I recently embarked on a three week Western Europe adventure, stuffing my face with pasta, wine, and pastries from each region along the way. And while there were countless unexpected occurrences during my time abroad, I wasn’t prepared to experience crippling anxiety, utterly sleepless jetlag, and a bacterial infection — all during the first week, in addition to my still-fractured ankle.Read More
No, this title is not a joke. Nor is it clickbait. After reading a post from Relevant Magazine on the subject, I learned that “Christian privilege” is a real term thrown around on social media. You can read the article here, and I encourage you to do so, if only for context of what I’m about to say.
As a white, conservative, Christian woman, this term and even the article trouble me. Before writing this blog post, I reached out to some other Christians to get their less cynical perspectives on the term. Some agreed with the post's author and some didn't. A few things stick out from those conversations:
1. Christians often face doubts, criticism, and verbal attacks on their intelligence and character because of the abstractness of faith.
Trump-supporting, Conservative Christians that don't believe in science and would rather have guns than safety ... it's a stereotype that runs rampant, and it seems like every day is a battle to defy the opinions of others. Since graduating from college, I’ve had to prove myself as a person who cares for other people, as an intellectual, and as a believer in equality because of the faith I have in Jesus and the way the world understands Christianity. In no way has my faith given me any privilege, especially in the workplace. In fact, in my very first job out of college, I faced prejudice on my first day in the office for the small cross hanging from a push pin on my wall. Before anyone knew me personally, they had pre-concieved notions of who I am and what I believe -- a practice I think we as a society are trying to abolish though practice. In my conversations about Christian privilege, none of the people I spoke with felt like their faith brought them any advantage or understanding.
2. Speaking on behalf of Christians who make mistakes is the greatest argument against "Christian privilege."
The author claims that a sign of privilege is “the ability to avoid having to speak on behalf of your faith or all Christians when one of your own goes bad.” To this point, I often find myself defending other Christians in the face of scrutiny, by association, especially in regard to the church and people wronged by the church. Almost weekly now, I find myself seeking out sound doctrine so that I can better articulate myself for those questioning the actions of Christians in the media, on Twitter, or even daily interactions. Unfortunately, many people have been burned by the church, especially people who don't fit the traditional Christian mold that doesn't exist anymore.
Just like Muslims should not be defined by the radicals represented in the media, neither should Christians be defined by rich pastors with private jets who refuse to open the doors of the church during natural disaster. If you saw a small, blonde-haired child steal a piece of candy from a store, you wouldn't assume all tiny people with blonde hair are thieves -- humans make mistakes, even (and especially) religious ones, and that doesn't represent people as a whole.
3. We have to stop bringing people down in order to lift others up.
The problem with this article is that it’s generalized and inaccurate — a huge step backwards in evangelizing. We don’t give women in the workplace more rights by revoking men’s; we push ourselves to gender equality by promoting more women based on their qualifications (because goodness, there are so many amazing women that deserve it). It’s not necessary to label all Christians (or even just white, male ones) as privileged in order to acknowledge the struggle of other religions. Let’s instead make the conversation about those other religions. The quantity of believers doesn’t substantiate the labeling of privilege, and even if it did, are those numbers based on people identifying as Christian by tradition, or those actively seeking Jesus? Should it matter?
And yet, maybe it does exist?
An important thing to note here, and something I took away from the article, is the problem of religious equality. America's historically Christian holidays do not extend to other faiths, bringing into question Ramadan and Hanukkah, for example. I agree that as a nation, we need to do better at acknowledging the important of religious freedom, and in turn, religious expression, of all types. Is being a Christian a privilege? In that way, absolutely.
But should it?
Religion as a whole has powerful, deeply rooted convictions that shouldn’t be connected to any type of derogatory label. On the other hand, it also shouldn’t be used as a convenient excuse to judge and condescend other people for their actions, views, or experiences, which is perhaps what the author intended. In order to promote equality, we must first view each other as equals — religion, gender, sexual orientation, race, and background; excluding Christians from this conversation defeats that purpose entirely.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments!
Is there a hack to restart 2018 while I'm reinstalling the previous version of Snapchat (because honestly, this is the worst technological update since Apple replaced their headphone jacks)? Despite this being a monumentally terrible year thus far, there are fantastic things happening in the music industry. And while I support most of these bands by seeing their shows and buying vinyls, you can start by showing them some love on Spotify. If you aren't using Spotify, we can't be friends, but thank you for reading my blog. I think iTunes is still a thing, if you want to go that route? Let me know in the comments.
I've compiled my top three artists for 2018, and I'm stoked to see these acts live. Before we start, here are my qualifications. The artists must:
- be touring in 2018
- have a 2018 album release
- not be widely played on the radio
Why: Riah sings for the Christian band Mosaic and is married to the drummer in Lany, another one of my favorite lesser-known bands. Not to be defined by association, she's a fantastic vocalist with a 90s vibe that's not overdone or annoying -- She's basically the millennial's dream Spotify artist.
The Sound: Though she doesn't have a full album, several singles have been released this year that offer familiarly fresh beats that transition well into the secular music world. She's definitely a songwriter first, but I think we will see some intriguing music as she grows artistically.
My Pick: Lie -- just listen. I need not explain.
Why: Everyone around me has been listening to this band by association -- Flor is playing in my house, in my office, in the car, blared with the windows down. It's CREATIVE music that fits every mood. I could see them touring with Vance Joy or Paramore with their ability to transcend genre, and I predict they'll be garnering a lot more attention this year.
The Sound: If Halsey was an indie boy band... Flor is indie pop without being overproduced and has a contagious happiness that I've only experienced with one other band (see Lewis Del Mar). Flor is interesting in lyric and hooky in sound -- what more could you want?
My Pick: Spoiled, which has the sickest instrumental halfway through the song. I'm also embarrassingly obsessed with their cover of Post Malone here.
Why: I admit I was only familiar with a few songs randomly added to my Spotify playlists until I clicked on EDEN's artist profile late in 2017. After I listened to his entire discography, there is no contest -- give him 2018 artist of the year. Vertigo (2018) has nostalgia like The Neighborhood and awe inspiring riffs reminiscent of The 1975 instrumental Matt Healey performs live. In other words, it's perfection I didn't know we needed. But we do -- we really do.
The Sound: GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH. EDEN is moody, he's refreshing, he's original. I'm utterly impressed and hooked on everything he's put out to date. It's dark enough to satisfy the emo-music lover inside of me, especially since Fall Out Boy's new album fell flat (in my opinion). It also contains the secret sauce -- enough cursing to evoke emotion without sounding unnecessary or vulgar. (Should I write a blog on this? I really think this sauce is real and should be acknowledged.)
My Pick: Take Care, which has the greatest buildup around the 3 minute mark with the most mesmerizing falsetto. Take care, you'll be hooked.
I smashed my phone, but honestly I feel relieved
You can't reach me, now I can exhale on my own
PS -- I'm open to being endorsed by Spotify -- call me.