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People of Christian Privilege

I’m really, really over Kim Davis and all the stupidity that has been said about her, one way or the other, so I’m hesitant to add to the din. I actually don’t want to talk about her, but simply cite her as one more example of what I think is an interesting phenomenon. We also might consider the very attractive young Muslim woman who was suspended by an airline because she wouldn’t serve alcohol as a flight attendant.

One side argues that people should have the right to practice their religion freely, while the other argues that people should not impose their religious views on other people. As I thought about Mrs. Davis, I wondered what happened to us all as Christians. When did we become people of privilege? I don’t mean only her; I mean me, too. She and her supporters were outraged that she had been jailed. There once was a time when Christians expected it and saw it as a sign of honor and recognition that they had been faithful. Now we are outraged that we aren’t afforded special accommodations for our faith.

I appreciate that the Muslim-American woman feels that her faith doesn’t allow her to serve alcohol. I’d have much more respect for her, however, if this meant that during training, when she learned it was going to be part of the job, she decided that she would rather mop floors than violate the values of her beliefs. No, like most Americans, she wants it both ways.

We want our faith, like everything else, to come with privileges, not costs or obligations or responsibilities or sacrifices. These are but two public examples of how almost all Americans seem to feel about our faith. It is supposed to make our lives easier, richer, fuller, more complete. It supposed to make our marriages happier, our children better behaved, our jobs more fulfilling, our retirement more prosperous. I’m not sure where it says that in the Gospels, but that certainly is our expectation. Mrs. Davis and Governor Mike Huckabee did not expect her religious stand to cost her anything because she is a privileged American Christian. I guess Jesus was born on the wrong side of the ocean because his faith sure cost him and those first disciples an awful lot. They hadn’t learned how to be people of Christian PRIVILEGE.

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