If you read my column last month, titled “Fundamentalist Christianity And Fundamentalist Wokeism Are Two Sides Of The Same Coin,” and took a gander at the comments, you might know that I managed to touch a nerve with more than a few folks I’m guessing might possibly be of the fundamentalist Christian persuasion, or somewhere thereabouts. I think feedback is important and I always appreciate it when people make comments on my columns, good or bad. Though there’s not always time to read them all, I do try to make extra effort when something is more controversial than normal. This one? To say it was “more controversial than normal” is a gross understatement, apparently. I mean wow, those comments - most of which were negative - were like a train wreck that’s impossible to look away from. Just bruuutal!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got alligator skin. It’s not that I have a problem with people disagreeing with me and even passionately hating every word I write. As is doubtless the case with most conservative writers here at Townhall and elsewhere, liberal tears fuel me. However, looking at comments helps me make sure I’m doing two fundamental things with what I put out there. First, if I’ve written something inaccurate or interpreted something incorrectly, I want to know about it as soon as possible and get it fixed. Nobody’s perfect, especially me! Second, I want to know that people are, by and large, interpreting my words in the way I’m trying to make them come across. Anyone who has written regularly for any sort of publication will agree that words aren’t quite as easy to come by as they may seem to the average reader, and I’m certainly not immune to communicating badly.
On the communication front, sadly, I seem to have dropped the ball on this one. I’m not big on apologies in general for obvious reasons, but I will say this: If you read that column and felt like I was personally attacking Christians of any theological persuasion, I’m truly sorry. I consider myself a Christian, and many if not most of the dearest people in my life are Christians, some even still self-identified fundamentalist ones (though some commenters are right when they say the brand I grew up in is almost nonexistent now in America). I meant for the focus to be on legalism itself, from both sides, not Christians who feel convicted to voluntarily subject themselves to aspects of it. I do, however, stand by my general point, which is that I believe it’s ultimately counterproductive for any ideology to insist that people abide by absurd, legalistic dictates.
As several commenters pointed out, one key difference between fundamentalist legalistic Christians and fundamentalist legalistic wokes is the fact that the wokes insist that EVERYONE obey their stupid rules and will seek to somehow punish those who do not. While some Christians certainly make moral judgments on people who don’t choose to believe or live as they do, they generally aren’t out there trying to force their conscience on others by imposing ‘punishments’ like job loss and social ostracization. In that sense as in many others, wokism, while it pretends to be based on goodness and decency, is evil to the core. I thought I had made this clear, but I could have done a better job.
There’s also another key difference. Other than the what I and probably most people would consider dumb rules some sects of Christianity have (these will differ depending on which you’re dealing with, obviously), the overarching teachings of the Christian faith, if practiced, will make anyone a better person. This is classic love vs hate, good vs evil type stuff, and regardless of your faith or theology within that faith, it’s hard to argue against the fact that generally avoiding debauchery will mean a higher overall quality of life. The Ten Commandments and the teachings of Christ are universal principles that made the Western world the beacon of civilization it became, but I still maintain that the sort of man-made rules I mocked last week have zero bearing on whether someone is right with God or even a ‘good’ Christian.
On the other hand, while wokism pretends to have pure goals at its core, like an unrealizable utopia and never EVER offending ANYBODY who isn’t a white male heterosexual Christian, or something, not only are these goals patently UNpure, they are DIRECTLY tied to the twisted system of rules they’ve developed and continue to evolve and which MUST be followed or else their twisted ideology falls apart in light of the day-to-day realities of real people living real lives. That’s why the left is so hellbent on making EVERYONE follow their absurd dictates. If the world just stopped paying attention to them - Atlas Shrugged-style - life for everyone wouldn’t just go on, it would get better. And they can’t have that.
Indeed, rules that are burdensome and seemingly arbitrary, even when imposed in service of a higher purpose, can work against that stated purpose. The fundamentalist Christians of old, the ones I remember who railed against devil music and dance floors and didn’t go to Hollywood movies, have been in the process of dying out for decades expressly BECAUSE of those rules. I predict that wokism will die out too, eventually, as more and more people wise up to the fact that their rules exist not to make us better, but to control us and, most of all, to control our thoughts. The only question is how long their reign will last.