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When truth comes, it unmasks its recipients. Simeon prophesied that Christ the Truth would reveal the thoughts of many hearts (Luke 2:35). The Word of God mentioned in Hebrews 4:12, whether one believes that this is Christ or Scripture (biblical scholars disagree), discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Present discourse in the public square seems to indicate that many of the participants involved, especially the woke mob and its sympathizers, didn't get the memo from Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
With such blatant disregard for the facts, masks are being shed like a buck's antlers in winter. The words of the prophet echo in the piazza: "truth has fallen in the public squares" (Isaiah 59:14).
History is replaced with ideology at the New York Times' 1619 Project in promoting the thesis, among other things, that maintaining the institution of slavery was the primary reason for the founding of our country. Not a shred of compelling evidence was offered for this theory and the Project, as a whole, has been discredited by some of our most eminent historians (e.g., James McPherson, Gordon Wood, James Oakes, Richard Carwardine, Allen Guelzo).
Facts don't matter for Black Lives Matter and the far Left, who promote the falsehood that unarmed blacks are being shot down by police with impunity in great numbers in the streets and homes of America. However, as Heather Mac Donald wrote in USA Today, "As of the June 22 update, the Washington Post's database of fatal police shootings showed 14 unarmed black victims and 25 unarmed white victims in 2019. The database does not include those killed by other means, like George Floyd."
The truth has fallen in the streets as social justice warriors peddle the narrative that people of color must avoid a daily minefield of racism and have little chance of achieving a middle-class lifestyle. However, the left-leaning Brookings Institution found that by doing three things, you can escape poverty: (1) graduate from high school; (2) wait to get married until after 21 and don't have children until after you get married; (3) get a full-time job.
Facts don't matter as gender equity activists are all awash in talk of sexism and glass ceilings. However, in 2010, Time, no purveyor of political conservatism, reported that "according to a new analysis of 2,000 communities by a market research company, in 147 out of 150 of the biggest cities in the United States, the median full-time salaries of young women are 8% higher than those of the guys in their peer group. In two cities, Atlanta and Memphis, those women are making about 20% more."
When the masks come off the woke mob and its sympathizers, I see the children of Eve. Before the fall, the truth was that God said that Adam and Eve could eat of any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
With the serpent tempting her from outside, Eve doubted this truth and exchanged the truth for her truth, and, in turn, because truth and morality are inextricably linked, she exchanged God's objective morality for her subjective morality. Eating of the forbidden fruit became justified because, according to her truth, it was good for food, pleasing to the eye and would make her wise like a god.
Truth is not a woke value, and social justice warriors easily exchange objective facts for their own subjective, emotion-based "truth." With "truth" like "America's police are incurably racist to the core," it then becomes a righteous act to burn down your local police station.
Such a view of truth is aided and abetted by popular culture. We hear Oprah talk about "following your truth" at the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Don Lemon talking about "my truth as a black man," and are constantly bombarded with the first commandment of narcissism: "Follow your heart."
When the masks come off the woke crowd, I see the face of Cain. Cain killed Abel because God honored Abel's offering but didn't honor Cain’s. Put in today's context, Cain canceled Abel.
God essentially told Cain that he could do well by charting a new direction through his own personal agency. Today that might sound like "graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until you're 21 to get married, and wait until you're married to have kids."
Life is, of course, a bit more complex than this, but the woke crowd has taken the objective truth with all its nuances and exchanged it for their "truth" that is false, simplistic, and emotion-based: all inequality is inequity. Such a toxic narrative is often combined with envy and self-hatred and fuels a Cain-like anger that is ready to burn America and its institutions to the ground in order to begin anew in pursuit of some chimerical utopia.
When the masks fall to the ground from the faces of the woke hard-Left, I see the children of Friedrich Nietzsche. He asserted that the West must reject the Christian metanarrative and fill the vacuum created by such nihilism with the Übermensch ("Superman") who will be the creator of new values.
Concerning the subjective nature of these values, Wikipedia is on-target in saying that "there are no grounds upon which to criticize or justify any action, including the particular values created and the means by which they are promulgated." The parallels to the woke mob are obvious.
In becoming their own god, they are the arbiters of truth and morality, and, out of this context, all actions can be justified. When you assume divine attributes, all actions become divinely inspired.
However, when you have many leaders within a major movement assuming the prerogatives of deity, the ones with the greater power end up canceling the others. The woke eat their own (e.g, Caroline Lucas, Britain's Green Party MP) and that's one reason why their movement is doomed. Robespierre goes from hero to the guillotine and the movement he helped start ends up on the slag-heap of history.
Jonathan Coe writes from the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Bethel University and Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. Before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, he served in pastoral ministry in rural Alaska and campus ministry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He is the author of Letters from Fawn Creek, a volume of spiritual direction. He has written for 1 Peter 5 and Imaginative Conservative and has been a frequent contributor to Crisis and Catholic Exchange.
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