Within religious studies, gender studies, and probably history and political science (and others I can’t think of), the word “privilege” has come to mean “a group of people is accorded special status due to their appearance or caste.” In my culture, it generally translates to WASPs, or White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, and in particular, WASP men. Especially WASP men who own land and have decent jobs. And what privilege gets you is a long list of benefits, such as being able to assume you are generally right, and that you’ll have food and a home, and that you can get a job, and that police won’t harass you, and that your opinion won’t be dismissed due to your gender, race, or religious beliefs.
I recently responded to a list of essays on Facebook to which a friend of mine linked. These essays were titled, “Proving that the Bible is Repulsive,” and are posted on godisimaginary.com. I took his linking to this site without commentary (beyond stating that he had only read the first few so far) as tacit approval of the site’s content, and this impression I received filled me with sadness. The arguments I found on godisimaginary.com were shallow, stereotypical, and oversimplified. That anyone would buy into them fills me with sorrow, but my belief that a close friend was leaning towards this rubbish was greatly disappointing.
His first response to my comment ((“No offense intended, but it’s written by an unbeliever for other unbelievers to help them feel better about their views. In skimming a couple, there’s a lack of nuance and study as well as a subscription to either straw men arguments or oversimplification. Similar to The Skeptic’s Bible, it highlights a lack of complete understanding of the subject, and the author then translates their lack of understanding into ‘therefore, it is wrong.'”)) was rather flippant, remarking on his amusement that I had gotten my feathers ruffled. I replied that I had experienced no such ruffling, just sorrow.
My friend then explained at length that his posting of the link did not indicate approval but rather served as an indication of what he was thinking/experiencing at the moment.
I post a quote that I just read and it caught me, I post a new song because that’s what I’m listening to. Then I post an article that I’ve been reading and it’s stimulating my thought process.
I have no problem apologizing when I am wrong, and I was certainly glad to be wrong this time around. Unfortunately, just as I was returning to my work, his girlfriend commented about how she had left Christianity due to its ambiguity and extensive use of metaphor, lack of evidence, and the suffocation she felt under Christianity. This left me rather melancholy.
It is part of the reason I want to write about Christianity, particularly for college students, because it seems like these questions should have been answered by now. We’ve had millenia, but for some reason the information isn’t getting to people. There are answers for a lot of the questions, even if they’re just different interpretations of the text… but none of it’s new. I’ve learned things about the Old Testament in just the last few weeks that have been around for over fifteen thousand years, but those lessons, interpretations, and facts haven’t made it into the main stream. We don’t hear about them. We’re not taught them.
I’m not here to shove my ideas down people’s throats, but if someone’s looking for answers, it breaks my heart when they can’t find good ones. When the mockers and scoffers are louder than us, not because there are more of them, but because we have remained silent.
Don’t take my words as attacks, because they aren’t intended as such. What’s more, I don’t really want to speak in the first place. It’s scary to put myself out there and respond to attacks on Christianity, because I’m afraid I won’t be able to respond to the questions or, really, I’m afraid that I’ll get made fun of. But I know that I would be doing a disservice to people if I didn’t respond and let them know the truth of God’s love. I am compelled to speak on his behalf. I just pray that it comes across all right.
If I seem edgy I want you to know
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has it’s problems and I get my share
And that’s one thing I never meant to do
Because I love you
Oh, Oh baby don’t you know I’m human
Have thoughts like any other one
Sometimes I find myself long regretting
Some foolish thing, some little simple thing I’ve done
But I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood