Over at The Catholic Weekly, I take a look at one of the most popular Panic Du Jours with the Right Wing Lie Machine in light of the actual gospel:
Americans who self-identify as “Faithful Conservative Catholics” have united around the dogma that “Wokeness” (meaning a renewed conviction that racism is evil and must be resisted) is contemptible and laughable—and I can’t understand why.
Scripture, after all, is chockablock with calls to awaken. The Psalms cry, “Awake, my soul!” Joel calls his spiritually inert people to repentance, saying “Awake, you drunkard, and weep!” Peter and company battled sleep to witness the Transfiguration. Jesus scolded those same companions in Gethsemane for failing to remain awake for one hour as he entered into the great struggle that would win our salvation. Jesus spoke of raising Lazarus from sleep. And Paul, quoting an early hymn which linked repentance and baptism with waking from sleep, cries, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,/and Christ shall give you light.”
“Yeah,” says the critic of Wokeness. “We get that Scripture uses the image of awakening. But it’s referring to a spiritual awakening to Jesus, not to racism.”
Are you sure about that? Racism is sin and we are to repent it.
Wokeness simply means being conscious. So, of course, they are against it.
Woke is first of all a term that black folks use to describe the transition from being asleep – not knowing your history, your identity and goodness, believing what those who want to keep you down say about you to your face, to their children, to society through the media – to being awake by learning the truth about your history, your identity, your goodness. When that happens someone becomes woke. The gospel is the best way to become woke because Jesus dying on the cross for you tells you your true worth in his eyes and he cannot lie. But being woke should also lead us to seeking healing and that is the hardest part, because as we do so a great portion of society continues to believe the lie about us and that only continues to pour salt into wounds that have been festering for centuries.
To say “I am part of the problem” or agree that “silence is violence” would trigger a spiritual avalanche.
It’s like that book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”
The domino effect would upend everything.
I agree with Mark on the substantive political issue here, but would counsel against employing the “You can see that XYZ is good, or at least harmless, because the words in its name only and/or originally meant something innocuous or laudable” move, as can immediately be seen when XYZ = say, “Final Solution” (who wouldn’t want a “final solution” to the problem of smallpox or polio?), or “Anti-Fascist Protection Barrier” (what, you actually WANT fascists streaming into our Democratic People’s Republic?) or, pertinently for a Catholic blogger, “the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church)”, the “Church Universal and Triumphant”, or “the Worldwide Church of God”.