We have blogged about how intersectionality–the fellowship of all of the oppressed under the unity of leftist ideology–is functioning as a new religion. The Federalist‘s Nathanael Blake takes this further. Drawing on an essay by Black intellectual and “radical centrist” John McWhorter (also worth reading), Blake says that this religion is like Christianity–except without redemption and forgiveness.
What is left when you cut redemption and forgiveness out of Christianity? Sometimes those essentials are left out of ostensibly Christian theologies and congregations full of members who regard themselves as Christians. What is left when the Gospel is excised is a religion of Law only. Its adherents are either tormented by guilt or, falsely imagining that they are successful in keeping the Law, become Pharisees, hectoring their neighbors, on the alert for every transgression.
This is what Blake sees happening among the “woke” Left, with the “scolds” on social media eager to punish even the smallest sins and the slightest offenses against orthodoxy.
From Nathanael Blake, White Privilege Has Become A Religion, Complete With Church Ladies in The Federalist:
John McWhorter examines the religious nature of racial “wokeness” in an insightful essay published in The American Interest, and finds it bears some resemblances to the Christian worldview, albeit without the hope of redemption or forgiveness.
“The parallels with Christianity are almost uncannily rich,” he writes. “White privilege is the secular white person’s Original Sin, present at birth and ultimately ineradicable. One does one’s penance by endlessly attesting to this privilege in hope of some kind of forgiveness.”The religion of social justice and wokeness is stern, however, with little hope of redemption, love or reconciliation. . . .
Forgiveness is hard to obtain from the strange gods of this new faith, for reasons McWhorter’s excellent essay only begins to explore. . . .
Ignorance of this religious dimension leaves the adherents of woke social justice especially prone to the pitfalls that the traditionally religious are familiar with. Many stumble. They become the preachers and church ladies of wokeness: smug, sanctimonious, uncharitable and unforgiving — always ready to take offense and call someone out. And there is no shortage of people willing to undertake the task. What are we to make of the priests of this harsh religion?. . .
There have always been persons inclined to be hectoring, spiteful busybodies. They are the self-appointed enforcers of the minor norms and little truths of social standards, and they perform their duty with neither charity nor a sense of proportion. They justify their zealous, unceasing scolding on the grounds that a sin in part is a sin in whole, and laxness anywhere is laxness everywhere. This is the self-justification of scolds (on campus, online, or in the workplace) who seek to punish the slightest deviation from their orthodoxy.
Just as a certain sort of parishioner of days (mostly) past could find the most damnable heresy lurking in minor liturgical slackness, the modern iteration of this personality can find the seeds of genocide in microaggressions. This allows them to appropriate to themselves the worst wrongs ever done to others, and appoint themselves as their unforgiving representatives.
Illustration by PaliGraficas via Pixabay, Creative Commons