Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Christian Privilege and Interfaith Relations

Rabbi Seth Goren wrote a piece for Sojourners that touches on an important topic titled "Recognizing 'Christian Privilege.'" Rabbi Goren discusses Christianity's dominance in the United States, and how this privilege is a blindspot that needs to be addressed given its impact upon interfaith relations, even when unrecognized. He writes:
"Talking about Christian privilege is challenging, but essential. For our conversations to be authentic, honest, and justice-based, we must be aware of how each of us perceives and is perceived. It’s difficult to prevent the marginalization that Christians sometimes feel without considering how inter- and intrafaith dynamics play out more broadly for members of other faiths. Moreover, neglecting this topic in intentional interfaith interactions makes it that much more difficult to address in the wider world.

"I urge us all, but especially Christians, to study and reflect on these matters individually, with coreligionists, and with partners of other faiths. We can integrate questions of religious privilege into conversations we’re already having by asking ourselves what we have that others don’t, how these dynamics affect our interactions, and how we can compensate for resulting inequities."
 This topic has surfaced in conversations between Pagans and Evangelicals related to the Evangelical Chapter of the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy, as can be heard in a podcast at New Wine, New Wineskins. The Pagan dialogue partners raised the issue, and it needs to considered carefully by Evangelicals in America where privilege as a blindspot is a signficant topic.

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