Day 3: Canadian Christian Privilege

While enacting this project, I’ve been thinking a lot about privilege.  When I was a Christian, I worried a lot about being persecuted.  When I left Christianity, it became significantly more apparent to me that Christians are among the last people in Canada that have to worry about getting their rights squashed.

Think about it: How many crosses, churches and Bible verses do you see posted up along the highway when you travel long distances in Canada?  Answer: A LOT.  I never noticed how many until I left the belief system.  When you’re part of it, seeing that is nothing.  Its normal.  Its comforting.  When you aren’t, the multitude of these occurrences reminds you just how dominant the Christian worldview is in Canada.

How many Christian songs play on the radio in public places?  Again, the answer is A LOT.  This is especially true at Christmas time, but it is also true throughout the year.  When I worked at Value Village, they had a few Christian songs by Owl City and Michael W. Smith as part of their audio repertoire playing multiple times a week – songs explicitly about worshipping God.  Thrift stores often play overtly Christian theological music.  Malls.  Mark’s Work Wear House.  Carrie Underwood’s hits “Jesus Take the Wheel” and “There Must Be Something in the Water”.  Christianity is a very normal part of our culture, even in secular spaces.

If another religion occupied even half of the space that Christianity did, people would be upset.  Imagine if we saw that many mosques or passages from the Koran out and about!

Sometimes Christians feel persecuted because things in secular spaces aren’t more Christianized.  Children no longer being obligated to say the Lord’s Prayer in school by the government got twisted into the common belief that Christians aren’t legally allowed to pray in school.  They are legally allowed to pray in school.  Its just that some people have decided its unfair to make everyone do it.  And would you even want to force someone to pray if they didn’t believe in it?

When you are used to being in charge, inclusivity feels like persecution.  As someone who is not a Christian though, I can tell you that all efforts made to include me and the way I look at the world are appreciated.

In the real world, the project continues!  I’m actually starting to enjoy wearing it.  I styled my scarf a little differently when I went to pottery class last night.  Muslim girls from my high school used to do all sorts of cool things with their head coverings so I figure its allowed.  It would have been really impractical to have all those tassels hanging while I stooped over a pottery wheel.  With the help of Youtube tutorials, I managed to do this:

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It was helpful for working with clay which otherwise got all over me.  Nobody treated me any differently although I’m pretty sure my teacher was a little frustrated with me.  I think that had more to do with the fact that I am not a natural on the pottery wheel, something I discovered for the first time last night, and less to do with my headgear.

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One thought on “Day 3: Canadian Christian Privilege

  1. Christians don’t feel persecuted because of allowances for inclusivity. Christians feel persecuted because rights are being taken away from them that others are allowed. When I was in high school Christmas trees had to be called “holiday bushes” and we weren’t allowed to say “Merry Christmas.” While others could freely say “Happy Kwanza,” “Happy Hanukah,” etc. There are laws in Canada that force Christians to go against what they believe. For example, if a pastor refuses to marry a homosexual couple they get in trouble, even if it goes against there beliefs. Canada is trying to be inclusive to all religions, which is great, but the way to include others is not to disinclude Christianity. If what you really want is inclusivity, equality, and harmony than it needs to be on all sides. You won’t make our country more equal by stripping the rights of some so that others can gain. If anyone else was forced to do something they didn’t believe in, outrage would break out across the news and social media. When Christians do so they are shamed and belittled for there beliefs. If what Canada is striving for is freedom of religion, thought, belief, opinion, etc. as laid out in the Charter of Rights and Freedom then we truly need to allow people that freedom. We still have so far to go with Canada’s new religions (meaning Christianity was the religion in which this country was founded) but we will never get there by stripping the freedoms of Christianity. That is why Christians complain of being persecuted in Canada – not because they feel Canada should be more Christianized.

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