Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Wokeism is the New Religion

Atheists are fond of bragging about the decline of religion, as measured by things like church attendance and stated affiliation. But there is no increase in freethinkers.

In a new PragerU video, Moslem apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells us What Radical Islam and the Woke Have In Common:

The adherents of each pursue ideological purity, certain of their own rectitude.

Neither Islamists nor the Woke will engage in debate; both prefer indoctrination of the submissive and damnation of those who resist.

The two ideologies have distinctive rituals: Islamists shout “Allahu Akbar” and “Death to America”; the Woke shout “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.”

Islamists pray to Mecca; the Woke take the knee.

Both like burning the American flag.

Both take offense at every opportunity and demand not just apologies but concessions.

Islamism inveighs against “blasphemy”; Wokeism wants to outlaw “hate speech.”

Islamists use the word “Islamophobia” to silence critics; the Woke do the same with “racism.”

A new book blames a new religion:

Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America Hardcover – October 26, 2021
by John McWhorter (Author)

Acclaimed linguist and award-winning writer John McWhorter argues that an illiberal neoracism, disguised as antiracism, is hurting Black communities and weakening the American social fabric.

The Economist magazine explains:
What links these developments is a loose constellation of ideas that is changing the way that mostly white, educated, left-leaning Americans view the world. This credo still lacks a definitive name: it is variously known as left-liberal identity politics, social-justice activism or, simply, wokeness. But it has a clear common thread: a belief that any disparities between racial groups are evidence of structural racism; that the norms of free speech, individualism and universalism which pretend to be progressive are really camouflage for this discrimination; and that injustice will persist until systems of language and privilege are dismantled.

These notions were incubated for years in the humanities departments of universities (elite ones in particular), without serious challenge.

It continues in another article:
Yet something extraordinary is happening in the West: a new generation of progressives is reviving methods that uncannily resemble those of the confessional state, with modern versions of loyalty oaths and blasphemy laws. And this effort is being spearheaded in the heartland of Anglo-Saxon liberalism—often by people who call themselves liberals. ...

Creeds. Churches demanded that people sign a statement of religious beliefs, like the Anglican church’s 39 Articles, before they could hold civil office. The University of California (UC) is doing something similar. Applicants for faculty posts have to complete statements about how they will advance diversity and inclusion.

These are worthy goals. But Abigail Thompson, until recently chair of maths at UC Davis and a lifelong liberal, points out that UC’s scoring system rewards a woke view of how to realise them. In 2019 the life-sciences department at UC Berkeley rejected 76% of applicants on the basis of their diversity statements without looking at their research records.

Blasphemy. Scotland,  a cradle of the Enlightenment, abolished the crime of blasphemy in March. At the same time, however, it reintroduced it by creating new offences such as “stirring up hatred” and “abusive speech” — punishable by up to seven years in prison.

The analogy with the past has its limits: no one is getting burnt at the stake.

According to Wikipedia, about 50k witches were executed in the history of Europe. In previous centuries, many crimes could get you executed.

Executing witches seems extreme, but it was done by the civil authorities, not the Church, and it was done because it was thought that witches were doing real harm to others by casting spells. Wokeism seeks to punish those who are just expressing opinions, and not causing any harm to anyone.

As the article points out, Wokeism is the result of the Democrats having been taken over by radical leftists pushing identity politics, and that most Democrats would have disavowed it several years ago. It is not a reaction to Donald Trump, as the conservatives and Republicans have not changed much.

America has not yet reached peak woke.
Yes. I assume that it will peak out and decline before we have a civil war, but it is too early to tell.

Today's NY Times has an essay against online porn. No, it is not a Christian complaining about Jews promoting immoral and sinful activities. It is law professor Catharine A. MacKinnon, promoting her peculiar anti-sex feminism:

One measure of this success is the media’s increasing insistence on referring to people used in prostitution and pornography as “sex workers.” What is being done to them is neither sex, in the sense of intimacy and mutuality, nor work, in the sense of productivity and dignity. Survivors of prostitution consider it “serial rape,” so they regard the term “sex work” as gaslighting.
So she has joined those who call ordinary consensual heterosexual intercourse as "rape". It is hard to understand what her objection is, as she makes no mention of marriage or any sexual activities that would be acceptable to her. She is just dogmatically asserting her religious beliefs, and not explaining her theology.

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