A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.
― Dwight D. Eisenhower
I sit on a man's back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible… except by getting off his back.
― Leo Tolstoy, What Then Must We Do?
When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else's oppression, we'll find our opportunities to make real change.
― Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race
I have privilege
I have rights
I have protections
I have advantages
that are the result of my being white
empowered (by role and title)
just call me the Rev. Dr. Father, Sir!
The question is not whether I have privilege,
but whether I see it and admit it
And what really matters is what I do with it!
Jesus, as he walked through the dust of Palestine,
and hung out with the poor and the outcasts,
and challenged the rich and positioned,
said in various ways,
if you want to be first you must be last,
if you want to be great you must serve,
if you want to experience the Kingdom in its fullness you must give it away
perhaps what Jesus was implying is this
you have to use your privilege for others
you have to release your hold on your privileges so that those who are
can be blessed
can be supported
and more …
This is the “stewardship of privilege” (Stephanie Spellers)
Blessing others by giving our privilege away in love
One of the great tragedies of the modern “church” is that it has chosen
to use its privilege to protect itself and the status quo. It has chosen to use its privilege to protect power and accumulate wealth,
rather than use privilege to give power and distribute wealth
we cannot hug privilege to ourselves
we must give it away
This Thanksgiving, I am joyfully aware of all my blessings
All the advantages that I have
Some have been given to me
Some I have worked for
I am so blessed. So privileged
I am also painfully aware of the fact that I have not done as much as I could,
and that the church has not done as much as it could
to be a blessing to others
And so this Thanksgiving I do not simply offer prayers of thanks,
but prayers of repentance.
And I pray that the Holy Spirit will break me open and pour me out
so I might not only be blest
but be a blessing.