Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Christian Privilege

Join Beth, Rich, and Becky for this week’s episode (and there is an episode) as they discuss the concept of christian privilege in the United States, from a variety of perspectives.

About the Author: Sam Mulvey

Sam Mulvey is a producer and the technical brain behind Ask an Atheist. He is a collector of vinegar varieties, vintage computers, antique radios, and propaganda.

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Henry (from San Jose)

Good show. A story and a critique related to the Christian privilege topic … 1) Story — when I was married to an evangelical and we decided to see a marriage counselor, she insisted that it had to be a Christian counselor. At the first meeting, my now ex-wife explained to the counselor that religion wasn’t a major conflict for us but that she thought the counselor should know that I was an atheist. I wanted to downplay the difference, so I said, “Well, I like to identify more as a humanist.” The counselor replied, “So what does that mean?… Read more »


Henry – Ugh, I would have been completely uncomfortable from that point on if the counselor made that kind of comment in the first session. How lame.

We’re already talking about doing another episode on this topic because there was far far more that we didn’t get to talk about that we wanted to. This was one of those meaty subjects where an hour just wasn’t sufficient to properly cover the topic.

Mark Peterson

I really enjoyed this episode. I was hoping you’d point out another privilege that religious persons expect: cursing with religious words/terms.

I have had religious family and friends think it unfair or wrong that I use terms such as “god damn” and “jesus titty-f-ing christ” (see the movie Team America). As if they get to stake out all the best foul-mouthed memes to themselves!

Well, I’m sure you’ll agree that I can use whatever goddamn language I please. 😛

P.S. – I will understand if my post does not make it past moderators.


A response to Henry’s point no. 2: good observation. The privilege framework for studying inequality is actually an alternative/a response/”the flip-side” to the overt oppression framework for looking at social inequality. If we concentrate on critiquing hypothetical individuals’ persecution complexes, I don’t think we’d make many in-roads with Christians who may never have thought about the unnoticed privileges their belonging to a dominant religious groups grants them. That said, I was surprised that we didn’t receive phone calls from Christians insisting on a variety of ways in which they are oppressed. Also, privilege theory (“theory”in the sociological sense of course)… Read more »

Stephanie M.

I’m not exactly sure if this is “Christian privilege”, but I was reading a CNN article about “fights over depicting faith” on the set of the movie Soul Surfer. Apparently, the girl that the movie is about is Christian, which is something that her and her family wanted to incorporate into the film. However, they say in the article that they had arguments over how much of their faith could be depicted in the film, as many of those involved in the production of the movie wanted to keep it more secular. I thought a quote from the girl’s father… Read more »


Just finished the podcast and had a couple thoughts (or memories). Before I moved back up to the NW 2 years ago I was living back in Utah where I grew up. I worked for a shop where everyone was LDS and I didn’t see much hope of getting back out from behind the Zion curtain. So I decided to see a psychiatrist since I felt like there wasn’t anyone that I could really relate to (Not just with being an Atheist but with life in Utah in general) and thought it might help to talk to someone that I… Read more »


Hah! besides poor grammar. I need to learn how to spell Santa Claus. 🙂 No wonder I’m losing arguments.

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