Why so serious?

Recently, my friend Mera posted this article on FB. I left it alone even though I disagreed with most of it. Not that we aren’t privileged, we are. But I feel this article is a tad out of touch. I understand why. It’s from a non-Christian perspective and I can see where this article is coming from.

Mera wanted to know what I disagreed with and after going through the list again, I realized FB wasn’t the proper venue. So here it is (my comments in BOLD:

  1. You can expect to have time off work to celebrate religious holidays. Yes we are very lucky that all our holidays are Federal.
  2. Music and television programs pertaining to your religion’s holidays are readily accessible. True
  3. It is easy to find stores that carry items that enable you to practice your faith and celebrate religious holidays.True
  4. You aren’t pressured to celebrate holidays from another faith that may conflict with your religious values. True
  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). Some of us are quite sensitive to this while others refuse to stop this nonsense.
  6. You can worship freely, without fear of violence or threats. Yes and no. This is america everyone is allowed to worship as they wish, everyone is also equally open to threats and violence. Does it happen often to Christians? No, but I would argue it does happen. More commonly outside the US. China is the example that comes to mind.
  7. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t likely lead to your car being vandalized. I’m sure this is referring to more serious vandalism BUT I had a friend who had a pentagram and 666 spray painted over the
    icthus sticker on her car
  8. You can practice your religious customs without being questioned, mocked, or inhibited. This is is just flat out not true Christians are mocked and ridiculed for their traditions. And beliefs for that matter. How many comedians and or atheists flat out call us idiots?? (P.S. I LOVE ATHEISTS)
  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. To an extent I agree with this
  10. When swearing an oath, you will place your hand on a religious scripture pertaining to your faith. True
  11. Positive references to your faith are seen dozens a time a day by everyone, regardless of their faith. Negative references are pretty common.
  12. Politicians responsible for your governance are probably members of your faith. they might claim to be but that doesn’t mean they are, nor does that claim make it more likely to vote for them.
  13. Politicians can make decisions citing your faith without being labeled as heretics or extremists. This one is a joke right? I’m pretty sure we just saw politicians who stood up for their religious beliefs being referred to as extremists.
  14. It is easy for you to find your faith accurately depicted in television, movies, books, and other media. Ok this one just made me laugh. This is not true. SO not true. I guess I can see how someone who is not of my faith would think this, but no.
  15. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will have a decent understanding of your beliefs. To an extent, yes. I can also reasonably assume they’ve made their own assumptions based on the idiots in the media.
  16. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for not knowing other people’s religious customs. True
  17. Your faith is accepted/supported at your workplace. I don’t feel my faith is generally supported among interpreters.
    They mostly think we’re nut jobs until we prove otherwise.
  18. You can go into any career you want without it being associated with or explained by your faith. True
  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. Pretty much true
  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) While I don’t think any of my friends refer to me as “my Christian friend Erin” SEVERAL of my friends are referred to in this manor by their peer group. Usually because they don’t swear, drink, smoke or have casual sex.
  21. You can be polite, gentle, or peaceful, and not be considered an “exception” to those practicing your faith. This one also made me laugh because recent gallop polls suggest that these adjectives are not used to describe Christians. So, yeah I think sometimes people consider polite, gentle, peaceful Christians to be the exception.
  22. Fundraising to support congregations of your faith will not be investigated as potentially threatening or terrorist behavior. Yes, this is ridiculous!
  23. Construction of spaces of worship will not likely be halted due to your faith. Also, true
  24. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members of your faith. Sometimes we are.
  25. It is unlikely you will be judged by the actions of other members of your faith. Unlikely?? This happens daily!
  26. You can go anywhere and assume you will be surrounded by members of your faith. Anywhere? And why is this even important? I celebrate diversity and don’t necessarily want to always be surrounded by my faith peers.
  27. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of teachers who share your faith.True, though other Christians may argue this one.
  28. Without special effort, your children will have a multitude of friends who share your faith. True
  29. It is easily accessible for you or your children to be educated from kindergarten through post-grad at institutions of your faith. True
  30. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely prevent you from being able to adopt children.I have no basis for whether this is true or not but it probably is, which means there’s work to be done.
  31. In the event of a divorce, the judge won’t immediately grant custody of your children to your ex because of your faith.Can’t speak to this one either, but I’m sure it happens, and that sucks.
  32. Your faith is taught or offered as a course at most public institutions. Really? I was unaware of this.
  33. You can complain about your religion being under attack without it being perceived as an attack on another religion. True.

If you made it this far, congratulations. It’s a lot to ponder.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sam Killermann (@Killermann)
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 11:45:23

    Hey Rinnie,

    I just got an email about this article, and being the author of the original article you’re referencing, I thought I’d take a moment to respond to your critiques.

    1. Not true. Title VII protects workers against discrimination, but it doesn’t ensure that holidays will be recognized. Being able to take time off work (using vacation days, for example) is FAR different than being able to “expect” to have time off (like on Christmas, for example, which most folks — Christian or otherwise — can expect to not be working).

    5. Some individuals are sensitive, surely. But oppression doesn’t exist on an individual scale. You’re thinking of discrimination.

    6. This article is about privilege granted to “people in the U.S. (and many western nations).” It’s more about the dominance of the faith, not the faith itself. One could write an article about Muslim privilege in Iran, wherein Christians would be targeted group members.

    8. As a comedian, I completely understand where you’re coming from here. You’re right, to an extent, but you’re also focusing on the exceptions and not the rule. Most Christians wouldn’t think twice about hanging a cross in their cubicle, but there aren’t many places of work (or places in general) where salat would be welcome. Here’s an extreme example: http://www.8newsnow.com/story/20049481/washington-dc-bound-plane-escorted-by-military-jet

    11. But I’m sure you see tons of positive references to Wicca to balance out the negative ones, too, right?

    12. Arguing that they “claim to be” and aren’t is an even greater example of privilege. Impressive.

    13. No joke. Happens every day, locally and nationally, without any recourse.

    14. You can’t think of one TV show, movie, and book that shows an accurate impression of Christianity? You’re not looking very hard — in fact, it seems like you’re closing your eyes. Real quick examples that happen in most shows, movies, and books: weddings, Sunday service, Sunday school, baptisms, non-extreme versions of Christians (so “non-extreme” most people don’t think of the character as “Christian”).

    17. If you say so, but your experience doesn’t reflect the norm. Now imagine how “nut job” they’d think you were if you were Pagan.

    19. Name a region of the country where it’s not true. There isn’t one.

    20. “Can be” is different than “always is.”

    25. That one was careless. It seems like no faith is free from this any more, and I’m not one to play oppression olympics. I removed it from the list.

    26. Well, it’s a bit more important for someone who has never been able to be friends with or interact with peers of their faith, because their family is the only one of its kind in their town.

    Not sure what possessed me to write this comment. I’ve gotten thousands of hatemails about this, seen as many blog posts, and they all sound the same. Maybe I’m just having an extra optimistic morning and hoping my time spent writing this might be worthwhile 🙂

    sK

    Reply

    • rinnieeats
      Nov 16, 2012 @ 09:05:02

      So, I took a day before I responded because honestly, I’m done with this. It’s exhausting. It escalated quickly on my FB page and I didn’t plan for that. I’m just not built for controversy.
      Thank you for reading and responding. I’m honestly still shocked, that you took the time to do so.
      I could go line by line and debate this further but I have a more important overarching point to make and that is, I agree with your statement that Christian privilege exists. I want to make sure you get that. However, I despise sweeping generalizations and feel that is what your article sounded like. You stated in one of your responses that I’m focusing on the exception not the rule, which is very true. My issue with your article is that you were focusing on the rule without any mention of the exception. I’m involved in a Christian community that works tirelessly to subvert the status quo in “Christian Culture”. We are the exception and I hope people realize we’re out there.

      Reply

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