Wednesday, June 17, 2015

#ITLQBM - Check Your Religious Privilege

Intersectionality Through the Lens of a Queer Black Man

I have friends from all walks of life and many different belief systems as it pertains to religion, rites and rituals. While I pride myself on being an ally to my religious counterparts, I can't help but to feel belittled and left out when some of them speak. I actually feel bad for other faiths that constantly and consistently have to take a backseat to Christianity and those who choose to use their Christian Privilege in unsavory ways. I touched on this in one of my posts about INTERSECTIONALITY:

"We are taught that in order to be a strong Black man, we must be providers who are masculine, tough, lack emotional depth, produce children, believe in God, and find a wife in order to succeed. I believe in taking on that personification that we buy into misogyny, patriarchy, machismo, homophobia, effemiphobia and hyper - masculinity. We are forced fed to believe in God even if some of us know in our hearts that Christianity is not what we truly believe in. As Black men, regardless of sexual orientation we are forced to live in some type of closet where we have to hide mental illnesses, health issues, atheism and then we have to wear a smile and be conscious of our society that is steeped in White supremacy in order to not get killed by that crooked cop for coming off as too strong, too educated and dare I say it? Wealthy."

Here are some definitions before I go any further:

Christian privilege - is the system of advantages bestowed upon Christians in some societies. This system arises out of the presumption that the belief in Christianity is a social norm, leading to the exclusion of the nonreligious and members of other religions through institutional religious discrimination. Christian privilege can also lead to the neglect of outsiders' cultural heritage and religious practices.

Religious discrimination - is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe. Specifically, it is when adherents of different religions (or denominations) are treated unequally, either before the law or in institutional settings such as employment or housing.
Religious discrimination is related to religious persecution, the most extreme forms of which would include instances in which people have been executed for beliefs perceived to be heretic. Laws which only carry light punishments are described as mild forms of religious persecution or as religious discrimination.

The truth is that I see religion as a means of social control and domination for those who are in control of governments and other institutions that are used to govern. It does not mean that do not respect a person's convictions or belief in a higher power, and in my acceptance, I am exposed to the constant barrage of God this and prayer that memes, comments and posts via social media. The problem comes when I decide to make a post in reference to my Atheism, someone tries to flex their privilege and respond with some chastisement about how THEIR God is the real deal, mind you, I don't comment on others' posts when it regards religion! I have constantly question whether or not I want to go to certain events because someone will try to guilt me into a prayer circle or saying grace at a dinner.

THIS is the definition of Atheism which is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists. "Atheism is not a disbelief in gods or a denial of gods; it is a lack of belief in gods. Older dictionaries define atheism as "a belief that there is no God." Now, here is the thing that one must understand, I still know right from wrong and just because I don't believe in something does not mean I am not a good person with standards and some form of morals. As it pertains to those who do hold a belief system outside of Christianity, we must respect their beliefs, "respect gets respect." I am simply addressing this at the surface level and will have other posts in series about this issue, next will be Agnosticism.

UNTIL THEN I ASK THAT YOU CHECK YOUR RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGE.