The Southern Strategy of Christian privilege

Originally published at: The Southern Strategy of Christian privilege | Boing Boing


Though the authorship of this quote is still contested, examples continue to abound, whether liberals refusing to mask for co-workers who might be immune-compromised or want to protect themselves and their families from COVID, or Christians in the United States and other countries weaponizing victimhood.

I love Elías stuff, and am praying for the day when journalists don’t feel compelled to whatabout every article that highlights right-wing asshattery, let alone right-wing fascism.


“‘Tolerance’ and ‘religious freedom’ are subtle codes for Christian supremacism,”

American conservatives have spent decades perfecting the art of perverting language to serve their ends. See also “right to work states”, “pregnancy crisis centres”, as well as their making “liberal” and “entitlement program” into dirty words for a lot of Americans.


And, at the same time, co-opting terms like classical liberal and libertarian, and retconning them. :exploding_head:


The disparity in anti-mask sentiment among political divides is measured in dead bodies. And one of those sides is so severe and so prevalent that they appear as population-wide statistical anomalies.

Edited for more appropriate chart; source.

Despite buffoons like RFK Jr (is he even anti-mask? Honestly, no one else immediately springs to mind), it’s not even close. Making false equivalencies is beneath credible journalists like Elias.


That chart appears to STOP just before 2020. Am I missing something?

Edited to add: chart has now been fixed, so leaving this here to avoid confusion but it can be ignored now.


Wait until 2025 for data on 2022.


Seriously. They had to dig really really really deep to find an example of “lefties being just as bad” and the best they could come up with is “tech worker being a dick to a coworker”. Really? Jeebus. Yah okay, press, that’s just the same as fascism.


The linked article is interesting it leads with the chart clipped by @cannibalpeas , but about 2/3 the way down has some COVID information.

Essentially, the lead is the death rate in Republican led counties is higher than democrat led counties. The disparity is most pronounced among whites (though the black population is much higher overall), and firearm deaths are way higher, too.

The COVID related information is a little muddier: NYC is the highest, with New Jersey in the next five states, and NY state excluding NYC is in the middle. Without better information, it is intuitive that heavily populated areas such as NYC would have high death levels. But without more granulated information it is hard to compare to Republican led counties.


Is that per capita, do you know? It wouldn’t be surprising that COVID deaths are way higher since the most densely populated places are all blue.


The author is pointing out that the disparity existed before COVID. What I think is interesting is that (according to these charts) they seem to point to “W” taking office.

My inner conspiracy theorist thinks Republican strategists looked at the available issues in the late 90’s and said “our base is too stupid to recognize unhealthy policies that harm themselves, so let’s open up our campaigns to include people on any topic that has negative health implications. We can support smokers, polluters, health insurers, and nobody will care that we’re letting them poison themselves.”

I would bet a substantial amount of money on Newt Gingrich being the evil Grand Vizier behind this strategy.


D’oh, right you are. Clipped the wrong graphic, though that one is even more horrifying in a lot of ways. As @jaded points out, W and the Obamacare fight really made some people think of public health measures as oppression. Will edit, thanks.


That corrected chart really shows how short the window was when Republicans were gleefully leaving urban citizens to die; within a matter of a few months, the pandemic they ignored started biting them in the butt and the losses have piled high on their side ever since.


That’s what I found so maddening about the regressives getting all whiny about masks, social distancing, etc. Detroit, Seattle, New Orleans and especially NYC absorbed 100% of that first wave and died in numbers that wouldn’t be matched again the rest of the pandemic. It wasn’t really until the holiday season of 2020 that it really began impacting rural conservative areas. If you look at the wave from that era, it precisely matches up with a 2 week delay for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. In other words, 100% preventable and entirely due to obstinance. It made me think that the smartest policy may have been rolling lockdowns that didn’t trigger until a county/municipality reached a certain case threshold. Then at least people would maybe feel they had a stake in self-preservation. Empathy and civic duty clearly weren’t big enough motivators.


clears throat

Christian privilege – along with white, male, and straight privilege – is often deeply internalised, even among people who consider themselves progressive. Atheists are certainly not immune, and I say this as an atheist. In my experience, the whataboutist pointing at Islam pops up frequently among vocal and combative atheists, who tend to take umbrage at the suggestion that they might still in any way be shaped by the Christian culture they were socialised in.

And now Rebecca Watson has entered the chat…

But the strain of secular discourse associated with New Atheism in particular is clearly animated by a colonising impulse derived from European Christianity. he more that secular activists and advocates recognise that ‘Christian atheism’ is a very real phenomenon, the more productively we can work toward a more inclusive kind of secular advocacy – one that doesn’t involve shaming women who have reasons to feel uncomfortable in male-dominated atheist spaces, cheerleading for America’s imperialist wars, or relentlessly attacking a young Muslim boy who was arrested for bringing a clock he built to his Texas school to show his teacher.


A person can concoct a new Christian theology out of thin air. Pretty convenient if someone wants to make themselves immune to laws that everyone else has to follow. It’s like the ultimate legal loophole.


I was very much reminded of the organized atheist movement which started with the promise of confronting this privilege, and instead fell to reinforcing all the others – racism, sexism, even religious bigotry like islamophobia. Kudos to the handful like Watson who tried for better. :frowning:


Weird… it’s almost as if you’re saying patriarchy and white supremacy are the real problems, and they managed to find both religious and non-religious expressions… hmmmm*.

(Giving side-eye to the various atheists who have smugly declared they’ve overcome the brainwashing of their conservative Christian upbringings, only to start reiterating the same bigotries. My dudes, you’re still at the bottom of the well looking up, you ain’t escaped shit, you just added some new self-delusion.)


Not at all surprising that Christian nationalism is more threatened by racial diversity than religious… it’s always been a white supremacist movement first and foremost.


Hello from Italy. Where until September 20th, 1870 in part of it, the Catholic church was the state.
RaiPlay - GuidaTV / Replay And as you can see on the 1st channel of the national public broadcaster every Sunday from 10:20 to 12:20 the programme it’s all about the Pope, the Mass, and othet Catholic church stuff. For the Jews there’s a programme every other week on the third channel after midnight.


My, my. That was a particularly long quote just to say “What about…”

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