Friday, November 4, 2011

my Christian privilege

As a woman who is Latina, blind, has depression, and an adoptee I am often in the minority when it comes to social issues and privilege. However, in one area, I am in the majority. I was raised as a Christian.
So many things in society have the Christian basis, and I unconsciously benefit from them. I get vacation from grad school for Christmas and Easter without having to request time off, and unlike Islamic or pagan holidays, I don’t have to explain what it means. At many conferences and conventions I attend, there is some kind of welcome benediction, and it is 95% of the time done by a Christian minister without thinking of the non-Christian or nonreligious members of the delegation.
I can have a cross or other Christian symbol charm, decoration, or tattoo without living in fear of persecution. I do not have to face judgment or criticism from others if I choose to wear the symbol in public.
And finally, the one that sparked this post, others can mention God in his/her life and relate it to mine, and I can say I know without feeling the need to go along with the conversation in order to avoid disapproval and discord. A few days ago, I went to the doctor and was telling her my medical history. I was born a little more than three months early and was less than two pounds. She said, “Lord, God must have had big plans for you to help you survive that! Modern medicine made it possible, but it’s ultimately through him that the miracle happened.” Going to the doctor is uncomfortable as it is, and I was fortunate that I could just smile and nod instead of dealing with the discomfort that my religious preference wasn’t even considered before she made the comment.

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