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Christian Privilege

Discussion in 'Ethics & Morality' started by Occams Barber, Jun 13, 2019 at 6:38 AM.

  1. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    Christian Privilege

    CF posters regularly complain that Christianity is oppressed in Western democratic society. Looked at realistically the opposite is true. Far from being oppressed, Christians have a significant degree of behavioural leeway in ignoring the rules and standards imposed on the rest of society. Christianity holds a privileged position to the point where it is given, or expects, or demands, a latitude which would be unacceptable for a secular organisation.

    Consider the right to ignore rules about gender discrimination. Most mainstream Churches restrict their leadership positions (deacon, minister, priest, bishop, cardinal etc.) to men. Within one Church this is further restricted to celibate, unmarried men. In the Protestant stream, Christian leadership is usually patriarchal. In the limited cases where there is female leadership, this change is contested and has often become the catalyst for division. The problem is that male leadership is so entrenched in the Christian psyche that it isn’t recognised for what it is – blatant gender discrimination which would be totally unacceptable in a secular organisation.

    Some Christian institutions (charities, caring, schools etc.) are allowed to restrict their staff to people who follow their particular form of Christianity. This is in spite of the fact that the work these people do doesn’t require a particular religious orientation. Some Church organisations will not accept employees with a same-sex orientation even if they are denominationally correct. A secular organisation openly practising discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation would be publicly castigated and possibly subject to legal sanction. Christianity gets a pass.

    There are Christians who believe it is their right to refuse services to homosexuals. Examples include the infamous cake baker and a religiously based foster care placement service. There are other Christians who have indicated that they would also refuse service. This attitude has been publicly supported by some Christian Churches. Again, this type of discrimination, based on sexual orientation, would be unacceptable from a secular entity.

    If a First Nations group demanded that its Creation Story be taught as a scientific alternative to Evolution it would not get a hearing. On the other hand, some Christian Churches believe it is their right to have an ancient Hebrew Creation Myth included, as science, in school curriculums, and will use political capital to achieve this aim. There is no legal or factual basis for this demand. There is an assumption by these Christians, and others, that their opinion should be accommodated because they are Christian.

    As a general moral and legal principle, we are all expected to report crime if we are aware of it. In the case of child sexual abuse this principle is paramount. At the very least it’s a moral imperative and yet, some Churches have specific legal permission to sit above the law where the crime is revealed in the confessional. Not only is there legal permission but many adherents consider this non-reporting to be an inviolable, moral right. Once again, a secular organisation with a similar attitude would be intensely criticised.

    In some Christian churches the idea that women are subservient to the authority of men is openly promoted based on interpretations of the Bible. Within secular society an organisation promoting this opinion would be called out and exposed as misogynistic.

    Homosexuals have been publicly described as sinners, disordered, needing fixing, going to hell, unnatural, perverted, an ‘abomination’ – the list goes on. Some of the less egregious terms have been articulated by Christian leaders. Whatever the specific terminology, there are two common factors; the terminology is insulting and; the source (in Christian countries) is usually Christian. Whether it’s the Pope or some evangelical rugby player, it seems Christianity has given itself permission to poke the finger of righteousness at those it disapproves of even where the ‘sin’ has no victim. Some Churches will not allow practising homosexuals to worship in their congregation. In the secular world this sort of behaviour is called discrimination and vilification - and we’re called out if we do it.


    There are other things I could list, like tax exemptions, banning homosexual students, insulting other religions, denying science and considering itself above the law, where Christianity gets let off lightly.

    The point I’m making is that no secular organisation could come close to getting away with the sort of behaviour we accept, and even expect, from Christianity and Christians. First World Christians aren’t persecuted – they’re privileged with permission to behave badly.

    In time, I hope to see these privileges withdrawn to the point where Christianity will be required to comply with the same moral standards we demand of other parts of society.

    OB
     
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  2. GodsGrace101

    GodsGrace101 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess one hand washes the other.
    The same could be said about secular atheist religion.

    Christianity should NEVER be required to comply with the law of secular governments that accept everything.

    Do YOU accept Christianity?
    No.
    So why do you think the Christian world should accept YOUR standards?

    We prefer the standards of God.
    You don't have to accept them...and it's apparent atheists do not...

    So please don't feel sorry for us because we do.

    BTW, YOU also follow God's rules.
     
  3. Occams Barber

    Occams Barber Newbie Supporter

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    I don't expect Christianity to accept MY standards. I have expressed an opinion that Christianity should meet the standards of the society it lives in. There was a time when Christianity was indistinguishable from the secular state. Those days have passed. Within your own organisations you are free to be as immoral as you wish, but when your actions intersect with, and impact on, the secular world I expect you to behave responsibly.
    OB
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2019 at 7:22 AM
  4. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Mystery Worshipper Supporter

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    Freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. People should have the freedom to practice their religion as their conscience dictates. You may not like it, but you should respect other peoples rights to see things differently.
     
  5. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Either secularism allows us to "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and unto God that which is God's" or it doesn't. The Christian vision of it does (that's why Jesus said it; NB: He gave the pharisees the example of a denari and asked them whose face was on it, to show how it's Caesar's, so of course it is lawful to pay taxes to him; it wasn't a blanket statement to do whatever the government says), but I don't know if the modern Western political vision does.
     
  6. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    As someone that eschews political faction, perahps I can add a useful observation: neither extreme view is true.

    1) Christians in the U.S. are not significantly oppressed
    2) nor are they able to ignore the rules (laws) everyone must follow.

    They are neither suffering greatly, nor are they on the opposite hand specially priviledged, any more than any other organizations.

    More, we are specifically commanded to respect governmental authority in general -- which doesn't mean condoning wrong actions of individuals in government of course -- but simply to generally follow law and to be good citizens in essense.

    Obviously though among some 2 billion Christians in the world, there will be plenty of individuals ones that do not do this. Even if a tiny 1% don't, that's already a huge number, on the order of 10 million for instance, so that these exceptions are easy to find.

    I'd guess that the majority of people in the U.S. will agree that someone opposed to an organization's principles should be able to be legally screened out in hiring.

    For instance, an organization trying to elect Democrats could legitimately ask the political views of a prospective employee, and screen out Republican operatives.

    etc. This isn't a special exception, that Christian organizations would want to hire Christians according to their view of what they think is Christian.

    They might be mistaken in their view of just what Christ said, though, not even knowing much of what He said, but that's merely an exception, as above, a minority instance.

    Any church that doesn't report criminal behavior to the police is simply an exception and the individuals doing so are violation of the law. They'd be only representing themselves, not Christianity. That you could find a bishop or such somewhere insisting on something otherwise that could be construed that way is merely an exception to the general situation that most Christians would report criminal behavior in most churches.
     
  7. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    "There was a time when Christianity was indistinguishable from the secular state."

    When was this and what was it that made it indistinguishable?
     
  8. HitchSlap

    HitchSlap Burn the torch!

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    I’m not sure what planet you’re on, but I’m adamantly opposed to killing homosexuals, slaves, victims of rape and unruly children. “God’s rules” are barbaric, and thank god atheist’s have higher moral standards.
     
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  9. HitchSlap

    HitchSlap Burn the torch!

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    It’s called Sharia law.
     
  10. HitchSlap

    HitchSlap Burn the torch!

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    See things how you want, but you don’t get to kill homosexuals, rape victims, unruly children or slaves.

    You people moan about freedom to believe and convictions, etc., always playing the victim. It’s pathetic behavior.
     
  11. Paulos23

    Paulos23 Never tell me the odds!

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    But does that mean that people have to force me to follow their religion. I can say in the past it use to mean yes, now not so much.

    I also can say in the past those that had a problem with secular societies rules found some other way to deal with it that didn't bother others. Now that Christians are running into the problem, they are not doing that and instead are staying where they are, saying they will not do what offends their religion. This is not respecting the society you are in, this is trying to push your beliefs on others.
     
  12. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    You are referring to private organizations, however. Is your ideal a society in which nothing is private and there are no individual rights? That kind of society "behaves badly," too, you know. In spades, they do! ;)
     
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  13. Strathos

    Strathos No one important

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    Why should anyone take your views on Christianity seriously if you can't even tell the difference between it and Islam?
     
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  14. HitchSlap

    HitchSlap Burn the torch!

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    Individual rights is exactly what’s at stake here. You don’t get to impose your personal religious convictions onto another (i.e. killing homosexuals).
     
  15. HitchSlap

    HitchSlap Burn the torch!

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    Ah, imposing Christian laws onto people based on religious convictions is different from Islam, how exactly? Maybe you’re unfamiliar with the history of Christianity, if you fail to see the similarities.
     
  16. High Fidelity

    High Fidelity Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A picture at a protest summed it up perfectly;

    Equal rights do not mean less rights for you. It's not pie.
     
  17. Halbhh

    Halbhh The wonder and awe of "all things" Supporter

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    Those who murder others, such as killing someone for their associations, etc., or for any reason, will not have any chance to be in heaven, but will perish in the second death, unless they confess their wrong and truly repent, so that they are totally changed, truly a different person, in the heart. Where no one else can see except God. All will be revealed on the day of accounting, and nothing can be hidden from Him.
     
  18. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interestingly, several of what you mentioned is considered sinful in scripture, the Bible. Christians are not sinless. Many go to extremes on certain issues in order to balance out the system. This is wrong. Though Jesus Christ of Nazareth did go to extremes, it was always in LOVE. Here are a few examples of errors in the part of a Christian that leads to sin. I will also show you scriptural passages showing why it is a sin. Hopefully you will see that what you have posted is not a reflection on our Lord but a weakness in the human flesh.
    Sin #1) "holds a privileged position to the point where it is given, or expects, or demands, a latitude which would be unacceptable for a secular organisation."
    Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love." 1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
    Sin #2 "Consider the right to ignore rules about gender discrimination."
    Galatians 3:28
    28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Sin #3 "Within one Church this is further restricted to celibate, unmarried men."
    1 Timothy 2
    3 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence

    Sin#4 "In the Protestant stream, Christian leadership is usually patriarchal. "
    Genesis 1
    26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

    Sin#4 "Some Christian institutions (charities, caring, schools etc.) are allowed to restrict their staff to people who follow their particular form of Christianity. "

    1 Corinthians
    10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

    Sin #5 "Some Church organisations will not accept employees with a same-sex orientation even if they are denominational correct. "
    John 8
    3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
    5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
    6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
    10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

    Sin #6 "There are Christians who believe it is their right to refuse services to homosexuals."
    Philippians 2
    Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

    Sin #7 "There is an assumption by these Christians, and others, that their opinion should be accommodated because they are Christian."
    Matthew 22:21 Jesus said "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's."
    Sin #8 "some Churches have specific legal permission to sit above the law where the crime is revealed in the confessional."
    Romans 13:1 "Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God."

    To be continued if you are interested......













     
  19. HitchSlap

    HitchSlap Burn the torch!

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    This is fine and all, but in the meantime, there is a growing sentiment among the NIFB crowd that believe homosexuals and unruly children should be executed.
     
  20. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Well, "personal religious convictions" and "killing homosexuals" do not at all go hand in hand. Besides, the topic here started with an allegation about "Christian Privilege."
     
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