One of the things that separates man from animals is having a conscience that distinguishes between good and evil, as evidenced by every language having words for “good” and “bad” and a code of ethics and faith that puts the two in opposition, encouraging the “good” for the benefit of the community and society as a whole, and discouraging, even punishing the “bad” to limit the effect of selfish, immature, irrational acts of violence on the group.

This is a part of human nature and seen in all cultures around the world, yet a key speaker at the at the 17th annual White Privilege Conference held this week in Philadelphia, made the claim that these concepts of “good” and “bad” are the sole result of Christianity trying to dominate the world by “colonizing our minds.”

The conference in Philadelphia drew more than 1,500 attendees from 35 states and around the world to hear Kivel blame Christianity for violence, racism, sexism, environmental issues, and even the weak recovery from the recession.

Kivel was invited to spread his message holding Christianity responsible for the ills of the world to an audience of high school and college students, teachers, and education professionals, as well as nonprofit staff, activists, social workers, counselors, and healthcare workers, and even members of the spiritual community and the corporate world.

The conference is designed to preach the gospel of so-called “privilege,” which holds that people don’t all have the same life experiences because the system is rigged from the beginning with certain groups exerting power over others merely because of their existence.

Kivel said things like the YMCA (originally “The Young Men’s Christian Association”), Alcoholics Anonymous, drug rehab programs, and even having Sunday as a traditional day-off from the work and school week are evidence of undue Christian influence on society.

“The concept of good and bad is a Christian one that makes it too easy to condemn things as bad,” Kivel told the audience. “Think about how often during the day we say things are good or bad. It’s a rainy day, so we say it’s bad weather, but there’s nothing inherently good or bad about the weather, or about people. But thanks to Christianity, people keep seeing good and bad in everything.”

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