Are Christians Really Oppressed?

Take a famous essay on privilege (PDF), apply it to religion, add Christmas music, ask whether Christians are really being “oppressed” this holiday season, and you get this simple-but-insightful video:

Christians aren’t oppressed over Christmas. And they’re certainly not oppressed in America. They have damn near every privilege you can imagine.

That’s why it’s so frustrating (or laughable) when they complain about one of our billboards, or that an atheist said something anti-religious on TV, or that separation of church and state harms Christianity somehow.

They have their own TV channels and music genres. They have buildings in every city — often multiple ones. Their message is well-known to just about everyone. We all know a Christian. They can run for public office in every state, and their beliefs are simply accepted without question.

But we’re the oppressors because we put up a couple signs or shared space with them in a state capitol building.

(via CommanderSquidlet)

  • Digitus Impudicus

    Help, Help, I’m being oppressed!

    (I know it’s RE-pressed.) :)

  • Brice Gilbert

    They feel oppressed because a small minority of us publicly question these long held beliefs. They are afraid that one day they will be “oppressed” the same way that Scientology is today (AKA everyone laughs at it). In reality there will be no forceful expulsion or oppression. Their ideas will simply die in the marketplace.

    That being said I don’t actually think this will happen anytime soon.

  • Erin

    I had to read “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” for a class a year ago and it was incredibly eye opening. I never realized how much inherit privily I have as a white person in America, although being female and non-religious may work against me. I recommend everyone read it, it’s only a few pages, totally worth it!

  • Jeanette

    This is so brilliant. So many of those were right on, like the one about finding support groups and charities that aren’t Christian organizations (thanks to people like Hemant, it is easier now, but still a struggle for me)! Good find.

  • Rebecca

    Loved it!

  • Richard Wade

    Loved what I could catch of it. Was this produced by an Evelyn Wood speed reading champion? I’ll have to go through it again with the pause button.

    We left-handers and other slow readers are oppressed by the arrogant and glib right-handed, write-everything-from-left-to-right majority, but you won’t hear us whining.

    (Forget I said that.)

  • ben

    So what’s it called when one blames others for the exact thing they are doing to the ones they blame???? Projection???? Classic tactic. Republicans and “opressed” religionists.

  • NotYou007

    Not sure if I can hotlink in here but I gotta try.

    Ok, I cannot hotlink but I’ll leave this.

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_nmWyXkpfYrw/S_M8yXDYa5I/AAAAAAAAAxU/NaK9pFLYg_k/s1600/atheisteve.jpg

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    I thought it told it like it was (I used the pause button liberally). I also liked the link by NotYou007.

  • http://Q Kevin S.

    NotYou007: +1

  • http://www.phoenixgarage.org/ cr0sh

    I tend to wonder if, assuming the reality and ideas behind the following is true, atheists couldn’t take a page from Wikileaks in order to disrupt the networks that make up religions/religious beliefs in general?:

    How The Response To Wikileaks Is Exactly What Assange Wants

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    This is a great video, and I especially liked point number 26.

  • Evan

    Only managed to read half of those but liked what I could read. I’ll have to go back and watch with the pause button handy.

    Sometimes I hate being an oppressed slow reader. 😛

  • Ibis

    I’m a fast reader and that was too fast for me without the pause button, so all you slow readers can take heart.

  • http://worldandbiology.blogspot.com Jonathan

    Spot on. I used the pause button liberally too. I guess I’ve been lucky since my neighborhood is fairly liberal, but I still am unsure how accepted atheism is. Now that I’m in a position of leadership (drum major for the high school band), I’m not sure what would happen if I told people (especially the parents) that I was an atheist.

    Great work and thanks for sharing! Just started reading a few days ago and its been great.

  • Robert W.

    As a Christian I certainly agree that we are not oppressed.

  • Anonymous

    Robert W.

    Okay, I’ll volunteer to oppress you

    Why do you support the story of the ark? Jesus walking on water? (ya know, virgin birth and all that obvious stuff) You make sophisticated arguments, but it’s all in the service of silly stories that are, quite frankly, way beneath you.

    And why do you waste your smarts trolling an atheist site? You’re very determined. But why?

    Digitus Impudicus:
    Second best movie ever (first best: Life of Brian)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o76WQzVJ434

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000586562927 Donna Hamel (muggle)

    I’m right-handed, Richard, and apparently stupid because I just kept rewinding when it got ahead of me. Worth catching the whole thing.

    Robert, thank you for acknowledging that.

  • http://everydayatheist.wordpress.com Everyday Atheist

    We shouldn’t be surprised when Christians claim to be oppressed. It’s a feature of the belief system, not a bug. JC himself told them (and I paraphrase), “if people don’t harsh on you because you love me, you aren’t living right.” So when a country is filled with co-religionists and they enjoy every privilege, they have to find persecution in every disagreement. Because of course they’re living right.

    Which is not to say that pointing out this absurdity can’t be amusing and appropriate, as in this video.

  • Robert W.

    Anonymous,

    I don’t consider legitimate questions about my faith to be oppression. :)

    Why am I here? Frankly, I enjoy the debate and all of you have done a really good job of helping me build my faith. You raise questions and issues that make me think and conduct investigation. I have learned alot and continue to. As a result my belief has become stronger and on a stronger foundation.

    Also, I like to try to give you guys a different perspective of Christians and how they typically respond to your arguments.

    Finally, I never think that it is a bad idea to explain what I think is the good news of the Gospel but my intent is not to try and convert anyone nor do I try.

    Why do I support my faith? Because I believe it to be true.

  • Thegoodman

    Prayer keeps asses in the seats and the collection plate full. What are people supposed to pray about if their lives are perfect? That’s the catch. Even the most “blessed”/privileged life is a “victim” because society and the media hate them, allegedly.

  • Samantha

    Hi Robert W,

    I’m glad there are theists who read this site – not only so they can investigate their own beliefs but so many of them can learn that non-religious folk aren’t immoral bastards. Hope you keep reading and such.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Robert says: “As a result my belief has become stronger and on a stronger foundation.”

    To Robert of little oppression
    Faith rising after each occasion
    Instead of buying another appliance
    Give to the secular student alliance :)

  • paulalovescats

    I hope you’re referring to toasters and not being a pig.

  • Robert W.

    Samantha,

    Thank you and yes I do have a better appreciation for non religious folks trying like us theists to be moral and working together to solve the world’s injustices and problems. We come at it from two different perspectives but as long as we work together with respect we could get things accomplished.

    Jeff P.- LOL I like that. Probably won’t do it, but i like it :)

  • Vas

    “As a result my belief has become stronger and on a stronger foundation.”

    Wow, xtians have the most adorable ways of saying fuck you.
    Oh and Robert… I’ll pray for you.

  • http://nojesusnopeas.blogspot.com James Sweet

    I’m thinking about culling that list to find the things that would be most resonant with the War on Christmas crowd. Some of those things, they honestly would be like, “Hey, lots of people were fired because they were Christian” (for example) (even though we all know they were fired for refusing to stop proselytizing to customers, but that’s not what the right wing noise machine says). Also, starting it with “Christians are the oppressors”, while accurate, diminishes its utility for if I want to send it to e.g. my parents.

    But many of those entries are undeniable (e.g. I can go into a non-specialty store and buy Christmas ornaments). It could be really handy to have a condensed version including only those indisputable facts, any time someone brings up the mythological War on Christmas meme.

  • http://atheistreadsbible.blogspot.com/ Jude

    In the 1960s, when I was attending church, I specifically remember one conversation I had with a minister and a future minister where we talked about how it was too bad we weren’t oppressed the way we were in Roman times because we could get more members. I also specifically remember the decisions made to portray modern US life as the enemy that was oppressing us, whether that was the equality movement for women or the increasing use of vulgar slang. By claiming oppression, we became martyrs who were better able to recruit and keep members. The oppression of Christians isn’t real, but it’s useful.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    the fact that an atheist blog like this one even takes the ‘question’ seriously? all the proof a thinking person needs to have to know that the answer is a firm “no.”

    i would love to oppress some Christians, but then again i’m a petty person who enjoys vindictive violence too much. believe me, when i get to actually oppress them? they will know it. you will too. there will be TV shows about it, like there are TV shows about how believers in other religious traditions are “evil” and “wrong.” you know, like how xtan-friendly TV currently portrays believers of Voodun, Santeria, Judaism, Islam… and of course “godless atheists.” we’re always the bad guys. please, give me a chance to produce religious media for public consumption. i’ll have a field day with xtians. whining martyrs bore the hell out of me and “The Simpsons” will be considered light fare, when i’m done with today’s “Christians.”

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/CommanderSquidlet CommanderSquidlet

    I’m very sorry the slides go by too fast. For future reference, what would you suggest as a good time?

    @James Sweet: If you need to create a condensed version to send to your parents, go ahead… though I wouldn’t mind a note that I created the original, or something. 😛

    And Hemant – thanks for putting this up. :)

  • the anti_supernaturalist

    Solstice cheer, xians

    What a laugh you xian responders are! Haven’t you figured yourselves out yet?

    You are the oppressors. You are the Romans now. And your kind has been both vile and evil for as long as your kind has existed.

    Nihilism is the name of your subterranean god. Saul of Tarsus is the paranoid schizophrenic who created the insane equation Jesus = hellenistic savior god.

    According to that sick noodle: God chose “the things that are not — to nullify the things that are…” 1Cor1:28 NIV.

    As a skeptic, belief in your god is beneath me.

    The de-deification of western culture is our task for the next 100 years.

    the anti_supernaturalist

  • Nordog

    Chi-dy,

    You’re just a hater.

    At least you’re proof that bigotry can be found in most any demographic.

  • Stephen P

    I could read the slides at that speed, but it did leave me wondering: why have a video for text? I think it would work better as a straightforward web page than as a video.

  • paulalovescats

    Yes, there are too many videos. Sometimes I won’t find out what the story was because someone is trying to make me watch a video. I can read!!

  • http://rianusandbox@comcast.net rianu-michael

    I am a pagan practical-spiritual mystic. But this site,(referred by fb-link), is right on. Christians have been the oppressors and not the oppressed for 2000+ years. And hopefully soon the tables will be turned around. “The first shall be last” Un-Christian kind of fear-mongering theological slop.

  • Thinktank

    I am a life long Atheist. I like most of you growing up felt oppressed. But two wrongs don’t make a right. The constant perverse attack on Christianity must stop. Many of you seem to hate them simply because their the majority. Where would western civilization be if it had been Muslim? Could womans right have evolved out of it?! Sex is for reproduction, while many of us engage in it recreationally; is that what we want to teach our children?! I personally don’t want to live in a world where marriage is a worthless commitment. Or where my children are taught that it is “Natural” for boys to hump boys?! How the he’ll does that play into Evolutionary theory! And no one has to accept Atheisim. Every man has the right to disagree. The answer is not to piss on crosses. The answer is to be on the side of liberty and logic.

  • paulalovescats

    It’s spelled THEY’RE the majority. And WOMEN’S rights. And there’s no apostrophe in hell. Nobody in the gay/lesbian rights area says it’s natural for everyone. Just that some are, so leave them alone. Most atheists in the US are good with “attacking” Christianity because it’s here. Also, because we usually won’t die for it. But it is pretty evil.

  • paulalovescats

    There are plenty of people in extreme versions of Christianity that might have trouble with these. WBC, for example, but they deserve to be oppressed.