Lots of Privilege among Lutherans

It’s hard to take a step back and look critically at one’s self. It’s hard to admit we may have ugly parts.

In Canada, and among our Lutheran communities, do we struggle with identity, privilege, and even prejudice? What makes us “Lutheran?” Certainly we know about specific theological positions (e.g. grace!), and we know about biblical study, and liturgy. But do we associate cultural aspects – even ethnic heritage – with our Lutheran identity so strongly that we end up being blind to certain “walls” we may end up building?

Here are some ways, and resources, in which we might engage the question of privilege in our communities.

This blog by a thoughtful, and youthful (!), Lutheran points out ways in which stereotypes about Canadians can even create division among people, based on skin-colour or economic status.

This article – and its list of “invisible traits” – goes back to early days of conversation about what creates privileged position in society. Consider going through the list to see where you might fit!

A short video that documents an interesting experiment about privilege.  And a checklist to determine one’s level of privilege.

The Canadian Council of Churches has created a resource, and has highlighted some other resources, that are helpful – click here.

One church organization has compiled a helpful list of resources here.

And here is a website from the (American) United Church of Christ that includes a curriculum for understanding privilege in society.

These are hard things to grasp! And we don’t want to think we hold prejudice against anyone. There are “intangibles” – things we take for granted, and don’t even consider – when we have privilege because the dominant parts of society work for us. They are things we don’t want to let go of, but we are called to hold up the needs of those who are oppressed or on the margins of society. If we have resources and opportunities that others don’t for reasons that are completely out of their control, we must work to level the playing field, to hold up the need of others, and work towards equality and opportunity for all!

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