Professor Lectures Jesse Watters On 'Christian Privilege'

Chris Menahan
Apr. 09, 2018

Even though Christians are forced to bake cakes against their will and fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for refusing to do so, they actually enjoy "Christian privilege" in the US according to University of Massachusetts at Amherst adjunct professor Warren Blumenfeld.

Asked for specifics, Blumenfeld told Fox News host Jesse Watters over the weekend that Christians are "privileged" because they don't "have to know" Jewish holidays.

"Minoritized people have to know of the holidays of Christians for our own survival," Blumenfeld said.

Blumenfeld reportedly took part in a "Christian privilege" event at George Washington University last week bashing Christians and white people. He's also said in the past that
Christian proselytizing is "a form of oppression."

Rush transcript via Fox News:
WATTERS: Less than a week since the stirring of Christianity is coming under fire, this time at the campus of George Washington University where the school is holding a seminar bashing Christianity for giving American Christians what it views as an unfair privilege.

Warren Blumenfeld is an adjunct professor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst whose research topics include religion, gender and LGBT issues. He joins me now.

Okay, so professor, you say there is Christian privilege here. Is there not Christian privilege in the Middle East, is there?

WARREN BLUMENFELD, ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AT AMHERST: We are talking about the United States right now, but there is Christian privilege around the world in many ways, but I would like to correct you. It's not bashing Christianity, it's raising issues of the ways in which Christians automatically have this unearned privilege just by being Christian in the United States.

WATTERS: And what would that privilege be?


BLUMENFELD: There is a lot of ways that privilege manifests itself. In the 1840s, a theorist went around the United States and he wrote this great book call "Democracy In America," Alexis de Tocqueville and he discovered that there is this paradox in some ways, that the United States positioned itself around the world as this country which promoted itself as religious pluralism.

But he found that the Christian churches had so much power, that in many it could be considered to be the first example of the first institution of politics because it had so much power and so much weight on politics in the United States.

WATTERS: Well, I don't think any more that the Christian church has that type of power. I mean, it's a pretty religiously pluralistic nation and there is...


BLUMENFELD: And that's one of the myths that we were....

WATTERS: ... and now, you can't have the Ten Commandments at the courthouse or you know, if you are a Christian and you want to say "Merry Christmas" in public school, they yell at you. You can't have a Christmas tree, they call it a Holiday tree. Is that privilege?

BLUMENFELD: We are talking about religious pluralism. The school year is founded on the Christian calendar. If I want to take a day off to go to -- do you even know what the holiest day is on the Jewish calendar is?

WATTERS: No, tell me.

BLUMENFELD: And that's a form of Christian privilege. You don't have to know other religions of when our holidays are. It's Yom Kippur, which is the Day of Atonement. And it usually comes...

WATTERS: Okay, so I have the privilege of not knowing what your most devout holiday is? That's a privilege to not know something?

BLUMENFELD: Yes. You don't have to know.

WATTERS: I would think that that would be the opposite. I feel bad that I don't know. I mean, you know, listen there's not a lot of Jewish Americans in the country compared to Christian Americans. I don't know the most of devout Muslim holiday either.

BLUMENFELD: Of course. And again, minoritized people have to know of the holidays of Christians for our own survival because it's just self- promoted.

WATTERS: Okay, let's solve this then because I don't want Christian privilege. I just want to be open and I want to know everything about every other person and I don't want to feel privileged.

What can I do as a Christian to make myself feel less privileged?

BLUMENFELD: I'm not asking you to make yourself less privileged. I am asking you to share your privilege, like as a white man, I don't want to lose my white privilege. I don't want to walk into a store and be tailed, racially profiled. I am not saying I want to lose that.

But I am working as a white person so that I share my privilege so that nobody is racially profiled in this country.

WATTERS: Okay, I don't know how to share privilege. I don't know if it would be just like toss it out like that? Privilege here, privilege there. Listen, I am going to have you back on and we're going to talk about how I am going to share privilege. Professor, thank you very much.
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