Christian Privilege

Following headlines about Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban facing backlash from judges, an issue was reignited in my head : Christian Privilege in the US. Christians compose a large amount of our political climate – evangelism is a driving force behind the Republican party even though Trump’s values, besides abortion, are precisely oppositional to the values at the religion’s core. Christians often use “religious freedom” as an excuse to discriminate against the LGBT community and to oppose a woman’s right to choose regarding abortion. These same Christians are also oftentimes the people who accuse all Muslims of terrorism, and who make Jew jokes. Christians have unrivaled privilege in the United States, making up approximately 70% of Americans, according to Pew. Meanwhile, Pence last week stood in a room of Christians and made the claim that they were among the most persecuted of religions.  However, in the US, 52% of religiously motivated hate crimes are committed against Jews, not Christians, according to the FBI. This data is from 2015, before the Trump administration, which caused a unique rise in anti-Jewish hate crimes. This is not shocking considering Steve Bannon is in the administration, a man who comes from the alt-right which is pretty transparently a hate group. Christians, specifically those in politics, seem to love to flaunt their religion as an excuse to hate and discriminate. Their religion. You don’t see prominent Jews or Muslims in American politics preaching hate. You also don’t see Christians protecting the freedoms of other religions. This is precisely the premise behind what I view as Christian privilege – as the majority religion in the country, their leaders feel that they can force their traditional views down everyone’s throats. Don’t get me wrong, I am a God fearing individual however I would never use my religious background to put down others. I would never disrespect another religion. Now this might seem like disrespect to Christians, but this is rather a note about their political leaders, and the Christians who are the bitter racists known as the “silent majority”. I know many amazing Christians and Catholics who do not preach hate or feed into self-pitying rhetoric. I am not bashing the religion, but rather some of its followers (even though most of them don’t actually follow the Bible), and it would be irresponsible for me to stereotype all Christians as hateful. However, the sad reality is that many are, and whether you like it or not, if you’re Christian, you are benefitting from Christian privilege. Muslims don’t get their holidays off automatically. An average Jewish kid knows what a Christmas tree is, but would a random Christian be able to recognize a menorah? I also don’t hear people joking about Baptists, but I do hear them joking about Jews. All Christians are not being stereotyped as terrorists whereas Muslims are. You won’t be profiled for wearing the cross in an airport. All in all, I would recommend this to Christians, and this can be applied to me as well as a white man, before you preach your faith or give that girl wearing a hijab a weird look, before you laugh at that Holocaust joke, ask yourself : How would I feel if the tables were turned? Empathy. It’s not a new concept.18446644_10154390263726813_1000074643095275237_n

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