Andrew Sullivan called it “the Great Awokening” in a shrewd New York Magazine column this week. He refers, off course, to earlier episodes of American religious hysteria, namely the Great Awakening of the 1730s that featured the Rev. Jonathan Edwards raining sulfur and brimstone down on guilt-wracked New Englanders, and then the Second Awakening of the the early 1800s that spun off innumerable Protestant sects, cults, and utopian experiments. I like the term “Wokesterism” because the “ism” part acknowledges that the current hysteria makes a religion out of politics.
Sullivan’s theory is that Wokesterism is an improvised replacement for sclerotic American Christianity, to fill the vacuum of entropic meaninglessness that pervades life in the republic these days. He says:
And so we’re mistaken if we believe that the collapse of Christianity in America has led to a decline in religion. It has merely led to religious impulses being expressed by political cults. Like almost all new cultish impulses, they see no boundary between politics and their religion.
The Fall of the Ancien…
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Wokesterism eerily mirrors many of the harsher practices of the most severe American Protestantism. It offers its own original sin, “white privilege,” from which there is neither redemption nor hope of redemption — like the old Presbyterian hell for babies who have come into this world drenched in sin. No amount of abject apology will avail for heretics to Wokesterism. The principal aims of Wokesterism are coercion of others, persecution, and punishment of the guilty (the un-Woke). Most importantly, it requires the suspension of individual conscience in order to…