Here’s a thing I would very much like to understand: how the word “woke” can be used as an insult by Christians.
Look up “awake scriptures” on your search engine and see what comes up. Awake is a GOOD THING for a Christian. It is literally all over the New Testament.
Honestly, I don’t really understand what “woke” even means to the people who use it as a pejorative. It seems to be just the latest demeaning, un-Christlike insult for people who lean left. (Feminazi, libs, libt—(will not finish that one, you get the idea).
Last week, I decided if I am looking for podcasts, I should try to find some that are specifically Catholic. So I did a basic search, and I happened across an episode that featured a woman talking about being “awake, not woke.” I had a pretty visceral knee-jerk reaction against this, but I thought, perhaps this is precisely the thing I need to listen to. Maybe this idea of “awake, not woke” is the middle ground I am looking for.
It wasn’t. Middle ground, I mean. No, it was a laundry list of why everything about “woke” culture was evil. I believe that word was even used.
The history this woman claimed was presented as a settled fact with not one detail of evidence that would help me even know how to begin fact checking it. So I’ll leave that aside.
But among the other arguments presented against “wokeism” were a plethora that were listed with no self-awareness. In other words, every single one of them applies to the MAGA crowd just as much as it applies to the “woke” crowd. For instance:
Wokeism functions like a cult, wherein people stop thinking critically. (Also true of MAGA? Yup.)
It’s all about power. (Also true of MAGA? Yup.)
People cut others out of their lives because they disagree. (Also true of MAGA? Yup.)
It leads naturally to violence, i.e. the BLM riots. (Ummmm…. January 6, anyone?????)
It is about indoctrination. (And laws that suppress historical realities because it might make whites “feel bad,” allowing only a narrative of American greatness narrative? That’s not indoctrination?)
Using “privilege” as a pejorative. (Like using “liberal” or “woke” as pejoratives?)
Targeting Christians with violence. (Like… I don’t know, the increase in hate crimes?)
It has control of media, which misleads people via bias. (Ummmmm…. in the last week we learned that Fox News knew they were telling lies about the election and about Dominion, and kept doing it because they thought otherwise their audience would jump ship for more extreme far-right sources… How does this not count toward calculations of media bias?)
I am laying all this out because I am honestly baffled. I look at everything in the world through the lens of my Christian faith. Through the teachings of Jesus. And for sure, some things in our culture are really far out there. (Although a lot of it has to do with greed and the idolatry of money, and nobody in Christian World ever seems to see that as a problem…)
I would have much more sympathy for someone who wanted to call out the problems in the far left if they would acknowledge that THE SAME PROBLEMS EXIST ON THE FAR RIGHT. At least as much.
But instead, there’s a double standard. All these things are problems when it’s on the left, but when it’s on the right, it… makes us a Christian nation? I don’t get it. Why is “wokeism” bad, and MAGAism isn’t?
There’s an old truism about how eventually, when you go far enough left and far enough right, you end up in the same place. Hence, you have Hitler on the right and Stalin on the left. But they’re both brutal dictators. Eventually, the extremes wrap around and hold hands.
I know this sounds like my usual rant, but I am genuinely baffled. I really want someone to explain this. Because from my point of view as a Catholic, we cannot demonize one variety of extremism while wholeheartedly embracing another. That’s not Christ at all. Jesus had plenty to say about people who held one standard for themselves while condemning others.