Everybody has a religion. It all depends on what it is and how broadly you define it. It begs the question, does the modern-day woke DEI (diversity, equity & inclusion) agenda in America pass the test for what constitutes a religion? Let’s take a look.
Religion is a fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a group of people. These set of beliefs concern the cause, nature, and purpose of human existence and behavior, and involve devotional and ritual observances. They also often contain a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. In America, this is true of the woke DEI agenda, and more broadly, identity politics.
America was founded with the understanding that the purpose of government is to secure the unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Civil rights, in turn, are derived from and serve to protect the natural rights of all American citizens.
Identity politics holds that America is fundamentally and irredeemably racist. This ideology, which has become dominant in American life in government, education, and corporate America, requires discrimination in order to elevate and privilege the identities of the oppressed. Two key features of this “religion” are:
- It focuses on identity groups like race and sex.
- It privileges and elevates the identities of the oppressed.
The identity politics worldview believes in the moral superiority of the oppressed and everything else flows from there. It is a religion premised on the following:
- The greater the victimization, the stronger the moral case.
- Evil exists in the world because of straight, white men.
The tenets of this religion are:
- The original sin in America is slavery. It takes and modifies the Judeo-Christian teaching of original sin, and it no longer applies to everyone. Evil only exists in the oppressor group.
- It offers no hope of salvation or redemption from sin. White males, the oppressors, need to atone for the sins of their ancestors in perpetuity.
Therefore, the modern-day woke DEI agenda is a religion, and it should be treated as such. It has already resulted in rampant breaches of existing civil rights laws in America. The protections against religious discrimination do not only mean that you can’t discriminate against someone on account of their religion but also mean that you can’t force them to bow down to your religion. However, this is occurring across America in government, education, and corporate America.
It seems like this matter will eventually be in front of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). If they simply apply the current civil rights laws to test this religion, then the restoration of civil rights to protect the natural rights of all American citizens can begin, along with the depoliticization of Americans’ everyday lives.
Identity politics is divisive. It should be rejected not because it demands justice for those who have been unjustly treated, but because it poses a threat to republican self-government by corroding patriotic ties and demanding special treatment rather than equality under the law.
There is discrimination in America, and we have to deal with the legacy of past discrimination. However, the current approach is not reasonable because it pits Americans against each other.