core is
    Christianity, and in Burma it’s Buddhism, in the West, it’s
    Christianity. The fact that some people aren’t well adjusted to that doesn’t mean it’s not the case. And in my experience, the people
    angriest about that fact are secularists, who want to do away with that
    fact, who in fact want to do away with the underpinnings of Western
    society itself.

  • 7LeagueBoots

    One of the many good reasons to get rid of all faiths entirely and promote a more true equality that is not based on belief in a supernatural manifestation of one sort or another.

    • Hoss Martin

      Why do you hate our society’s intellectual and spiritual roots?

  • wanderingalleycat

    Well said Sam. Add another one: If you serve in the Military, you are not likely to be asked by a chaplain if you are a white supremacist if you tell them what faith you follow.

    Yes that really did happen to me. He was shocked when i turned around and asked him since he was christian, did that mean he tortured people till they confessed imaginary crimes and ‘converted’ them by giving them the choice of converting or being slaughtered. I then told him that Lots of people do evil things, and use religions as an excuse to ‘legitimize’ it. And that holds true for almost any religion.

    I was lucky in that as I was growing up, my parents gave me as good a grounding in multiple faiths as they could manage and let me decide.

  • Selkie Syrin

    You can easily find books, both in stores and in libraries, pertaining to your faith. Sometimes even public school libraries. People will defend their existence in the schools.

  • Maika

    Your friends do not ‘worry about your soul’ or think about saving your soul or attempt to pressure you to become a Christian.

  • GraceS

    Someone who converts to your faith can get time taken off their jail sentence!

  • Bam Bam

    How about the fact that your governing body will bring the dogma of your faith into their lawmaking decisions, decisions that will affect everyone, regardless of whether they adhere to the same beliefs (e.g. same sex marriage is still illegal because it violates the Christian definition of marriage, even though marriage is defined in many ways by many different religions and cultures)

  • Lmdb83

    I’m not convinced that all things on this list are 100% true but putting that aside I’d like to ask, because I am confused, am I (as a Christian) suppose to apologize for already having the privileges that members of other religions wish to possess? It’s true that the US was built on the philosophy of religious freedom, it’s no secret that the original white settlers of this country were persecuted Christians wishing to live their lives freely. Other religions have always been in the minority here, that status quo is changing but you can’t expect it to change over night. Every religion deserves to have freedom to observe their faiths without persecution and I pray that someday we reach that Utopia but pointing out what Christians have just because you don’t have it doesn’t do you any good. Teach a class in your community. If it upsets you that your faith’s religious articles are harder to come by in stores than Catholic rosaries or crosses than create a company that makes whatever it is you see a lack of and sell them!! What’s stopping you? It isn’t my fault that St. Christopher is widely excepted as the symbol of safe travel or that Christmas trees are used in many homes regardless of religious association simply because they are pretty and make you feel good. A lot of people don’t even know that Saint Christopher is a Catholic saint based almost entirely on myth or that Christmas trees are a tradition Catholics stole from some other religion (probably Pagan). People wear rosaries as necklaces without thought or feeling as to the religious significance they disregard. I’ve also known Christian families to keep Menorahs in their homes during the holidays simply because they’re pretty. How would you have it? Would you banish every Christmas tree, Santa Clause, candy cane, and sprig of holly from every from each non-private residence during the holidays? Why stop there? Why not banish productions of “A Christmas Carol”, “The Nutcracker”, “It’s a Wonderful Life”, “White Christmas” and “Charlie Brown’s Christmas” from every public school, town auditorium and TV station?! Even the traditional red and green of the holidays is only there because of Christianity, shall we banish everyone from wearing that combination of colors between Thanksgiving and February? What about Saint Patrick’s Day? People around the world celebrate this Christian holiday by wearing green and drinking copious amounts of alcohol without heed to race, creed, or religion. Do you plan on stopping them simply because it has it’s roots in Christianity? Grocery stores would need to stop selling eggs in March and April because of their association with Easter. The White House would have to stop having it’s annual Easter Egg hunt, no more Thanksgiving Day parade in New York either! Let’s put an end of Valentine’s Cards and Halloween too. Wow, you have just single-handedly made the US a third world country — at least as far as it’s economy is concerned. Think about it! without those sales you’ve put Pillsbury, Hallmark, Mars, Hershey, Disney, Golden Book — all out of business! Not to mention any portrait studio, florist, grocery store, ad agency, movie theater, and toy store that depend on the holidays celebrated in this country (whether they personally celebrate them or not) to help them survive the less lucrative times of the year. You sound like an angry child who sees another child holding a ice cream cone that you weren’t allowed to have. Instead of trying again to get what you want to just smack the cone out of the other kid’s hand because if you can’t have it well then they shouldn’t have it either. Really?? Is that really how you want people to see you? As the playground bully? Do you want us to feel sorry for you? If you had asked I would gladly have shared with you, you don’t have to whine about it or take it from me. If you want me to be more aware of other religions then teach me. Teach me about Kwanza or Roshoshanna or Chanukah or Passover, explain to me why your prayer times are the way they are, or why you wear the clothes you do. I’m willing to learn. Why do you light candles? What is the meaning behind your prayer rug or prayer shawl? Is there a significance to your jewelry or is it simply a personal choice like mine? Teach me a meditation I’m not familiar with. And most importantly, if you take offense from something I say or do give me the benefit of the doubt, tell me your troubles and i will learn — shut me out and I learn nothing.

  • Delpheas

    This was an interesting read, because as you said many of these I never knew of, nor considered. As Ashley said, there are some exceptions in people’s experience, i.e.being on the receiving end of intolerance, assumptions, and complete misunderstanding of what Christianity means, although as an artist, my experience has been that those exceptions are more often the rule, than not.

  • jordan

    People people. as far as i see this entire argument, there is only one thing being argued, people are angry about other people’s representations of Christ. Do you want to know what Christianity is? well here ya go,

    “saved” in a christian perspective

    john 3:16
    “For God so loved the world,[b] that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

    “Jordan, what about this repentance thing? you dont mention that.”

    well guess what? chances are if you don’t want to repent, you wont be asking about how to be saved by the ‘loving god’? it starts from a change of heart that knows its need to be saved (conviction), so if your asking how to be saved, then you are already looking to repent.

    Matthew 22:36-40
    (talking to Jesus)
    “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” BOOM!! That’s it. that is how Christ lived.

    “but jordan, what about all the other laws? what about all the things that have happened in the name of Jesus and ‘god’? what about the christans that hate LGBT people and wont let them in their Church? what about the crusades? what about all the wars over Christianity? what about christians hating other religions? what about……”

    what did jesus just say? he said, love your god. he said, love people.

    so how do you love god? you do it by doing what he asked, love people. its not a christian’s job to convict someone of their sins, that the job of IM GONNA SAY IT! the holy spirit, aka God. here’s how it works, you love god, god says represent christ by loving people. your love of people for no reason, helping people, caring for them, taking time for them, doing things with nothing expected in return… that is loving people, it is showing god’s love.

    “oh so now is the part where you tell me i’m a sinner and will burn in hell, and try to get me to follow your rules?”

    haha hell no! i don’t need to, here’s a little secret, you will ask me!! that right, after the holy spirit stirs something deep down in you, you will ask a few questions, or maybe pick up a bible asking “what does it really say?”, or google jesus, WHO KNOWS?! but it is not a christian’s job to convict.

    believe in god with jesus as his redeeming son, congrats your ‘saved’

    love god by representing christ to people, congrats your a christian.

    that’s how it works.

    the rest is all fluff and if you are genuinely looking to follow what “god” is saying, then you will investigate your questions and find answers.

    • jordan

      btw God loves us all, EVERYONE.

  • Anonymous

    Hello,

    I have just a few points to make. First, please stop to consider the fact that if other faiths want to be accessible to the public, they need to put themselves out there. For instance, there are Catholics who are willing to put first holy communion cards on the shelves at grocery stores, even if most people look at them funnily. If you want Hanukkah cards or other religious cards out on those shelves, too, make a market for it. You never know, you may end up making thousands in the process of making your faith known.

    Second, please understand: as a Catholic, I’m fully Christian and still face many of the problems that these points bring up. For instance, in numbers 11 and 15, I certainly find that many of the references to Catholicism hate on said faith and present it incorrectly. I am constantly being mentally and emotionally attacked by people that fail to understand my faith, and so I must speak on behalf of my faith all the time, out of defense, not with people that agree with me (see numbers 8 and 24). For an additional one, number 31 is incorrect as well. Where do you find Catholicism classes in public schools and colleges? In history classes, where it’s purely the history of the faith, and in religious studies classes with professors who usually have more an overview of Christianity in general than an in-depth knowledge of the Catholic faith.

    By telling me I’m not Christian, either, and that none of these relate to me, you’re already violating at least three of the points you brought up in these piece. As far as I am aware of it, the only faith I really see as pertaining to 100% of these is the Islamic faith, and yes, that’s a huge issue that needs to be addressed. But really, I don’t see Jews or people of the Ba’hai faith getting their cars defaced or their fundraising activities spotted as terrorist efforts.

    Thank you, and hope you have a great day.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      For instance, there are Catholics who are willing to put first holy communion cards on the shelves at grocery stores, even if most people look at them funnily. If you want Hanukkah cards or other religious cards out on those shelves, too, make a market for it.

      Doesn’t really work that way.

      As someone else pointed out, yes, there may indeed be thousands of stores across the Anglosphere (the US, Canada, the UK, and Oz) that cater to all kinds of religions, and sure, there are publishers that are specific in their focuses on smaller, non-Christian religious groups. But those shops are mostly in the largest, most culturally diverse cities (usually along the coasts, with a few exceptions), and those publishers are so tiny that a book or a greeting card cannot be distributed at a “big box” store, like Target, at a price that would make the store want to carry it. If publishers don’t make money, they go bankrupt and out of business, and as it is, with the decline in market for “dead tree media”, the gamble may be too risky for a small-press publisher struggling to stay afloat.

  • jordan

    and great article.

  • MPrado

    People will offer you well-wishes & condolences that incorporate tenants of your faith and you have no problem finding entire sections of the greeting card aisle devoted to messages that include your beliefs. (e.g. “I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandmother. I’ll pray for you & your family! I’m sure she’s smiling down on you from heaven.” or “To the newlywed couple, may your hearts grow together in Christ’s love. Congratulations!” :P

  • Meghan

    Sam,
    I loved your article, but you missed a whole group of people; Agnostics and Atheists.
    I went to what could only be described as an accepting high school. For the most part, a person could be anything and they’d have no problems from their beliefs. Unless they had no religion.
    That was the road block I kept coming up against in school. People asked me questions all the time; why my family had a Christmas or Halloween party, but why I didn’t go to church, how my parents managed to raise me with high moral values without religion. If I wasn’t so fond of Catholicism, Islam or Judaism why I didn’t just go with something a little more Eastern like Buddhism, or something more modern like Paganism. I got every comment in the book, and because everyone spoke at the very least a second language, I got a few from other books too. “Oh, I’ll prey for you” “You must be satanic” and of course, the cake topper, “My church is looking for new members.”
    I’m not saying that it’s all bad, actually, the freedom to celebrate any holiday just as a excuse to party is awesome, but even if we get a completely religiously equal country there will still be that one group there for people to discriminate against, and I just happen to be a part of it.
    Meghan.

  • Corey

    Sam,

    I was preparing to offer a rebuttal to #6, 8, 10, 17, & 24, as I view them to be true with exception. But as I began typing, I realized that they are, in fact true. While #10 is true, it is now a symbolic tradition practiced in courts of law and not a marker of religious affiliation.However, the others are, in fact true. That being said, they are also true for many other organized faiths. Muslims, Jews, and Christians (limiting my list to the Abrahamic faiths) often are asked by those outside the faith to answer questions. In essence it is speaking on behalf of one’s religion. As a Roman Catholic in the South, I find myself answering questions on behalf of the Church to Protestants who see misrepresentations of my faith on television shows and movies. As a gay Christian, I am often asked to justify my faith to those (Christian and non-Christian alike) who say God does not accept me. In fact, I believe in our time of heightened cultural sensitivity, Christians are facing more and more of these dilemmas. I saw all of that to say this: as Christians, we should reflect on these and consider how followers of other faiths have been treated by outsiders, and show them the same love, patience, and consideration we are shown. The actions of a few should not determine how one feels about the entire group. Thank you posting this. This really made me step back and put myself in another person’s shoes and be grateful for the considerations that I often take for granted. :-)

  • Kate McIntyre

    Nobody will ever try to pass a law forbidding you to graduate from high school if you are a member of your faith.

    Nobody will ever try to prevent you from emigrating to and becoming a citizen of this country on the basis of your faith.

    It is not against the law in any state for a member of your faith to run for office.

    (All three of the above apply to atheists here in America.)

  • TedVothJr

    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.

    Not really. As a follower of Jesus I can tell you that 14 and 15 are not true. Neither unbelievers nor believers understand the faith accurately. This is the US of Murka. We pride ourselves in not reading or thinking. Mostly you’re accurate otherwise. It ain’t fair. Jesus never tred to force himself on anyone else,still doesn’t…

  • Jack Klompus

    I can’t believe you get paid to indulge in this inane tripe. So congratulations, you’ve dedicated your life to being a weenie.

  • Deb

    I am Catholic and have dealt with many of these. I don’t hate anyone either. We’re not all bigots, I promise.
    Not all Christians are privileged.

    • Moustache

      Yes, all Christians in the USA are privileged, actually. Some may not be in the best of situations, but privilege
      means that two people who are exactly the same in class, or position, or
      something along those lines (example: 2 politicians, or 2 homeless
      people, etc.) will be somehow considered and treated differently because
      of another one of their identities. What this means is you take 2 different people from the US who are both running for President. One of them is Christian, and one of them is not. The Christian one automatically has the upper hand. Similarly, you can take one Christian farmer and one Pagan farmer from the US, and automatically the Christian one does not need to deal with everyone around them saying that they are crazy or weird or Satanist (which is actually not a terrible religion at all but that’s a different discussion, please don’t start arguing about that now haha) and will have many things around them at all times that are not only accepting but also encouraging their religious belief system. And depending on where in the US they are, it could even go so far as to say that they would get less money because some people would rather support a Christian family than anything else.

      Now this doesn’t mean that you need to feel guilty about being a Christian, and I also do not think that Christians are necessarily bad people at all. It is just that everything else is a minority in this country and there are so many stereotypes that are thrown on people because of it that people need to fight every day to not be defined by them.

      If this didn’t make sense to you, here’s a good blog article explaining it better http://blog.twowholecakes.com/2009/10/101-redefining-privilege/

      • Moustache

        Understanding this concept is an important part of creating a less hateful world.

  • Thinkaboutit

    Quite simply, its time for humanity as a whole to shed Abrahamic faiths. Islam, Christianity, Judiaism have run amok of the world for far too long. We just don’t need it any longer!

  • mathair4

    First of all, let’s examine this logically. I was looking on Wikipedia and of the 55 Delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 51 belonged to some Christian denomination. They were all of northern European extraction and their world views were based on northern European, Christian upbringings. They were a very similar group of people with only a slight variation in some of their beliefs. So, logically, when the said that the government would make no law establishing a religion, they meant “Christian denomination.” For example, most had come from England where the king had set himself up as head of the church and told the citizens they had to belong to his denomination or else. They were trying to escape from the control over the exercising of their single religion, expressed through different denominations. They couldn’t conceive, at that time, the multitude of different types of religions and belief systems that future immigrants would bring. So it’s a historical fact, the country was originally settled by Christians. They also wrote that “the government would not prohibit the free exercise” of religion. This points to the fact that they also couldn’t conceive that future inhabitants would abandon religion but would just practice it in different ways. No one, by swearing the oath in court, or having a day off work, etc. is being forced to PRACTICE Christianity. No one in this country is being forced or terrorized by the government into belonging to any religion. THAT was the spirit of what the founding fathers were trying to set down. Now as for music and television programs and such- this is a capitalistic country and the entertainment and retail industries provide products for which there is a demand. They are selling that stuff because people buy it. I don’t like coffee, but I’m not particularly offended that it’s readily available at every convenience store. And yes, our politicians have historically been Christian. There are many politicians who aren’t nowadays. But since the majority of the population is Christian, and this is a democracy so the majority vote elects the politicians, it does stand to reason that the populace is going to elect representatives that share their views and are similar to them in as many ways possible. Same thing with being anywhere in the country and being surrounded by members of the same faith, or teachers or friends- of course- it’s just a numbers thing. If I lived in India and traveled anywhere else in India I’d expect to find a lot of Hindus. Some of the other things you mentioned, I assume you are talking about the experiences of people in other countries, because there are things you mentioned that certainly aren’t legal here, like being discriminated in the workplace due to religion or being afraid to worship due to threats. Now, if Christianity ever does become the non-majority religion in the US, maybe these things will change, due to the changes in leadership and laws being changed (such as holidays- since they are actually laws passed by the government). But for now, I don’t see any problem. Minority religions’ adherents are free to worship, and atheists are free to do whatever it is they do. They aren’t put to the guillotine or anything, and they enjoy all the social benefits and freedoms that everyone else does. For now, this is the way the country is set up, until the number of people who hold other views vote to change them.

  • Ernie

    These may be true, but in other countries, your very life is in danger if you’re a Christian. Saying Merry Christmas or Happy Easter to a Muslim may not be PC but the worst that will happen is that they will be offended. Ask the family of the pastor who was just beheaded in some foreign (I think Muslim) country how they feel and I’ll take violating PC any day.

  • tom

    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. 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!

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

    Having
    traveled around the world a bit, I have thought about it and just how good we
    have it as Christians here in this wonderful country of ours. The founders were largely Christian and
    formed colonies and eventually countries that best reflected their
    experiences. In the Americas, the English
    based countries were largely protestant and the Latin ones to the south were
    Catholic. Today, some of the countries
    south of the U.S. border have Catholicism as the state religion, something
    which was a reflection of the colonial era. To the north we initially had colonial “state
    religions” which were different versions of Christianity. After the ratification of the constitution,
    this turned into a pan-Christian society.

    To
    show an alternative, in my wife’s country, Malaysia they celebrate the following:
    the Muslim holidays of Hari Raya Haji (thirty days of fasting during the day
    followed by late night feasting throughout Ramadan where school may be closed
    for up to a week and adults may have three days off from work, {an
    approximation}) also they celebrate Aidil Fitri, and Awal Muharam. These Islamic holidays are ingrained into
    that culture. They also celebrate the holidays
    from the days of the British Empire and those of the Chinese and Indian
    residents as well.

    These
    practices are from the colonial days though, and reflect a time when England
    imposed its structure and recruited the Chinese and Ethnic Indians to manage
    the economy and plantations of the British Empire in Malaysia. Here in the U.S., we have a much more
    Euro-Centric model. Christmas, and sometimes
    Good Friday are the days given as publically sanctioned religious holidays
    while Thanksgiving is religiously inspired holiday, but not a religious one. So to your statement, we have one or two
    holidays. Wow, that is a lot! I am really feeling guilty and entitled right
    now.

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

    I
    am really looking forward to the Charlie Brown Halloween Special, and the twenty-four
    hour “A Christmas Story” marathon.

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

    That
    is changing slowly, but for right now the Christians are the majority. The law of supply and demand dictates this. 2% Muslim and 2% Jewish, 1 % or so
    other. Well, 97% trumps the rest. People are naturally going to cater to them.

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

    Halloween? Many really devout Christians have a real
    problem with this and have to struggle with their children who wish to trick or
    treat. Wait, that is a “Christian
    holiday right?

    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).

    And
    the problem is?….. If there is
    something wrong with the faith say what is wrong it, not the privileges that
    society has bestowed upon it.

    You can worship freely, without fear of violence or
    threats

    Is
    this a privilege granted to us, or more likely a reflection of the morality
    that comes with the faith? I would agree
    with you though, there is an element of security in the Christian faith, and
    that was granted to our society, as long as we remain faithful.

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

    Are
    you certain of that?

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

    Really,
    do we have prayer rooms in our schools?
    Are we allowed to openly pray in school or to say a prayer at a school
    function? Can I espouse the belief in a
    creator in a high school biology class? What will be the teacher’s most likely
    response? I believe I answered all of the statements.

    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.

    Can
    you really? Most identify with being a
    Christian, and it is of an ambiguous nature.
    We are so free in our beliefs, we are not really believers any more. We instead identify with the morality that
    was used in establishing this nation, but not in its source, so as we question
    the old laws and the reason we believe the way we do, we acquiesce to those who
    cry “foul”. The fact being that we are
    more fair than the societies those on the left look up to.

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

    No,
    if you read the Bible your word is good enough.

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

    Where
    have you been? That may happen if I am
    at church.

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

    That
    would mean that they stand by what they promise, and not make deals that run
    counter to the stated beliefs/platform of their party, right? So no.

    Politicians can make decisions citing your faith
    without being labeled as heretics or extremists.

    Sure
    they can, until they do something that really runs counter to the faith. Abortion is a No Go. For everything else there seems to be a short
    attention span.

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

    Sure,
    have you watched the “Big Bang Theory” lately?
    How is Sheldon’s mother depicted?
    How about most movies with a Christian minister, what kind of faith is
    portrayed?

    You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter
    will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.

    Not
    really. The basics yes, but the deeper
    meaning of the faith, most people do not do a detailed study-they instead do
    what is easy for them.

    You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for
    not knowing other people’s religious customs.

    Having
    lived around the world a bit, this statement is a bit of a fallacy. Most people will gladly share their beliefs
    to non-believers. Your response to the
    sharing however, may be held against you though in a really dangerous manner in
    some faiths outside of Christianity.

    Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.

    Not
    publicly. I am not supposed to share my
    beliefs with the clients.

    You can go into any career you want without it being
    associated with or explained by your faith.

    Yep,
    thankfully we may.

    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.

    Yep, thankfully we
    may.

    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)

    In
    the U.S., in some places.

    You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be
    considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.

    True.

    Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will
    not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.

    I
    am not sure of that. DHS did list Christian
    fundamentalists as potential terrorists, all in the effort to remain PC. What was the IRS doing for the last few
    years?

    Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be
    halted due to your faith.

    True, here.

    You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the
    members of your faith.

    That
    is because we are allowed to have differing views here. Hundreds of different faiths (most of them
    Christian I origin)are allowed here.
    Thanks to the efforts of our founders.

    You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded
    by members of your faith.

    Incorrect,
    should read my culture, which was shaped by a Judeo-Christian worldview.

    Without special effort, your children will have a
    multitude of teachers who share your faith.

    Harder
    to find than you think.

    Without
    special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your
    faith.

    Harder
    to find than you think.

    It is easily accessible for you or your children to be
    educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your
    faith.

    Are
    you serious? How much money do you have?

    Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not
    likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.

    True,
    if you are member of a given faith.

    In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately
    grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.

    True.

    Your faith is taught or offered as a course by most
    public institutions.

    In
    a non-biased manner, not designed to challenge my beliefs?

    You can complain about your religion being under attack
    without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.

    What
    do you mean by this? So if I remark that
    current policies may have contributed to the recent mass emigration of
    Christians from the Middle East as they are once again targets that will not be
    perceived by the media as racism or prejudice toward another faith?

    You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your
    faith bears certain privileges.

    Christianity
    is the majority faith in the U.S. We are
    a greater force for good around the world because of our morality based upon
    our Judeo-Christian heritage.

    Try living in Afghanistan. It was quite informative watching how Islam treats women and what state that they are forced into on once hubby dies.

    Ashley, I have to take you to task, treating others as they should be treated is not a privilege. It is what you are commanded to do in your faith and it was what our framers intended.

    IIoken
    The sad thing is that those who are
    most vocal about being Christians today really aren’t Christians at all.
    Many loud politicians, radio shock jocks, and Fox “news” employees are
    destroying people’s desire to have anything to do with religion. They
    say they live by the Bible but are really just hung up on the negativity
    of the Old Testament.They are often judgmental and arrogant. I grew up
    in a conservative, Lutheran church and left it for the very reasons you
    mentioned and those I just mentioned. I now work for the United Church
    of Christ and I feel God in my life again and “hear” Him speaking to me
    (not an actual voice, of course). We are the most progressive
    denomination there is. I am sorry, but you are wrong. You seem to feel that accommodation is the way to go and sin is not really sin. You are not alone this movement is a growing one. You should reassess.
    Sam, what was the real underlying reason for this?
    Tom

  • C

    These things only apply to specific types of Christianity, and if you fall into a subset of something like “Queer Christian” or “Universalist Christian”, then very few of these things apply..

  • Peter Jenkins

    You can easily claim that your religious text didn’t actually mean that because of another random verse, in an attempt to make your religion seem better than others.

  • Curt Naeve

    Thank you for this clever and insightful way of helping us see things from a different perspective.

  • Bob Schuyler

    I’m responding to llokken and Janessa’s interchange. They both put forth the argument, from different points of view, that there are good and bad Christians. But the truth is that we’re ALL bad. Christian or non-Christian, rich or poor, sick or well, educated or uneducated, this race or that, male or female – we’re all sinners before God. That’s what the Bible teaches. We all fall short – and the Bible makes no distinction: if I’ve dishonored God or failed to love Him with my whole heart, with a “little” sin or a “big” sin, I have proved the point in both the Psalms and the writings of Paul – both the OT and NT. We have all sinned and lost our favor with God. The whole point of the gospel is that God sent Jesus to seek and save the lost (all of us), to redeem us and bring us back into fellowship with God. We are a work in process. So, there are mature and immature Christians, legalistic and permissive Christians, dogmatic and liberal Christians – bad people drawn back to God through Jesus and sincerely seeking to live rightly but still circumscribed by the weaknesses and negative strengths of the flesh. Is there any positive difference in a person’s life when he becomes a Christian? The Bible teaches that there is; in fact, it says that a person when born again by the Spirit of God becomes a new creation. Both the testimony of stories in the NT and my own personal experience affirm that truth. But do I still sin. Lamentably, yes, though I am no longer bound or enslaved by continual sin, nor am I burdened with guilt in the way I once was. Am I “good” now that I am a Christian? Can I think I will never again offend either God or my fellow man? The Bible teaches that in my flesh I am still inclined to sin (even if no longer enslaved), but that in my spirit I am given the righteousness of Christ. So, what happens when I offend another person with moral statements with which they don’t agree, but which I hold as essential (because it is how I have been taught to – and believe I should – read scripture). Well, I hope if I learn that I have offended someone or some group of people in that way that I check in with the Bible as to whether I have done or said what Jesus did or said by his direct example while he lived among us. And if I find I am standing in my own pride or fear or love of authority or any other such sin, I must repent, ask God’s forgiveness and seek the forgiveness and reconciliation with the person or persons I’ve offended insofar as that is possible – as well as to adjust my attitude and future behavior. On the other hand, if I truly believe Jesus’ words and actions affirm whatever I’ve said or done, I must be willing to quietly and lovingly respond to and/or bear up under, without fear, whatever negative reaction(s) the offended person might offer. I’m not trying to get Christians “off the hook”. Only Jesus can do that. The gospel is that only Jesus HAS DONE and can do that for ALL of us, regardless of our background or present convictions, beliefs or lack of them. Also, the good news is that Jesus gives us not only forgiveness before the Almighty God, but also the way of forgiveness and reconciliation human being to human being.

  • FloridaJudy

    You can wear a discrete symbol of your faith – such as a small crucifix – without having random lunatics come up to you on the street or at your work place and either start preaching at you or issuing death threats.

    Both have happened to me.

  • Mary

    Wow, really an eye-opener.

  • ehzimmerman

    You don’t have to face Christians who proselytize to you about the One Exclusively True Religion to you (whether you want to hear about it or not) because they believe they know what’s best for you and you do not, and they believe they must try their best to save you from eternal damnation. You do not have to face their devaluing, patronizing, and even contemptuous reactions when you do not join the One Exclusively True Religion.

  • Robert Harvey-Kinsey

    Even with no input from you as a parent, your children will declare beliefs in and express worldviews in the context of your faith.

    • sangsue

      And you will never have to worry about your child feeling left out or alien because your religion is the “normal” religion.

  • sangsue

    35. You will always have food available with your specific diet and won’t have to choose between following your faith or starving.

    36. Your religion will always be synonymous with “good” and “decent” and “G-d fearing.”

    37. Because of your faith, you will be judged to have impeccable character, even before someone knows you.

    38. You have tons of representatives in state and federal government whose idea of what is sinful matches your own so you can rest assured that your point of view will always be represented.

  • Meh

    Some of this may be a part of living in a country where the Constitution and the rule of law was originally predicated on Judeo Christian values. Since there had to be “golden rule” to strongly encourage these values so that the laws would be followed, and since there was already a large presence of religions aligned with Christianity on the continent, and in the government, it was kind of a no brainer. Many of these are a legacy of a long history, and remain important. Some of the things on the list cut two ways, and are incomplete thoughts, but in many ways apply nonetheless. I could cite examples, and probably will on my own blog in response to this article. Also some of these are representative of isolated incidents, or geographically prominent in nature, and not the rule as stated in the examples. Overall, it’s thought provoking, but doesn’t apply as stated in many cases. It’s good to be aware of the views from other perspectives of course, and I don’t particularly have a preference one way or another, but the rules of logic, when applied to this article, imply a few fallacies as well as reveal an overarching agenda or ideology. Better to present things in a more complete, succinct and balanced fashion to create the kind of argument you are looking for.

  • Amul Kumar

    More examples of Christian Privilege :
    * No one asks you what your name “means.”
    ” People will not casually investigate your genetic lineage as a conversation opener (eg, “No, where are you REALLY from?”)

  • Samantha

    It’s not privilege its just the majority. I’m sure if you go to any other country that does not have a christian majority you could easily say the same thing about them.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      …its[sic] just the majority.

      No, it’s not “just” that. In Western countries, especially the Anglosphere, it’s also the assumed default. That’s what gives it privileged status.

  • Moon

    As a Christian, I’d say a fair amount of this is correct, which isn’t surprising given the country’s basis on Christian values. However, there was one trend I noticed: you seem to assume that most Americans are Christians. I know it’s the most populous religion in the nation, but most Americans are definitely NOT Christians. Some may claim it as their religion (they may have grown up w/ Christian parents or attending the local church), but not all practice it (and TRUE Christianity commands believers to walk out their faith daily).

    That being said, several of your points are fast becoming false (not through your fault, though). 8, 12, & 17 are some, just to name a few. Not nitpicking or attacking, just giving you some food for thought.

  • MyTwoCents

    You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays. – From the California Labor Commissioners Office – Employers are not required to offer employees time off for holidays, nor are employers required to pay for time for holidays granted. Accommodation of religious holidays may be required in certain circumstances (see Complying with Equal Employment Opportunity Laws). It is wise to set forth at the beginning of each year which, if any, holidays will be granted and whether they will be paid.

    Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible. So are programs featuring Lesbian/Gay, murder, prostitution, backstabbing, promiscuity, and various other attacks on our beliefs.

    It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays. Come to MI, it is easy to find stores that let you celebrate, Jewish, Muslim, African American heritage and their holidays.

    You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values. Funny, my kids are expected to acknowledge Kwanza, Ramadan, and various other holidays through school, but they are told not to say Merry Christmas. It is have a Happy Holiday Season for the December break (winter break).

    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. Tell that to the 75 people who died last year in Church attacks (135 deadly force incidents)

    A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized. Yeah, I see bumper stickers mocking Christianity all the time.

    You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited. Yep, I am sure the people of LA Beach City Park will agree with you, since they are no longer allowed to put up Nativity Scene that they have done for last 60 years.

    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. A Muslim can get a jury of his/her peers, that is the law.

    When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith. To the contrary, the Founders wanted to ensure that Americans of any faith — or no faith — could hold federal office. They set it forth plainly in Article VI: “… No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Placing a hand on a Bible while reciting the presidential oath is simply a tradition started by George Washington. Indeed, two presidents, Teddy Roosevelt and John Quincy Adams, did not use a Bible at their swearing-in ceremonies. Although Roosevelt’s reasons are unclear, John Quincy Adams’ reasons could not be more plain. Adams, the son of President John Adams, was a religious man. But he chose to be sworn in with his hand on a book of U.S. laws. He wanted to demonstrate that he recognized a barrier between church and state and that his loyalty was to our nation’s laws above all else.

    Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith. I see references to a multitude of religions everyday in the USA. That is what freedom of religion means in a free country. Just because my religion does not agree with yours does not make mine a crime.

    Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith. You know what they say about making assumptions. There is also the quote of a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists. They can also attack my faith under the guise of being politically correct.

    It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media. Yep, The Passion of the Christ, Last Temptation of Christ, Life of Brian, DaVinci Code, etc. etc. etc.

    You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs. Yeah, everyone I encounter in Dearborn MI with great me with open arms.

    You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.

    Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace. Forced to provide birth control at Catholic Church’s. Tolerance is such a ugly word when it is not what you want to hear.

    You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith. Yeah, McDonald’s and their halal menu.

    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. Tell that to a Christian who might travel in Indonesia, Iran, etc.

    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) That would be an issue to the individual, I don’t have time to classify all my friends as male/female/black/red/white/gay/straight/weird/etc. I would just rather go out and have a beer with my friends (no hyphens allowed).

    You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith. Funny, most people consider Muslim’s as polite, gentle, peaceful. It is people writing articles that try to incite the anger because of the actions of a radical few. Same can be said of Christians, African Americans, etc.

    Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior. Except by the IRS, do not use Christian, Conservative, Tea Party in the name or you might find yourself on a list.

    Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith. Funny, try to get a new church approved on the site of 911, see how fast it is approved when you can’t claim discrimination.

    You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith. Christians are attacked all the time because of the actions of a few. Do you know watch the press crucify the Republican’s the first time anything slips out of their mouth. Headlines read, here are your Christian values, not here is this one person’s belief.

    You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith. See my reference to Dearborn in MI, could say the same about walking in Detroit.

    Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith. And those teachers are told to teach all other faiths, but do not focus on Christian values or your job will be in danger.

    Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith. My kids class looks like the United Nations, I am pretty sure less than 50% share his beliefs.

    It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith. Can you say the same if you go to another country. Does the world have to stop because you came to a strange country, do you expect them to stop their beliefs to accommodate your beliefs? Move to Indonesia and tell me how well a Christian will fit in.

    Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children. I would like to adopt a child from Iran, what do you think my chance of getting a child would be?

    In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith. A judge should never bring faith into it, it should be who is most stable parent with financial capabilities that will not put undo restraints onto the child.

    Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions. Why is any faith taught at a public institution? Faith should be taught in religious institution. Science, Technology, Engineering, Math is what should be taught in public institutions.

    You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion. I can complain about my religion because I live in a free country that gives me the right to follow any religion I choose. I do not blindly follow, I question.

    You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges. And you can dismiss with the idea that being Christian gives you any privilege.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Wow, you’re pretty damned determined to distort facts and aim for “truthiness” in order to make yourself look persecuted. Grow a pair.

      It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays. Come to MI, it is easy to find stores that let you celebrate, Jewish, Muslim, African American heritage and their holidays.

      The token “Channukah endcaps” at Target and Meijer don’t really count. Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and pagan speciality stores only really exist in Michigan’s largest cities (metro-Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Ann Arbor), and even then can be few and far-between. Blue Raven in Lansing closed. Triple Goddess in Lansing had to relocate. Mayflower (originally in the Clawson, MI area) had been victim of arson several times over the last fifteen years, but seems safest now that it’s relocated to Berkley, MI. And I’m not even counting the Halal and Indian markets that tend to stock various religious supplies, as well –but again, if you live outside of the metro-Detroit and Ann Arbor areas, those places are going to be much harder to find.

      Yet at the same time, it’s hard to aim a dart at a map of even Ann Arbor, MI and not find a Christian bookstore or a place chock full of Christian religious items within a few miles of where the dart landed. It’s hard to drive a mile in Lansing and not pass a Christian “books and gifts” boutique, or that monstrous Hope Church with its gift shop, or a grocery or “big box” retailer that keeps a stock of a dozen different Catholic candles or so. And the further West you go in Michigan, the faster Christianity practically chokes out all other religions, making it pretty danged hard to find even a small dusty box of Maneschevitz Shabbat candles at Meijer.

      That’s why the item you “challenged” said “it is EASY TO FIND” Christian supply shops and bookstores. It’s not as easy to find those places for other religions, unless you know where to go, and it’s probably going to remain concentrated in one or two cities regarded as cosmopolitan.

      You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values. Funny, my kids are expected to acknowledge Kwanza, Ramadan, and various other holidays through school, but they are told not to say Merry Christmas. It is have a Happy Holiday Season for the December break (winter break).

      You know what? Most printed calendars I’ve bought in the last seven years acknowledge Muslim and Jewish holidays, or Australian bank holidays that are completely irrelevant to most people living in the Northern Hemisphere. That’s not the same thing as a social pressure to actively celebrate those holidays the way even other pagans will tell me that I’m somehow “being unreasonable” to not celebrate Christmas.

      You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats. Tell that to the 75 people who died last year in Church attacks (135 deadly force incidents)

      Why not tell that to the Christians who committed those attacks, in the first place?

      A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized. Yeah, I see bumper stickers mocking Christianity all the time.

      So? That’s not what the item said. Unless you truly believe your neighbour’s car hosting an anti-Christian bumber sticker inherently vandalises your own car with a Christian bumper sticker, in which case, I dare you to try and prove that in court.

      You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited. Yep, I am sure the people of LA Beach City Park will agree with you, since they are no longer allowed to put up Nativity Scene that they have done for last 60 years.

      That doesn’t inhibit anyone from practising their own religious customs. It only inhibits individuals from putting it up on public property without equal representation of other religions.

      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. A Muslim can get a jury of his/her peers, that is the law.

      No shit. But what the court decides are a person’s “peers” is going to have more to do with age and socio-economic class than religion, and it’s fairly common for non-Christians to have a trial-by-jury of all or mostly Christians, many of whom are likely to hold the defendent’s non-Christian status against them.

      Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith. I see references to a multitude of religions everyday in the USA. That is what freedom of religion means in a free country. Just because my religion does not agree with yours does not make mine a crime.

      Who said that it did? Stop being a crybaby. No-one is attacking you.

      It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media. Yep, The Passion of the Christ, Last Temptation of Christ, Life of Brian, DaVinci Code, etc. etc. etc.

      And then there’s Seventh Heaven, Christy, Touched by and Angel –hell, just about any “family television drama” from the 1990s, at least three cable networks…. And The Life of Brian is a pretty far reach, son: Have you ever watched it? Jesus is a completely separate character in that film, Brian and his mother go to listen to the sermon on the mount, but are so far in back that they can’t. Brian is very clear in his insistence that he’s not the messiah. And The Last Temptation of Christ has an undeserved bad reputation amongst Christians who’ve never even seen it; if anything, the “twist ending” should reaffirm a Christian’s belief in the Christ mythos.

      You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith. Yeah, McDonald’s and their halal menu.

      What does McDonald’s have to do with anything? The item was alluding to the long-standing stereotypes of Jews becoming bankers and entertainers, affluent American Hindu emigrants in medical fields, and pagans working for environmental groups or massage therapy.

      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. Tell that to a Christian who might travel in Indonesia, Iran, etc.

      Since when are Indonesia and Iran part of the United States, (or Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, or New Zealand)?

      Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior. Except by the IRS, do not use Christian, Conservative, Tea Party in the name or you might find yourself on a list.

      Wrong.

      The IRS only investigated political action groups seeking 501(c)(4) tax-exempt “social welfare group” status. The IRS never targeted faith-based groups applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt “church or religious group” status, and never targeted individuals associated with those groups. FURTHERMORE, the IRS did also investigate the applications of liberal, “Occupy”-related groups, but that got less publicity cos it didn’t give Faux News any fodder for their tin-foil hatting.

      But hey, you clearly have a shiny new tinfoil hat, so I think I’m done here.

  • Henry R. Post

    Simply and clearly spoken; sadly true as well.

  • Pops Lee

    This is a wonderful article. Reading this from my Christian perspective, I liken it to a polishing or refinement process. The raw material must have its rough edges and flaws removed to become a finer product. The Christian refinement process for me is and always has been a constant scraping and sanding and smoothing ordeal. The fully refined product is not complete until I go to eternity with my God.
    I’ve read several comments made to your article. I, like several others, agree that Christians receive privileges in Christian, predominantly Christian, and /or traditionally Christian societies. However, such is true for any group among their own and may or may not be a fault of human nature.

    To the many who have commented regarding who is and who is not a Christian, I do not claim to be a theologian. I am merely a Christian, a believer who does my best to live out the obligations of faith, hope, and love. To that end, I offer the best definition of who is and is not a Christian that I know…

    Matthew 7:16-23

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    16 You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will know them by their fruits.

    21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’
    Love and peace to you all.

  • Ron

    Many of your points especially in regards to “statutory” holidays are valid. But I live in a neighbourhood that is not predominately northern european and many points are lost. If you want to be open on Sunday but take Friday or Saturday off there is no impediment. Children can have friends of their faith and go to schools of their faith and practice their faith openly. You would not get away with hardselling Christianity to them but they are not going to fuss about a wrath on your door at Christmas.
    I think I know what it is like to be a minority because where I live I am one. A little mutual respect will carry the day.

  • http://becomingsupermommy.blogspot.com/ Lea

    You do not have to explain to others that members of your faith do not have horns, do not drink the blood of infants, etc.

  • Kevin Sharkey

    No offense but you live in TX (A very predominantly Christian part of the country), what do you expect? Living in NYC I find this list mostly erroneous and 90% of the things you mention can also be applied to judaism. How do you think making a list like this is going to further racial harmony rather than erode it?

  • Hassan

    This is good. I would also point to the idea that “your religion somehow is bound to your nationality and your fidelity.

  • Ben

    In case you wonder, I am a Christian and a minister. I am also a newspaper publisher.

    So here ya go:

    1. Nope. I’m always on call. Never know when I’m gonna be called to work. The only time I’m truly off duty is when I’m out of state.

    2. Can’t speak to TV any more. Don’t watch it. Music, yes. But so is music representing every other religion which has music. It’s called The Internet.

    3. Yep.

    4. Yep.

    5. Yep.

    6. Nope. Violence is more that physical. I’ve been the recipient of violence because of my beliefs and the way I practice them.

    7. Dunno. Don’t have such a bumper sticker. But I doubt it.

    8. Nope. See 6 above.

    9. . As if. So, no.

    10. Nope.

    11. In some places.

    12. Faith is a tricky thing. I prefer to watch what people do than listen to what they say. That being the case, most emphatically No.

    13. Not any more.

    14. Beyond question, no. The average Christian is clueless about what the Bible actually says.

    15. See 14 above.

    16. Not sure how to answer this one.

    17. Yup.

    18. Nope.

    19. Not totally.

    20. Mmmm, in my case, sometimes.

    21. Anyone who is polite, gentle and peaceful is an exception to their religion’s history.

    22. Nope.

    23. Nope. Can be stopped.

    24. So far, yes.

    25. See Nos. 12 and 14 above.

    26. As 25.

    27. As 26, 25, 14 and 12.

    28. Not in the community in which I live.

    29. Dunno. No experience in adoption.

    30. See 29.

    31. Not to my knowledge.

    32. A bit unclear here, but I tend toward no. But I also see agnosticism and atheism as a faith.

    33. Nope.

    • Keith Hammond

      I am a Christian and I agree mostly with the preacher here. There are a lot of privileges that the folks in our country have that they take for granted, and I am glad that I am a Christian in America, and not one in Iran, Syria or North Korea. I do not pat myself on the back because of my faith, and the one thing that Jesus says to do is love one another. That is the most difficult thing to do for any believer or non-believer. I thank the Lord every day for being born in this country, and for being alive at this time. I was a “garden variety heathen” for 42 years of my life when I was given 2 years to live, that was 10 years ago. I figured that was as good a reason as any to change directions. If you were to change the word “privilege” to responsibilities, this list takes on a different perspective. I am responsible for my Muslim, Hindu, Atheist, and Wiccan brothers as much as I am my own family. I am not responsible to change their beliefs, only to explain my belief and what it has meant for me. I have been down a dead-end road and I know what is there. The road that I am on now is not a route of privilege, but a route of responsibility to others. The one privilege that everyone can have is eternal life. By accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior, we can all have that privilege. That part is easy, it is the part where you live your life differently that is tricky. Did not mean to ramble, I hope one person gets something good out of my message.

  • Mily

    You can invite people to your faith without misinterpretation or prosecution.
    You can mention your faith all day long and expect no one around you to be offended.

  • Zoey

    Here’s one: If a mass-murderer kills many people, but he is a Christian, other Christians will proclaim that he was not truly a Christian because Christians don’t do those sort of things. However, if someone from another faith (principally Muslim) murders many people, he is seen as a valid representation of that religion.

  • Ally

    Quaintly written. Although religion in import to many, I find it an affront to intelligence and the evolution of mankind. Ever since man created god, it has been a rollercoaster ride of division and destruction. (on a world level, both physical and psychological.) I’m not at ‘war’ with christians, or anyone else..because for me, their premise is imaginary, and their promises empty. I choose to ‘feel good’ doing what is right by each other. Freedoms, lending a helping hand both financially and emotionally, valuing life(not just a fetus). We MUST evolve, or find ourselves in repeated ‘dark ages’…we need to climb out of the depraved hole of religion, that we have so skillfully dug.

  • Ally

    Quaintly written. Although religion is import to many, I find it an affront to intelligence and the evolution of mankind. Ever since man created god, it has been a rollercoaster ride of division and destruction. (on a world level, both physical and psychological.) I’m not at ‘war’ with christians, or anyone else..because for me, their premise is imaginary, and their promises empty. I choose to ‘feel good’ doing what is right by each other. Freedoms, lending a helping hand both financially and emotionally, valuing life(not just a fetus). We MUST evolve, or find ourselves in repeated ‘dark ages’…we need to climb out of the depraved hole of religion, that we have so skillfully dug.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      The whole concept of “holy war” was actually born of monotheism, not religion as a whole.

      Did polytheistic societies war with each-other? Sure, but there are two key differences: First, in polytheist societies warring with each-other, conversion is never a goal. The closest that ever came to that was when Rome would take over lands and people she did not control before, and the primary temples of the now-conquered peoples would essentially remain as they were, but with the expectation that an “equivalent” Roman deity would be given lip-service as an epithet. Local customs would remain, local languages continued to flourish, and the gods of the people continued to be worshipped in their traditional, pre-Roman ways. After Rome also instituted the cult of the Emperor, this was also expected in lands Rome had control over, but the point is, Rome never sought to outright replace local gods with Rome’s own.

      The Second key difference is that when polytheistic societies, it’s just accepted that Society A’s War Goddess will support A, and Society B’s War Gods will support B. It’s also accepted that all deities are, essentially, equal to each-other and Their conflicts reflect, in some ways, the conflicts of humans, and vice-versa. Even in *just* Greek mythology, the Greek gods are seldom unanimous about anything. The gods of warring societies are not “demonised” by their opponents the way that Christianity demonises any deity but its own.

      While this video was created by one who is ostensibly an Atheist, the “part one” I’m linking to does essentially give just the facts explaining how monotheism is the by-product of monolateral polytheism and gained the stronghold it has as a tool of totalitarianism, argueably proto-Stalinesque totalitarianism, including re-writes of “history and all!

      http://youtu.be/MlnnWbkMlbg

      So no, this “division and destruction” you speak of is not a product of religion as a whole —people got along just fine with religion before monotheism, and of the wars that did happen, at least people tended to be more honest about it: “We want that land, we want access to their resources; their gods may try to protect them, but our gods will give us aide, as well”, rather than “we must show the heathen the righteous way, and land and resources will then be granted to us by The One True Deity!”

      • Ally

        I agree.. but polytheistic religions had their own social dilemmas, at the cost of many lives(sacrifices, etc.). Monotheistic thinking hijacked religion, and is now akin to ‘too big to fail’.

        • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

          You know, I love how people bring up “human sacrifice” as if it was ever a big thing. By the time of Hesiod, the Greco-Roman world had been without any true “human sacrifices” for centuries (probably closer to a millennium), and in African, Far Eastern, and Mesoamerican cultures, it the archaeology suggests that it was never as widespread as the Christian imagination made it out to be. Have you ever seen one of those NatGeo documentaries about the “witch villages” in Africa? the annual scapegoating ritual in Hellas had pretty much turned into that, by the archaic period: one or two people would be selected to ritually “absorb” the town ill deeds for the year, then they’d be ritually taken a safe distance out of town. The Pharmakoussai Islands, often translated to English as “witch Islands”, were not only host to the religious centre of the goddess Kirke, but the word “pharmakos” was also used for ritual scapegoats, so while I’m a little rusty on the current knowledge, the etymology makes sense that the Pharmakoussai Islands were, indeed, effectively a village of the ritual scapegoats. Even Irish bog men that are still thought to be a ritual sacrifice (some are now believed to have just simply been murdered) are very few and far-between –too few and far-between to be clearly linked to any sort of ritual human sacrifice. Many stories of human sacrifice (including child sacrifice) exist into the earliest years of the CE, but their historicity is disputed, mainly on the grounds that these are stories told by “outsiders” to the cultures that supposedly practise them, and very little evidence has ever been found to support any of those stories. Hell, even the ancient AEgyptian practise of “burying pharoah’s servants andhigh officials with pharoah” seems to have completely died out by about 2800BCE.

          So sure, bring up pre-monotheistic human sacrifices all you like, the fact still remains that one really can’t compare the “lives lost in the name of polytheistic gods” to the millions lost in the name of the god of Abraham. Especially since most polytheistic cultures had almost, if not completely phased out any “human sacrifice” rituals over a millennium before Christianity came by.

          • John L. Gibson

            You know… And I’m sure others will agree with me on this… Your arrogant and pseudo-intellectual style just prove that you’re as screwed up, if not more so, than the folks you seem to be talking down to. Maybe when you grow up and come back to the reality of Today, you’ll have something useful for us. Just say’n….

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            That’s nice, kiddo.

          • John L. Gibson

            Ruadhan After revisiting the discussion this morning, I sincerely regret hitting the ‘Enter’ button on my earlier reply. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I was wrong and I apologize. What you have to share is interesting. You bring a perspective that is quite different than most and certainly beyond the common knowledge of the average person of today. It was I who showed arrogance by injecting myself into a discussion that had nothing to do with me.

          • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

            Well, thank you. I mean that sincerely.

          • Guest

            That’s nice, dear.

  • James

    I’m curious – would we not receive similar treatment in pre-dominantly Muslim or Hindu countries? I think we would. This nation, though not declared a Christian nation, is predominantly a Christian nation and the side effect of that is what we are seeing. Sure, there are edge cases and those are the ones we see hammering our TVs, talk shows, and news apps. We don’t hear about the thousands of people living in harmony here in the U.S. and practicing their own religions in peace.

    Not being rude, but it is articles like this that keep alive the unconscious reactions of religious minority deprevation. Do you have any explicit research to back up these statements?

  • John L. Gibson

    Thankfully, at least for now, I am not required to answer to the Judgment of others, including Christians, but rather my God alone. Our whole society, even the whole world, is predominantly judgmental, to the point of murder! Everyone these days judges and measures each other according to their own expectations. ‘Enlightened’ Progressives, Conservative Christians, and yes, even Muslims (please pardon my lack of PC). I think that a lot of these comments prove that. How ironic! Why can’t people understand, as most say that they believe, that we are here but for only a moment in Eternity. Cut each other some slack… But, as they say… ‘It is what it is…’ Most of you won’t like this but, there is a saying that I find myself identifying with more and more these days and it goes something like… ‘The more people I meet, the more I appreciate my dog’ Why? Because she doesn’t judge and loves unconditionally. Isn’t it amazing how with all of the advancements in technology we enjoy, Man’s Heart is still in the Stone Age? It was never meant to be so. Jesus knew this, as well as other ‘Teachers’. The Religious Order or Educated People of the Day keep missing the point. For myself, I know that I am no better than the next guy. That’s probably why I tend to isolate myself…

  • Anonymous12

    You could actually expand 26-28 to include daycare facilities. In the suburban area I live in, most of the daycares tout their Christian A Beka curriculums and are darn proud of it. There are a few non-religious daycares and preschools, but they are dwarfed by the Christian ones. The nearest Jewish early education facility is twenty miles away at a minimum and I couldn’t tell you about other faiths. I’m Christian, but that has nothing to do with wanting my kids to have a strong academic foundation. That’s what I want to pay for. Sorry for the rant.

  • syd

    Christian privilege is that people won’t ask where your moral center comes from, if not from the church :|

  • Ariana

    I have lived most of my life very aware of Christian privilege since I had very good friends growing up who were Jewish. The struggle they went through just to get the schools to let their kids not be forced to sing Christian songs in the choir or other events was surprising to me. They got labeled as trouble makers just because they didn’t want to force their kids to practice other faiths music/arts/entertainment in school in order to “get along”. These were public schools my friends and I went to. My father is an Athiest and I did not grow up indoctrinated in the Christian teachings so I often felt as my Jewish friends felt when we had to sing very Christian religious songs in Choir or for a school event. Though I was not familiar with the details of Christian faith I did find that I was inundated with Christian themes in life from television to social interaction and as a teenager was pressured to join a church and “fit in” with the other kids. I will say that the fringe churches (Pentecostals or 7th Day Adventists, for instance) probably also feel left out of the mainstream as well since they have a different view of holidays and celebrations of faith than the mainstream Protestant Christians have. I still am very careful how I present my beliefs to others since it is such a touchy subject for so many people.

  • Tolerance

    My father is a non-practicing Jew, and my mother is a Catholic turned Atheist- and, they moved to rural Kentucky when I was young, where I spent my youth. I myself am more spiritual, and don’t follow any organized religion (though some kind of pagan would be, I guess, the closest.) Not only is there a almost 100% Christian majority here, but a good amount of anti-Semitic and anti-atheist view points. And, I grew up hating zealots, and anyone who ever said “This is what’s true” rather than “This is what I think is true.” So, I do understand the ignorance that unfortunately goes along with a lack of cultural diversity. Which is not always their fault; how many followers of Zoroastrianism do you know? They have no obligation, and neither does anyone else, to have an extensive knowledge of every kind of faith; or any kind of faith, for that matter. There is no need to feel as if you are better because someone calls themselves a follower of any faith. I’ve never been upset by being told Merry Christmas- though I usually love to reply with a Happy Hanukkah, mostly because I firmly feel that neither is offensive. My main point, thought, is being tolerant even in the face of intolerant. Keep the moral high ground; don’t attack someone for their faith, whatever it is. I’ve always said, you have a right to call me whatever you want; nasty as that can be, I still find it to be correct. So please, try to be enlightened; there’s no need to have a problem with someone for being a member of a faith that dislikes homosexuals, or Jews, or Muslims, etc… because their faith isn’t always what defines them. Try to say that all homosexuals, Jews, Muslims, think or feel the same way on a certain issue, and you’ll see how incorrect that concept really is. People are people; regardless of their faith. Hate the Church, not the ones that go to Church, in other words.

    On the topic of the “War against Christianity,” however, I do laugh. They don’t know the real concept of being one in a hundred, and having ninety-nine against your views. Of really being persecuted- though, even I don’t claim to have that complete knowledge, just a bit more than most.

  • Bryce Jordan

    Personally I have found more acceptance among other pagans and some satanists as well as other systems more than chirstians. there’s been very few and very far between that I have met christains that will walk more than they talk, for lack of a better phrase. the ones that I have met are the ones I can respect. They don’t do things because they felt obligated or wanted to look good, they did them because they felt it was right. These are just my experiences, I’ve met with ones who accepted me as I am though didn’t agree with my beliefs. I can accept that. not going to agree with everyone on everything. there’s only been two church’s that I’ve found that took me without criticism even knowing that I don’t follow the same beliefs. I’m sure there are more out there that I am unaware of, and to those I thank for not being the hypocritical bastards that give the christian faith a bad name. If there weren’t so many I might hold a bit more respect. Until then though my thoughts stay the same.

  • RallyMonkey

    You should add that one can call Christianity “a blight on humanity” and it’s all good. Name another religion where that’s tolerable!

    • RallyMonkey

      To clarify, I added the exclamation point as mock enthusiasm (like a thumbs up), not outrage. It doesn’t come off that way. I’d remove it, but I don’t see an edit function. Peace.

  • Eric

    I guess at any rate you could still call it “privilege,” but nearly half of the points made in this article result not from some kind of institutional defect or widespread discrimination, but rather from the fact that Christianity is the most common religion in America. Thus, the only way to solve what I assume you believe are problems of inequality would be to somehow make there be fewer Christians and more individuals of other faiths in the US. Number 3 on this list is representative of this problem; there aren’t many venues selling items used in worship for Sikhs because there aren’t enough Sikhs in the US to support many stores. This problem also applies (in varying degrees) to numbers 2, 5, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28, and 31. Of course, this does not mean the issues associated with the examples I listed should just be ignored, but rather that the solution is for Christians to be cognizant of the fact that there are people of other faiths instead of some change in law, policy, or governance.

    And before I am accused of 33, I do not consider myself affiliated with any religion.

  • Krista Kay

    Killerman, Here, there is freedom of the press and equality before the law. My country has a decent framework of values, morals and ethics. If someone has a problem with that, they should be ashamed and remember the door swings both ways… they can go back to where they can demand more ‘rights’. lol :-)

    • Krista Kay

      Oh, there are 192 countries in the world and very few are decent. Why not point your finger at the direction of the 150 barbaric societies ?

      • Unknown

        Really, “barbaric”? That’s so judgmental it’s sad.

        • Krista Kay

          All ‘western countries’ are decent and civilized. Most of the others are not.

          Look out your window and see how those from the 56 ISLAMIC STATES have infiltrated with their intolerant ideologies and have been responsible for over 20,000 BARBARIC terrorist attacks since 9/11 *all*over*the*world… ah yes, that’s very a tiny minority who ‘do it’ as the vast majority give a nod in their silence.

  • Debby

    Blessed Be

  • DovEphraim

    Here’s one more item to the privilege list: you get to use the the phrase “Old Testament” with impunity.

    For my faith tradition, it’s just the “Testament” . . .

  • revcmw

    Given the comments I have read below I would add: You can argue amongst yourselves about who is a good vs..a bad Christian, Orthodoxy vs. Orthopraxy, what Jesus did and did not say, who is and isn’t a Christian and expect everyone else knows what you’re talking about.
    (I do happen to know what you’re talking about but that’s because I went to school to learn about Christianity).

  • Chris

    I am agnostic but was raised in a Christian household my question to the author here is are people of Christian faith supposed to feel guilty about these things? You could also apply the same theory 2 people of Caucasian race. Even if I was a Christian follower I would feel proud that my religion is not automatically associated with violence or terrorism. Myself personally because I am NOT attached personally to any specific faith I would have to say that Christianity must be doing something right if it is universally accepted as generally well natured and a follower of that belief should not be made to feel guilty about that.

    • Alexis

      I would be careful to say that Christianity is universally accepted as generally well-natured. That’s a bold claim to make and I’m sure you could find plenty of evidence suggesting there are many who do not think so. I think the careful delineation comes from the overall religion, Christianity; the system, the church; and the individual, the Christian. Many people love and respect their Christian friends and family but do not subscribe to some of the stances of the church; or, in some extreme cases like the Westboro Baptist Church, do not like/respect the individual(s) while not necessarily applying that to the religion as a whole. In fact, you’ll find many Christians who do not necessarily love and respect all three. And I think it is healthy to separate and analyze each piece independently to make your own conclusions.
      Additionally, while Christianity may not be currently associated with violence (although it has quite a bloody history), that does not mean that people do not hold other negative opinions and associations of the religion.
      And in terms of “feeling guilty,” I do not believe that is the goal. Instead, the goal is awareness and recognition, and the long-term goal of ensuring each religion is on equal footing with these “privileges.”

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Christianity is about genocide.

      If you think that’s “well natured”, I don’t know what else I can say.

  • nop666

    Great list, Sam. And if you think it sucks to have a non-Christian religion in the USA, try being an atheist.

    • Listens to Reason

      Atheism is a religion?

  • Solstice

    Let’s approach this rationally. And I will say for the record, I do not
    consider myself a Christian, and if I were I’d be a poor example of
    one, but most of my family is, and I still am deeply tied to the
    faith, so it bugs me when people make assumptions about it. So for
    the most part, I’ll speak from a Christian background, personal experience, and specific examples.

    1.
    Christmas is the only “religious” holiday that I am likely to
    have off. I can and have had to work on all other holidays,
    “religious” or not. Also, unless one counts St. Patrick’s Day and
    Valentine’s Day, which can be hardly regarded as “religious” in
    any way now, the only two “religious” holidays that are regularly
    recognized are Christmas and Easter. I worked last Easter.

    2.
    Yep. There are a whole lot of inaccurate, crappy Christmas movies out
    there, you’re right, I can watch them anytime. I’m not sure this is a
    Christian exclusive though. Maybe in the sense of holidays. However,
    I just watched Fiddler on the Roof the other day, and have always
    been a big fan of Schindler’s List, The Prince of Egypt, The Ten
    Commandments, and even Inglourious Basterds is okay. Also, Eight
    Crazy Nights wasn’t half bad either. All of which are centered around
    Jews, and Jewish people, as a primary theme. So it’s not as if
    Christianity is the only belief system that can readily be found in
    media, but for obvious reasons, yes, there’s a bunch of Christian
    movies about Christmas, a Christian holiday.

    3.
    There is only one store that I know of anywhere near me that
    specifically sells Christian merchandise. That’s more Muslim or Hindu
    stores than I know of, but those stores wouldn’t have a large enough
    customer base to do well with strictly religious merchandise, so it’s
    more of a business thing, playing to demographic, than it is a
    religious thing.

    As
    for other stores, yes, bookstores sell the Bible, they also sell all
    the other religious texts too. The last jewelry shelf I saw had
    crosses, as well as Stars of David, crescent moons, and they sold
    tons of little Buddha statues there too. So I’m not sure how #4 here
    applies to Christians more than others. What “religious holiday”
    items are you referring to? Hams? Eggs? Pine trees? (None of which
    have anything to do with Christianity, they are separate traditions
    that coincide with the two Christian holidays) Seriously, we don’t
    really have items specific to our faith that I can think of. At
    least, not in my family.

    4.
    Well TV commercials don’t call it “Christmas” anymore, and I
    don’t feel like Easter puts much pressure on people to celebrate it,
    so… what? What holidays are people outside Christianity feeling
    like they’re pressured to celebrate? Seriously, at least from a media
    standpoint. I expect no one to celebrate a holiday that conflicts
    with their religious values if they don’t feel comfortable with it,
    and if they feel pressured to by their family or friends, then that’s
    not right.

    5.
    Not anymore. People have made it a point to make Christians feel like
    crap for mistaking other people for people who might celebrate
    Christmas or Easter. So, and if you ever worked for a store or
    restaurant or most businesses, it is now against many company
    policies for employees to say anything other than “Happy Holidays”
    or “Season’s Greetings” in most places, unless otherwise
    addressed first. I know this firsthand. At no point anymore do I
    assume that I can wish someone a “Merry Christmas” unless they do
    first, and this goes for outside of my workplace. During the
    holidays, I have to be careful what I say, lest someone rip me apart
    and call me a bigot for saying “Merry Christmas”. On a separate
    note, I would not be offended in the slightest if someone wished me
    “Happy Hannukah” or a “Pleasant Solstice”.

    6.
    Um. I can only assume this one is in here because some inconsiderate
    people have been rude Muslims for worshipping somewhere. So it’s a
    fair point, I guess. But unless you’re a Muslim in the deep backwoods
    south or something, I’m not sure who is getting violence or threats
    about their freedom of worship, which is, in the U.S., an inalienable
    right. If someone feels threatened or has violence brought against
    them strictly on the basis of their faith, then it is a legal matter,
    and should be dealt with as such. Otherwise, my city is home to
    churches, mosques, and synagogues, and all the rest alike.

    7.
    I have no doubt that there are cases of bumper stickers pertaining to
    many faiths that have lead to vandalism. However, I hardly believe
    that someone with a Jewish or Muslim, for example, bumper sticker is
    “likely” to have their car vandalized. I don’t think that in this
    nation, in civilized areas, that that is a very common issue to where
    it could be called “likely”. I think it’s very unlikely for
    anyone to have their car vandalized, and very, very unlikely for it
    to be on the basis of a religious hate crime.

    However,
    I will say that when I was in a church as a younger man, someone once
    slashed all the tires in out parking lot, smashed some windows, and
    left hate notes on many windshields against Christianity. So the only
    religiously motivated hate crime in terms of vandalism that I’ve ever
    been privy to in my area was against Christianity. It’s insulting to
    assume that it never happens to us.

    8.
    “Without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.” Some of these
    points were valid up until now, but this one is total bullshit. I’m
    sorry. But Christians are constantly mocked, in the media, and in
    person. They’re insulted, written off as stupid, awkward,
    anti-scientific, extreme, oppressive, raving, bigoted morons. And not
    just as individuals on a case by case basis, but the whole faith is
    regarded this way. All the time. Hundreds of television shows, tons
    of movies. Christianity’s portrayal in the media is incredibly
    negative and mocking. And in person, I’ve personally been ridiculed
    several times because I was a Christian. It’s asinine to say that
    Christians and Christian customs are never questioned, mocked, or
    inhibited. Completely asinine.

    9.
    This seems like an incredibly, incredibly specific situation. Also,
    based on personal experience and my area’s demographics, I would
    “assume” all the people my age were Agnostic or Atheist, and that
    the older crowd was mostly Catholic, which doesn’t exactly line up
    with all of Christianity, nor are Catholics particularly fond of
    non-Catholic Christians. So… I wouldn’t assume anything about them.

    10.
    Yep. You’re right. I’m not sure how this tradition came about.
    Probably because at the time, the Bible was the penultimate symbol of
    things like honesty, justice, and most of all, accountability. If
    people don’t regard it that way anymore, than what we swear an oath
    on should be looked at being changed. If people don’t regard it that
    way, then it might as well be a copy of US Weekly for all I care. The
    problem is, there hasn’t been a better idea for a symbol of
    accountability, not one that can be taken seriously. So until a
    non-religious alternative arises, it’ll be tough to avoid. However, I
    agree with your point, and I highly suggest that we keep a copy of
    the Koran, the Book of Shadows, the Torah, the Tripitika, the Adi
    Granth, The God Delusion/A Brief History of Time/The Origin of
    Species, and all other texts or religious texts handy in courtrooms
    if the person swearing in feels more comfortable with it, and if it
    will help keep them more honest and accountable.

    11.
    Nope. Where do you live? What do you watch that makes you assume
    this? People in the U.S., especially people my age, anyway, are not
    particularly fond of Christianity, and are quite outspokenly opposed
    to it. My county only has about 8% of it’s people that attend church.
    Off the top of my head, no where in my town is there a billboard,
    sign, statue, poster, or symbol of any kind that positively
    references Christianity at all, with the exception of the signs in
    front of churches. And since everything on television pretty much
    tears Christianity a new one any chance it gets, there’s not a lot of
    places you can look in a day and see positive Christian references. I
    even see far more insults toward Christianity on social media than I
    do positive references. Also, I cannot think of a single negative
    reference to another belief system, not even on TV, aside from
    Christianity, with the exception of some Jewish character
    stereotypes.

    12
    & 13. I have no clue what faith the politicians that govern me
    are, nor do I care, since it’s really not that important in politics.
    If it were up to me, I’d discourage politicians from talking about
    faith at all. I believe in the separation of church and state, as a
    two way street. Also, every time a politician references God, the
    media and most people my age will immediately begin bashing him or
    her and labeling him or her as a moron. Mitt Romney, George Bush,
    Sarah Palin, Paul Ryan, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum can all be
    easily made fun of for many reasons, and rightfully should be in some
    cases, but they have also been bashed time and time again for their
    faith, not just their politics or personalities, and so your 12th
    and 13th points are pretty hard to agree with, since,
    y’know, I’ve seen quite the opposite many times.

    14.
    No it isn’t. This is another bullshit one. While Christianity may be
    portrayed in many books, movies, television, etc. on a semi-regular
    basis, when doesn’t happen to be insulting negative stereotypes, it’s
    usually very, very, very inaccurate. Which is in some cases the
    result of poorly educated or studied Christians themselves. Many
    Christians barely represent Christianity accurately, you can’t say
    the media does any better, because it clearly doesn’t. Also, are all
    the other faiths inaccurately depicted? That’s what you’re saying,
    since you claim that accurate media depiction in a Christian trait. I
    suppose shows based on extreme humor and satire have inaccurately
    portrayed Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc. But overall, in most shows,
    I don’t think they are any more inaccurately displayed than
    Christianity. Characters of faith outside Christianity are generally
    very positive characters in the show, and are generally educational
    examples of their faith.

    15.
    I can reasonably assume that anyone I encounter has heard of
    Christianity, and that they know that it has something to do with
    Christ dying on a cross, and God existing, yes. I can assume they
    know who Mary was. I can assume they may have heard of Paul or Peter,
    but they probably don’t know anything about them. That’s about as far
    as it goes. On the flipside, my friends that happen to be Jewish are
    free to assume I know the basics of their faith as well, like what
    the Torah is, or a little bit about the Macabees, and my friends that
    happen to be Muslim are free to assume I know about their prayer mats
    and Mecca and who their greatest prophet was. And I do know those
    things. I know the very basics of most faiths, almost everyone does.
    So unless you practice a somewhat obscure faith, it’s safe to assume
    that everyone you meet will know the very basics of your faith.
    There’s nothing wrong with assuming that.

    16.
    What? Are Buddhists penalized for not knowing Christian customs (The
    extent of which I guess is going to church and trying to be good,
    since we don’t really have any customs like wearing specific things
    or eating specific things.) Christian’s don’t really have customs
    that people need to tread lightly to avoid stepping on, unlike some
    other faiths. I don’t think anyone is penalized for not knowing
    others customs. If I took one of my Muslim friends to my old church
    and the notion of communion came up, I don’t think it would be an
    issue, and I wouldn’t expect him to be familiar with it. Who do you
    think is being penalized for not knowing Christian customs, if
    Christian customs are even a thing outside of the church anyway?

    17.
    Nope. Not any more so than any other faith. The company I work for
    treats all belief systems the same way. I am only specifically aware
    of one other Christian in the building, out of around 150 employees.
    There may be more, but faith and the workplace really don’t coincide.
    However, if anyone is of any faith, including Christian, they are
    expected to fill out a Religious Accommodation Form if they want, for
    example, time off to go to church, or certain days of based on their
    faith. We are all treated the same. Any workplace that accepts or
    supports one religion over another needs to look at their policies
    again.

    18.
    Maybe I don’t understand this point, but is this even an issue for
    any faith? Careers and faith seem to have little to do with each
    other, no matter what faith you have. Maybe I don’t understand.

    19.
    Yeah, possibly. I doubt I’d feel very comfortable in places like
    Portland or San Fransisco where I’d be likely to be mocked for being
    a Christian by many people. But otherwise, I could go almost anywhere
    in the U.S. Without fear, really. I could also find churches in most
    cities.

    Do
    other faiths feel like they can’t travel somewhere specific in the
    country without being threatened? If so, I’m curious what faiths are
    afraid of what places? Also, most cities with even moderately large
    populations will have a place to practice most faiths other than
    smaller, obscure ones, and expecting every places to accommodate a
    religion with only, say, a million or two members isn’t really a fair
    expectation. However, in rural areas, you are right, and you would be
    much more likely to find a church than a mosque.

    20.
    Super bullshit with extra bullshit sauce. I have been considered the
    “Christian friend” so many times it’s not even funny. Not only
    considered it, but deliberately called the “Christian friend”
    many times. If you are a Christian, a practicing, trying Christian,
    anyway, you will undoubtedly be labeled by your faith, and it is
    almost never separated from who you are as a defining aspect. I don’t
    know how you came up with that point, but it missed the mark by a
    landslide in my case.

    21.
    What? You think that Christians assume that only other Christians can
    be polite, gentle, and peaceful? Where did you come up with that?
    Most Christians don’t live under a rock, you know, we meet tons of
    non-Christians that are absolutely fantastic. We have non-Christian
    friends, we have non-Christian coworkers. It seems to me that you
    have a misguided stereotype of what Christians think. I have some
    friends that are Muslim, and they are incredibly kind, fun, and
    plenty polite. I’ve never met a Buddhist that I didn’t think was
    gentle. And many of my closest co-workers are Agnostic or Atheist,
    and they are mostly quite peaceful. In fact, my most non-peaceful and
    impolite co worker consider himself Catholic. So… I don’t get where
    you’re coming from on this one.

    22.
    There’s a reason for that. Let me first say that your point here
    doesn’t apply to all other faiths besides Christianity, (Jewish,
    Buddhist, Sikhism, Wicca, etc.) it’s obviously referencing Islam
    alone, not all faiths. First off, Christian extremists in the United
    States boils down to people who protest soldier’s funerals and gay
    events. Some time ago, you could call abortion clinic bombers
    Christian extremists, but even that is very, very isolated
    incidences. Overall, in the U.S., Christianity isn’t usually
    associated with dangerous terrorism. Islam extremism, yes, I said
    extremism, not Islam in general, led to the largest loss of American
    life on our soil in the last fifty years. It’s unfair to expect
    people to not be in full support of Islam, in spite of the fact that
    most Muslims are incredibly peaceful and kind people. It’s an
    intolerance for normal psychology and emotional pain to expect people
    to disassociate the two things as if it were effortless, in this
    country, anyway.

    When’s
    the last time we looked into offerings in a Mosque though, anyway?
    Fundraising is only suspicious outside a church or mosque, and it’s
    because money is dangerous, and people are dangerous, not faith
    systems.

    The
    other thing is that if Christians gather money for something other
    than building maintainence, supplies, and salaries, it’s always
    explicitly obvious what it’s for. Feeding people in third world
    countries, building houses for the poor, paying for medicine for the
    sick, etc. etc. While most church financial records aren’t in the
    public view, every pastor I’ve met would readily show you where every
    penny went, and usually churches have yearly meetings where they show
    this. It’s common practice to be honest about where the raised money
    goes in Christianity, in my experience, and so that’s why people
    aren’t suspicious of Christians and how their money is used.

    23.
    Correct, in most cases. I mean, if it was near a landmark that was
    tied to a Christian related terrorist attack, then I’m sure it would
    be. But otherwise, churches can be built on the same terms as houses
    or businesses. Also, so can synagogues and mosques and temples and so
    on, as long as it isn’t in an area near a landmark where a terrorist
    attack tied to their faith happened. Simple enough. Not a Christian
    privilege, if we all have the same privilege.

    24.
    Are other individuals asked to speak on behalf of their faith? Not
    that I’m aware of. However, a Christian may not be asked to speak on
    behalf of their faith, but anything someone who happens to be
    Christian says or does, will undoubtedly be judged by the media as
    something that the entire faith thinks or does. Christians speak on
    behalf of their faith whether they like it or not. This is likely
    similar for many faiths.

    25.
    I cannot. As I’ve said, I work in a building with around 150
    employees, and only know specifically of one non-Catholic Christian,
    and one Catholic Christian, and don’t assume that anyone else there
    is, and know for a fact that there are may who are not. I do not
    assume what people believe. Like I’ve said, my county is only about
    8% churched, so I cannot go anywhere and assume that I’m surrounded
    by Christians, especially not when I was in college around people my
    age all the time, as most of them were non-Christian.

    26.
    That’s a large assumption. The school I went to only had two teachers
    that everyone knew were Christian, a history teacher and a gym coach.
    Their faith had nothing to do with their jobs, nor the way they led
    their classes or taught children. The closest Christian school was
    about 40 minutes away from where I lived and was not an option, and
    even if it were, it would have taken “special effort” to surround
    me with that multitude of teachers you mentioned who shared my faith.
    I don’t understand why you think this would be a valid point, or
    considered a privilege, it’s irrelevant and inaccurate. Sounds like
    maybe you went to a school with a lot of Christian teachers who made
    their faith an issue within the walls of the school, and you assumed
    it was commonplace.

    27.
    The only way to assume that my nephew, for example, will be
    surrounded by children who might share his faith, is if they are in
    Sunday School with him. Otherwise, when he starts school, there is no
    guarantee that any child around him shares his faith, only an
    assumption. I doubt whoever his friends end up being will be affected
    much by his or their faith. Who my friends are and aren’t certainly
    wasn’t and isn’t affected by my beliefs or theirs.

    28.
    Nope. Like I said, the nearest Christian school was about 40 minutes
    away, and with a single parent who worked full time and with four
    siblings, there was simply no chance I could have even gone there if
    I wanted to. You are mistaken. I can only assume you are referring to
    Catholic schools, which only applies to a segment of Christianity,
    and not the entirety, as Catholicism is nearly a faith all its own
    (And the nearest Catholic school was a little over a half hour away
    too, even if I had been Catholic).

    Your
    point is somewhat justified in that I doubt there are any Muslim
    schools within 40 minutes though, and the nearest Jewish school is
    about an hour away that I know of. So that’s fair, it’s not easy for
    them either. However, it would be unreasonable for faiths much
    smaller than that, like a few million members in the U.S., such as
    Sikhism, to expect schools all over the place for them. That’s
    absurd. It’s not Christian privilege, it’s just a reflection of
    demographics.

    29.
    Do you have to disclose your faith to an adoption agency? Is that
    even something that’s involved? Also, if an adoption agency rules
    someone out due to their faith, that’s not a Christian privilege,
    that’s a bullshit adoption agency.

    30.
    I don’t think my parents’ faiths came up a single time during their
    divorce proceedings, in front of a judge, anyway. Custody was given
    to the more logical choice. Which I’m sure is how it’s usually
    handled. I’m pretty sure economic class and domestic and mental
    stability are the deciding factors in almost every case. I don’t
    think religion even comes up much. If a judge throws out a parent as
    a possible candidate for custody simply on the basis of their faith,
    it’s not Christian privilege, it’s a bullshit judge. What you’re
    proposing is that two people are divorcing where one is a Christian
    and one is of a different faith, and the judge gives custody to the
    Christian parent on that basis alone. I highly doubt that comes up in
    many cases though, if it does it’s incredibly , incredibly rare,
    since many, many divorcing couples are the same faith to begin with,
    or it is irrelevant.

    31.
    By which you mean… Universities? My nearest university offers
    courses pertaining to nearly every culture and faith. What are you
    even talking about?

    32.
    I’m pretty sure anyone can complain about their faith being attacked
    without it being considered an attack on another religion. I’m pretty
    sure if someone says “Hey, quit insulting me for being part of the
    Hindu faith”, or “Hey, stop treated me poorly because I believe
    in Shinto”, no one is going to interpret that as an attack on a
    different faith. Did you even consider what you were saying here?

    33.
    It’s easy to end an argument by slamming the door shut, isn’t it? I
    don’t respect that tactic. It’s unfair, illogical, and rude. You
    should always be willing to consider what someone has to say in
    response to what you write, and not write off anything they might say
    as mistaken and blind. Especially not when they take the time to give
    examples that deny many of your points, and are reasonable enough to
    agree with others.

    • Alexis

      While I understand some of the points you’re making, I think it bears analysis that most of what you cite is anecdotal — being the “Christian friend” or what percentage of people attend church in your county. When it comes to statements such as the one Sam is making, it’s about a general trend, not one person or a handful of people’s contradicting narratives. I’m not saying you’re “wrong” or “lying” because these are your experiences. But they are counteracted by the fact that, personally, I’ve had opposite interactions. So, because my experiences align with Sam’s points, and yours do not, does that mean that what Sam is saying is “bullshit”? The point of lists about privilege is to encourage people to recognize things that are often taken as “givens” without much struggle. And, often, until you are one of a minority, it becomes difficult to see those givens. So again, I do not mean to minimize your experiences, only to point out that they do not make the rule, and that I think you went a bit far in choosing to apply to your experiences to the overall American population.

      • Solstice

        Well I did deliberately say at the beginning that I was speaking from personal experience and specific examples. So I can’t speak for everyone, nor should I. I wrote it the way I did because I don’t think it’s fair to assume all Christians work the same way, think the same way, etc. And that maybe people should judge people on a case by case basis, on the content of their personal beliefs, not things said or done by people who have something in common with them. “Christians” are often lumped into one group and all kinds of judgments and assumptions are made about them, usually based on the opinions of a handful of the loudest, most confused Christians. I don’t think it’s fair. I do not assume that all Muslims are like Osama Bin Laden, and I would appreciate if people would not assume all Christians are like the Westboro Baptist Church.

        Not saying that you do, because you say you disagree based on personal experience. Which is fine. Overall, most of the ones I called “bullshit” are ones that I think are false even outside of my own personal experience, though, and that’s the only reason I even said it that way. But yes, my opinions do not make the rule, I’m often an exception, I know that. You must understand that I don’t assume that my beliefs are reflected in the entire population, that’s why I began the first comment the way I did. So I can’t have “gone too far” as you say, because I didn’t “apply my experiences to the overall American population”, however, my area and life and experiences are somewhat typical, and I think they should still be considered for what they are worth. You’re free to disagree, and I’m not saying you’re “wrong” or “lying”, but I’d certainly be curious to know what specifically I said that can be tossed out the window so easily as a point, or what personal experiences you have that aren’t anecdotal and can be applied to all of Christianity validly.

        Also, and most importantly, I get what the point of the list was. To give Christians a check about how society might be in some places, or in your broader terms, “recognize things that are often taken as givens”. Unfortunately, this only serves to make Christians feel bad about who they are, since most of the things on the list are beyond the control of the average Christian. I will say I don’t appreciate the assumption that Christians don’t know what it’s like to be the minority. In nearly every job I had and every course I took while I was a practicing Christian I was the minority. I know Christianity is a very large faith, but the bulk of that is aging people, and a huge amount of countries outside the U.S. that make it such a large faith. In my age group and demographic, Christianity is a minority. And in twenty years, by the time I have some children, the entirety of Christianity will almost certainly be a ridiculed minority overall. The other important part to remember is that just because someone has an association with Christianity, it does not mean they do not know exactly what it feels like to be a minority. I personally am a minority in several other ways, regardless of my faith (of which I am also a minority, as I am not a Christian, only raised as one), and so I’m quite familiar with what it’s like to see “givens” in other people and groups that I’m not a part of. I was just trying to approach this list from a rational side, with personal experience, that would show that his list was not completely accurate, and was unfair to apply to an entire group of people since these instances are very much case-by-case, as many of the people who have commented have shown. Anyway, thanks for not attacking me, you’re wonderful. Have a good day.

  • J9cleme

    “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.”

    As I see it the “main” problem is the christians don’t want it to be a place safe and accessible for folks of all belief systems, only theirs.

  • Lynn Gaulding Delage

    I get so tired hearing about how Christians are discriminated against in this country. It is so not true and I consider myself a Christian although some people would probably argue that as I am a Unitarian Universalist.

  • Amanda Darroch-Mudry

    Additions:
    As a Christian, you can be relatively certain that many laws, statutes and policies are rooted in the core values and beliefs of your religion.
    A racially visible, immigrant or Aboriginal person who also happens to be a Christian will be seen as more “civilized,” “educated,” and “better than” their non-Christian family and friends of the same race or ethnic background.

  • Matt

    I really appreciate this article, and have recognized some of those things for a while now.

  • Fergus

    Thank you Sam for writing this, I’ve experienced all of this in the military and in the civilian job market. I feel I have to hide my religion and I’m tempted to take sick days just to have holy days off. It’s tough being a pagan but I’d rather not sink to their level. As the Irish saying a dog that lies down comes up with fleas.
    Gods and Goddesses bless you,
    Fergus

    • Dirigible

      What does “sink to their level” mean? Based on the way your comment is worded, you seem to be implying that Christians take sick days to get “holy days” off? Hm. I suppose it’s possible, maybe you know Christians who would do that, but it seems a little out of character for almost all Christians I know… but then again I don’t believe there really are “holy days” for most Christians these days, so I’m not sure what you’re implying to begin with. I suppose you could count Christmas. And maybe Easter. But I worked Easter this past year, and I don’t think it counts as a “holy day” anyway. I guess I just don’t understand what you mean, but it did seem like a pretty cutting thing to say about Christians, considering how I’m sure you are a person who would appreciate respect for his own beliefs, and yet you’re unwilling to give it to another. May the moons bathe you in their light,

      Dirigible

  • Peter

    I feel a couple of these would be limited to white Christian privilege. For instance, a black Christian person on trial will not get the same privilege as a white Christian person.

  • Stephanie

    35. And the comments, in an article about Christian Privilege, will still be mainly about Christianity.

  • Amber

    When Jesus was not with His 12 apostles, he was with the tax collectors and prostitutes, investing time in them, accepting them, loving them. Although it may sound trite, I do ask “What would Jesus do?” Condemn, judge and hate? No, He was the epitome of love, acceptance, and forgiveness. My favorite quote on this topic is Ghandi who said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians for they are nothing like your Christ” Truer words have not been spoken.

  • Robert W. T. Short Sr.

    2. yes, but would Muslims really want tv specials about how celebrating Ramadan doesn’t have anything to do with Aallah? 4. we are pressured to celebrate christmas and easter both of which the celebrations are anti christian. 10. so can anyone else 14. haha, good to know the author has a sense of humor 15. like who? most people THINK they have an idea about Christianity, just like they THINK they know Islam 24. Unless you don’t live in the south. 31. so are most religons

  • Libby

    Wow. Most of those aren’t even true. Spoken by a true non-Christian. And for all those who commented, “Christian” means Christ-follower. New & Old testament, no revisions as they suit your own needs. So if that doesn’t apply to you – you’re not Christian. It’s not that complicated. Read the Bible. Do what God says.
    And (actual) Christians have been the MOST persecuted group in all human history.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Your comment is proof of brainwashing.

  • Travis Bauer

    How about. You do not have to quizzed, questioned, and accused/berated after mentioning your belief.

  • Travis Bauer

    How about. You always have a group of people as a social network. Let’s be honest churches are places of worship, but they are also places of courtship and dating, places of networking, and places of business.

  • Jonathan Michael Bierley

    This article should be labeled “if you’re not Muslim”
    Other religions especially Judaism get most of these privileges and there are extremists we are ashamed of! They are called “bible thumpers” or “West Borough Baptists”

  • Guest

    There is a bible in nearly every hotel room

  • Thinkink

    Not to mention that you can expect food/meals to be prepared according to your faith. It’s a constant issue for people who keep kosher/halal/don’t eat beef products, etc…

  • linerider

    (1) In several U.S. states you can hold public office only because you adhere to your faith. (2) Displays of your faith on public property are common and justified by the belief that it is not a violation of the constitution simply because your faith is the traditional and historical faith of most Americans going back to the founding of the country. (3) Again, in many states/locales, If you are found guilty of an alcohol related offense or other offense requiring a treatment or counseling program, then to avoid jail time you will be required by law to attend treatment or counseling based on the beliefs of your faith, as will all those not sharing your faith.

  • Joshua

    If you are viewed as a good person, by modern “western” ideologies, you are likely a bad practitioner of whatever your respective religion of choice may be. It is usually the “extremists” who are actually adherent to the rules laid out for them in their text of choice. Read your books and realize that adapting them in anyway to any other belief system is usually expressly forbidden and usually punishable by eternal damnation. You want to leave whatever archaic system of belief you have, but you cant because the idea that there may be nothing after death scares you too much. so, instead you cling to this book that tells you to go and kill others who dont cling to the same book, or oppress women and gays, or to stone raped women to death on their fathers doorstep (another gem from leviticus) all the while saying silly shit such as “well jesus doesn’t preach that” even though those books in the new testament specifically say that you should follow the rules in the old testament, or that islam is a religion of peace despite the historical evidence that its founder was a war mongering pedoohile who specifically loved to kill christian white people…. the world needs to grow up and evolve its consciousness… we are all the same and the real enemy is the aristocracy that has remained in place to this day, using devices (hidden in plain sight to most it seems) such as the federal reserve and boulin banks to enslave the world. :(

  • KSacandy

    I found this ridiculous. Of course, if you live in a culture founded by 100% Christians, that will be what surrounds you. It isn’t parochial. It’s called culture. Thank goodness we don’t live in a country, where if you try so much as to bring in a banned book (“The Bible”) you are refused entry to a country. Saudi Arabia comes to mind.
    Unfortunately, we do not keep out the Saudi Arabians and the money they provide for madrasses in the United States. We also do not keep out muslims who believe beheading and honor killings are appropriate against strangers and their own children. If this is what they are teaching our American students now, that living within your own cultures is debased, then I hope all institutions of lower learning fail. They have no right to teach trash such as this.
    I fear too many identifying as LGBT were abused as children, and have not yet found their way to cope with that. I do not blame them for not wanting to deal with it, but it is insane and counterproductive to reorder society around the preferences of the dysfunctional.

  • Don

    I find it extremely interesting and informative that over the last year, this blog has been almost entirely about what it means to be a Christian. In the meantime I have experienced or personally known Pagans who have experienced a lack of every one of the examples of assumed “rights” listed. I would like to
    add a few (and certainly not an exhaustive list) of the lack of assumed rights to the list:

    34. A priest or priestess of your faith can purchase wine for a religious observation on Sunday at any time of the day on Sunday.

    35. A member of the armed forces can have the symbol of your faith engraved on his or her tombstone if they are buried in a military cemetery.

    36. Someone who wants to establish an organization in a specific town does not feel the need to make an educational stop at the local police station so that there is no misunderstanding about your practices.

    37. Someone who wants to establish an organization in a specific town does not feel afraid to make an educational stop at the local police station.

    38. Responses to applications for 501(c)(3) Tax exempt status with the IRS will not ask if animals or children are sacrificed as part of your services. (Yes, it was asked and no we don’t.)

    39. Someone trying to educate the general populace does not feel the need to include the parenthetical comment above.

    40. Someone can post on this blog without feeling a need to post as a guest.

  • Don

    First, I have a fairly reasonable idea of Christian belief and culture having been raised in it as a Protestant. I was an Atheist for years and then decided it was just as dishonest to claim that I knew that there was not a deity, as to claim that I knew that that there was one – and thus became an agnostic. As time progressed I began to have a spiritual life and discovered that I had been looking for the divine in all the wrong places. I am presently Pagan and believe that the universe and the divine is one and inseparable. To me, not believing in the divine is sort of like believing that there is no hydrogen in the ocean. It also makes the perceived dichotomy between science and religion irrelevant. My previous reply was made hurriedly the other night and so I have taken the time to look at it a little more closely.

    I also want to give a nod to those who have noted that most of the below are artifacts of any culture where the majority of people share a particular cultural (I will use the term “norm” for want of a better one) while minorities face a greater or lesser form of obliviousness from the majority. That doesn’t bother me but the nastiness that often accompanies this artifact, be it race, gender, sex, religion or any other factor is unacceptable and should be by all members of the culture in question.

    First line under the numbered “privilege” stating with C: = Christain expectations, privalage, etc. The second line starting with P: = Pagan expectations, etc. FROM MY POINT OF VIEW.

    1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays.
    C: 52 Sundays, Christmas, Good Friday. (have I missed one?)
    P: 8 Sabots 12 Esbats– zip unless they just happen to fall on a weekend. Some companies do allow one or two optional days off for birthdays or for whatever reason but the standard ones (New Years Day, Labor Day, etc., plus Christmas) are (almost) always off too. In most of the cases that I have experienced, taking them off is mandatory.

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

    C: too numerous to mention – even if some or even most are juvenile or semi-secular in nature.
    P: Zip that I know of.

    3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.
    C: I am guessing. but I suspect that any town over 10,000 will have a store that provides the basics. True, if you are looking for incense, candles etc, the town may need to be bigger
    P: chances are unlikely if the town is under 100 thousand and you may have to find others in the Pagan community who know where to look.

    4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values.
    C: How many times has a Pagan stood on your doorstep and asked you if you have found the Goddess?
    P: Opposite situation? Too many to count. And by-the-way, this situation is a violation of the Golden Rule unless you truly want one of us to interrupt your Sunday afternoon in order to convert you to Paganism. Think about it, but rest assured, we would not dream of imposing ourselves or our beliefs upon you in that way (unless you happen to meet one of us who is mentally imbalanced – sort of like me.)

    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).
    C: Sort of like number 4 above. You may have the reverse experience, but most Pagans would be reluctant to wish you a Merry Yule or Happy Ostara unless they know you are either Pagan or Pagan friendly.
    P: We get it, all – the – time, but we try to accept it in the spirit in which it is given.

    6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats.
    C: Yeah, I get it that certain branches of Christianity suffer at the hands of other branches, depending on location and local culture. Lovely.
    P: Actually, I live in a region that is remarkably free of such things. The situation might be much different if I lived in the South or areas of the Northwest.

    7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized.
    C: See 6 above.
    P: Been there, had it happen. I don’t put bumper stickers on any vehicle that has a decent paint job anymore.

    8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited.
    C: See 6 above.
    P: Coworker asks/tells me, “Do you REALLY believe all the stuff?” and, “I know a better way.” Honest questions are readily accepted and answered as best I can.

    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.
    C: I suspect this thought does not even come to the surface in most cases.
    P: I suspect it would be one of the uppermost thoughts in any Pagan’s mind in that situation.

    Case in point, there was a woman who killed a man in a local case only a couple of years ago. She had made statements about being a witch. The story went national and local witches were consulted about her. Our community had to explain that she was not a part of our or any community that we knew of and that the action was anathema to Wiccan belief and ethics.

    10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith.
    C: And what is wrong with that?
    P: My understanding is that the practice is not required anymore, but to refuse does carry a potential hazard as pointed out by others on this blog

    11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens of times a day by everyone, regardless of their faith.
    C: See 6 above.
    P: I just accept that it isn’t going to happen. Why should it?

    12. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: You mean like Christine O’Donnell?

    13. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists.
    C: All the time
    P: When has this ever happened?

    14. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media.
    C: See 6 above
    P: Television: Never.
    Movies, Never, but some have got close enough that with coaching one can see where the distortions are.
    Books – non-fiction, there are an increasing number of good ones if you know where to look.
    Books – fiction, very rare. Other media: Social media such as YouTube, etc., accuracy is spotty at best. Caveat Emptor. One is better off requesting a recommendation for a book from the owner of a
    metaphysical bookstore or a friend who is Pagan.

    15. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.
    C: See 6 above
    P: that is not a reasonable assumption, really for anyone. Anyone who has that assumption is going to be wrong most of the time, even of people they think they know.

    16. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs.
    C: See 6 above, I suppose
    P: Sometimes people say things that reference Christianity that makes me think that I know the tenets of their faith better than they do. Discretion, such as I am able to summon, causes me to keep my mouth shut – most of the time. (but not now.)

    17. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I have had one or two annoying coworkers, but for the most part this has not been a problem.

    18. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I don’t know what is said behind my back but I have no evidence of it.

    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.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I have lived in this part of the country for as long as I have been Pagan. I understand that it is a lot tougher in other parts but have no direct experience of it or its lack.

    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)
    C: Actually I know of a few Pagans who have, “Christian” spouses. I guess that works both ways.
    P: I do not mind being someone’s “Pagan” friend.

    21. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I am not always so good a person as you describe, but I hope people don’t view me as an exception one way or the other. I get no feedback that such is the case.

    22. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior.
    C: See 6 above
    P: Not where I live. Other places may be different.

    23. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: See 22 above

    24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I have been and am proud to do so even though I am quick to say that I can only speak for myself as the Paganism is a high choice religion.

    25. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: Increasingly so, even though finding the Pagan community can still be somewhat difficult to contact in some areas.

    26. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.

    C: See 6 above
    P: Not yet, but we are working on that.

    27. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith.

    C: See 6 above
    P: Increasingly so.

    28. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: Not yet, but we are working on that.

    29. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.
    C: See 6 above
    P: Have no personal experience with that and so can’t answer but I believe that if this is a problem, it will soon become less so.

    30. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.
    C: See 6 above
    P: This has been a serious problem in the past. I hope that it is less so now but I don’t know.

    31. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions.
    C: See 6 above
    P: Public schools are not permitted to “teach” religion per se. We do speak to local high school “humanities” classes once a year by invitation as a portion of general philosophy. I have no recent experience at the college level but my Bachelors of Science degree did require 6 hours of Old and New Testament.

    32. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I don’t know how we are perceived. I don’t really care. A high school in our state forbade the
    wearing of Pentagrams several years ago. The ACLU was contacted and the school district backed down. If people want to view that as an attack on their faith, I feel kind of sorry for them that their faith is so fragile.

    33. You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges.
    C: See 6 above
    P: I am not aware of any certain “or special” privileges that accrue to Paganism relative to the rest of the culture, nor would I want them.

    The following are a few of my suggestions that I identified earlier. One has been omitted now that I have a clearer idea of the intent of the blog:

    34. A priest or priestess of your faith can purchase wine for a religious observation on Sunday at any time of the day on Sunday. Blue laws have been abandoned as preferential to specific religions in variance with the 1st Amendment.

    35. A member of the armed forces can have the symbol of your faith engraved on his or her tombstone if they are buried in a military cemetery.

    (This impediment has been recently been removed regarding Wicca. Some forms of Paganism may still be affected.)

    36. Someone who wants to establish a church of your faith in a specific town does not feel the need to make an educational visit at the local police station so that there is no misunderstanding about your practices.

    37. Someone who wants to establish a church of your faith in a specific town does not feel afraid to make an educational visit at the local police station.

    38. Responses to applications for 501(c)(3) Tax exempt status with the IRS will not ask if animals or children are sacrificed or abused as part of your services. (Yes, it was asked and no we don’t.)

    In looking at the responses I made, I compared to the number of times that I allowed for the possibility that some forms of Christianity are treated more harshly than Pagans in some parts of the country, it occurs to me that Christians are harder on their brothers and sisters than they are to everyone else. Darn shame too as others have noted by referencing Gandhi’s quote about Christ and Christians. I
    think Gandhi was very wrong about most Christians and I concede that Christ set a high bar for how we should treat each other so I don’t understand why there is such animosity. It is almost as if there are a few bad actors that are leading people in his name, away from what he said.

    Why is that?

  • Salvador

    tis a nice article. as a christian, i just think it’s unfair to get all up in arms about religious liberty ONLY when it is the christian faith that is being criticized. i would love to see christians just as concerned with the religious liberty of other faiths as they are with theirs.

  • Maria

    I’m sorry, this is not about Christian “privilege” this is about LGBT rights and an anger that the Christian church does not support that lifestyle… just like the church doesn’t support sex outside of marriage… just like the church doesn’t support any sexual act that is not unto creation (oral, anal, etc). Christ states himself that His way was NOT the easy way, “I came to bring a sword” “When the world hates you, remember it hated me first” And as for #33, I know a barage of folks are going to come down on me for this comment, so you have have proven my point.

  • Chris Wickersham

    While I appreciate this article, it’s important to remember that no caricature of faith represented in an individual is an accurate summary of the faith. Christianity, for example, is as varied an has as many sects and factions as Islam though the differences are often too subtle for outsiders to notice. While many of the privileges you offer for Christians are spot on, many of them are as foreign and confusing to other Christians as they may be to someone outside the faith. Others, Christmas for example, have been appropriated by the secular nationalist “faith” to the point they are no longer recognizable to Christians as a religious holiday. This is similar in many ways to the reason many of my Hindu colleagues do not eat pork – Islam was such a presence in the village 75 years ago that they just didn’t have pork as part of their diet even after the Islamic population dwindled. It’s not part of their faith to avoid pork, but it became part of their cultural fabric because of a once-present religious policy that was appropriated.

  • Merna

    A lot of these are redundant. As an African American I relate this list to privileges of being white in America. So what if Christianity is the religion of the masses. Get over it. I deal with being a minority everyday. People see the color of my skin before I can even utter a word about what religion I am. I have no sympathy. With that being said, I’m a person who respects all religions whether or not I agree with it. So perhaps I’m just not privy to the dramatic difficulties of being something other than Christian.

  • Dusti

    UGH. Honestly, this just…sickens me. I looked up no less than a dozen schools while in my search for a post-HS education, and ANY time I read the words “Religion” I got excited. I hoped that I would be able to read about all of the religions that have come and gone and strained their way into new veins through history, but no. I think I found one in my area that actually had, and it was PSU.

    I’ve just had a total fight with strangers over this shit, because they don’t know exactly how entitled they are in the USA to be Christian, and how easy it is for them! They’ve never had a boss sneer at them for asking for Samhain off, because they assume that I want to party for Halloween. Or be looked at strangely for saying “Blessed be” instead of a string of Christian phrases. How I’ve refused to let my in-laws and own family indoctrinate MY CHILD into Christianity because it is not my choice or theirs, and no she will NOT be baptized, thank you very much.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    I think you really missed it with #8.

    Christians ought expect to be mocked and reviled for placing their trust in the finished work of Jesus…or for even mentioning His name.

    Jesus told us it would be so. Not complaining about it. it’s just the way it is.

  • http://bloggergonewild.com/ Blogger Gone Wild!

    Oh Boo Hoo! Pardon me while I vomit. How brave of you to attack Christianity in the United States.

  • Jorge Farelas

    Some of these examples are flawed. For example, Merry Christmas and Happy Easter do not have religious significance to non Christians. They are just words. For example, those who say that they love Notre Dame may not realize they are saying that they love “Our Lady” which refers to the blessed Virgin Mary. Notre Dame to most uneducated people is just a school. The reason most people will allow certain words to be said ie Merry Christmas and certain holidays to be celebrated is because the secular population in this country do no recognize them to be religious even though Christians believe they are. It is almost like there are two “Christmas” that are celebrated. For a Christian it is the birth of Christ and for a non Christian it is about getting presents and Santa Claus who by the way is not recognized as a Christian figure. He is a big elf. I, as a Christian specifically a Roman Catholic Christian, who believes in the teachings of Christ’s Church and Word, holds beliefs that are contrary to the masses such as marriage only being between a man and a woman, that abortion should not be done under any circumstances, contraception should never be used, sex is only meant for married couples, and that the only way to heaven is through Christ do not always feel welcomed by people around me even other Christians. I think that Christians at this very moment of time in the United States still have a lot of freedom to practice their faith, but slowly but surely like water on rock the secular world and its beliefs will want to erode Christianity.

  • LAS

    You can complain about freedom of religion being taken away from you because of DOMA being shot down, Christianity not being taught at public schools, and other things like this, without realizing that you aren’t allowing other religions to have freedom.

  • Devin Daniels

    I’m sorry, but for those Christians seeking to avoid being placed with WBC, and the other Christian fanatics, I want you to know that they’re practicing Christianity in a much truer form than you. You comment on how your church is accepting of women’s equality, gay people, etc, but guess what? According to your own book, you’re wrong. Your church is the one practicing away from the bible. The bible is a book of hatred, exclusion, and self-importance. The punishments for acts such as homosexuality are in no way, shape, or form unclear. Death is the only punishment fitting such a crime. You saying you accept gay people is actually making you a heretic. Your religion isn’t of love and peace for everyone, just other straight, male Christians. Your women aren’t allowed to teach, nor hold any authority over a man. You may allow this, but pure and simple, such a thing is heresy. Such a woman has death prescribed as the fitting punishment as well. This isn’t a gray area in the bible where it’s okay sometimes. No, such a woman needs to be put to death according to your religion. If you proclaim such a thing to be false, then you are being a cherry picker, and not seeing the whole picture of your religion, and you are truly the one who is not a Christian. Jesus said multiple times in the bible that he was not there to abolish the old laws, that the old testament still applied, he showed his father’s harshness and temper, even going so far as to kill a fig tree when it didn’t have any fruit for him. Please, read your bible again, and this time, read all of it. There is a reason that consistently in national polls Atheist outscore Christians in knowledge of the bible, it’s because we actually read it and discovered it was crap. The majority of Christians have just skimmed it, cherry picked there favorites, and then scrolled to the bottom to click agree like a website’s terms of service. Furthermore, you’re not allowed to tolerate me either. Heresy and speaking out against the bible’s teachings is just as punishable by death in Christianity as it is in Islam. This is not something you can claim that you’re more civilized in now, that is the word of your “God” speaking, and if you believe it to be true, than it should be just as applicable today as it was in the days of the Inquisition, in which they actually followed the teachings of the bible and didn’t just talk the talk.

  • Heidi Viar

    All that may exist, but not in my world–I do not have the same faith as the so-called Evangelical Religious Right, as a Christian, but I get called names right along with them by atheists and other non-Christians because of guilt by association. I object to the Religious Right’s pandering to money, privilege and televangelists. I am gentle, peaceful and merciful, and I am called an exception because the public face of Christianity is the Religious Right. I have to fight to explain my faith because the public face of Christianity is dottering old men like Pat Robertson and James Dobson. I have to regularly remind people that the public face of Christianity is not representative of all Protestant Christians but the ones who take a fundamentalist and/or literalist interpretation of a book that has been through many translations and was not written originally in the English language. I do not get Christian holidays, except for Christmas and Easter, off from work or school–I would love to spend time with my faith-siblings for Ash Wednesday or Good Friday, too–but Jewish students are basically patently excused for the High Holidays in every syllabus in every class I’ve ever taken. (I do not call Thanksgiving a “Christian” holiday, because it isn’t, it is a federal holiday that the Religious Right Christians have co-opted in their patriotic idolatry.) I found your article to really smack all Christians across the face using the public face of Christianity as your basis, not realizing that even in theocratic societies, privilege is often granted to the ruling powers, and when those ruling powers are of a certain sort, often near an extreme, that those who might share a deity might not be granted the same privileges as those who have the power.

  • Adam Lanza

    #34 Your faith will never be listed as the motive for murderers, even if that killer was not only born and raised in your faith, but says that’s why they killed.

  • toni

    How about just the fact that all of this refers to “your religion will be” etc. How about those who chose not to practice religion–for any reason at all. Aethism is not a religion. I don’t condemn others for their choice–it’s just not mine but I feel like I’m “out of the club” when I’m in most large groups-even those where having a different religion is accepted-having no religion is “weird”.

  • Rev. Bob

    A good resource, but as a Christian who has lived a little longer than the author, which helps in making these sorts of declarations, I can categorically state that #15 and #25 are simply false assertions. Especially with #15, often the misunderstanding is people within that faith itself.

  • Eric

    “#24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith.”

    Oops. I guess I do ask that of people pretty often, though equally of Christians, at least. I guess I’m an equal-opportunity bigot. And I though I was being so progressive.

    I’m really sorry, people, for being rude. I’ll try to be more sensitive in the future. I just came here for the delicious genderbread and now I feel bad about myself. The internet can be such a harsh mistress.

  • Jomari Peterson

    I definitely feel that some of these are accurate, however, the privilege that we lack is the same one other faiths face. The inability to separate ourselves from those who don’t act in line with the principles, tenets and scripture of our faith. I definitely recognize that there are benefits to be a Christian in the United States. However, this privilege is not helping achieve the goal of what being a Christian is about, bringing souls and lives under the dominion and rule of the Kingdom of G-d.

  • Listens to Reason

    To lump all of Christianity under one blanket is a little misleading since there is a huge variety in the details of beliefs and it has been my personal experience that true Christians are inclusive rather than exclusive. I suspect that this article would be equally applicable to Judaism while in Israel, the Hindu religion while in India, the Muslim religion if you were in any number of Middle East countries, etc, etc, etc. I would have to disagree with several, particularly #11 &14. I see few examples of Christianity being portrayed by the media as positive. There are plenty who vilify people who chose to practice Christianity and focus on a loud and obnoxious few as representative of all Christians (#21-try posting on the social network of your choice that you are Christian and just watch the haters spew and people unfriend you). #7 – the minister in our church had her car keyed on and around her fish symbol. The many, many positive things that are supported by churches, quietly and steadily, are rarely mentioned. Take a look around and see the food banks, the homeless shelters, and the medical facilities that service entire communities (all religions, all races) and are financially and physically supported by your local churches.

    This is not a perfect country and Chrisitanity continues to evolve, generally in a positive direction. It would be interesting if you researched how your list would fare within the context of specific countries. For example, #30 – you are a woman attempting to divorce your husband in Afganistan…we won’t even get to custody issues. Despite all the issues that continue to fester in this country, it is progressing forward.

  • Cal Damage

    Re: “#14 It is easy to find your faith accurately depicted…” Unfortunately, this does not seem to apply in most legislatures in America. Certainly not by the avowed practitioners of this religion.

    It
    is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television,
    movies, books, and other media. – See more at:
    http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/#sthash.WCFMEhmW.dpuf
    t
    is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television,
    movies, books, and other media. – See more at:
    http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/#sthash.WCFMEhmW.dpuf
    t
    is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television,
    movies, books, and other media. – See more at:
    http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/#sthash.WCFMEhmW.dpuf

  • Cal Damage

    Sorry about that. Cut’n'paste never showed up in the comment box, but jumped back to the highlighted text in the list. Bad software, no biscuit.

  • Nicole

    I don’t specifically associate with any religion, and I appreciate the content here However, I think many people mistakenly think that “freedom of worship” is the same as “equality of religion.” Our Constitution ensures that all can worship as they choose, but it never states this country isn’t allowed to have a religious bias. In reality, we were founded primarily by Christians and Christianity is a large part of our nation’s roots. As a result — and similar to many, many other nations — this piece of our history has become an inherent part of our culture (clearly demonstrated in our currency, courtrooms, wedding ceremonies, etc). Likewise, Catholicism is highly apparent in Italy and Latin America. Judaism dominates in Israel. You will certainly find Indian culture influenced by Hinduism. As a matter of personal opinion, I’ve come to believe that if we seek to assign equal weight to every belief of every person in America, then we would live in a very scattered place. Instead I feel that we could stand to acknowledge and appreciate our roots, and then acknowledge and respect the beauty of our differences.

  • Will

    Ok, I’m an Atheist and I find this article pretty sad. It’s not sad because I’m offended (I’m not), I”m just rather embarrassed for the author of the piece. This reads like a child came up with it.

    These aren’t privileges, these are the constructs of a society that is of a majority faith. Our country was colonized by Europeans who were guess what… christian! Of course a christian can find holiday music on the shelves of the local Wal-mart. Bee-jeebus! Seriously?

    Hey Sam, go take a trip to another part of the world that isn’t “Western” and tell me how “privileged” the christians are there. OR, better yet, go take a trip to Saudi Arabia and tell them how you are a homosexual. See how long it takes them before they do some really not very nice things to you there. Those guys aren’t christian by the way. Or you could try Afghanistan. Or Pakistan. Or a North African country maybe. I’m sure they’d love to hear what you have to say. Those same things that you can say here that land you on a pretty pink web page will lead to a rather nasty death there… in the name of religion too by the way, but not the religion of the majority which isn’t christianity.

  • JLN

    (My apologies if others already posted these, but 752 comments are too numerous to read.)

    Literature teachers assume everyone in class is familiar with allusions to your faith’s sacred texts.

    Literature is examined exclusively from your faith’s perspectives. Indeed, literature is presumed to have direct connections to your faith…exclusively.

    You post an excerpt explicitly from your faith’s writings and get multiple Likes and other strokings on Facebook.

    You don’t have to worry that wearing an article of jewelry with a symbol of your faith will cause you to be subject to additional scrutiny at the airport.

    You presume to have a monopoly on morality.

    You don’t have to check “Other” on forms that ask about religion.

    You are not denied access to higher education.

    Your government does not deny you right of assembly.

    News organizations don’t ignore the destruction or desecration of items or places of significance to you.

    People who are not part of your religion don’t automatically associate your religion with a cult.

  • always questioning

    I do want to start out saying even though I am an atheist, I would never try to make any one else give up their belief in any religion. I see value in religion because any thing that gives a person something to help cope with life’s difficulties in a meaningful way is good, as long as that doesn’t infringe on other people’s freedoms. I just don’t have the ability to believe in god.

    I like your list. So many Christians don’t understand that it isn’t an attack on their religion if someone else doesn’t believe in it also. I hear people say things like “it is difficult to be a christian now” in response to “under god” being removed from the pledge of allegiance or “so help me god” being left out of being sworn in as a trial witness. No one is capable of telling me why it is difficult to be a christian without saying something that infringes on another person’s right to not be. They get upset about prayer not being in public schools, and get mad at me when I tell them that if there is christian prayer allowed they would have to allow all other religions of all the other students at the same time. I think a comparative religion course would be good in elementary and high school, not to “convert” any one, just to give every one grounding on the topics and respect for others, but I don’t see that ever happening. Most Christians don’t even have any idea that the Muslim faith is related to the Judeo-Christian beliefs, through Abraham’s son with Hagar. Ishmael. All three religions are cousins. I know family relations can be difficult, but do we have to kill each other about it?

    Something for the list, no one organizes an protest when Christians put up dozens of billboards in each block advertising their churches. An atheist group puts up one billboard in a very large city, that only advertises their website or meetings and doesn’t say anything about “turning against god,” and there is instantly a court petition to force that group to take it down. If a person’s belief in christianity is so fragile that they can’t even glance at anything contradictory, maybe that person isn’t that strong of christian.

    When I was talking with my little sister about these kinds of things, she told me something that helps me make a little sense about it. She also strongly questions the existence god, but we both like observing other people and cultures. She told me that part of being a christian is believing that god is a personal friend and family member, that they actually “know” god is there listening and talking to them. If someone came and told you that your best friend doesn’t exist, you would slap them, or in some other way protect your friend. That is why some Christians get so riled up when they hear any one doesn’t believe the way they do, and why they think other belief systems infringe on their’s. We had grown up going to a christian church, and in all those years it had never really sunk in that a personal friendship with “god” is what I was supposed to feel, maybe that is why I never fit in, that and that fact I am a scientist who couldn’t figure out how the bible fits together with science, and how much reading the bible pissed me off when I needed comfort the most.

    Another thing for your list: How you answer the question “where do you go to church?” doesn’t end with someone reading to you from a religious book you don’t believe in.

  • Dundee

    I find the comments in defense of Christianity and distinguishing between “good” and “bad” individual in order to defend the fait interesting. I wonder how these conversations would be perceived if “Christian” and “Christianity” were replaced by “Muslim” and “Islam”.

  • Mariah Windrider

    Fascinating! The one thing I have learned about Christians is that when someone tells you they are a Christian, you know as much about their religious beliefs as you did before they said it. It has become totally meaningless as a definition in today’s society. Oh, and actually, there is one item on the list that I found funny, the one about identifying someone as “my Christian friend”. In my life, that is a common thing to do… at least if you know any.

  • VAgirl

    I have now read two of your articles, Mr. Killerman and I’ve found them interesting. What is interesting is that as irrititating as it sounds, Christians in this country DO feel like they are under seige, and suggesting that the sentiment has no merit is as disrespectful as ignoring people of different faiths. I have found that as a Christian in a university setting I HAVE been mocked, oppressed (graded down), and treated as though I’m some feebleminded nut job because I am a Christian. And working in our department office and discussing with other people, I knew that I wasn’t the only one being treaded unfairly. Apparently this must be a quirk of academia to treat Christians in this manner–systemic in other places. And surprisingly, nice Christians at my school were treated as an anomoly…Just a touch of perspective. That being said, I do see your point, and I think that trying to share with others your viewpoint is a good thing. Thanks. I’ll keep reading.

  • Bryan

    I don’t agree with #8. I’ve seen several of my gay, christian friends mocked for being christian by their gay peers. It seems to me that the gay community tends to have more atheists per capita than the non-gay community.

    While I’m neutral, I do find it unfortunate when I see it happening because it’s no better than a christian individual mocking an atheist.

    I live in San Francisco, so my opinions may be a little skewed, but there’s so much stigma behind it that several of the “gay” churches have formed support groups for gay christians. I.e. “Created to be me”. It’s not only to help them deal with feelings of confusion over the conflicts between being both gay and following the bible, but also how to deal with the “backlash” that I mentioned above.

    My closing statement: My comment is specifically related to being gay, but not all christians are accepted in the U.S.

  • pk@fire

    Sam,

    I just got to your article because RHE referred me through her blog. I agree with almost everything, except for 14/15, since strawmen are abound EVERYWHERE, though I would replace it with “there are plenty of media widely available that only cater to members of your faith, and it has become the norm to almost expect that such media is available”.

    Also, you forgot about how the workweek, internationally, is structured around the Christian faith – for Muslims, their holy day is Friday, and for Jews its Saturday. So no matter where I go, even internationally, I can automatically assume that I will be allowed to observe my religious beliefs on the appropriate day without considerable inconvenience to myself or to my workplace, unfairly.

  • Sam Maloney

    I think a couple of these are dubious, and your list would be stronger without them. For instance, I don’t believe the Bible is used in courtroom oaths anymore, and at public ceremonies like becoming president the book used is up to the oath taker– any text can be used. I don’t think most schools offer courses in Christianity, and I think even Christians who engage in public meal prayers and the like get a bit of mocking.
    And honestly, I don’t see what the big deal about saying Merry Christmas is: No, it isn’t inclusive, but it’s not exactly insulting, either.

  • C_Before_E

    How helpful of you to publish this list for Christians (of whom I am actually not a huge fan). May I suggest you publish your teachings on Muslim websites as well? Maybe your lessons in tolerance and empathy will resonate with Muslims who forbid proselytizing by other faiths and who are driving a well-established Christian community out of Egypt and Syria. The US is not perfect, but it is more relaxed about minority faiths than many other places in the world, especially as its exposure to those faiths is relatively recent. Thanks for the lecture though!

  • majjic

    So that means Obama must be a Christian

  • Charlotte

    As someone who was raised Catholic, I was unsurprised by many of the Christian privileges on the list. I am very well aware of these privileges and the reason is because I grew up in a diverse area (near Boston) and have an open-minded family. Most of my friends are not Christian, heck, my boyfriend is Jewish! By becoming friends (not just knowing) people with different beliefs, I became aware (often because my friends came out and told me) about Christian privileges.

    I really wish that more areas in America could be as diverse as where I grew up, or that there were more programs to get kids from different places together. When that happens, I think that the privileged, whether its a matter of religion, skin color, gender, etc, will become aware of their privilege. (And then, *fingers crossed*, the prejudiced will become less prejudiced.) :)

  • anonymous

    I think many of these are grounded. Others I think not totally. I’m Russian Orthodox, and I am not able to do some of these things without being questioned by OTHER Christians, let alone outsiders. I can’t say “Christos Voskrese” or “Happy Epiphany” to other Christians or non-Christians. For many of us, our faith is not readily understood (“Why aren’t you eating meat on Wednesdays?”), taught at a public institution, or practiced by teachers for our children. But you are right about many of these.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      You know, that’s great, but having grown up Anglo-Catholic, and gone to Catholic school, I can assure you that some major parts of Anglicanism and Catholicism are lost on mainstream Generic Protestant society. Find me a Baptist who can accurately describe transsubstantiaion, and I’ll give you a dollar. Find me a Quaker who can accurately describe the position that Saints hold in Catholic mythological hierarchies, and I’ll give you five dollars. Find me a Lutheran who can accurately explain how the Anglican/Episcopal church is both Catholic *and* Protestant, and I’ll give you ten dollars. That doesn’t mean that somehow Catholics lack privilege in a Christian-dominated society (the fact that the Anglican church is an official religion of the UK and a few other countries illustrates that it is a privileged sect), it means that different sects of Christianity simply don’t understand each-other very well, because there’s generally no need to.

      Yeah, there are some distinct differences that Orthodox sects may lack in Christian privilege checklists –I know the Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian for their holidays, but Catholics and Anglicans tend to do Epiphany, as well. Even though meatless Fridays are no longer compulsory year-round, the fact that even fast food places will promote their fish and meatless items during the Roman Catholic Lent period is not only evidence of privilege, but it’s also an easy concept to explain to most people who are at least kinda familiar with Catholic Lent practises. It’s not mainstream, but it’s also hardly a persecuted sect, either.

  • Roy Linford Adams

    You can expect to walk into ANY music store and expect to find an entire section devoted solely to YOUR faith.

  • Einelorelei

    I had somebody threaten me with great bodily harm due to my faith. And I got fired because I refused to go to my employer’s church.

  • david

    I’m not Christian and I deal with none of the above. Yeah, Im not in the majority, but I have no problems.

  • Miss Poppy Dixon

    People assume you’re moral because of your faith and don’t ask you to explain how you know the difference between right and wrong.

  • musettee

    RE: 21. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith. – ”

    I am always shocked when I meet someone kind and non judgmental and find they are Christian..it always surprises me as these are the rare exceptions to most of the “Christians” I have met.

  • Dick Hertz

    When a Christian is arrested, his faith is never mentioned by the media. But when someone like Bernie Madoff and Jack Abramoff are indicted, what’s the first thing that the press says?

  • Christine

    It’s a shame those same courtesies are not given to pagan based faiths. And a real shame that it is Christians that love their freedoms are the ones that will chastise other faiths to the point that they do not have many of those freedoms…

  • Dean McIntosh

    34. You can start a charity calling for the extermination of a neurologically minority group, and their objections will be dismissed by the public at large as soon as you proclaim that you are trying to help them in the name of your invisible Axl Rose impersonator in the sky. Similar objections by them to you labelling them as diseased and incapable can be wiped away in the same manner.

  • Ed Ireland

    Well put Sam.

  • Jason

    I agree with the majority of this post, but I have to disagree with the whole Christmas bit. Christmas has become a non-religious holiday in this country nowadays. Hell, my Hindu neighbors put up a tree each year. I think saying ‘merry christmas’ to someone has less religion behind it at this point.

  • farfromthefar

    You can manage to believe that all ‘Christians’ agree in their beliefs even citing ‘Christian values’ as if they were a common denominator and don’t consider it odd that their are 20 different ‘Christian’ churches in your town whose members would not consider sharing a pew with one another.

  • Miss S

    #13 isn’t quite as true as anymore or at least theirs growing concern over politicians governing by faith and #14 should be in ” “

  • russ

    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA because im sure a christian in a islamic country would notice the same ideals in reverse. lets all grow up and stop caring about what we think the “bullies” are doing to us in secret. Be proud of who you are-proclaim it from the roof tops – does anyone else remember that this country was FOUNDED ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ?

    quit being such a little bitch. Im not christian-but i realize that there are a lot of em out there. What do businesses and ratings companies do? Attract people to their product. Its like this…….. People=$……….there are more christians then muslims- so christian=more $, muslim = less $. there it is for everyone. enjoy

  • Jelly

    I believe no one has mentioned the inclusion of “under God” as part of the Pledge of Allegiance.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance#Addition_of_.22under_God.22

  • Reader112

    A lot of these are simply not true.

  • ruby

    the most disturbing things to me are the questions of the workplace, housing, marriage, divorce, adoption, etc. Those should be protected legally and by custom from being limited by religious denomination. I have experienced a lot of marginalization in my life because of my faith, although not as much as I would likely have experienced had I been darker-skinned.

  • Zadas Lux

    Christian privilege? The left has gone even more batshit insane. Religion is a social phenomenon as well as an individual one. One could therefore expect that a society would embrace a particular religious belief. This list is absurd.

    I’m agnostic before anyone attacks me as a fundamentalist fanatic.

  • Anonygrog

    you forgot “You can abuse the ever living fuck out of everyone around you and declare that any talk back is an attack on your faith”

  • Rashid Malik

    Love all and hate none. Love is the glue that binds us. Love USA, Live USA.

  • Bill

    The list would be considerably more severe in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and several other Muslim countries. The best way to have an easier life for Muslims in non-Muslim countries is for there to be religious toleration in the home lands, instead of serious and violent persecution.

  • Anonymous

    You can expect 12 step self help groups to share your religious views .

  • Liz Alber Johnson

    The “Merry Christmas” thing really makes me upset. People just don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape when they’re wished “Merry Christmas”. When I try to explain it I just get Deer In The Headlight responses.

    I’m wished Merry Christmas for 2 months by my:
    television, radio, grocery store, cashiers, the mall and every mile of wherever I drive.

    I DON’T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS.

    Wishing everyone you come in contact with a Merry Christmas is self centered, ignorant and righteous.

    I’ve had people ask me “well, what’s so wrong with wishing people a Merry Christmas? It’s a beautiful holiday. People shouldn’t get so uptight”. If I tried to shove my religion down your throat for months at a time while you were trying to celebrate your religious holiday you’d be a bit annoyed after awhile. Our holidays are beautiful too!

  • Danny

    Umm, I don’t see the news?

    We live in a country where christian based religion is the majority. There is no need to apologize for that. If I lived in Saudi I expect it would be different. I wouldn’t be waiting for an apology nor would I be so arrogant as to expect the people of Saudi to change their attitudes, holidays or to cow-tow to me at all just in case I might find myself offended.

  • Steve

    I have no issue with your article or the premis, however I think it more a function of dominant culture. Travel to other parts of the world and you will replace Christianity with other religions, and notice advantages afforded the adherents parallel to what you noted in western culture.

  • Kyuu

    Are we talking about white american christian privilege, because I’m really sick of this BS people keep talking about like white people are the only people who practice christianity.

    You know there are plenty of countries were Christianity is actually oppressed, except they’re not in europe or the americas? ~surprise~

    I’m not saying Christians need/deserve more rights, but you are expressing your White Male American privilege by telling everyone who practices Christianity what their identity is and what kind of privilege they have (hint: not in china! not in many parts of MENA!)

  • Jeremy Sher

    Free municipal parking is available for your house of worship on its day of weekly observance.

  • Guest

    As a member of your faith, you have the right to tell any human being not a member of your faith that, unless that human being converts to your faith, that human being will be consciously suffer for all eternity; not because you’re judging them but, because the text you base your faith upon says that’s what will happen.

  • Brandon Osborn

    This is a given for a lot of christians:

    As a member of your faith, you have the right to tell any human being
    not a member of your faith that, unless that human being converts to
    your faith, that human being will consciously suffer for all
    eternity; not because you’re judging them but, because the text you base
    your faith upon says that’s what will happen.

  • cpetersky

    My office is in a Catholic Church, and there’s a sign out front on a busy street, stating the name of the church, a picture of the related saint, and a listing of all mass times. Compare this to the recently built synagogue. It’s tucked away. It just has the initials of the synagogue’s name out front, and could just be another company’s building among several in the neighborhood.

    My office being where it is, I know that there are crazies who come by. Some guy was in three months ago, and dropped his shorts during mass. OK. But when I was the president of my synagogue, I found out that people in the office got death threats over the phone *daily*. The reason why this other synagogue doesn’t even state that it’s really a synagogue out front is because they feel it’s safer. My own tiny synagogue meets at a church. They proudly put our name and worship times on their marquee, and a sizeable portion of our congregation freaked. “You can’t say we’re here and this is when we’ll be here”, they said. They were in fear of our lives.

    Christian church office staff don’t have to fear daily death threats. They can can state who they are on a sign in the front. They can post their worship times. They don’t even think twice about it. That’s Christian privilege.

  • Molly

    1) If you live in the US (and let’s be frank, that’s who this list supposedly pertains to) you will be able to secure PTO to celebrate a religious holiday from any employer who understands the words ‘discrimination lawsuit’.

    2) If you’re a person of any religion, you probably own some religious music. On Spotify, right now, I can access music to listen to for Ramadaan, Diwali, Passover, etc. Religion has nothing to do with religion so I call BS on that point.

    3) When you think about it, all you really need to celebrate Christmas or Easter is a faith in christ. The Easter Bunny was not mentioned in the Bible, nor was Santa.

    4) I have no idea what you’re talking about here.

    5) I’m an atheist. If someone wishes me a merry Christmas, I just say thanks. Know why? Because they said, “Merry Christmas,” and not, “Death do you and yours.” Don’t start no shit won’t be no shit.

    6) Again, this is US-specific. Christians in predominantly Muslim countries are regularly persecuted.

    7) Don’t wave your rights with your flag.

    8) I will mock and Christian and question every Christian.

    9) People from all faiths get selected for jury duty. You should also look into the jury selection process and how that actually works.

    10) Generally, you actually just raise your right hand and Bibles are rarely involved.

    11) I don’t know what this means.

    12) IF ONLY I could get an atheist congressman.

    13) No, I would say most Chrisitan politicians are extremeists.

    14) THIS. IS. NOT. TRUE. It’s just not, and I don’t think you thought about what you wrote before you wrote it.

    15) I am not required to know or undersand or even really care about others’ belief systems because IT IS NOT MY BUSINESS.

    16) What?

    17) See: 1

    18) Again, what on earth are you talking about? Doctors and lawyers and convenience store clerks all come from a variety of faith backgrounds.

    19) Rudimentary cost/benefit analysis concludes that building mosques off of every freeway exit is not cost-effective. Faith is not contained within a building.

    20) Mmmmm disagree.

    21) Really? How many wars have been started in the name of Christianity?

    22) You have made one semi-valid point.

    23) Democratic process.

    24) That’s not true. It’s just not. Think!

    25) Have you been to Egypt? Pakistan? Indonesia? Iceland? Nigera? Christians only make up about 32% of the world’s population.

    26) Why does this matter?

    27) Again, why does this matter? This implies that your children should only associate with other children who share their faith.

    28) Can we talk about Yeshiva? Or should I reiterate the place of religion in education?

    29) I promise you know less about adoption than you think you do.

    30) What are these Fox News headlining cases you keep referring to? Stop making exceptions out of the rule.

    31) Is it? Or is that just a Texas thing?

    32) Lots or people can. Stop trying to deny them that.

    33) Look. I think i understand what you’re trying to do with this post, but it’s really just…not based on anything. You’re demonizing Christians within what is unofficially a Christian nation. It would look equally silly to do the same things to Muslims in a Muslim nation, or Jews in Israel. People everywhere are persecuted, religious and non-religious alike. I wish people would stop operating with the idea that religious tolerance somehow translates to peace on earth or that it means teaching about 15 religious holidays in a public school. Because I don’t actually care if my kids know about religious holidays since I don’t think that ANY religion is worth learning about beyond a historical perspective. Tout peace and acceptance and love and holding hands all you want, but if you think that religion (or persecuting a religion) is the way to go about it, my friend, you are sorely mistaken. Christians aren’t privileged–they’re just another bunch of nutty zealots with the upper hand in the US.

    • RectPropagation

      Most people don’t get any kind of paid time off at all because they’re hourly. That is a luxury afforded those who get white collar/office jobs, not the service jobs most people in the United States have. Yes, reasonable accommodation laws may mean they have to give you time off but they don’t have to *pay* you for that time off.

  • Iqbal

    I wonder what small enclave of America Mr. Killermann lives in. Many of his assertions above are patently false and show a devastating lack of research.

  • Mauderene

    This wonderful. I just finished developing a training for chaplains (all faiths) on support families who have lost a family member and the assumption that “faith” or “belief” refers to Christianity came up again and again.

  • Amanda Storms

    Don’t forget hate speech privileges. Christians get freedom of speech, pagans and others have to watch what they say about Christians. I voiced my opinion against hate speech and was scolded for being intolerant.

  • David A. Carlson

    Wow. That was entire load of crap.

  • julia

    When you go to celebrate your most important holidays, you won’t find police stationed at your place of worship to protect you from possible harm.

  • Kawamura T.

    People accept your religion as being a “real religion” because it has a supernatural being and a single tome. (Jodo Shinshu Buddhist here)

  • chanceofrainne

    You can demand that minorities in your country be denied rights and privileges that you enjoy because of strictures in your faith’s holy book and people will either openly agree with you or (usually) not openly disagree with you.

  • notasimpatientasyou

    So…I think the comments on this article pretty much negates #21 on this list. DEFINITELY an exception.

  • Sonya Miller

    How about having Temples or Houses of Worship to every faith being rented, and built without prejudice (I know this having the first legal Wiccan Temple building we found in the Bible Belt). How about having grants and scholarships to colleges that are offered to every faith? The Wiccan faith is trying really hard to start these, but the few offered are very spaced out. Sorry to point this out to you but UU is not Wiccan. How about having grants, and government loans that offered to ALL FAITHS. Try looking for grants and loans offered to anyone who is NOT christian; and good luck with that. Though it should be stated, that my Church and many others here in the south, or quickly fighting and winning this battle even with Walmart and Home Depot. However, you should see how quickly the local Christian churches protest this and preach about us being “evil” from the pulpit. Hate for people of any faith (Including Christian) should never happen in this country….but it does.

  • NotConvinced

    When was this list made. 1950??? Or maybe in only pertains to life in the deep South. Certainly not in Western Oregon. While this nation was founded by Christians and based on Christian principals, we have lost our way in the last few decades. The results are obvious.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      I’ll be sure to pass along the memo that Grand Rapids, Michigan is “the Deep South”. I don’t think people who live there will believe me as they tell me I’m going to their Hell.

      LOL

      Gods below, kiddo, get a feel for life beyond the current limits of your own sheltered experience.

  • TerrificTomm

    Your personal bigotry and intolerance is astounding. It’s interesting how these days it is Christians who are expected to sacrifice and deny their faith on the altar of everyone else’s “feelings”.

    When I lived in Japan as a child (military) my schools took regular field trips to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples on their religious holidays. I was once even featured in a Stars & Stripes article while attending the Shi-shi-Go-San Festival at a Shinto shrine outside Tokyo.

    Applying your bigoted and intolerant attitude, How dare those Japanese celebrate their faith so openly in their country! Just because their citizens are predominately Shino is no reason for them to shove it down our throats. I’ll bet they got the day off from school and work, too! Bet I wouldn’t get Pentecost Sunday off. Or even Easter. Nor Christmas even though they love the commercialism of it.

    But no, you don’t have that attitude and the attitude I was taught was that most Japanese are Shinto and we needed to RESPECT their religion and their culture. To bad you never lived in Japan. You might have learned the same thing about Christianity and America.

    And just what do you think goes on in Muslim countries? Christians are not looked down on, they are MURDERED! As are GAYS. Sharia law anyone?

    And do you think holding a bunch of gay pride parades down the streets of Mecca is going to change a single Muslim mind? No, wait! The first time any gays attempted to have a march in Mecca (or any Muslim country) you would be mowed down by machine gun fire.

    But still, to you, Christians are the bigots.

    The fact is, every nation has a culture and Christianity has produced the most magnanimous and tolerant culture in the history of the world and you have NOTHING to offer in its place. Nothing that would work as well, that is.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      Japan does not currently recognise a state religion, but this article is not about Japan.

      This article is about the tendency to privilege Christianity in the Anglosphere (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand), and most of the “Western” world. Most of those countries, especially the United States, has no state religion. In fact, there are many documents of historical importance in the United States that make it explicitly clear, in no uncertain terms, that it is not founded as a “Christian nation”, a fact that has been ignored and fallen on deaf years in the last century– wilful ignorance which further privileges Christianity in the United States. See the Treaty of Tripoli Article 11, as submitted by then-President John Adams and ratified UNANIMOUSLY in 1797 by the Senate:

      As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,…

      Now, Japan is a much older country than the United States and has, at varies times, had rulers who’ve made explicit declarations that give esteem to the pantheons and divine or semi-divine wisdoms of Shinto and Buddhist religions, so I can understand Japan maintaining a regard for the shrines on an historical ground (the best stats I have for religion in Japan say that 34% of the nation as a whole identifies as Buddhist and 3% identify as Shinto, but at the same time, it’s accepted in Japane that most people will have a “folksy” approach to religion, as anthropologists might say, and so rather than being of a single religion, exclusively, will take a more individualistic approach to religion and take bits here and there from various religions), but there is little historical ground for the pervasive Christian culture in the United States that demands to be catered to at the expense of all other religions.

      Intriguingly, the UK does have a state religion: Anglicanism, or The Church of England. It is the only English-speaking nation to have a state religion (nope, not even Ireland has a state religion –which kind of surprised me to learn, but oh well), and yet intriguingly is the least-compulsory about it, culturally. Yes, being Catholic can still hurt one’s political career in England, and recent surveys suggest that there is still a widespread discrimination against paganism in the UK, but generally speaking, religion in the UK is quite a bit more lassiez-faire, and with the exception of small towns and villages where the entire social life in the area is the local parish, one’s neighbours tend not to ask one what church one belongs to, nor do they tend to care all that much.

  • Kat

    Regardless of personal distinctions, the word “Christian”, on paper, does certainly come with everyday social privileges like 1, 3, 6, 10 (even if, as a Christian, you object to this), and 22, 23, & 30 (which are unfortunately pervasive and important to address). Where “Christianity” IS a visible attribute (and is not eclipsed by association with a less-privileged group or identity), privilege does apply.

    My only issue with this otherwise accurate list is that it only applies to a specific “culture” of American evangelical Christianity, not the practice of the Christian faith itself (and I’m not even applying the “we’re not all like that argument”; I’m saying the “we” itself is a privileged social group distinct from “people who identify themselves as Christians”). At a basic level– not all Christian denominations partake in certain holidays, etc; we all suffer from seeing “positively” contextualized portrayals of Christianity if those portrayals are in contradiction with our actual theology or practice of our faith (see: the majority of conservative news media).

    More importantly, as soon as a Christian is outside of this umbrella of “culture”– a queer Christian, to give a basic, but increasingly prevalent example– a lot of those privileges dissolve or are replaced with oppression, often from WITHIN the larger “Christian” social community. Being Catholic isn’t always safe (I have friends who have lost jobs at Protestant institutions), being LGBTQIA and Christian definitely isn’t safe, being a Messianic Jew isn’t always safe, etc.

    Points 12, 13, 14, 15, 21, 31, and 32 hinge on a narrow cultural definition of “member of your faith”(to the point of being a double-edged sword (and a source of harmful, life-and-career affecting stereotyping for anyone outside of the “conservative” spectrum), and a few depend entirely on where in America one lives and socializes.

    Points 20, 25, 26, 27, and 28, as well, are false for myself and many, many other Christians who live outside the midwest, don’t remotely identify with the social or political conservative culture, or just choose (or even feel safest in) social circles which are predominantly secular or atheist. Even disregarding intent, these points still presupposes a very specific lifestyle.

    Also, as someone who works as an educator in the biological sciences? 16 and 17 have never been true for me or many friends. I’ve had my religious text read aloud in class by students and a professor as an object of derision, under the pretext of “explaining what people like (me) believe”, (all the more provokingly because I’m a Darwinian evolutionist). Teaching in the majority of religious institutions? I’d get the same reaction for opposite reasons; in many midwestern Christian schools, I’d even be denied a position.

    Christians are NOT a persecuted or even inconvenienced minority in America, not even close. But unlike the designations “white” or “(cis)male”, “Christian” is not a visibly-definable social category, but a religion/worldview that can– but does not always– take the form of a subculture with uniform attributes. It is important to recognize than many practitioners of the faith can be oppressed from within that subculture, while still considering themselves members of the Christian church.

  • morganburris

    Yes I do agree that there are privilages to being a christian, but that does not mean that other faiths cannot find places to set up their own cultural hearths, it just so happened that the majority of settlers in the US were those who believed in God(not necessarily the same denomination).

  • G

    In a country with a Christian culture wouldn’t many of these be normal? I mean finding Christian TV and music is easy because you’re discussing a Christian country… Try and look for Christian music and TV in a Muslim country, you can’t because they attack anyone speaking out against their state Religion….

    Obviously this writer has bias on this issue

  • KAREN

    In India Christians are persecuted, parts of China, Afghanistan and many other country where been are Christian is not an option and people get tortured and killed for it. So, yes, I see your point with Christianity in USA but, if you go to Brazil for an example, you’ll see that its a catholic country and we have they’re crucified dead looking Jesus and virgin Marys all over the place. It depend where you’re at, dear.

  • AnnaHart

    Haven’t read through the comments yet, so these might be already addressed. A few of these seem incorrect based on my experiences. I’m not saying these happen all of the time, but the article seemed a little generalized
    8: There have been strange looks, comments, even direct insults at people praying before a meal in a restaurant or at school. Prayer is a custom of Christianity; prayer before meals common and prayers just to get you through the day, such as at school.
    13: I have seen many politicians labeled as extremists for their views, and honestly, I’m surprised you haven’t. I personally may not agree with their views, but nevertheless, they are judged by their faith because of them.
    20: It’s very easy to be the “Christian friend” depending on who you choose to hang out with.
    21: It’s very obvious if you’re ever on the internet that being kind and polite is considered the exception of Christianity, not the rule.
    32: If you consider “other religion” as “any other religion” then yes, if you’re a Christian you’re most likely going to be viewed as attacking other religions because (see 21) Christians are frequently thought of based on the negative ones, so people will automatically assume that’s what you’re doing.
    Basically, I’m thinking that all of these only apply if you mostly hang out with Christians. If you surround yourself with a diverse group of people, many don’t apply.
    (This isn’t out of anger at all, just wanted to point these things out)

  • Robin Sheppard

    “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

    “A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the
    good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the
    world. It was a perfect act.”

    Both quotes are from Mahatma Gandhi

  • ByondPolitics

    odd article when literally hundreds of thousands of Christians around the world have been forced to become refugees in just the last couple of years. When, for example, Christians are stoned at Temple Mount and dozens of Christians were brutally murdered so recently in Pakistan.

    The world is a big place. Try to take your prejudices and limited worldview and see the bigger picture. Hurt feelings don’t compare to brutal death.

  • Bekah Holmes

    I agree there is a certain amount of Christian privilege that I receive, but
    there are a few things on this list that I don’t know if I agree with, I’m going to list them,

    5. Yes, I like to retain the right to say “Merry Christmas,” but in the
    same way that I would be honored if you wished me a Happy Hanukkah, Ramadan, or Diwali. I think it’s a beautiful thing when we can share in our religions and beliefs.
    6. Christians don’t receive active persecution, but rather persecution that is
    often pushed under radar, and comes, mainly, from the non-religious. I have personally been insulted, yelled at, and threatened for just being a believer. I wasn’t even necessarily practicing at the moment.
    8. I have definitely been mocked and ridiculed for my religion, as stated previously.
    21. I have been called the “exception” time, and time again, because

    people not in my faith believe we’re all bible-thumping extremists. I do differ from many who claim to be a part of my religion, in that I have no interest in the “rules” of religion, and believe that being a Christian means only that you have a relationship with Christ. I don’t try to push any “rules” on anyone else, except don’t be a jerk.
    24. I often speak apologetically for those who act outside of the actual meaning of
    Christianity, as I said I generally don’t fall in line with the most vocal of my religion, and I have often had to apologise for their intolerance and ignorance.
    25. I generally assume everyone is agnostic, actually. Spiritual, but not religious.

    Don’t take this to mean that I disagree with your article. I don’t, I think you are asking those of us who enjoy the privileges of being in a country that, for the most part accepts our faith, to recognize the gifts we’re given. But I’d say that, no matter your religion, you’ll be persecuted, it is the burden we are given when finding our path, whether you believe that’s through Christ, Muhammed, God, or just a good life.

    • http://www.oddmodout.com/ Ruadhán J McElroy

      5. Yes, I like to retain the right to say “Merry Christmas,” but in the same
      way that I would be honored if you wished me a Happy Hanukkah, Ramadan,
      or Diwali. I think it’s a beautiful thing when we can share in our
      religions and beliefs.

      That’s all well and good, but it’s irrelevant. Because Christianity is so pervasive, and there are GOP members of the House who have actually said that the United States is a “Christian Nation” and people like Ann Coulter are getting airtime to say any expression of Islam belief is akin to terrorist activity, those non-Christians (and others who may have a holiday they celebrate in December) aren’t going to necessarily feel safe enough to “honour” you with a greeting such as that. Furthermore, considering the active dominance Christianity still has in Western society, what reason would such people have to assume that you’d celebrate their holy-days with them? Cos that’s what those specific greetings mean. “Happy Christmas” signifies that not only do you recognise that holiday, you are assuming the person you greet with it celebrates, as well, and if you, as an individual, do not assume, then what’s the difference between you using them to have one and proselytising?

      Maybe you don’t realise that’s what you’re saying (cos why else would you be saying it to some-one whose religion you were either unaware of, or whom you know to be non-Christian?), but that’s the reason “Happy Holidays” has been (seriously) trending since the late Victorian: It doesn’t assume a religion upon the person you are greeting, it acknowledges that there are many holidays that they could be celebrating besides your own, and if by happenstance the person you greet with it is non-Christian, it carries no connotations of a subtle proselytising.

      6. Christians don’t receive active persecution, but rather persecution that is often pushed under radar, and comes, mainly, from the non-religious. I have personally been insulted, yelled at, and threatened for just being a believer. I wasn’t even necessarily practicing at the moment.

      Non-believers in what? I’m religious, I’m a “believer” in something, it’s just not Christianity.

      That aside, what you describe is not “persecution”, it is “prejudice”.In a world where Christianity is a dominant religion, Christianity cannot possibly be persecuted by anyone –that’s not how persecution works. Now, non-Christians may be resentful toward the privileges afforded to Christians, and this resentment may turn into a prejudice, but it is in no way the same as a persecution.

      Persecution is necessarily systematic. While it’s certainly possible that a Christian wearing a visible crucifix necklace to a job interview may be denied employment by a non-Christian employer, every two-hundred interviews that meet those specific circumstances, that’s still not enough to prove a system of persecution designed to keep Christians from getting certain jobs –especially when the situation is countered with literally hundreds of other employers who would see that crucifix and feel inclined to put that applicant to the top of the stack. The situation in the favour of Christians is so disproportionate that it is simply impossible for Christians to be singled-out for real persecution in Western society (bring up France all you like, their laws affect any and all religious symbols –from a Christian’s cross to a Neopagan’s pentagram, ergo, Christianity is not being “singled out”, nor really can it, when so much of that country is openly Catholic).

      The prejudice you experience on occasion is just that. It is not, in any way, on the same level as persecution.

      8. I have definitely been mocked and ridiculed for my religion, as stated previously.

      So? It really doesn’t have the same weight to it that the mockery and ridicule faced by non-Christians endure in Western society. There is no history of caricaturing Christians as terrorists in turbans, money-lenders and lawyers who are little more that noses with sidecurls, wacky brown-skinned convenience store jockeys, braless middle aged hippies or angsty teenage girls, and so on. Once in a while, you might see a political cartoon with an over-the-top far-right Christan balanced with another character who is, or is assumed to be a far more moderate Christian, but even still, that doesn’t really balance the former examples which, by and large, are the most-pervasive examples of non-Christians in the media for the last century and a half. Bill Mahr alone cannot balance the scales on that.

      21. I have been called the “exception” time, and time again, because people not in my faith believe we’re all bible-thumping extremists. I do differ from many who claim to be a part of my religion, in that I have no interest in the “rules” of religion, and believe that being a Christian means only that you have a relationship with Christ. I don’t try to push any “rules” on anyone else, except don’t be a jerk.

      So? You’re one person. Possibly one of a healthy handful, but that’s still not enough to counter the system of persecution that creates the situation tenfold for many non-Christians. I mean, I’ve been “the good pagan” to dozens of people, cos I’m not the caricature of the middle-aged pothead going on about crystals and nonsense or angsty teen wearing tend pounds of silver pentegrams and shouting “persecution” every time they do or say something inappropriate. Forget the fact that those caricatures are actually a scarcity in the broader pagan community, especially in my religious sub-group under that umbrella. I don’t make a point to personally inform everyone I meet about my religion, but I’m fairly open, so most people know, and only those who had some previous familiarity with modern pagan religions failed to call me “one of the good ones”.

      Christians don’t have a caricature, except perhaps the extremists, because Christians tend to be the assumed-default (the “privileged”) in Western society. While Christians fight extremists in their ranks —extremists who, in this day and age, are actually in positions of local and national political power because so many Christians just laughed them off as a “wacky minority” for literally decades, since even before Reagan— every other religion has to fight the caricature that only barely represents a tiny population within their own ranks.

      24. I often speak apologetically for those who act outside of the actual meaning of Christianity, as I said I generally don’t fall in line with the most vocal of my religion, and I have often had to apologise for their intolerance and ignorance.

      And? I’m willing to bet you $5 that no-one ever asked this of you in the way people of other religions are asked to speak on behalf of the whole religion. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked to speak on behalf of “all pagans” (or, a few times, to speak on behalf of “all Wiccans”, and I do not practise Wicca) at some university event, or panel or whatever. If these panels are ever “Interfaith” in nature, they are quick to get a local Catholic priest, and a few priests (or at least enthusiastic novices) from the major Protestant sects around, and if there’s a healthy Orthodox Christian community, then they grab a priest from there, too. But there are also plenty of times that they don’t get anyone from Christian sects, cos that’s not the goal of the panel, the goal is to make sure Christians know what to do if ever invited to some non-Christian event, while it’s just assumed that we’d know what to do at Christian gatherings, cos it’s just that pervasive in the culture.

      25. I generally assume everyone is agnostic, actually. Spiritual, but not religious.

      Good for you, I’ve got some cookies in the oven.

  • Martin

    There are few if any dietary restrictions and the choice of foods is abundant

  • Judged

    In my church, the youth pastor treated my daughter like $#@, it lowered her self esteem so low. She never went back to church. There is a woman at my church who judges everyone and actually points fingers at people and dug her fingernail into my shoulder several times saying I was raising my children wrong. There are “clicks” I don’t belong to. I am only human and a sinner who struggles following Christ. But I wouldn’t put anyone else’s religion down. My sister inlaw always talks about what a GOOD christian she is; al the time cutting her brother-in- law down.
    As she has done for 30 years and my children have seen it. I’ve had my heart broken many times by christian churches; many times I think is it worth it?

  • Cathy the Spherical

    I am a practicing Catholic. I have been on the other end of numbers 1,7,8, 16, 17, 18, 24 ~ seriously.

    On the other hand, 2, 3 and 15 are big and I do sympathize with non-Christians. And 29 is horrific and I just learned something.

    As for “Merry Christmas!” I am not trying to convert you,I’m trying to share happiness. I think it’s very sweet when someone offers me a sincere, “Happy Hanukkah!” or “Joyous Solstice!”

  • gander

    A problem here and there. #8? Not by me. #14 (and #15)? “Accurately”? They tell you stories about a myth and it’s “accurate”? “Anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your faith”? If they agree with you, I would argue that is a LACK of understanding…

    anyone
    you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs. – See
    more at:
    http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/#sthash.bk1JhPkK.RaWXmtOP.dpuf
    anyone
    you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs. – See
    more at:
    http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/#sthash.bk1JhPkK.RaWXmtOP.dpuf

  • JRB

    Christians are being slaughtered in Muslim lands as we speak. More than 40,000 acts of terrorism have been committed by Muslims since 9/11, many against Christians in Muslim lands. It is illegal to be Christian in dozens of Muslim countries.

    You are a hypocrite. How many Muslims have been killed by Christians in the USA or Europe?

  • Brian Frang

    5, 10, 13 and 30 are tenuous at best. In fact, my father, a Christian was passed over for custody and I was given to my mother, a Jew, because he’s male. I was told specifically at every retailer I’ve worked for that “Happy Holidays” is acceptable and”Merry Christmas” was not, you can actually be sworn in without any religious text whatsoever, and Seriously, Politicians spouting religion from their podium aren’t labelled as extremists? Then what in the fuck do you call the Tea Party?

    Just saying, this list would be more accurate without those 4.

  • Johnny MoonOwl

    You can assume that prayers said at 12 step meetings will reflect your higher power….

    • Johnny MoonOwl

      You can expect that prayers said at public events will reflect your own religious beliefs.

      • Johnny MoonOwl

        Your children will not have to be taught about the
        social costs associated with people knowing your faith.

        • Johnny MoonOwl

          Now I’m thinking about the things I have to do with my kids because we’re not christian…..

          You don’t have to teach your children about other faiths so they will not ask questions in public and appear to blend in.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    Right off the bat, #1 is incorrect. I’ve never gotten All Saints Day off for instance. Or any of the other Catholic Holy Days of Obligation. #2 is also incorrect, I’ve never seen, for instance, a NBC special for St Faustina’s feast day of Divine Mercy (October 5). On #3, I’m currently trying to assemble some equipment for my Knights of Columbus council and finding that there are certain religious items that are *only* available from Lynch and Kelly or The English Company. On #4- I’ve been pressured to observe Ramadan, Martin Luther King Day, and Haunakah in my lifetime. #5- Maybe for the big two, but when was the last time somebody wished you Happy Jahniepaav? #6, the Obama Admin was perfectly ready to arrest any Catholic Chaplain who violated the Federal Shutdown by saying a Catholic Mass on a military reservation. #7- I’ve had my car vandalized for a pro-marriage sticker. #8- are you kidding? They cut the head off of the statue of St. Joseph at the Grotto and I’ve often gotten remarks for pulling my rosary out in public. #9 – Fr. Don Durrand’s trial for the clergy abuse scandal directly had a juror on the nightly news saying “His accusers weren’t credible but he wore a Roman collar in court and we know all priests are abusers”. #10- They’ll give a Koran to an Islamic, and if you request it, they’ll give a copy of The God Delusion to an atheist. #11- What positive references? Catholics are evil, homophobic woman haters by the mass media. #12- Yes they are, but they don’t act like it (Nancy Pelosi, what’s so sacred about killing children in the womb?) #13- Not if they’re Democrats- pro-life Democrats are kicked out of the party. #15- Not a chance; even the other Christians think we worship Mary statues. #16- I am all the time, but I’ve solved that by, gasp, actually being aware of other people’s belief systems. #17- once again, I’ve never gotten time off to go to Mass for the Assumption of Mary, or any other Holy Day of Obligation. #18- only if you keep your faith totally a secret. #19- Not if you’re in the military and stuck on base during a government shutdown. #20- People think of me as their Catholic friend all the time. #21- Ever hear of the Crusades or the Inquisition? #22- The IRS started investigating pro-life Catholic Churches back in 2008. #23 Rather, just totally canceled because some rare species of moss is on the site. #24 I am. I refuse. That’s the Pope’s job. #25 Not in a pluralistic, multicultural society. I’m usually a minority, albeit a rather strong one. #26 If your child has learning disabilities or you can’t afford the tuition at a Catholic School, your child will be surrounded by people who attack their faith every day. #27 Also no. A few friends at Church, but then again, the learning disability gets in the way- my Christopher is very much the odd man out, being unable to read at age 10. #28 See #26- my biggest complaint about Catholic education is how special needs kids are left behind. #29 Your adoption agency was likely closed for being homophobic and Catholic. #30 Divorce isn’t allowed or recognized by my faith. Which leads the kids to being taken by the parent who leaves the faith and the marriage behind. #31 I don’t see any Catholic History classes at public high schools or colleges. #32 Complaining about attacks on Catholicism are seen as attacks on gays, Jews, and women. #33 Isn’t that what this list was supposed to disprove?

  • suzanne999

    Sam, enjoyed this article, the only item I take some exception to is number 6. are you advocating that we should not wish people merry Christmas? This is not a religious holiday for many of us, plus, how does my not saying maerry Christmas increase the religious freedom of others? I love that I am wished a peaceful and happy Diwali at work, a happy Rosh Hashanah, I don’t feel that the sharing of personal joy and expression from another is proselytizing nor does it impact my enjoyment of my holidays. shouldn’t we work to be tolerant of these expressions instead of surpressing them?

  • Sorcha Love

    Thanks for the article. I do recognise a lot of privileges here that I had not realised others did not share. And it will help me be more sensitive and aware :) I grew up in Singapore and there every religious holiday of the major religions are respected and celebrated and are given a public holiday (recently, because of the increasing Americans in Singapore, they’ve even allowed for Halloween to be a huge event, closing roads down etc). I do say Merry Christmas to my non-chirstian friends there, but likewise I get wished on their celebrations. I do, however notice the things you have pointed out in Australia (where I’ve been for the last 10 years), where it is a predominately christian country.

    Though, my only comment as a Christian, would be that being able to practice our faith without being socially marginalise is becoming a thing of the past. As least from my experience. I have had to hear people slur at my faith in public or even in my med school classrooms, making comments such as “I can’t believe they believe that!” or they call us “delusional” or summarise their disbelieve in the decisions some make (e.g. not to use contraception) by saying “but that’s because they’re really religious christians”. It is quite surprising from a supposedly more excepting and tolerant country. Though it cannot be as difficult as those who are in other faiths, I can definitely empathise. It makes you feel unsafe and worried about something that you should be allowed to freely express (of course within reason; i.e. sensitivity to other practices).

    Maybe countries should take a page from Singapore :P

  • Ten

    You don’t have to explain the history and philosophy behind your belief system in terminology from another belief system with it’s own history and philosophy in order to be part of a “real” religion.

  • Alice

    Wow 8 is extremely wrong. I as well as my more outspoken Christian friends have been persecuted many times and many ways for expressing faith, even in the U.S. Heck, sometimes even in church, unfortunately. 20 follows that line of thinking as well.

  • RectPropagation

    Here’s one: When you tell people that you’re a Christian you’re not expected to explain why.

    • 1SkyCaptain1

      Self evident truths need not be explained!

      • RectPropagation

        Yeah, no. That whooshing noise was the point flying over your head.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          When you tell people you like to masturbate on same gendered companions it is natural to wonder why because it is a self evident truth that the intended use of your reproductive system does not include sexual depravity.

          To believe otherwise is indicative of a broken mind.

          • Michael Argyros

            Sounds like you are saying that any sexual activity that does not result in possible pregnancy is depraved and perverted. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the one man who has never masturbated, touched a breast since he was nursed as a baby, gotten a blow job, or performed oral sex on a woman in his life.

          • 1SkyCaptain1

            I’m saying you need to invest in a good dictionary.

            Depraved: marked by corruption or evil; especially : perverted

            Perverted: having or showing sexual desires that are considered not normal or acceptable

            Experimentation is normal and healthy; making a career out of it is perverted.

          • Michael Argyros

            So getting a blow job is normal, as long as you don’t enjoy it too much? Sorry, pal. Oral sex IS normal and IS acceptable. So is masturbation. You are repressed.

          • 1SkyCaptain1

            It is depraved and leads to death!

            Your definition of right and wrong has no bases in fact and stands in opposition to not only this nations founding principles, but to life itself.

            Decadent: having low morals and a great love of pleasure, money, fame, etc.; marked by decay or decline

            You have embrace the way of the parasite. .

  • http://abominationblueberry.tumblr.com/ Stephanie

    You can’t be fired or denied employment based on your faith (or lack of).

    Last time I read on the topic (it might be dated information now) there are several places (within the United States at that) where you can be fired for being an Atheist or where you can’t hold certain positions (city council for example, or district attorney) if you’re an Atheist.

  • Kenny Mejia

    God Bless America
    In God We trust (printed on our currency)

    • 1SkyCaptain1

      “In God We trust” also happens to be this nations only official motto.

      • Michael Argyros

        Only since 1956. It was the wrong thing to do then and it’s still wrong.

        • 1SkyCaptain1

          And masturbating on same gendered companions was illegal for over two-hundred-years in this country – 1,000 years of recorded western civilization.

          Point being; your understanding of right and wrong is perverted!

          • Michael Argyros

            Maybe I’m slow but I don’t get your comment. What is perverted about believing it’s wrong to have a religious statement as the motto of of an entire country that is supposed to have separation of church and state? Also, what the deuce does it have to do with homosexual masturbation?

          • 1SkyCaptain1