The forgotten category of privilege.
We all know about racial privilege, privilege that comes with being born into certain classes, sex, gender, sexual orientation, ability, citizenship, and so many more, but often forgotten is religious privilege.
When I walk into a classroom in the south the first thing I do is evaluate the professor, look for religious paraphernalia, listen to any and all comments about religion, and judge how kind and accepting they sound. This judgment has nothing to do with their beliefs. It doesn’t affect me in anyway if they believe in a god, many gods, no gods, or the flying spaghetti monster. What does affect me is their response to me being an atheist.
It is a real concern that the way I am viewed, treated, and evaluated will be impacted by my atheism being revealed. My safety is a concern.
It has recently been brought to my attention that people within some of the major religions(especially in the south) do not face this. They do not walk into a classroom wondering if it is safe to announce their faith. They do not wonder if a cross around their neck will limit their chance of getting a job.
I’m not saying that theists never receive negative responses for their stances, rather, I am saying their life is not constantly revolving around whether or not they can be them in a certain setting.
It is time to start talking about religious privilege.