Anyone familiar with the game of poker knows about the tell. For the successful poker player, the ability to read tells is crucial. To the unfamiliar, according to pokernews.com, tells are actions:
either physical or verbal, players make at the table that might give away information about the strength of their hands.
In other words, a tell tips (otherwise known as tipping their hand) other players off to the strength or weakness of a player’s hand of cards. Moreover, tells exist beyond mere card games. Tells exist in political, cultural, and religious contexts as well. Often, these tells are subtle, other times more obvious. Sometimes, the tell is impossible to miss.
Such is the case with supposed “Christofacism.” To cow into silence Christians with traditional views on marriage, sexuality, and anthropology within the public square, some commentators and influencers throw extreme monikers at them – like “Christofacist”. By tying the words Christ and fascism together, those who embrace transgressivism tip their hand to the weakness of their position. Unable to stand on the strength of their own arguments, transgressivist use emotional, polemical language to gain rhetorical points and silence the opposition.
What is Transgressivism?
Transgressivism means the reshaping of the Western identity away from time-tested and proven traditional values (family, marriage, and religion) and towards subjective sexual feelings. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro wrote extensively on transgressivism in his November 2022 article for The Daily Wire titled The Rise of the Transgressives. In it, Mr. Shapiro makes the following observations concerning transgressivism’s most current iteration. He states:
- With transgressivism, “the locus of the individual in his unfettered desires.”
- To the transgressive, “true happiness is to be found in the evisceration of all rules, roles, and obligations.”
- Furthermore, “societal forces that cut against the feeling, that refuse to celebrate that feeling, are oppressive and ought to be shattered.”
Finally, he perfectly quotes romantic poet Percy Shelley regarding the need to tear down traditional morality in order to find the true heart of man.
In fact, religion and morality, as they now stand, compose a practical code of misery and servitude: the genius of human happiness must tear every leaf from the accursed book of God ere man can read the inscription on his heart. How would morality, dressed up in stiff stays and finery, start from her own disgusting image should she look in the mirror of nature!
To sum up, according to Mr. Shapiro, transgressivism represents a regression away understanding humans as rational being in control of their baser instincts and feelings, and a return to the “animal” in the name of liberating the passions.
Moreover, Mr. Shapiro juxtaposes transgressivism’s negative impact on society with the positive impact of time-tested traditional morality. He states:
- “Traditional morality sees the locus of individual identity in a symbiotic relationship between the atomistic individual and society.”
- According to traditional morality, humans “are born with certain biological characteristics, which restrict our choices in life but also grant us certain abilities; we are born into a pre-existing social system, with roles and responsibilities.”
- The role of the parent is to civilize their children, “not merely to celebrate their various biological drives.”
Correctly observing that humans are “more than our genitals,” Mr. Shapiro also correctly states the natural outcome of transgressivism for many is unhappiness. Reduced to their genitals, those who buy into transgressivism remove themselves from experiencing greater meaning beyond themselves. Mr. Shapiro calls humans “embedded beings.” Remove a human from their time, society, and family (that which embeds them to something beyond themselves) and the results are aimlessness and confusion. In response to the exposure to aims of transgressivism within the broader culture, transgressives ultimately resort to emotional polemical language to gain rhetorical points and silence the opposition. Let’s examine one of these terms – Christofascism.
What exactly is Christofascism? Well, in my research of the word, it appears more as a catch-all word for those who wish to express their traditional views within the public square. I suspect that even an Orthodox Jew like Ben Shapiro would incur the label, as its use has more do with Judeo-Christan values more than the historical person of Christ. What did I find for a definition from those who use it?
Urban Dictionary: Christian religious extremist. Often a person who believes in forcing a right-wing Christian agenda on the rest of the world.
Or Paul Bowers cites German liberation theologian, Dorothee Sölle, in his article, A field guide to Christofascism and sees Christofascism as:)
1) U.S. superiority; 2) the veneration of work and, in the inverse, cruelty toward those who depend on welfare or solidarity; and 3) the lionization of the patriarchal nuclear family and, in the inverse, the demonization of sexual and gender minorities.
Moreover, the Tattooed Theologian, in his article, The Heresy of Christian Nationalism, makes for following remarks on Christofascism. Likening Christofascism to Christian Nationalism, he states:
Christian nationalism is about using the power of the state to force people into abiding laws that Christian nationalists impose on themselves in their cultural war to maintain a white supremacist, patriarchal, hetero-normative, misogynistic world. It is about taking away human rights and dehumanizing people who are not straight, white, cis, or conservative Christians.
The Main Theme
The main theme that runs through the three references above is the use of political power to “force” or promote (lionize) traditional Judeo-Christian behavior and not lauding or celebrating transgressive identities and behaviors. In other words, transgressives expect those with traditional Judeo-Christian values to keep their opinions to themselves or suffer the consequences of the labels of not only Christofascist, but racist, sexist, and misogynist (among many others). Good Christians (and others who hold traditional views) keep their bigotry contained within the four walls of their respective archaic institutions.
Is Political Silence Even Possible or Warranted?
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish–where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source–where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials… Senator John F. Kennedy, 1960 [emphasis added]
These words by then senator Kennedy transgressives applaud (and some may approve the enforcement of, if possible). But such a state of political affairs would prove detrimental to the US political endeavor. Why? As Bishop Robert Barron correctly stated in 2012:
What is so easily forgotten is that any law, any political movement, indeed any persuasive speech involves, in one way or another, the imposition of someone’s will.
Furthermore, the good bishop goes on to cite example after example of religious people endeavoring to impose their religious views others. For example, William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown imposing their views on slavery on others and Martin Luther King’s religious dream of an equal America in 1963 for “all God’s children.” Politics is the attempted imposition of one’s will on others. Transgressives do it, so why not those with traditional Judeo-Christian values?
The term Christofascist is nothing more than a polemical tool of the transgressives in our society to shut up and shut out from the political process those with traditional values and morality. Unable to win with their own ideology, transgressives seek silence instead. In doing so, they tip their hand and expose their weakness for all to see. Therefore, let us ALL express our political will and see how the cards play out.
Read my other writing here.