Thursday, June 11, 2020

Our New Civic Religion

So, we have a new civic religion in the United States. It is Black Lives Matter, whose structure and methodology are essentially religious. Consider:

The confession of white privilege that whites were born with and is always present and must always be fought against is Original Sin.

The corresponding soul-searching with resolution to think and act differently is a  form of repentance and Metanoia.

"Taking a knee" is a sacramental symbol, a sign that signifies the believer's translation from the state of denial to a state of Wokeness. It is a rite of Baptism.

The movement has its own prophets, priests, apologists, hierarchy, and missionaries. The various state branches of the movement are its dioceses.

The BLM symbol of the raised fist is the new cross: a symbol of resurrection and victory.

Those who died at unjustly at the hands of police are the new Martyrs, whose cultus the movement venerates.

BLM marches are processions; the images of the martyrs carried in these processions are icons.

It has created it's own calendar with observances such as Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples' Day that are meant to call to mind important themes from salvation history.

It has its own rigid orthodoxy that is to be accepted on Faith; the BLM narrative is the only acceptable narrative, and to question it is an act of heresy, for questioning BLM is not only an act of intellectual disagreement but a manifestation of bad faith. Heretics must be degraded for their bad faith and acts of heresy must be expiated by evidence of contrition, public acts of penance, and professions of orthodoxy.

The virtue of charity, which "in the bond of perfection" that holds all things together (Col. 3:14) is replaced with grievance, which is the one universal "virtue" that binds the entire movement.

The tenets of this BLM orthodoxy are defined by the policy objectives of the movement (e.g., "Defund the Police", "Vote by Mail" etc.), denying any of which is an act of heresy. "Racist" is synonymous with "heretic."

Contrarian statements are deemed "problematic." Problematic means blasphemous.

The progressive Twitterati who scroll through social media history of others looking for such "problematic" statements to expose are the Inquisition of the new religion.

Monuments of the old order must be torn down and expurgated from public consciousness like the temples of pagandom.

The future moment when America "comes to terms" with its racial past is a kind of Day of Reckoning, a Last Judgement where all historical-social injustices are rectified. Nobody knows when or how this will occur; it exists solely in the realm of the eschatological.

I am making no judgment on any of these things other than to note that the BLM movement, in its contemporary incarnation, has all the essential elements of a civic religion. It is the country's new faith here in CURRENT YEAR.


Anonymous said...

Its the Church of Man, or people to be pc, since the Priest faced the laity, one can see, that the people must be entertained, upsurping the worship due to God.

Kurt said...

Still sounds better than the heresy of racism.

Boniface said...

@Kurt, if you think the argument being made is "BLM or racism" you've missed it. The argument of the article is that BLM has all of the characteristics of a civic religion. It makes no judgment on that civic religion's value relative to any other belief system.

Kurt said...

A civic religion opposed to racism certainly seems better than the civic religion we would have otherwise.

Jim said...

Instead of commenting on racism, you comment on BLM as a civic religion.

Boniface said...

@Jim. Yep! Indeed. Am I bad citizen for not devoting all energy to THIS YEAR'S CONTROVERSIAL SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUE here in CURRENT YEAR?

Ibelin said...

Liberalism ie: the church of the perpetually offended

Marissa said...

Kurt's blog is "Catholics for Biden", that should tell you everything.

Konstantin said...

You have already be doubly excommunicated by Kurt and Jim for deviating from accepted teaching. You seem to downplay the existence of the devil, i.e. racism.

Jim said...

I'd say it shows a light on you as a person. Also considering that it's been a topic for Christians since Acts 15 I find it telling that you ignore the bigger picture

Anonymous said...

From football's bended knee to the new civic faith. Next, muslim 'brethren' demanding this. Not possible?

Anonymous said...

racism is real, i've been on the end of it.
racial inequality isn't necessarily racist though, nor is every single time a white cop kills a black man a racially-motivated act.

in fact, Catholics should know, due to being multicultural (and all about inculturation, specially liberals) that each ethnoculture needs its space.
there will be no Jew nor Greek in the Kingdom of Heaven, but meanwhile the Lord did send the Apostles to preach to all the nations of the earth - not to a unified mixed Babelian earth.

He willed diversity of languages and races in the Tower of Babel episode btw, so we didn't become proud and in love with ourselves as if we were gods. we do have the holy language of Latin to unite us, as well as the apostolic languages of Greek and Hebrew/Aramaic, but other than that the Church never forbade the vernacular outside the liturgy, allowing peoples/races/ethnies their own languages and traditions for praying to God.

therefore we must keep such diversity, and not put one race over other in power struggles, even if it's in the name of progress, advancement, or vengeance (getting revenge being not Christian, iirc); while recognizing differences and allowing for enough distance as necessary for harmony.

not to mention, the anti-order forces are going to come for the missionaries's statues soon... and then, what else...

DJ said...

hello Boniface,

can I use some parts of this article for catholic website I am contributing in my homeland? I will add link to original

Boniface said...

@DJ, of course