Right or Wrong? ‘Protestant privilege’

I just heard the term “Protestant privilege” associated with the First Amendment’s two religion clauses, which forbid Congress from establishing religion or prohibiting its free exercise. A friend says when many people talk about “freedom of religion,” they mean they want government to allow them to freely exercise their religion, but they don’t care about others’ religion. He says this has been the “Protestant privilege” for decades.

As soon as Europeans landed on these shores, Protestants dominated the culture. People say colonists traveled to America for religions liberty. Actually, they traveled here for their religious liberty, but nobody else’s. So, for example, Congregationalists ruled Massachusetts, while Anglicans ran Virginia, Quakers benevolently led Pennsylvania and Catholics held sway in Maryland.


That is just silly. The Founders wanted to keep Government out of religion, and to insure one religion could not be declared the State Religion. That was for all peoples and all religions. The way it was set up was so that people could practice their religion of choice as long as it did not step on the rights of others, or break any law.

Not quite so silly. It is undeniably true that the early settlers here in Massachusetts did seek freedom to worship THEIR way, and were intolerant - to the point of persecution - of everyone else, especially “papists.” While tolerance for all was built into the First Amendment, it was a long time before that was lived out everywhere. Google “Know Nothings.”

I’m not really sure what the point of the article is. As for religious freedom in the U.S. the obvious original intent was that there would not be a national state religion and the Congress would not interfere with religious practice in the states or with individuals. That is really all it meant. At the founding of the U.S. there were state churches, religious tests, and state support of religion. The meaning of the first amendment was been morphed into an impossibility, the complete detachment of the state from religion. As for Protestant privilege most states were Protestant and thus did favor the Protestant religion. Whoever is on top, which is not always the majority, will be favored and no law will ever change that.

This isn’t a question of the settlers, but rather the Founding Fathers, and what became the actual law of the US. The settlers did indeed push worship their way, from the Puritans to the Catholics, and several more, but that’s not the point the article is trying to make I don’t believe.

I don’t see any kind of Christian privilege in the USA.

Christianity is under attack by excuse-makers and secularists.

If you don’t believe there was a Protestant Privilege in America for long time, then you need to do some research. Start by reading this recent article:


The author is Protestant. I do not think there is a “Protestant Privilege” that is inherent within the constitution though. So if the argument is, “the law, as written in the constitution, favored Protestants over Catholics,” I would disagree.

The original article was written by an author that doesn’t think Baptists are Protestants, if that gives any indication of the thought process…

Baptists themselves - for the most part - would say they are not protestants, the protestants to them (in general) are too Catholic.

Yes, I’m aware of that… that doesn’t prove them accurate however. :wink:

The reason I pointed it out was that they have skin in the game when it comes to casting aspersions on “Protestants” while claiming they aren’t Protestants. I can envision a Roman Catholic and Methodist Protestant having a conversation where the Catholic mentions Protestant privilege, and a Baptist walks up and heartily agrees with the Catholic… what an odd but interesting conversation that would turn into.

If this was addressed to me, I am talking about today. There may be minority Christian privileges for obvious political reasons, but as far as a generic privilege for Protestants or any other Christian group: :dts: :nope:

Nope, wasn’t addressed to anyone in general. Just posting. :thumbsup:

Maybe what we need is a search for “boring” conversations.


Nowadays it’s really a question of privileging minorities. E.g. If Christians are allowed some public area for putting up symbols, does that mean that Muslims must be allowed the same amount of area, even if Christians outnumber Muslims ten to one in the region?

What “fun” would that be?


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