Majority privilege and the Supreme Court

Naturally I hastened to Twitter to see what Ron Lindsay has to say about the ruling in Greece v Galloway – because Ron is both a lawyer and a philosopher, and much involved with legal issues to do with secularism. The first thing he had to say was “Damn.” Yes.

He went on to point out that 5 of 6 Christian justices saw no problem with Christian prayers, and added

SCOTUS decision in Town of Greece shows one is unlikely to be sensitive to oppression of majority religion when one is in the majority.

Yes, thought I. Exactly. Then I noticed something, and couldn’t resist saying it.

Those justices should check their privilege. (Both a joke and a bitter truth.)

It’s a rather complicated joke, but still a joke. I understand why many people get tired of slogans like “check your privilege”: slogans do have a strong tendency to be overused and peremptory – that’s what makes them slogans, after all. But all the same, the concept of privilege does point out something real and important, and Ron had just spelled it out.


  1. Crimson Clupeidae says

    And yet, when atheists want any kind of shared space, equal time, or equal consideration, suddenly, it’s not so ‘ceremonial’, is it? It’s proof, by God (intentional), that the US of fucking A is a xian nation!

    Fucking two faced wankers. The true irony of ceremonial deism is that both proponents and opponents of prayer agree that it is anything but ceremonial. How many other court cases do both sides essentially agree on the facts, even if they disagree about whether it’s right or wrong, but the court just goes its own way.

  2. Blanche Quizno says

    I hereby declare that May shall henceforth be known as “MAJORITY PRIVILEGE MONTH”!!

    (Yeah, I know, EVERY month is “Majority Privilege Month”…)

  3. says

    A less specific “check yourself” (with that double meaning of “check”) could be handy, maybe. Or maybe just variegation of the wording. (Dude. With the privilege, man.) Because the concept is just too relevant and spot on far too often. And privilege is far more tiresome, to put it mildly.
    P: “Stop saying that!”
    I: “Stop doing that.”

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