The Privilege Walk

Last night as a part of our Lenten series on discipleship, our congregants engaged in the privilege walk. We looked at each other differently as we each stepped forward or backward:

Take one step backward if your race, gender, or sexual orientation has caused you to be looked over for a professional opportunity.

Take one step forward if you had more than 50 books in your home.

These things that were a part of our home life, out of our control, not something that we could decide or choose. Things we don’t want to share or talk about.

Take one step backward if you have ever been the victim of sexual harassment.

Take one step backward if you grew up in an area with gun violence, gang activity, or drug use.

Blessed. Entitled. Privileged. It’s a dangerous connection we make when we turn religion into an opportunity to continue privilege rather than fight it. We are Americans and have been afforded great opportunity, but that opportunity is not the same for everyone because like it or not, many of us have been given a step forward over other people.

We have the choice whether that step forward is on the back of someone or whether that step forward is with an arm reaching back asking and inviting those behind you to join you.

You aren’t blessed because God loves your. You aren’t blessed because you are faithful to God. You are blessed, privileged, because of a lot of things you had nothing to do with.

Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.