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30 Examples of Christian Privilege


FaustianSlip

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I was reading This Is Not Jewish and ran across this list. I'd like to force every last one of our fundie friends to sit down and read it (not that it would be very likely to sink in, but still...). A few that particularly resonated with me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

- You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs.

- 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.

- It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith.

- Your faith is used in advertisements and common parlance as a synonym for “good†or “trustworthy.†(This was added by the author of This Is Not Jewish)

They're all quite good points, though some clearly apply more to the religious experiences of some than of others. Some of the comments are also absurd.

I count myself very fortunate to work with a group of people who are supportive of my religious practices, but I've known plenty of people who aren't so lucky. And, of course, there was last year when a Mormon coworker showed up at my door with his family singing Christmas carols. I didn't take offense, because it was intended as something nice, but it was definitely weird to be standing there next to my mezuzah while listening to a bunch of kids sing "Away In a Manger." Also funny was the fact that I had literally just been eating a plate of latkes when they turned up. A friend (also Mormon) mentioned to him later that I'm Jewish. Whoops.

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"You can dismiss the idea that identifying with your faith bears certain privileges."

This is the one that stood out to me the most.

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Oh, Hestia is the accurate. I can relate to everything on the list, pretty much.

Though I would like to add.

"Can openly wear apparal or jewerly of faith in public without fear of being hurt or harrassed."

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OT, but I want say how enlightening the recent threads on appropriation of Jewish ritual have been for me, and how they actually helped me convince a Jewish friend to change his mind about a different type of inappropriate cultural appropriation.

We were discussing "new age" spiritualism, and I mentioned how uncomfortable it made me when non native people performed tribal rituals and referred to themselves as "shamans". Recent WTF example: college group advertising Spring drumming circle (fine) and "ghost dance" (google for the WTF factor). Friend had no issue with this, felt that white people were paying a complement. I asked him what he thought of the local, very not interrfaith minded IFB church having "Passover". After he stopped yelling, lightbulb moment. :)

So thanks FJ for the education and helping me win and arguement :D

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Yeah, fundies won't get the list. They are so sure they have THE TRUTH I don't even know if they would believe that the problems described are actually problems. They would probably see this list as a list of things that are right in the world- "Of course I get Christmas off. No workplace should give you time off for your evil Satan worshipping. Even asking that question offends me because you are disrespecting THE LORD with your heathen ways :blank stare:

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Yeah, a ghost dance is way inappropriate. Sometimes it can be hard to tell when something crosses the line into cultural appropriation, but that's not even close. And good for your friend for being open enough to actually have the lightbulb moment- my biggest issue with a lot of the people doing the pseudo seders and bar mitzvahs is that even when you break it down for them in a variety of ways, even when (I suspect) they can at least intellectually understand why their behavior is causing offense, they usually just dig their heels in and double down on the whole, "Well, Jesus was Jewish!" trope. It's like arguing with a brick wall.

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It's particularly poignant to me, having moved away from Israel where the default religion is Judaism (never mind the vast number of Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bahai and other religions out there) to being the minority.

It's the little things - hunting high and low for a Bat-Mitzvah greeting card for my friend's daughter; Hoping the only grocery store that carries Hannukah candles or gefilte fish isn't out of stock by the time I driver there; taking Passover or Rosh Hashanah off and explaining my boss why I'm not in that day; and yes, being greeted with a "Merry Christmas" while Jewish holidays are not even on anyone's radar. Working hard (and paying for) my kids to get some Jewish education, which they would have absorbed through osmosis have we lived in Israel.

Yes, I was privileged, and I never realized that until the shoe was on the other foot. I'm visiting Israel now. I watched a tv documentary on a Bedouin settlement and was blown away by the perfect Hebrew spoken by native Arabic speakers - much better than my own stuttering Arabic. I'm impressed but not surprised, as they don't have the privilege of not learning another language.

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Man, I would love to share this on my Facebook but I would get slammed so hard for it. Even though I'm Jewish, I grew up in a ridiculously Christian town. (Like half of my high school graduating class have become "Youth Ministers") Especially today when my newsfeed is blown up with Bible verses and "He is risen!!!!!!!!111111111!!!!!!!!!!!"

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I'm glad I'm not the only one whose newsfeed had a bunch of "He is Risen!" posts. Most of the ones on mine were from people I didn't even know were particularly religious. And I refrained from putting this on FB for many of the same reasons- even if I were going to do it, I wouldn't do it on Easter Sunday. The blowback would be really bad.

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Man, I was feeling this list especially hard around Hanukkah. All I wanted was some sort of Hanukkah special or movie on TV and gelt with hebrew letters on it.

Or monday when I had to explain the difference between a seder and Passover to my professor. Or as he called it, "seed-er."

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Excellent list.

I will say that I think some of the items depend on where someone lives. In my community Judaism is "normal". Every supermarket has a section dedicated to Kosher products. Target and Wal-Mart both carry Kosher goods and products for Jewish holidays. Jewish greeting cards are readily available, and many stores here even have specialty cards in Hebrew.

When I attended (public) grade school we always celebrated the Jewish holidays and the Christian holidays. I remember making butter for Passover and eating matzah at snack time. There was a menorah in the school lobby during December along with a Christmas tree. Schools were always closed for major Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. Most of my teachers were Jewish, and it just... normal.

That isn't to say that Christian privilege doesn't exist here. It does, and as it's already been said some things apply more to some groups than others.

I also recognize that this isn't the norm for most parts of the country, but for us it is.

I also realize that this isn't the norm for much of America.

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Excellent list.

I will say that I think some of the items depend on where someone lives. In my community Judaism is "normal". Every supermarket has a section dedicated to Kosher products. Target and Wal-Mart both carry Kosher goods and products for Jewish holidays. Jewish greeting cards are readily available, and many stores here even have specialty cards in Hebrew.

When I attended (public) grade school we always celebrated the Jewish holidays and the Christian holidays. I remember making butter for Passover and eating matzah at snack time. There was a menorah in the school lobby during December along with a Christmas tree. Schools were always closed for major Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. Most of my teachers were Jewish, and it just... normal.

That isn't to say that Christian privilege doesn't exist here. It does, and as it's already been said some things apply more to some groups than others.

I also recognize that this isn't the norm for most parts of the country, but for us it is.

I also realize that this isn't the norm for much of America.

I understand what you're saying, though. Growing up, I've always had the high holy days off and access to kosher foods. I live in a fairly-Jewish area of the country

However, I was one of *maybe* four Jewish kids in my grade, so I always had to explain holidays and traditions to my friends. I don't mind educating people as long as they're willing to listen, it just that it reinforces this sense of being "the other."

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You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception†to those practicing your faith.

I disagree with this. I get constantly told that most Christians they know are the complete opposite of these things, but that my social group and I are "the exceptions." Most Christians people know of are judgmental, stuck up, and rude.

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I disagree with this. I get constantly told that most Christians they know are the complete opposite of these things, but that my social group and I are "the exceptions." Most Christians people know of are judgmental, stuck up, and rude.

Most of the Christians I know are just regular people who go to work, raise their kids, pay their taxes, and live their lives. They don't bother anybody. But around here, the majority of Christians are mainline Protestants and ordinary Catholics (not the fundie Santorum kind). I realize the culture is very different in parts of the South.

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Guest Anonymous
Yeah, a ghost dance is way inappropriate. Sometimes it can be hard to tell when something crosses the line into cultural appropriation, but that's not even close. And good for your friend for being open enough to actually have the lightbulb moment- my biggest issue with a lot of the people doing the pseudo seders and bar mitzvahs is that even when you break it down for them in a variety of ways, even when (I suspect) they can at least intellectually understand why their behavior is causing offense, they usually just dig their heels in and double down on the whole, "Well, Jesus was Jewish!" trope. It's like arguing with a brick wall.

I am so sick of "Well, Jesus was Jewish!" What is it supposed to mean? How does that even work? Jesus being Jewish is presented as a licence for Christians to have special access to Judaism. "The central guy in our religion was Jewish, so we get Judaism now. It's our pet thing to use as we wish".

- Your faith is used in advertisements and common parlance as a synonym for “good†or “trustworthy.†(This was added by the author of This Is Not Jewish)

One weird version of this really bothers me. I've heard a couple of people explain how their Buddhist and Muslim friends are really, truly Christian because they are good people who give to charity. That's not OK. You can't just overwrite somebody's deeply held religious faith and cultural identity because they behave in a way that pleases you and (in your mind) goodness = Christian.

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- Your faith is used in advertisements and common parlance as a synonym for “good†or “trustworthy.†(This was added by the author of This Is Not Jewish)

at little OT, but I think of this notion whenever I get one of those scam e-mails (I'm a dying widow and have 4 millions dollars to donate to you, I'm a former govt official of war-torn country and I have a million dollars I need your help to get out of the country, I'm an orphan and my form bank owning dad left me 70 billion dollars and I need your help to get it out of my war-torn country...) since they usually include some godly phrase like God Bless You, May The Love of Christ Be With You, Christ's Blessings on You, Like we're supposed to think, "They said something godly, they're a good religious person, no way this could be a scam"

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I am so sick of "Well, Jesus was Jewish!" What is it supposed to mean? How does that even work? Jesus being Jewish is presented as a licence for Christians to have special access to Judaism. "The central guy in our religion was Jewish, so we get Judaism now. It's our pet thing to use as we wish".

Basically- it's ridiculous and makes no sense. It's like saying, "Well, Einstein was Jewish, therefore I get to rewrite the laws of physics." Um, no, you don't.

And irony of ironies, I just saw a status update on my Facebook in which a friend (converted to Mormonism, seems to have bought in totally, and is now fairly conservative and quite religious) made a big point of saying that she de-friended a Jewish friend because "they were trashing Christians on Easter," and how terrible that was, and can you imagine the backlash if it were the other way around (I assume she meant if there was a Christian trashing Jews on Yom Kippur, or whatever). She also went on to talk about her Jewish friend who sends her Christmas cards (i.e. her "good" Jewish friend). I have no idea of what was said in the status update that triggered this, of course, but the way she talked about this other Jewish friend (who's a mutual friend of ours) came off to me as super objectifying and hinky. I don't think she meant it that way, but come on....

I'm also morbidly curious to know what the first person said to "trash Christians" and whether it was actually something rude and inappropriate or one of those, "Man, I'm really tired of reading 'He is Risen!' status updates," kind of things.

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I posted this on my wall, and am now obsessed with this website. It caused a huge fucking brouhaha on my facebook page. It was very interesting and frustrating.

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I posted this on my FB. It wasn't done in seriousness though, I just love a tasteful glitter gif.

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I think most of the local supermarkets have a section with Shabbat candles, ISRAELI CANDY! & various other things from Israel. Its the only other religion that seems to get a look in. You can't even buy cards for orthodox easter, which is weird because there are a lot more Greek people than Jewish people in this area.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one whose newsfeed had a bunch of "He is Risen!" posts. Most of the ones on mine were from people I didn't even know were particularly religious. And I refrained from putting this on FB for many of the same reasons- even if I were going to do it, I wouldn't do it on Easter Sunday. The blowback would be really bad.

I was going through my FB newsfeed a couple of hours ago and I saw several similar postings. I'm an former Catholic, now atheist, I kind of don't get too bothered by religious holiday postings because I see why my friends and relatives do that stuff. I got annoyed with a couple of posts from a friend who recently became a devout Christian after being brought up in a Buddhist family. I'm friends with my ex from high school and he announced today that his grandmother died on Friday. He said it is tough for him to lose his grandmother during a religious holiday weekend because his family are devout Catholics. I felt bad for him and he was asking for prayers. I told him I would keep him in my thoughts. Sometimes I restrain myself from posting certain things on FB during religious holidays. Another atheist friend of mine avoids social networking sites, during Christmas and Easter.

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On the topic of Christian privilege, I think it is fundie Christians who have awful attitudes and they often think Christians are the best people in the world. Lori "Nitwit" Alexander is an example of that, she has had dozens of blog postings talking about how the United States needs the Bible and Christianity. She truly doesn't give a shit about non-Christians like Jews or Muslims or non-religious people. I remember lurking on another message board where some whined Muslims praying on street or something.

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I disagree with this. I get constantly told that most Christians they know are the complete opposite of these things, but that my social group and I are "the exceptions." Most Christians people know of are judgmental, stuck up, and rude.

I've actually experienced something like this, too, when I was a Christian. I mentioned in a conversation that I was Christian (it was relevant to the topic at hand), and a friend of mine said "I'd never have guessed you were", and we all kind of agreed it was a compliment because it meant that I wasn't a judgemental, evangelising jerk as I kept my faith to myself. Maybe it's because I live in Scotland, where religion is a very private matter (it's the height of rudeness to ask someone what they believe) and there's less of an assumption of "default Christian", so when people think of "Christian" they think of the Bible Belt.

That said, I get what the original post is getting at here; when you're a member of the majority, your behaviour is judged as it pertains to you alone, but when you're in the minority you're taken as an example of the entire group to which you belong.

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I took that point as a reference to Muslims- namely, "Wow, you're Muslim? You're not, like, angry or aggressive at all!"

That said, when I meet someone who is a self-proclaimed evangelical who is not rude, overbearing and aggressively proselytizing, I'll admit to thinking, "Wow, not your average evangelical." Primarily because my interactions with that crowd have been so negative. I wouldn't say that to someone's face, though.

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Kind of a funny thing - I was looking for matzo at our grocery store because this would be the time of year to find it (I'm not Jewish but love me some fried onion matzo for breakfast).

I couldn't find any, so went up to where a couple of store employees were standing and asked them if they had any. One knew what I was talking about and said no, they didn't, but I could have it special ordered. The other employee asked, "What's matzo?" and his coworker replied - "It's like a cracker...Jewish people eat it when they celebrate Easter." :roll:

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I took that point as a reference to Muslims- namely, "Wow, you're Muslim? You're not, like, angry or aggressive at all!"

Oh, that's a good point. Even where Christians might be perceived as rude or judgemental, I doubt it's as bad as the perception of Muslims as violent or aggressive.

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