Thursday, December 14, 2017

Secular Privilege - Say What?

Shadow To Light is at it again - bending reality to conform with his distorted views.  So obsessed is he with his hatred of atheists, that he sees God-haters and Gnus lurking in every dark corner, creating all the world's problems, and persecuting the poor, innocent children of God like himself, who are pure as the driven snow, and who would never do anything to deserve even the mildest of criticism.  I have already noted that Mikey has a tendency to associate everything he doesn't like with atheism, regardless of whether actual atheists are involved.  And that includes Social Justice Warriors (SJWs), most of whom are not atheists.  But it doesn't matter.  To Mikey, it's all the same.  If he doesn't like something he'll blame it on atheists.

Now, Mikey was recently incensed by an article by Suzannah Weiss about "white privilege", giving nine examples of how white people enjoy advantages in current American society.  As you may know, I am generally in favor of social justice, but I don't feel any great affinity for the SJWs, who often go overboard in their defense of the oppressed, to the point of being oppressive toward the rest of us.  Nevertheless, this article is basically factual and level-headed   So naturally, Mikey had to respond with a diatribe on "secular privilege".  Actually, I think he is quite confused about the difference between 'secular' and 'atheist', but as I noted, it's all the same to him.  See my note about his conflating 'secular' and 'atheist' *.

The big difference between Mikey's ten examples of secular privilege and Weiss' nine examples of white privilege is that the article by Weiss' is fact-based, and the Mikey's is groping to find a way to show something that doesn't exist.  And please note here that I am not likely to use the term "white privilege" myself, but the examples that Weiss points out are real.  There is a disparity in the situation faced by blacks and whites, and it's worth discussing and understanding, even if you don't care to engage in social warfare against the white population.  Mikey, however, has no interest in discussing and understanding.  His reaction is more visceral.  And that may be because he is ideologically aligned with the white oppressors.  But rather than address the points that Weiss makes, he chooses to lash out against his favorite target - atheists - using contrived examples.  I will briefly address the ten examples of "secular privilege" in Mikey's diatribe.

1.Your Wages Aren’t Lower Because You are Religious
Mikey shows data, but the data doesn't support his point.  The four highest income groups are all religious.  And while he notes that Baptists are considerably worse off than atheists, that is much more likely because of where they tend to live (in the rural sough-east) rather than any imagined negative societal attitudes toward religious employees. 

2.People Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Intelligence Because Of Your Religion
Oh really?  Yes, there are atheists who think religion is stupid.  But there are also plenty of religionists who think atheists are stupid.  Just try entering "atheists are stupid" in Google.  See what I mean?

3.You Don’t Feel Pressure To Represent Your Religion
Mikey should be watching for the lightening bolt to strike him for his lies.  Religionists love to blame atheists for everything that is wrong with the world (real or imagined), and atheists constantly find themselves defending atheism against these claims.  Mikey himself blames atheism for everything from the mass murders of communist dictators, eugenics, and infanticide, to excessive non-belligerence (that's right), not to mention everything else in between.

4.Most Products Are Geared Toward You
Most products are made to appeal to the broadest possible set of consumers by not targeting any particular religious group.  And that includes atheists.  There are very few atheist products in the market.  But you still can buy pocket bibles and kosher food.

5.Most Media Is Geared Toward You
Like other consumer products, the goal is usually to appeal to the broadest possible audience.  I would say, though, that there is a much larger audience and corresponding programming for specifically religious consumers than for specifically atheist consumers.  Here again, Mikey presents statistics on the religiosity of journalists, trying to show that they are mostly non-religious, but fails to mention that they are pretty much the same as the general population, which is actually mostly religious.

6.Beauty Standards Aren’t Rigged Against You Because Of Your Faith
This is the same as the previous one - appeal to the broadest audience.  And it isn't atheists who are creating these "rigged standards".

7.Jobs Won’t Discriminate Against You Due To Your Religion
Mikey cites a study conducted by a religious organization that found mentioning religious group participation in a resume results in fewer job offers.  It's probably true, and I would add that the same would apply if the resume mentions atheism or any political activity.  This is not discrimination.  Even religious employers want to hire people who will not bring their ideologies (whatever they may be) into the workplace, which is likely to create a toxic work environment.  Religion and politics should stay at home.  On the other hand, atheists have good reason to fear that if their atheism becomes known, they may face discrimination.  Most employers are still religious.

8.People Don’t Make Assumptions About Your Mental Health Because Of Your Religion
Actually, they just might think you are mentally ill because of your non-religion.

9.A secular education for your child is free
In this case, Mikey conflates secular education with ideological indoctrination.  'Secular' does not mean 'atheist', even if Mikey wants to pretend that it does.  And teaching science is not ideological indoctrination.  If ideological indoctrination is what Mikey prefers, there are private institutions that will do that for a price.

10.Universities won’t discriminate against you because you are too religious.
As is the case with bringing personal ideology into the workplace (see item 7), the same considerations might apply in academia.  That might also true when religious beliefs conflict with a particular field of study.  Would a committed YEC be suited for a doctorate in evolutionary biology?  I'm sure it is possible to find some anecdotes about people facing genuine religious discrimination, but as with employment, atheists are still more likely to face discrimination, both institutional and from fellow students.

In the final analysis, Mikey presents a largely contrived picture of anti-religious attitudes and discrimination in our society.  But the populace of the USA is still predominately religious, and if anything, it is still atheists who are subject to hatred and discrimination.  Mikey is playing the role of poor persecuted Christian.  If you ask me, he sounds a lot like the snowflakes that he so despises.  At least the SJWs can base their complaints on real cases of poor treatment.  There is little if any truth in Mikey's examples.

* Please note that Mikey, perhaps deliberately, conflates 'secular' and 'atheist'.  In several of his examples (1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 10) it is appropriate to use the term 'atheist', because they are referring to the religious (or non-religious) identity of the individual.  The other examples (4, 5, 6, and 9) refer to the avoidance of any such identity, so the term 'secular' is appropriate.  A secular institution does not favor any particular affiliation or ideology, whether religious or non-religious.  But Mikey says "secular" when he means "atheist".  For instance, in example 1, he uses the phrase "religious vs. secular people", but 'secular' is not one of the religious affiliation groups shown in the data, because nobody identifies as being affiliated with secularism as a religious or non-religious group.  Mikey either doesn't understand the meaning of 'secular', or (as I suspect) he is dishonestly trying to equate secular institutions with an anti-religious agenda.

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