I was born into a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses and as a conscientious young man I spent a lot of time analyzing religious teachings and trying to understand the world around me. I was taught that if I saw some problem with my religion that it wasn’t a problem with the religion but rather a problem with me or the imperfect men who ran the religion. When I saw problems in the religion, I often assumed that my perspective on various issues was what the religion truly believed and the things that didn’t make sense were simply the fault of imperfect men.
As I grew up, I would continue to encounter teachings that did not make sense or that seemed to lack consistency. For example, my Religion would publicly condemn Pokémon at our meetings. They said the -mon in Pokémon stood for demon. They said they were demonic because they controlled forces of nature. My mother who had bought me Pokémon for the Gameboy threw my game cartridge away when the religion condemned it. Pokémon was forbidden, but what was confusing was that other things that contained the same elements might be OK. For example, X-men controlled the forces of nature but seemed to be fine with members of the congregation.
Another movie they condemned was James Cameron’s The Avatar. The reasons given at a large public meeting included their blue skin and large “demonic” eyes. They also said that the word “avatar” was pagan because it was used in Indian religion. I would ask myself, why is blue skin or large eyes demonic? Did not God also create animals with blue coloration or large eyes? Additionally, the word avatar is being used but the movie doesn’t seem to have much to do with Indian religion. Were they suggesting if a word is used in a certain religion, then all things that also use the same words are forbidden?
After leaving the religion I would revisit these ideas and make an observation. The religion would make inconsistent claims of certain things being demonic, but the reason wasn’t those particular things but rather that those things were popular. They would demonize things that were super popular so that members would be isolated from popular culture. Looking back every major cultural phenomenon that took place was demonized by them.
Now after leaving my religion, I have encountered a new kind of pseudo-religion that we refer to as wokeness. I knew absolutely nothing about politics, wokeness, or the “culture war” when I left my religion, but I started to encounter odd phenomenon. For example, I have a black dog and was told that it was racist to own a black dog, but I also saw a news article stating that white people are so racist that they refuse to adopt black dogs. How could both of these be true?
I would go on to see so many equally bizarre claims. Do you like Spanish music? That’s cultural appropriation. Do you not like Spanish music? Then you’re a xenophobic bigot. I’ve even seen articles saying that “white people” learning Spanish is racist! How strange! As time passed, I would encounter more and more examples of this intellectual and moral lack of integrity.
Then it occurred to me: Just like how the actions of my religion initially didn’t make sense at face value but later could be understood in a broader context, so too can we understand wokeness. Woke claims by themselves do not make any sense, but when you understand that these claims are made to demonize white people, men, Americans, or western culture then they make a lot of sense. Intellectual integrity means nothing to the woke crowd. The only constant feature of wokeness is the demonization of these things.