Monday, May 17, 2010

Protestants Experience Institutionalized Racism in the US?

Upon reading the third sentence of this screed against Elena Kagan, I screamed "WHAT THE FUCK?!" You probably heard me. People in China probably heard me. My boss definitely heard me.

My boss: O_o
Me: "Uh . . . stubbed my toe?"
My boss: *_*

Seriously, this spleenweasel almost got me fired.

The nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court should outrage evangelical Protestants. The reason is not simply her legal perspective, her lack of judicial experience, or her personal view of faith and religious liberties. Devout Christians of all denominations and races are in danger of experiencing what blacks in the late 1960s and early 1970s called “institutional racism” or “institutional discrimination.”

Really? From over here in the atheist corner, Christians have so much privilege it's oozing out their ears. Some examples of Christian privilege in the US*.
  • An American Christian can affix a Jesus fish to his or her car without having to give vandalism a second thought. And yet, I do not get to place any sort of symbol promoting science, reason, or atheism on my car for fear of vandalism or assault. The same goes for t-shirts.
  • The state of Florida actually exempts faith-based day-care centersfrom state inspection and licensing while requiring both of secular day-care centers.
  • Christian billboards are commonplace, but atheist billboards are typically met with vandalism, protests, and calls to the billboard owner.
  • Public school teachers may come under fire for criticizing religion but are expected to criticize every other form of idiocy.
Testify in Court and the first thing they do is make you take an oath to God on the Bible. Nobody even notices a cross necklace, that's just jewelry, but try wearing a Darwin fish or pagan symbol and see what you get. Sneeze and get blessed, don't bless someone who sneezes and you are the rudest person imaginable. I could go on and on. Christians have privilege in this country which is entirely unlike being the victim of discrimination and it is unbelievably offensive to the actual victims of discrimination to have the privileged claim this. Blown away, I am.

*I keep making the point "in the US" because Christians do experience actual persecution and discrimination in other countries. This often involves torture, lengthy imprisonment and murder. I am horrified by this and if I could do anything to stop it, I would. In fact, I strongly support allowing victims of religious persecution asylum in the US- because there is no persecution or discrimination against Christians in the US.


  1. I'll see your 'institutional discrimination' and raise you nine more.

    "No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution."

    That's the law in Texas, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Missippi, Massachusetts, Maryland, Arkansas, and Alaska.

  2. The sad thing is that Protestants actually are under-represented on the Supreme Court, but by over-stating that case and absurdly calling it an example of "institutional racism," one can only be led to believe that maybe that's a good thing Protestants are so under-represented.

  3. I have never taken a course on Constitutional law (or any other kind, for that matter) in my life, but I am just so confused about how those states' constitutions don't violate the separation clause. Really, really confused.

  4. It's not that they don't violate the seperation clause (they do), it's that no one bothers to challenge them for the simple reason that anyone with reason to do so would be seeking state-level public office and would have to pursue a lengthy (and costly) appeal of the law, federally, which would amongst other things entirely alienate the jesus freaks of the bible belt who originally constituted said illegal laws.

    It's a lot cheaper, easier, and more effective to just nod your head and pretend you're a Christian.

  5. Summary, by paragraphs:

    I. Protestants shouldn't support Kagan...
    because...Xians are in danger of being treated like blacks

    II. Prots felt like they woke up sometime and discovered something
    This is not Kagan's fault

    III They's out to git us! aka the famous War Against Christianity Obsession(WACO)
    IV. WACO
    V. WACO
    VI. WACO
    IX. WACO
    X. WACO, with bonus points for calling Christians a minority

    XI. Therefore; don't appoint Kagan. (?!?)

    Final score: His House-Full of Non-Sequitars beats my nine Tu Quoques. He wins!

  6. @uzza, Cynical, Big A: It violates both religion clauses of the First Amendment (no establishment, no interfering with freedom of religion - more the second, though). More importantly, though, it blatantly violates the "no religious test" clause of Article VI.

    Also, seriously, Florida? Fail. Not like religious groups molest kids more than secular groups.


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