There’s a new privilege for malcontents to obsess over: Christian privilege. The phenomenon must be real because George Washington University is holding a program about it:
How do Christians in the USA experience life in an easier way than non-Christians? Even with the separation of Church and State, are there places where Christians have built-in advantages over non-Christians? How do we celebrate Christian identities and acknowledge that Christians receive unmerited perks from institutions and systems all across our country? Let’s reflect upon ways we can live up to our personal and national values that make room for all religious and secular identities on an equal playing field. All are welcome!
Participants will be able to describe what is meant by privilege overall and white privilege specifically.
Participants will be able to describe the role of denial when it comes to white privilege.
Participants will be able to differentiate between equality and equity.
Participants will be able to list at least three examples of Christian privilege.
Participants will be able to list at least three ways to be an ally with a non-Christian person.
Looking at a few sites that discuss “Christian privilege,” the closest thing to an example I’ve been able to find is that Christians get to take a few religious holidays. As a non-Christian, this never bothered me because I got to take them too.
Sure, Christians get a double benefit. They don’t have to work or go to school, plus they are able to celebrate a holiday. But you have to be awfully small-minded to view this as consequential enough to constitute a “privilege.”
When I was kid, the only privilege I thought Christians had in relation to Jews was that they didn’t have to attend Hebrew school. As an adult, I realized that the rigorous training many young Jews receive in preparation for their Bar or Bat Mitzvah is actually an advantage (which is what I think leftists often mean when they talk of privilege). It gives Jews a flying start in acquiring the kind of academic discipline they need as they enter the key years of their pre-college education.
In that sense, I suppose Jews are “privileged,” but the advantage is earned.
Growing up in New York City, my mother thought the Irish were privileged, and she was probably right. Having arrived decades before my mother’s parents, they seemed to have the inside track on certain municipal jobs, e.g. police officer. But this wasn’t Christian privilege, it was ethnic privilege. To my knowledge this sort of thing no longer exists.
My mother grew up being vaguely anti-Irish (my father, growing up in similar circumstances, liked the Irish because they were fun to be around). However, she didn’t obsess over Irish privilege. Instead, she focused on getting the education she needed to work in good jobs over which no ethnic group held a stranglehold.
What a quaint response.
UPDATE: I tried to apply a light touch to this post, probably because it’s so difficult for me to take the whole “privilege” industry seriously. But Christianity is under assault by the American left, especially on college campuses.
For example, I’m told that Evangelical groups have been shut out of campus life for their “discriminatory views,” e.g., their refusal to elevate to officers people who are sexually active outside of marriage. Christian privilege on campus these days consists, I suspect, of the privilege of being mocked.
The campaign to educate students about “Christian privilege” is the tip of a very sharp spear.