I recently came across this post about the privileges Christians have in this country. And I know that, as a Christian, I cannot speak to the persecution that people of other faiths and beliefs experience. And maybe they are the “right people” to talk about Christian privilege. But I think another perspective might be valuable on this issue, so here I come.
It’s true. I have a lot of privileges as a Christian in this country. Wherever I go in the country, it is never difficult to find a place to worship. Almost everyone I come into contact with will have a basic understanding of what I believe. I have gotten off school for my religious holidays all through public high school, and I will get off for Christmas at a public university next year as well. While sometimes exaggerated a little, my faith is not caricatured in the media in the same way that others are. And, this part breaks my heart, I will never be called a terrorist or some other derogatory term because of my faith (oh, and by the way, terrorist jokes are not funny. End of story.). Yes, I’m privileged. And it’s sad because there is a lot of stereotyping and prejudice that goes on for people of other faiths or beliefs. And I’m sorry that people don’t respect or make an effort to understand those beliefs.
Privileges like these are definitely a blessing. But I would also say that they encourage apathy within the Christian church. If I say I’m a Christian, I could be anywhere from a just-going-to-Church-on-Sundays type of person, or I could be a Gospel-preaching-praying-loving person with Christ at the center of my life. The post I’m using as my inspiration mentioned that our faith can be part of our identity without it being defining (I’m not the “Christian friend”). But why not? What would happen if Christians let their faith be defining? Why can’t I be the “Christian friend?” There would be more questions, debates, and maybe even attacks, if we started being more open about our identity in our faith.
As terrible as it seems, there is something to be said of the faith of the persecuted Church. It’s inspiring listening to people who have almost been killed because of their faith. I have it so easy.
I can’t say what everyone’s response to the knowledge of our privilege should be. For me, I am thankful for posts like that to make me aware of everything I take for granted. I know that I really don’t understand what it’s like to be stereotyped, discriminated against, and attacked because of my beliefs. The funny thing is that I actually was a religious minority, but I left when I was nine. So it doesn’t really count.
But honestly, I think the real response to this should be discussion. We may not believe the same things, but we can still be friends. We can still talk. I can still respect this piece of your life, and you can respect mine. It’s not too difficult, guys.