Last login: Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Appreciate the responses - but I think you're making quite a leap of faith:
The question of whether the dominant group -- which ostensibly makes the rules -- can, by definition, discriminate against itself is a good one to discuss.
You're question rests on several assumptions. First, that people of Christian faith are the majority. General polling (e.g., are you a Christian rather than something else) will generate pretty high numbers to support that assumption. However, if you ask a more pertinent question - Are you a Christian rather than something else and does your Christian faith change the way you live your life, the numbers are quite different - approaching 7% of the population. In fact, the data indicates that Christianity is no longer the “default” religion in America. Taking a practical approach, if my system of faith has little or no effect on my life, I have little or no reason to defend it. Conversely, the people who contend for their faith are the ones on which faith actually has an effect. These are the Christians who face regular bias or animus within our public institutions.
Second, you assume that the dominate faith group (those who merely identify as Christian rather than something else) make the rules. Take a poll at your office and ask two questions: (1) are you a Christian? And (2) is your faith true for all people at all times? I think you’ll agree that our media providers posses a great place of influence in our society. I think you’ll also agree after your polling that in your office (and virtually every other according to the data) are no the Christians who change because of their faith. Look at academia and civil government and ask the same questions and you’ll get the same answers. Christian with life affecting faith no longer make the rules.
Finally, you assume that what a group does to itself is acceptable and on the scales of good and bad will find itself on the side of good. Similar to my question regarding which groups it’s OK to hold in contempt, this broad brush approach does not wash. Is it OK for African Americans to have higher rate of unwed births, abortions, single mother families, incarceration of men? I’m sure your mind is spinning with explanation of forces outside the control of many in this group which contribute to the results I listed – but that’s my point. Broad brush statements fail the test of intellectual honesty. If not, then we’ve come full circle to my first theory – while it’s not OK to harbor bias or animus against other groups, it is OK to do so against Christians, particularly those who take their faith as true.
http://www.barna.org/faith-spirituali...; See also http://www.barna.org/barna-update/art...
July 26, 2011 at 5:18 p.m.
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From your preface: "So, is it possible to discriminate against the dominant religion and religious ideology in a society?"
Are you suggesting that it's ok to have bias or animus against Christians because they may be the majority religion? Is it ok for racial minorities to harbor contempt for the racial majority? Should women in the workplace rightfully detest men? Is this the kind of world you want to live in? I surely don't.
Discrimination - different treatment of a group or class just because they belong to that class - can't be made right by virtue of the size of one group over another. If it's not permissible for women to discriminate against men or for African Americans to discriminate against whites, there must be a reason other than their possible majority status to consider whether or not different treatment of Christian can be called discrimination - don't they deserve the same rights and protections as other in a progressive society? I would hate to believe you thought otherwis.
July 21, 2011 at 5:59 p.m.
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