Just started reading Carl Trueman’s new book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, and while this may be a point that he will develop later, I cannot help but stop and note a few helpful dots that connected in my mind in just the first part of the book. And let me just add that I may be connecting dots that he does or does not intend to connect, but here I go with my stubby pencil.
A New Religion
First, let me state my conclusion and then try to piece together the premises. My thesis/conclusion is that this convulsive LGBT dry heaves (and the attendant cancel culture) – as has been pointed out by a growing number of people with modicums of sanity left – has almost entirely replaced and assumed the position of what many past generations would have reckoned a “religion.” I don’t mean this as derogatory (at least not yet), just descriptive. If you described in broad strokes the shared values and beliefs, the cultural/political involvement, the moral claims, even the symbols and rituals and uniforms of this attempted traditional values exorcism, e.g. banning Dr. Suess, etc. – many of our ancestors would assume you’re talking about some new religion.
I suspect that this is why many Americans have been willing to allow so much of this secular-sexual-identity “evangelism,” especially during Holy Super Bowl Sunday. We have been catechized in religious toleration for so long, such that many instinctively give room to new religions. And to the extent that religious toleration and freedom is the fruit of deeply Christian instincts, we may have a horrifically naïve yet still “Christian” for all that, sentiment that is tolerating the current cultural jihad. And while it is true that the tolerance gestapo has increasingly cancelled every semblance of the traditional Christian sexual and moral ethic, there may be a morbid sort of curiosity watching the clown riot marching down the street.
Part of what confuses and frustrates many thinking, biblically literate Christians is the seemingly obvious inconsistencies in the secular religion. You can hump anything you want, except not kids. That’d be evil. But drag queens can groom kids in public libraries. If you’re against that, you’re a modern day Puritan witch-burner. Also, people can decide to change their sex or gender or sexual orientation (so brave!), but people cannot change the color of their skin or even pretend to (that’s so disgusting, you culturally appropriating bigot!). And of course, Amazon can cancel people they don’t agree with, but if a baker doesn’t want to make a wedding cake for two dudes, there’s going to be trouble. You can loot and riot and burn down a police station in the name of racial justice, but if a protest gets kind of obnoxious at the Capitol, you’re a domestic terrorist. And the list goes on. If you want to rap about niggas and bitches and hoes, that’s artistic and might win you some prestigious award. But if you use any of those words in any other context, you’ll get #metoo’d to kingdom come, lose your job, and you and all your relatives will be sent to a reeducation camp.
The temptation is to see this secular religion as a bad, dollar store knockoff religion, like a drunken clown with a half his costume on, trying to ride his unicycle. And well, it is kind of like that. It’s like several barrels of monkeys found a room full of crack and went on a snorting spree, and they all got elected to office and hired as media execs.
But here’s where my thesis/conclusion comes back into play. This secular-sexual religion requires devotion. And the devotion it requires is a sort of a perverted presuppositionalism. And I say this as a fully convinced Christian presuppositionalist. But I think this helps to explain why certain people get a pass. I mean, Gov. Blackface Northam is still the governor of Virginia, right? And Jimmy Blackface Kimmell is still doing late night television, right? And Justin Blackface Trudeau? Still running Canada into the ground? Thought so. But I thought that…
But that’s where you’re wrong, and thinking is what’s getting you all tangled up. The deal is that this is a cheap knock off religion, but it still requires devotion, sacrifice, and well, faith, which definitely gives it a thick veneer of religiosity. The Woke Religion is still heavily evangelical. You have to believe in the cause. You need to embrace the faith. You need to trust the sacred data. There are of course several altars where you can put your incense. The altar of “abortion rights” is a popular one. It’s bloody and violent. But you can also put a pinch on the altar of LGBT rights. This is where intersectionality comes in, a sort of guide for the perplexed to identify any random priestly genes in your privileged white hiney. Or you could just come out as gay or bisexual or transgender – that’s practically an ordination ceremony. These are the presuppositions. You have to assume, presuppose, actually believe that human freedom is found in orgasms without limitation and victimhood – but not just any victims – victims of Western Christian Culture. And to be more precise, victims of Christ and His Kingdom. If you claim that sacred status, if you have skin in that game, then, from within that faith, from within that religious presupposition, you are “justified” no matter your past black face or fundamentalist sins.
I’m not saying it’s not full of inconsistencies. I’m not saying it’s actually rational. No, it’s neither. But it is a sort of religion. It is a bizarre funhouse mirrored reflection of evangelicalism. Which makes it an indictment of the shallowness of our frat party faith. And it is getting pretty bad. James Coates is still in jail for (checks notes) preaching in his own church. But the religious nature of our opposition also exposes its vulnerability and ultimate impotence. I don’t fear evangelicalism. I don’t fear the youth pastors on unicycles. I do not fear their fog machines and lisping worship leaders. So why would I fear this spray on knock off? In many places it’s the same people. It’s the youth pastors and the feminist preachers that got woke, maybe came out as bisexual, or maybe even denied the faith altogether. Sure, they’ve “upgraded” to a thicker gauge for the holes in their ears. There’s definitely more blood in the abortions they are supporting and voting for now than when they got that sick Hebrew tattoo in college. But it’s all still a bunch of sad posers, fakers, and hypocrites. You can tell because it’s all the same people scurrying around with masks on their faces. This LGBT jihad is more like a lame sorority rush led by some girl who never got picked for the softball team in middle school. So be encouraged, the dry heaves come at the very end.
But Christ is risen from the dead, and His blood cannot be put back in His veins. It was shed for the forgiveness of sins. This world was purchased with His blood. Abortion and sodomy and genital mutilation and cancel culture can seem to be more potent compared to our Jesus-is-my-boyfriend cartoon churches, but none of those things can take away the sins of the world. Sure, they do more harm in the short term, but they are just as empty, just as flimsy, and they cannot stand before the blood of the Lamb.