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Home/Rod Dreher/Taxonomy Of Woke Religion

Taxonomy Of Woke Religion

Woke white people having a transcendental moment in Bethesda, 2020 (Source)

Here’s a fantastic graphic by Peter Boghossian and Michael Shellenberger, two anti-woke liberals:

 

Here’s a Shellenberger essay explaining why wokeism is a religion. He begins by pointing out how the devoutly woke believe things that are demonstrably untrue, but that are defended fanatically by the true believers. More:

But just because an ideology is dogmatic and self-righteous does not necessarily make it a religion, and so it is fair to ask whether Wokeism is anything more than a new belief system. There is no obviously mythological or supernatural element to Woke ideology, and its adherents rarely, if ever, justify their statements with reference to a god, or higher power. But a deeper look at Wokeism does, indeed, reveal a whole series of mythological and supernatural beliefs, including the idea that white people today are responsible for the racist actions of white people in the past; that climate change risks making humans extinct; and that a person can change their sex by simply identifying as the opposite sex.

More:

We decided to publish the Woke Religion Taxonomy because it was helpful to our own understanding of Wokeism as a religion, and we felt it might help others. The Taxonomy identifies common myths and supernatural beliefs and helps explain why so many people continue to hold them, despite overwhelming evidence that they are false. We are under no illusion that the Taxonomy will reduce the power that Wokeism holds over true believers. But we also believe it will help orient those who are confused by its irrationalism, and are seeking an accessible overview. Finally, we are publishing it because we recognize that we might be wrong, either about matters of fact or classification, and hope it will encourage a healthy discussion and debate. As such, we have published it with the caveat that it is “Version 1.0” with the expectation that we will revise it in the future.

Both Peter and I would like to stress that we have published the Taxonomy in service of the liberal and democratic project of social and environmental progress, which we believe to be under threat from Wokeism. We believe the U.S. is well-positioned to reduce police killings, crime, and carbon emissions; protect the lives and the mental health of trans, non-gender conforming, and cis-gender people; and better treat of the mentally ill and drug addicted. But doing so will require that Wokeism weaken its grip over the American psyche.

Read the whole thing.  If the chart I’ve pasted in above isn’t clear enough, there’s one at the end of Shellenberger’s essay.

Shellenberger points out that both he and Boghossian are liberals who want to see progress against social ills like racism — but they believe that as long as wokeness holds its death grip on the minds of so many, progress is going to be much more difficult to achieve. Good work, men.

In the meantime, here’s news from the ever-growing file of Achievements In Woke Urban Governance:

Seattle has become so dangerous that the city can no longer protect its own employees, with security guards now escorting them after they finish work.

King County’s new ‘walking bus’ will debut on November 15, and see council workers based in Downtown Seattle and nearby Pioneer Square escorted to a nearby train station and ferry terminal each evening before being left to continue their commute home.

An announcement on King County’s official website says: ‘King County is launching a ‘Walking Bus’ pilot program where county employees can join their colleagues and a Facilities Management Division (FMD) Security Escort each evening walking to the King Street Station and the Coleman Dock from the downtown campus.’

No provision has been made for private sector workers also based in the same area.

The walking bus announcement also makes no mention of spiraling crime in the Pacific Northwest city, which has seen a recent 35 per cent spike in shootings this year compared to last, and a 76 per cent increase compared to 2019. So far in 2021, 73 people have been killed and another 283 have been injured by shootings in the city.

By the way, did you know that Catholic Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles recently attacked wokeness as a pseudo-religion? Excerpt from his address:

I believe the best way for the Church to understand the new social justice movements is to understand them as pseudo-religions, and even replacements and rivals to traditional Christian beliefs.

With the breakdown of the Judeo-Christian worldview and the rise of secularism, political belief systems based on social justice or personal identity have come to fill the space that Christian belief and practice once occupied.

Whatever we call these movements — “social justice,” “wokeness,” “identity politics,” “intersectionality,” “successor ideology” — they claim to offer what religion provides.

They provide people with an explanation for events and conditions in the world. They offer a sense of meaning, a purpose for living, and the feeling of belonging to a community.

Even more than that, like Christianity, these new movements tell their own “story of salvation.”

Read it all. Finally, more people are beginning to catch on. This is a culture war, which means that it is a war over cult.

UPDATE: I see for sure now that the version of the chart I posted here can’t be viewed clearly. Well, if you want to see the original, click here, and use the magnifying glass feature. 

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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