ebonypearl (ebonypearl) wrote,

Privilege, Not Persecution

On a friend’s FB, she commented about how she was tired of Christians whining about being persecuted in the US. She’s a sweet heart of a woman, charming, funny, warm-hearted, everything you’d want in a friend. She’s always a very devout Christian. I don’t think we’ve ever really discussed religion - there's not a whole lot of need to talk if one walks the walk; there are so many other things to talk about when we get together. But over the years, we've come to learn things about one another and the fact that we have different religious beliefs only deepens our friendship.

Her wall post attracted a Christian who very plainly felt she was personally put upon and persecuted by American society for being Christian. When this woman (I’m calling her CP for “Christian Person”) commented that she viewed verbal comments from people expressing different points of view (mind you, not comments that attacked her religion, just expressed a different viewpoint) to be persecution, I’m sorry, but I rolled my eyes. When someone asked her for examples, CP wrapped herself in her privilege and accused the querant of attacking her and not caring; that :::sob::: nobody cared! so she just would go away and not talk to such mean people!

Shades of the old Fascist Meanie Pooh Pooh Head days!

Then, CP made me just gape in awe at her cluelessness. She actually commented that she wished Christians had the same rights as other religions!

Really? I don’t think she knows whereof she speaks.

Christians have convinced our country to allow one of their primary holy days to be a legally recognized paid holiday, something no other religion has ever accomplished. That’s privilege, not persecution.

Christians can use their religion to practically guarantee an election. People of any other religion, were they to use their religious adherence as part of their political campaign, would have a nigh impossible task be elected. That’s privilege, not persecution.

Most government bodies, when they convene, if they open with a prayer, benediction, or blessing of some sort, invariably open with Christian prayers. Those few that don’t open with Christian prayers open with “non-denominational” prayers that are still very Christian in feel. Once in a great while, they open with a benediction from some other religion - but that person rarely receives the respect expected during a Christian prayer. When a Buddhist gave the opening benediction for a Senate session in the US government, he received catcalls from a couple of senators and had others carry o private conversations - something that would never happen to a Christian officiant. That’s privilege, not persecution.

Our Pledge of Allegiance (that patriotic little ditty penned as part of an advertising campaign) was altered by Federal Government intervention to include the words “under God” - paying homage to just one of the many religions existing in America at that time. That’s privilege, not persecution.

Since I live deep inside the Bible Belt, it’s common for people to ask, right after getting your name, what church you go to; so privileged they never once consider that you might not be Christian. And when you say, “I’m not Christian”, in their mind, the only other thing you could be is Satanist, or, if they’re feeling charitable, maybe you’re just “going through a phase”. That’s privilege, not persecution.

Cashiers, clerks, strangers on the street, all feel comfortable saying, “God bless you” and they know, beyond any doubt, that you must also be Christian and welcome the Christian blessing. That’s privilege, not persecution.

There are more churches per capita than there are places of worship for all the other religions combined in the US. If we adjust for proportions of adherents, there are still more Christian churches (ie if 7% of the population is Buddhist, then 7% of the churches/temples/mosques/synagogues/etc should be Buddist temples, not 2%), mostly because when other religions seek permits, they must prove they are a legitimate religion, but if they’re a Christian denomination they are automatically granted the permit. That’s privilege, not persecution.

When a Christian’s religion becomes known at work, they don’t have to worry about being harassed by co-workers or even fired. That’s privilege, not persecution.

When Christians want to start a new church or new organization, they know filing for tax exempt status is pretty much a given, that they won’t have to prove their religion is a real one, or that tax exempt status may still be denied even if they meet all the IRS criteria just because their religion isn't known. That’s privilege, not persecution.

If a Christian wants to hold a retreat at a camp ground, or a picnic in a park, they know they will get the permits without any problems and they won’t have picketers trying to force them to change venues or not have it at all or disrupt their event. That’s privilege, not persecution.

Christians know they can publicize their religion in their business and attract customers, not rocks through the windows. That’s privilege, not persecution.

If Christians want a chaplain in the military, no bars are placed in their way, yet soldiers of minority religions go without military chaplains – even when the religion is recognized in the Military Chaplain’s Handbook (I have a copy). The military chaplains all come from the mainstream religions, and predominantly from Christian religions. Not one minority religion chaplain has been able to leap all the hurdles placed in their path to date. That’s privilege, not persecution.

If Christians want to be married by officiants in their religion, they have thousands of choices all across the country, yet adherents of many minority religions don’t have licensed officiants to perform marriages because many states and county clerks make it not just difficult but virtually impossible for them to be licensed. That’s privilege, not persecution.

If a Christian commits a crime, they won't have reporters mentioning their "self-proclaimed" religion or say they "claim" to be Christian, as they do with adherents of minority religions - especially if the religion has no bearing on the crime. If their religion is mentioned, the reporters will say the perpetrator is a Christian, not that the perpetrator "proclaims to be a Christian". That's privilege, not persecution.

edited to add, courtesy of elfwreck's suggestions: Originally with the force of law, banks and government offices ere closed on Sundays so people would attend church. While the laws have often faded or been reversed, the force of tradition remains and banks, government offices, and schools are still closed on Sundays, the traditional Christian day of worship. That's a privilege, not persecution.

When Christians have children, it's expected they will raise their children in their religion. This also applies to Jews and Muslims and Buddhists with this caveat: the children of these other religions are expected to not only know about but to respect and even participate in the Christian activities created for Christian children. However, those of minority religions not named here are expected to raise their children as Christians because to do otherwise is considered child abuse. That's privilege, not persecution.

When Christians have children and raise them Christian, they encourage their children to share their activities with their friends, family, neighbors. Parents of minority religions school their children in silence so the children won't be taunted and harassed and teased and beaten by not only Christian children but by Christian adults, and pushed to the point of suicide. That's privilege, not persecution.
And if CP wants the same "rights" as other religions, that includes having strangers insist she must teach her children about their religion as well as her own.

If Christians truly, truly want to be treated like other religions, they either have to give up all those privileges they enjoy, or they have to allow other religions the same level of privilege.

If CP truly wants the same “rights” enjoyed by other religions, then she must mean she wants to be afraid to lose custody of her children should she get divorced because of her religion (I know the judge isn't supposed to consider religion in the divorce proceeding, but I know at least one case where the judge and the appeal stated the woman couldn't have her children because she was Wiccan, not because she was otherwise unfit). CP wants to search the stores during her holy days looking for religious symbols and decorations and gifts without being able to find them. She wants to work on her religious holy days if she lacks enough vacation days to use on them - and be forced to not work on someone else's holy day because the law allows it to be a paid holiday, even if they'd rather work on Christmas Day and have, say, the Solstice or Diwali off instead. CP wants to be afraid she’ll lose her job if her boss or co-workers discover what religion she is. CP wants to have her pets killed as a warning that “her kind” isn’t welcome in that neighborhood. CP wants to have her home egged and vandalized regularly as her neighbors of a different religion try to force her to move. CP wants government to stop passing laws that favor her religion over others (the Blue Laws spring quickly to mind – businesses that must close by law on Sundays so they can “go to church”, or items that can’t be sold on Sundays because it violates Christian morals). CP wants to have tax exemption denied her religion because it’s not a “real” one.

Other religions don’t necessarily want the same privileges that Christianity enjoys in America; what they want is to be allowed to exist without harassment, without fear, without being accused of being “in a phase” or belonging to a “fake” religion, or having reporters say they "claim" to be an adherent of their religion, or having their religion dragged into a news report just because they aren't Christian.

Asking for the right to exist peacefully and to be allowed to live their beliefs without deliberate hardships and barriers placed in their way isn’t persecuting Christianity.

And it’s not persecution for someone to wish another “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas”.

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Amen. :P

That woman obviously does not have a very good grip on what the heathens call 'reality.' People like that REALLY irritate me. Ugh.
Sadly, there was another person who demanded I provide links to persecution of people of minority religions - and I couldn't include links to public nudity, multiple-marriage or child abuse or abusing or sacrificing animals. Why he thought child and animal abuse were automatically normal parts of minority beliefs boggled my mind. Still, I was easily bale to provide him with a dozen links of major laws and lawsuits involving persecution of minority religions that fit his criteria in the last 3 years. And his response? That I was in denial about Christians being persecuted.


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Ah, yes, the old 'self proclaimed' Wiccan thing. Isn't every faith 'self-proclaimed'? I never did understand why certain minority faiths were treated that way.

And yes, I lost my job- and almost my life- to the hands of 'loving' Christians.

I don't hate them though- instead I laugh like a drain every time I see a Christmas tree, Santa Claus, Easter eggs, or the best one: the Nativity.

Privilege, indeed...
Yeah. I know. I was (am) lucky in many ways. That's why I try to make sure others can enjoy the privileges they deserve, too. And this whole Christian persecution thing? Is privilege abuse.
I linked to on my journal(s). Couldn't have said it better myself.
Thank you. I hate people trivializing persecution, using it inappropriately. It takes away the genuine fear and suffering of the truly persecuted to falsely claim persecution for attention.


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Bear in mind that the entire subject will inspire any reasoning being to religious fervor.

At least whenever it's brought up, every sensible person I know says, "Oh, Jesus!"

Wait, I'm still not human?

Okay, so I'm a rabbit in a dress.
Hear, hear.

Deleted comment

Sure. This blog is a public one and I allow comments from anyone - at least it should work that way - I'll check the privacy settings soon to verify that and change it if it got fubared.
Banks and government offices are closed on traditional Christian worship service days every week; other religions don't get that courtesy.

And if CP wants the same "rights" as other religions, that includes having strangers insist she must teach her children about their religion as well as her own.
Yeah. That's so - ubiquitous - I'd forgotten about it. I will add it to my litany.
People in the United States don't even know the meaning of the word. You want persecution? Move to another country. It isn't everywhere, and it certain isn't the meaning they've made it out to be. Christians are and have been persecuted, but CERTAINLY not in the United States. And it CERTAINLY isn't limited to the Christians. Persecution is being murdered, lynched, beaten, robbed, raped, having EVERY RIGHT stripped from you, to where you are terrified for your LIFE to mention that you are of a certain religion.

It's ridiculous.
Indeed. The most obvious examples are the Holocaust and the various pograms carried out by the Russians against the Jews (and other undesirables).


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September 13 2010, 05:36:20 UTC 8 years ago Edited:  September 13 2010, 05:54:48 UTC

I'm a Jew. Not very observant, but I know how the more religious follow my religion of birth and choice. High Holy Days time is here.
Did you know there was a Major Protest because Sandy Kolfax had it written in his contract that he would Not Pitch on the High Holy Days? The nerve! What if the Dodgers were in a Hot Race at the time? Never mind that it is Two days a year, and there are other pitchers in the Dodgers rotation. This was Not Team Spirit. At that time, Baseball games were Never Scheduled on Easter Sunday, Ever.
Luckily, he was near Godhood when it came to his skills and he was allowed to write that into his contract. So many Jews don't have that option.
And many Jews can't take certain jobs because they are observant enough to be unavailable from Friday Sunset through Saturday. But Christians who can't work Sunday? We'll work around their needs. Yes, a lot of retail stores actually have that policy, I remember it from back when I worked retail.
And reminding people that yes, Some of us find it offensive when trying to show unity if you put Crosses all over the place after 9/11. And Why can't we put "God Bless America" on a cake? I worked for NASA at the time. In fact, my "Anti God and Crosses" attitude chilled my relationship with my fellow workers. Just that I knew people who would be offended if the word God was on a cake that was to be eaten.
By the By, the word God, according to observant Jews, should never be written out. Should Never be put even as G-d on anything as temporary as a cake, and should never be Eaten. It shouldn't even be put on a piece of paper you plan to throw out. Ceremonious burning is permitted, which is why Torahs are burned, never thrown out.
Yes, I am Anti God and Crosses. Because I know what would offend Jews.
And don't forget when Jews and Gentiles could finally get married (not even allowed by a lot of laws until the 1940s), the Jew would frequently lose custody of the children in the event of a divorce as a Good Christian home is Better. They don't just do it to Wiccans.
"Jews and Blacks need not apply" a frequent sign until the 1960s. Yes, In America, AFTER WWII.
And Muslims lost a prayer room (17th floor, Tower 2) and many lives of normal workers in the destruction of the Twin Towers in NY. It is their sacred ground too.
"And what's wrong with a Good Christian Prayer in School?" asked the Florida State Representative in a room full of Rabbis, Buddhist Monks, Imams, Native American Religious Leaders and..., who were there to protest an attempt to end around the No Prayers in School Supreme Court Rulings.
I do wonder what will happen the first time a Muslim Prayer is asked to be said during "Open Prayer Time" at the beginning of the school day.
Can you tell I have No Sympathy for a Christian who bitches?
LOL - I hear you. I am not a Jew, but a Jewish friend's mother was my role model for living in America as a minority religion and cooking. I loved her so much.


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I am sufficiently charmed by this post, and your "adult content" sticky, to Friend you. However, it would make it a lot easier for me to identify the posts that are of interest to me if they had a couple sentences of content above the cut. Title alone isn't always enough.
Ah. I should probably bend a little instead of being so stubborn about LJ's "adult" policy.

I will try to remember to leave a blurb.

Re: Thoughts


8 years ago

May I link to my lj?

(If it makes a difference, I am a follower of Christ who was raised Catholic and I think that many people need to be reminded of the facts you have expressed. I'm not "churched" because ... well, I prefer to believe in Bible canon, not religious fanon.)

Am I human? I dunno, I think some members of my father's family came from Underhill.
Yes, you may. Most of my friends are Christian (how not, when most of America is Christian?).

My personal view on religion is that if it provides you with inspiration, guidance, support, comfort, motivation, charity, and so on, then it's all good.

I adhere to a very minority religion (less than 100 adherents as far as I know), so almost everyone else is of a different religion. If I didn't accept that, I'd go bonkers, belike!

I think that human thing is coming from some messed up privacy settings.

Here from ysabetwordsmith. I've posted a teaser-portion of this with links leading back here from my journal, and also rainbow_ark.
Hiya - I'll be dropping a link to this in the Blogaround at Shakesville today, if that's alright. Great post. :)
Sure, no problem. This blog is public, so I kind of expect people to link stuff and all.
I hope you don't mind, but I found a link to your post and put a link to it on my LJ page. I think it's very well written.
EbonyPearl, this is an excellent piece of writing. Thank you SO MUCH for taking on the subject and stating these points.

I received a link thru Seastormwitch thru Herbmacsidhe. May I link this to my journal, as well?

Blessings of all kinds on you, for representing the Other Side. :) :)


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May I friend you?
Of course. This is a public blog. If you think you might like what I rant about, please do feel free to subscribe to it. And if you get bored or tired of reading it, you are equally free to unsubscribe ("unfriend", I believe it's called).


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