Activist Says “Everything Bad Comes from Christianity” at White Privilege Conference


Paul Kivel says Christian leadership is the reason for the world’s problems.

The 17th annual White Privilege Conference (WPC) was held in Philadelphia last week, from April 15-17. Paul Kivel, author and activist, was part of the conference. During a speech, he argued that all the problems in this world could be linked to the ideology of Christian hegemony, from global warming to the troubled economy.

Activist Says “Everything Bad Comes from Christianity” at White Privilege Conference.[/tweetthis]

WPC is a platform for people to examine issues of privilege in society, the different ways people experience some form of privilege and how their lives are affected by that privilege. It is open to all, professionals, students, parents, community leaders, activists, and so on. The conference, on a regular basis, sees participation from people all around the world. Paul Kivel is an American writer, activist, and educator. He is the co-founder of Oakland Men's Project, a community education center. The main focus of the center is the prevention of male violence. Kivel is also the founder of the Challenging Christian Hegemony Project. Christian hegemony is a systematic set of Christian beliefs and values, institutions, and individuals that dominate every aspect of the society via political, economic, social, and cultural power they wield.

According to Kivel, the core ideas of Christianity colonize people's minds. It influences the daily lives of people. For instance, the concept of Sunday as the “day of rest.” Also, the Christian ideological beliefs make it easy to tag a lot of things as bad, condemn them, and cast them aside for destruction. To make his point, Kivel asked the audience to think how often during a single day they say things are good or bad. For example, if it is a rainy day, then it is tagged as a bad weather day. In reality, there is nothing inherently bad or good about the weather. Same is the case with people. However, because of Christianity, people see good or bad in everything, and in everyone. It amounts to their belief that God is with them or God has abandoned them.

It is also the belief of Kivel that Christianity is the root cause for all the problems in the world. According to him, the wars in the Middle East are the byproduct of a missionary drive whose intention has been to spread the message of Christianity, to influence the non-Westerners with Western ideas and ideologies. Kivel blames Christianity for a weak economy as well. He mentions that idea that the market forces are driven by God's invisible hands, within a capitalist system that is flawed. Kivel is also of the opinion that because of Christian belief, mankind has dominion over the Earth and people do not consider Earth as sacred. Hence, they do not respect Earth and they pollute it.

Paul Kivel does not reject all spirituality. He looks favorably upon American Indian beliefs. According to him, they consider the Earth sacred and they respect it.


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