Wednesday, August 20, 2014

There is finally starting to be some pushback against the "'elp, 'elp, I'm bein' repressed!" meme of the religious right.  Well, for one thing, we have a vivid picture of what actual religious persecution means, as we see Christian and other minority religious communities essentially wiped out in the middle east. Whereas here, in the US, we take national holidays on Christian holy days.

From the Guardian.
In much of the rest of the world, religious persecution involves forced conversion, mob attacks and genocide by violence or by neglect. In America, your employee might be able to use the health insurance for which you pay a part of the premium to get an IUD..... 
These Christians equate not getting their own way in the political sphere – not being able to impose their idiosyncratic religious views on others with the force of law – with brutal and unjust persecution. As America becomes more diverse and less religious than ever, white conservative Christian men are losing their disproportionate influence on politics and, because they think of themselves as the natural and deserving custodians of that power, having to share it feels like a shocking injustice. ...
Yes, that's it.  And this frames it well:
Most of the time, when conservatives say "freedom," they really mean "privilege." Typically, they do not recognize this, because they view their preferred power structure as the natural order. Theocrats and other religious authoritarians will raise a great hue and cry about their religious freedoms being violated. Most will honestly believe this, but they do not truly seek freedom of religion, which they already possess. What they seek is power and preferential status, the ability to impose their religious beliefs on others. 
So the argument for religious freedom is an argument for religious privilege.  And needs to be called as such.

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