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The Church Of Woke.

Updated: Apr 13, 2021

Something strange has happened in the last 10 years. It’s as if we are living on the other side of a mirror looking at our old selves. Things look familiar but not exactly. That mole on your left cheek is now on the right-side. Everything behind you is now on the other side of the room. What was once deemed strange, immoral and wrong is now normal, righteous, and correct. It makes you wonder if the world really did end back in 2012.

When the world started to change, some didn’t even notice the shift. It was as if they had awakened to a new world, only wondering what had happened.

Some embraced the change because this was the world they had always dreamed of. But for others, this change felt like Alice falling down the rabbit hole, not because she was searching but because she was pushed. Its 2021 now almost the 10-year Anniversary of the so-called the end of the world. Back then people were freaking out that the end was nigh and this time it wasn’t coming from the Christians.

Back then the big debate was over intelligent design vs evolution, and YouTube was becoming something people called their full-time job. The economy was screwed up which resulted in the occupy wall street movement. That was ten years ago and that was when I noticed the turning of a new world. Feminism, race theory, gender theory, and body positivity began to flood online conversations on places like Tumbler.

It called itself critical theory, a philosophical approach to culture, history, and science teaching people to challenge the old social norms. Re-examining American history, and culture through the lens of the oppressed wasn’t mainstream. The way Americans learned history in the past created a people who didn’t understand anything outside its own boarders. In other words, the American Idiot. But as critical theory became more common, it found itself being challenged online by the skeptic community mostly comprised of atheists.

Those on YouTube at the time who had platforms centering around critical theory focusing on feminism (let’s call them the woke community) found themselves consistently under attack by the skeptic community through video responses. Before, the biggest threat in the world for the skeptics was creationism being taught in schools. Sigh. Those where the days. Many of them considered it child abuse.

But with a new threat to science on the horizon coming from their own side, the community split. One side remained the skeptic community while the other side called themselves Atheism +, meaning atheist, plus feminist, plus anyone else who was an atheist but didn’t feel like they belonged. The woke side wanted to bring critical theory to the forefront of the American identity.

I don’t think anyone had a problem with this. The issue was that it was tampering with science and logic. Terms like social justice warrior and feminazi were thrown around. For me this is where the culture war began. Before Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Blair White dominated the conversation online against critical “fill in the blank” theory on YouTube, there was people like Sargon of Akkad, Thunderfoot, and Karen Straughn and so many other Youtubers whom consistently Challenged channels like Feminist Frequency, Laci Green, and Steve Shives on their different faction of wokeness.

But just when the chatter about microaggressions and safe spaces was dying down, this woke ideology moved from an internet discussion to mainstream media fact.

New terms like cis gender and BIPOC were used as if these terminologies were always a normal part of the English language, leaving many people confused of what those words even meant. The turning for those who had been fighting for a voice at the table was not something that happened over night, but for most people it did. Yet as this new world emerged, something about it all felt familiar.

People were pointing out how the woke movement seemed to be a bit cultist. The discussion of the Ideology went from feeling like you could disagree and maybe lose a friend to losing your entire life if you didn’t line up perfectly to the world’s new view. Any evidence of doubt in the ideology caused people to self-censor in order to not lose their job.

Ironically the same people who rejected religion for its dogma had accepted a new religion. The religion of social justice with legalism but no God. The push for ideological purity, seeking out heresy in what we now call cancel culture. It sounds stupid but when that means you can’t feed your family because you don’t think there are 72 genders, you start to wonder if this is the beginning of a new dystopian world.

I know you’re wondering “But how can an ideology with no god be religious.” Ryan Long’s video called The Church Of Woke uses comedy as a way to point out how modern activist are no different than religious people who seek to outcaste those who fall out of line. And in Ayishat Akanbi video call The Problem With Wokeness, she points out how "Wokeness has robbed people of compassion and replace it with moral superiority.” And compares progressivism to a religion.

“Progress has become less of a movement, and more of a religion. Sins are problematic opinions, which there is often no redemption, confessions are the public apology, and the high priest is whoever has the most followers.” (Ayishat Akanbi)

I don’t think re-examining, or re-constructing history and culture is a bad thing. History is told by the victors and hearing the other sides of history gives us a better understanding of the world. Yet wokeness Ironically has only recreated a new culture that pushes an ideology that platforms American issues as the world’s issues, making Americans appear even more self-absorbed and disconnected from the world than before.

Wokeness champions itself as the leaders in decolonization as it colonizes the world with its own ideology. Forgetting that one of the sins of wokeness is to push your culture on to others. Being part of a Christian community, I know a religious person when I see them. We called it the “Religious Spirit.” It’s when someone uses their self-righteousness as a way to hold themself as spiritually superior over others by putting others down who appear to be less spiritual. That’s why you hear Christians say it’s not about religion, but a relationship.

But as I have become older, I now see in this new era, that spirit also operates in ideology as well. Where there is a performance of righteousness, virtue signaling, and the pointing out of others’ un-woke sins, that is the religious spirit. People are ready to show off their holiness via screen shot of tweets of sinners, and videos/ photo shoots of themselves being a part of the good fight. I mean how else would you know how good a person was if they didn’t show you?

An artist friend of mine, Gabrielle Solange defines religion as: a formula people create in an attempt to mass produce something that can only be born of an individual’s vulnerability and authenticity. Famous ideologies, and religions start from individuals seeking truth; using their teachings or media as a way of expression in order to help inspire others. Instead of letting those teachings inspire us, influential people create a dogma from it, taking advantage knowing others look to them for direction, becoming what Jesus would call a generation of vipers.

The religious spirit is in the human heart and anyone can fall prey to it. We thought that if there was no religion, wars would stop. But as the last bloodiest century in human history has taught us, religion was never the problem, it was always us. With no religion we just exchanged old beliefs for new ones. Communism, Fascism, Feminism, Anarchism, Atheism, Conservatism, now Wokeism. Blaming religion is a scapegoat so that we as a human society didn’t have to see our true selves in the mirror.

Religion no longer plays the role in controlling the narrative of what makes a good person in a society. The moral high ground moved from the old religious elite to the new religious elite; social media influencers whose only qualification is having a lot of followers.

The religious spirit was a term Christians created from Jesus’ teachings as a way to stay accountable from falling into being inauthentic so that those who focus on Jesus’ actual message have to reform their heart daily.

Christianity started reforming itself, first breaking away from the religious control of Catholicism in the middle ages and going through the spiritual awakening movements through the last 300 years. The battle of not becoming a religious fanatic isn’t hard, but it takes humility. A religious fanatic isn’t the same as a Jesus freak. A Jesus freak although maybe annoying and believes in things you disagree with, still has love for those who aren’t believers because they see others just like they see themselves vs a religious fanatic seeks to rid the world of evil by any means necessary.

That’s really the cure to the craziness to the self-righteous religious spirit found throughout world history. The cure is humility. Not humility for show and tell. As long as we have a mind, there will always be those seeking for truth; discovering better ways to be a good person, just don’t find yourself becoming the new woke religious fanatics.

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