Contact DisComforting Ignorance

Have thoughts, comments, criticisms, requests, or proselytization? Email

No prayers. (Why not?)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Revoking the Christian Privilege

On Friday I gave a presentation and discussion to my atheist group on science and religion in the 2008 election. One of the issues I brought up was the religious rhetoric in our political discourse. They had a hoot when it came to Palin, but they weren't so receptive when I brought up many of Obama's anti-secular sentiments.

One statement he made was along the line of "Not every mention of God is a violation of church/state separation." I tried making the case that it is, with the context being In God We Trust stamped on everything and the Pledge of Allegiance. This is an example of Christian privilege in our society. The mention of God anywhere is this privilege in action. The standard is often replacing it with anything else. What about "Not every mention of white privilege is a violation of civil rights" or "Not every mention of male privilege is a violation of civil rights"? One of the responses I received is that it's a false analogy. I fail to understand how.

We've become desensitized to it. The only reason the rhetoric of white privilege evokes a knee-jerk reaction is because of consciousness raising and exposure to others. The Christians think they have some special place in society just like whites did and men before that. Do they fail to understand the word "tyranny"?

This topic culminated in a post because I was browsing through some old email from one of my sisters and came across the following:
86% to keep the words, IN God We Trust and God in the Pledge of Allegiance. 14% against

That is a pretty 'commanding' public response. I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn't . Now it is your turn. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.

Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having 'In God We Trust' on our money, and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why is the world catering to this 14%?


If you agree, pass this on, if not, simply delete.

In God We Trust . . .
It's something she had forwarded me earlier this year -- this sister doesn't know I'm an atheist. I was shocked by it, but chose not to respond. The message is shocking enough. Ironically enough, this comes from my gay sister. What if I had sent her something that said that homosexuals were wanting to redefine marriage and since they only make up 10% of the country they should sit down and shut up? After all, why cater to this 10%?

What is so astonishing is that they fail to see that they're the ones being catered to. We don't ask to be catered to. If anyone ever proposed inserting "under no God" into the Pledge or "In Satan We Trust" I would oppose that as well. The point isn't to be catered to, it's to stop the Christians from being catered to.

It's about revoking this Christian privilege. It's egregiously unacceptable and yet I see atheists accepting it because it's just a passive abuse of power. The difference between passive and active abuse is one of degree, not of character. Abuse is abuse and we should be intolerant. It's not okay to invoke the power of male power or white power, but it's okay to invoke the power of God?

It's irrelevant that it's a violation of the First Amendment; it's a violation of decency, courtesy, and respect to your fellow citizen and a gross injustice.

No comments: