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Featured Christianity's hidden privilege

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by 9-10ths_Penguin, May 23, 2022.

  1. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    As a society, we've arranged our schedule around Christianity: Christian days of worship and holidays are "standard" days off work. Other religions don't get this privilege. This has lots of effects that disadvantage non-Christians.

    As an example (I'm a transportation engineer, so my brain goes to traffic impacts), say you have a plot of land next to a high school that you're looking to develop. You have in mind a place of worship for 1000 people... but what do you build?

    If you build a mosque there, the peak of site traffic is going to be on Friday afternoon, just when the high school - and background traffic - is at its busiest. This can often mean that to build a mosque, you'd need expensive traffic upgrades: maybe building a left turn lane, or lengthening turn lanes at a nearby intersection. Expensive stuff.

    OTOH, if you build a church there, the peak of site traffic is going to be on Sunday morning. There will be no traffic from the high school and background traffic will be light. Odds are that the road network can accommodate the church without expensive upgrades.

    This difference in direct cost - which will end up as a major difference in out-of-pocket cost to the members of a religious congregation - can be traced back entirely to privileged treatment of Christianity: we shut a lot of our society down on Christian holy days, but Islam isn't afforded the same luxury.

    So... what should be done about this? Do you agree that the mosque is being treated in a discriminatory way (maybe not deliberately, but discriminatory in effect)? If so, how should we as a society respond?
     
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  2. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Veteran Member
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    I don’t believe it constitutes discrimination if it’s a logistical problem for a society. If the Christians celebrated on Fridays the problem would be the same in my honest opinion.
    A Jewish Synagogue also would not have a problem as they worship on Saturdays.

    True that in a predominantly Christian country, public holidays will favour that religion just like majority Muslim or Hindu nations will have their public closures on their respective religion.

    In a Baha’i society I don’t think Baha’i Holy Days would become public but only for Baha’is and other religions would be free to close on their special days.

    But in our society, I believe we would encourage and assist the building of Mosques, pagodas, synagogues and churches as we believe strongly in upholding the rights of minorities and believe strongly in diversity.

    So I can envisage a Baha’i State paying for any public upgrade required to build a mosque.
     
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  3. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    The U. S. was founded and built on Christian principles. There are many other countries where people can go if they are made uncomfortable by Christian principles. North Korea sounds like a wonderful place. Maybe try living there.
     
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  4. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I'm not American, but is "make life unnecessarily difficult for other religions" a Christian principle? I don't remember Jesus saying anything about this in the Gospels.

    I can trace my family tree back to the Mayflower, but I don't think this an excuse for being a jerk to people who arrived more recently.
     
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  5. Polymath257

    Polymath257 Think & Care
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    And we are now a secular society that supposedly respects freedom of religion. There is supposed to be no government establishment of religion and laws are supposed to be neutral when it comes to religion.

    If you like theocracies, maybe Iran is more to your taste?
     
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  6. pearl

    pearl Well-Known Member

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    The only one I know of is Christmas, and that's because it is a federal/secular holiday. There are more non Christian holidays that society shuts down for, at least here in the US, Thanksgiving, others are optional, July 4.

    Yes, there are traffic snarls but temporary and quickly turn back to normal traffic pattern. Nowhere near the traffic problems around stores offering final sales etc.

    No. I imagine every religious building has the same conditions to be met, whether a church, a mosque, or synagogue.
     
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  7. Sheldon

    Sheldon Veteran Member

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    It was founded as a democratic republic, and the constitution made it crystal clear that people were free to believe whatever they wanted, without any interference or discrimination by the government.
     
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  8. Sand Dancer

    Sand Dancer Crazy Cat Lady

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    Businesses are starting to close on Sundays and Mondays I have noticed. When they realize that Sunday is a day that people shop, since only 25% go to church, etc, perhaps they will change it to Mondays and Tuesdays instead or something like that. That would be smart.
     
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  9. Sand Dancer

    Sand Dancer Crazy Cat Lady

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    Really? Wonder why they didn't put it in the Constitution.
     
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  10. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Sure, life is unfair. Society has already responded. Sometimes you are going to be happy with it, sometime not.

    The US is still mostly a Christian culture. Maybe that will change, maybe not.
    However I don't think anyone knows enough to make the perfect non-biased culture. Trying will probably cause something else to break.
    Still you can talk about it. Make people aware of it. If people see something is unfair enough, they'll try to be fair.
     
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  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I was mostly thinking of every Sunday.

    Here in Canada, we have a number of Christian stat holidays:

    - Good Friday
    - Easter Monday
    - Christmas Day
    - Boxing Day (the day after Christmas)

    So your approach would be just to tolerate traffic jams around mosques? Sure - that's one approach to the inequality.

    But those conditions are in a framework that has been specifically tailored to accommodate Christianity and not any other religion.
     
  12. Ponder This

    Ponder This Well-Known Member

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    Excellent question!

    Can you explain how the religious congregation ends up bearing the extra cost of the traffic upgrades and not the community as a whole? Is the local government levying a fee on Mosque builders that it doesn't levy on on Church builders?
     
  13. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I think there's a difference between inherent unfairness that we just have to deal with and unfairness that was deliberately created.

    And while my OP focused on one example that's kind of entrenched in our society now, a lot of other examples of Christian privilege need ongoing effort to keep alive. For instance, almost every workplace dress code accommodates Christian ideas about proper dress, but they're hit-and-miss about whether they'll accommodate other religions (e.g. allowing hijabs or turbans).
     
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  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Make Friday a holiday too, and Saturday to be fair to Jewish people.

    And Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to be fair to the pagans who worship the moon, Tyr, Odin and Thor respectively.

    Problem solved :D
     
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  15. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    Or maybe to be inclusive we could also include the Ancient Egyptian nine day work week.
     
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  16. Nakosis

    Nakosis Time Efficient Lollygagger
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    Do you think public school teachers should be allowed to wear religious garb in class?
     
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  17. Rival

    Rival Divine Adoratrice of Amun
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    This isn't Christian privilege, this is just the reality of living in Christian cultures. Religion is a strong determining factor in culture. If you move to a Dharmic country you should expect to find Dharmic holidays on the calendar and dividing the work schedule. I hear no-one complaining about that. Nor do I hear anyone complaining that majority Muslim countries have Muslim holidays in their calendars. Every culture has its religious foundation and in Europe and Anglophone countries this is Christianity. I see no issue.
     
    #17 Rival, May 23, 2022
    Last edited: May 23, 2022
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  18. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I never found Christianity's pervasive influence
    in government all that hidden. But of course,
    there are aspects (eg, in the OP) that I was
    unaware of.
     
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  19. mikkel_the_dane

    mikkel_the_dane Shadow Wolf's Aspie sibling

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    Well, that is where the fun begin. Where does freedom of expression and religion in regards to the separation of religion and state? I really don't know, since there are several ways to settle it.
    Forbid all.
    Allow all.
    Let people vote on it.
    Bring in UN peacekeepers.
    And the list goes on.
     
    #19 mikkel_the_dane, May 23, 2022
    Last edited: May 24, 2022
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  20. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Over here though, it's in many aspects of government,
    eg, courtroom oaths pledging to God to tell the truth,
    "God" in the Pledge Of Allegiance, tax subsidies for
    real estate & employment, exceptions to military
    conscription.
    At least they eliminated prayer in public schools...that
    was a thing when I was in elementary school.
     
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