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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

University Poster Campaign Identifies Being Christian as a Privilege, Draws Backlash

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Apr 07
  • Comments

A new poster campaign at the University of San Francisco which encourages students who are Christian to acknowledge their privileged status is receiving criticism from other universities.


According to, the initiators of the campaign created posters which ask students to check off their privileges. Categories of privilege, according to the campaign, include being white, male, Christian, able-bodied, heterosexual, and cisgender (which the posters explain means “a person whose gender identity, gender expression and biological sex all align).


The posters also say that “if you can expect time off from work to celebrate your religious holidays, you have Christian privilege.”


Although the purpose of the campaign was ostensibly to unite people and promote greater empathy and understanding, many students believe it is doing the exact opposite.


“Today, I was diagnosed with privilege,” said a conservative student activist at Virginia Tech. “Symptoms: white, Christian, straight, ‘cisgender,’ and able bodied. Virginia Tech deciding who does and does not have privilege is not okay. Going up to a sign and reading that you should ‘check your privilege’ just because of the situations you were born into, and paths you have chosen for your life, is categorizing and dividing people further.” 


Another student and U.S. Marine Corps veteran from Southern Oregon University said the posters “are segregating and dividing the population by targeting certain groups.” notes that, although the poster campaign asserts that being a Christian comes with a number of privileges, there is evidence that shows those who stand up for their Christian faith are often discriminated against in public settings.


As an example, Breitbart writer Tom Ciccotta cites the case of a Christian applicant who was qualified for a faculty position at Cornell Law School, but was nearly rejected due to his faith.


“[T]he committee almost rejected an extraordinarily qualified applicant because of his obvious Christian faith (he’d attended a Christian college, a conservative seminary, and worked for religious conservative causes). In writing, committee members questioned whether they wanted his “Bible-thumping” or “God-squadding” on campus,” said David French who detailed his experience with “ideological cleansing” at universities.



Publication date: April 7, 2016