Throughout the whole Student Council debate one of the things I keep hearing from certain folks is this idea that religious groups on campus are “oppressed,” more “oppressed” perhaps than people of color. The folks referencing this are speaking specifically about Christian groups on campus.
hmm… about that.
I guess for me it is hard to imagine folks who identify with Christianity as being marginalized because of their religion. For a couple reasons…
- In the United States, Christianity, like whiteness, has been normalized in a way that can marginalize and silence folks who do not identify with Christian values.
- History, the U.S., was born as a “Christian nation;” Christian religious values pervade much of our government, collective values, and our societal history. Biblical references are present in our textbooks, the literature we value, our money, it is pretty much omnipresent.
- Also, in terms of history, Christianity has been used to justify a lot fucked up colonization of communities of color. Christianity also has deep and complicated roots with slavery
With all of that being said, I think that I have seen ways that Christianity acts as a vehicle for social justice, liberation, and serves marginalized communities in powerful ways. And while I haven’t fully thought this out I think there is a place to say that Christians have to own the fact that they are benefitting from Christian supremacy that often comes at the expense of, marginalization of, tokenization and colonization of other religious, spiritual and cultural practices.
So. To claim that Christian groups on campus are “oppressed,” to me, shows a general lack of understanding of the word oppressed, and a shortsightedness that ignores different community histories that inform our positions on campus and off.
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Tags: christian supremacy