Yesterday I wrote a post for my HinesSight blog, "Woke Racism" is a great book. The subtitle of the book is "How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America."
John McWhorter, the author, is an atheist. So when he calls woke racism a religion, that's intended as a negative judgement.
In his chapter, The New Religion, McWhorter describes the ways what he calls The Elect (meaning, those who embrace woke racism) act in a religious fashion.
Here's some excerpts from that chapter.
With the rise of Third Wave Antiracism we are witnessing the birth of a new religion, just as Romans witnessed the birth of Christianity. The way to get past seeing the Elect as merely "crazy" is to understand that they are a religion. To see them this way is not to wallow in derision, but to genuinely grasp what they are.
One thing that will discourage a general perception of them in this way is that they themselves will resist the charge so heartily. This is understandable.Early Christians did not think of themselves as "a religion" either. They thought of themselves as bearers of truth, in contrast to all other belief systems, whatever they chose to call themselves.
In addition, in our times, it will feel unwelcome to the Elect to be deemed a religion, because they do not bill themselves as such and often associate devout religiosity with backwardness. It also implies that they are not thinking for themselves.
...To make sense of it, we must understand them -- partly out of compassion and partly in order to keep them from destroying our own lives. This can happen only if we process them not as crazed, but parishioners.
To do this, we must examine the ways in which their new religion so closely parallels older ones. It makes what can seem like a mess of weird opinions and attitudes into something quite coherent.
The Elect have superstition. It is inherent in a religion that, amid various other tenets and commitments, one is to accept certain suspensions of disbelief. Certain questions are not to be asked, or, if asked, only politely. The answer one gets, despite being somewhat half-cocked, is to be accepted.
...Elect philosophy requires the same standpoint. One is not to ask "Why are black people so upset about one white cop killing a black man when black men are at more danger of being killed by one another?" Or one might go ahead and ask, only to receive flabby answers after which further questions are unwelcome.
...What you actually don't "get" in your quest to wring logic out of incoherent positions like these is that for the Elect, battling racism is to be questioned only in ways that reinforce the idea that the Elect are correct -- even at the cost of basic sense. This is superstition.
The Elect have clergy. Think of the preacher praised for his sermon as people file out of church. It probably wasn't the kind of sermon that, for most of these people, blew their minds. They enjoyed it because it was a beautiful rendition of that which they knew before, and it gave them comfort.
On race, the Elect cherish certain top-rate thinkers for their gifts in phrasing, repeating, and crafting artful variations upon points considered crucial. These are their priests, their clergy.
You need your preacher to keep telling the religion's truth, and to tell it often, since the superstitious, nonempirical wing of the ideology is easy to drift away from as real life impinges ever upon you in daily existence.
The Elect have original sin. The Elect, then, have magic, clergy, and also a conception of original sin. Under Elect creed, the sin is "white privilege." To anticipate a question, yes, I do believe that to be white in America is to automatically harbor certain unstated privileges in terms of one's sense of belonging.
...But the issue here is not whether I or anyone else thinks white privilege is real, but what we consider the proper response to it. The Elect are to ritually "acknowledge" that they possess white privilege, with an awareness that they can never be absolved of it.
...Coates and DiAngelo are calling these people sinners. Yet the sinners eagerly drink in the charge, revering their accusers, and come away from this self-mortification feeling energized. Cleansed. This is worship, by people embracing the self-mortification of the inveterate sinner, stained by the original sin of white privilege.
The Elect are evangelical. "Why don't they allow people to have different opinions?" You're missing the point. The Elect can seem truly baffling -- until we see they are a religion. Specifically, an evangelical one.
To wit: Do we wonder why fundamentalist Christians do not see their beliefs as just one of many valid opinions? They see themselves as bearers of a Good News that, if all people would simply open up and see it, would create a perfect world.
...To be Elect is to think in exactly the same way. Key to being Elect is a sense that there is always a flock of unconverted heathen. Many of the heathen are, for example, the whites "out there," as it is often put about the white people who were so widely feared as possibly keeping Barack Obama from being elected (twice).
The Elect ban the heretic. The Elect consider it imperative to not only critique those who disagree with their creed, but to seek their punishment and elimination to whatever degree real-life conditions can accommodate.
There is an overriding sense that unbelievers must be not just spoken out against, but called out, isolated, and banned.
...The reality is that what the Elect call problematic is what a Christian means by blasphemous.
...The Elect are members of a religion, of a kind within which the dissenter is not someone in disagreement but is a kind of environmental pollution.
...The religious fervor is absolutist, complete with a Manichaean sense of good versus evil. Many recall Dana Carvey's Church Lady on Saturday Night Live, with her self-celebratory obsession with smoking out the doings of "SATAN?!"
...Why can't they allow other views? Remember, this is religion, not political science, and specifically a religion eerily akin to devout Christianity. To the Elect, racism is the equivalent of Satan. If I deign to walk by Satan with the idea that we just let him be, I am missing the point. I am "wrong."
Yes, I'm not surprised that anything 'woke-ish' can be regarded as a religion. There are many causes that reflect this label from seemingly innocent identification with issues such as vaccination, climate change, evolution, cultural, and national interests etc. They do act very much like religious believers and exhibit a degree of intolerance and discrimination toward others who hold a different view. Discussing various views can be productive and useful – which incidentally is ideally how science advances its hypothesis
Lately, I've watched various news items with a mixture of incredibility and amazement how the human race seems to be so taken in by certain groups and individuals that promote what are often in effect, extreme conspiracy agendas. Why do people do this? Is it connected with fear, the expression of anxiety, to find meaning or perhaps the human need to make the other wrong and me right?
Whatever, as witnessed with the inflammatory utterances of some world leaders, people seem to need a cause (or someone) to believe in and promote. If there were no religions to identify with, I'm sure many a cause or organization would soon fill the void.
Posted by: Ron E. | December 08, 2021 at 05:34 AM
Absolutely hilarious the blog owner doesn't recognise or identify his own egregious and overtly "religious" behaviour as one of the atheist "elect"! The lack of recognition of one's own hypocrisy and double standards is priceless and utterly sublime!
Human nature and the human propensity to thoroughly delude oneself is absolutely incredible.
Posted by: Manjit | December 08, 2021 at 08:55 AM
Manjit, we atheists differ from religious "Elect" because we speak the truth. Speaking the truth isn't egregious behavior, as you put it. It is simply being truthful.
There's no demonstrable evidence for God. Atheists simply point that out.
It's the same thing as reality-based political commentators pointing out that the 2020 election wasn't stolen from Trump, since Biden won a free and fair election.
Sometimes speaking the truth means pointing out a falsehood. That's the case with both atheism and those who call out the falsity of the Big Lie -- that the election was stolen from Trump.
Posted by: Brian Hines | December 08, 2021 at 10:51 AM
@ Brian [ Sometimes speaking the truth means pointing out a falsehood. That's the case with both atheism and those who call out the falsity of the Big Lie -- that the election was stolen from Trump. ]
We're halfway agreed! But, mystics, unlike religious zealots or
Trumpists , don't insist on blind belief or circumscribe, er, very
cultishly, the ambit of "demonstrable evidence". No hidden
oracles or horned shamans to seek for guidance. Neither bribes
nor kissing rings bestow any agency. Only a path of devotion
and mindfulness within peel away the Big Lies we tell ourselves.
Posted by: Dungeness | December 08, 2021 at 02:03 PM
Can be found tremendously within Radha Soami Cult and its self proclaimed man made Cult leader Gurinder Singh Dhillion even if its not as they say a religion LOL
Radha soami Cult is more asleep than awoke by any means take Gurinder Singh Dhillions malicious actions in his everyday day life. Truly a red flag zone
Can they truly set any example in an God set example in anyway whatsoever.
Makes one and should make one question his religious ethics as every Satsangi should.
Not blindly follow the blind man Gurinder Singh Dhillion.
Who hasn't a clue how to hold any morals values let alone fulfill them.
A Religion like this Radha Soami Cult teaches us why we should never go or listen to these carefully weaved worded so called Satsangs as they hold the valuable meaning of nothings of so called reality.
Its a cult deliberately created to deceive the masses.
No standards No morals No reality, No real substance but just good old baloney from yours truly Gurinder Singh Dhillion
Skip the religious crap, seek your truth
Posted by: Manoj | December 08, 2021 at 02:15 PM
Dungeness. I think even mystics have to be looked on with caution, Many have been found wanting. Just like many cult leaders, some mystics are not above being delusional or charlatans and as such they also act like 'bearers of truth'.
It is a regular minefield in such spiritual circles to sort the dross from the gold, and I'm sure the gold is there - but probably not in the way we imagine.
Posted by: Ron E. | December 09, 2021 at 11:36 AM
@ Ron E. [ some mystics are not above being delusional or charlatans and as such they also act like 'bearers of truth'. ]
Not definitive, but an important test IMO is a mystic who says truth
is found within and nowhere outside.
Posted by: Dungeness | December 09, 2021 at 03:27 PM
@"Not definitive, but an important test IMO is a mystic who says truth
is found within and nowhere outside."
Yep, quite right 'D'.
Posted by: Ron E. | December 10, 2021 at 01:43 AM
"To make sense of it, we must understand them -- partly out of compassion and partly in order to keep them from destroying our own lives. This can happen only if we process them not as crazed, but parishioners.
" To do this, we must examine the ways in which their new religion so closely parallels older ones. It makes what can seem like a mess of weird opinions and attitudes into something quite coherent."
This attitude is doomed for failure.
It is ourselves we need to understand, and lacking that we are doomed to see the" other" as irredeemable, irrevocably inferior, the source of all our problems, and the engineered scapegoat for all our angers.
The approach is flawed.
Posted by: Spence Tepper | December 10, 2021 at 04:25 AM
Find your freedom, find yourself , not find a guru, and find a cult and become a slave.
Grow strong in your self and your power, don't give it away to a donkey like gurinder singh dhillon, aka a self proclaimed god by a contract. The Omichron variant isn't the fastest growing as it is indeed the RSSB "garbage" variant that's infecting the sheepish minds of the world like a wild fire. The only vaccine that works is a simple google search on the truth behind GSD. Ask a simple question like how has GSD has managed to become a billionaire baba, over his watch as spiritual fake leader of RSSB given he was only a sales man in Spain. Question the suspicious circumstances to the death of his wife; how he robbed a record producer; favours with modi; ties with the badals, and manjeetia, land mafia tendencies and his womanizing... I can go on and on. RSSB is a total distraction, and Gurinder singh dhillon is a liar, and a hypocrite, and his days are numbered.
Posted by: Uchit | December 12, 2021 at 02:52 PM