THE CANCELING OF YOUR LIBERTY TO THINK FOR YOURSELF
An angry mob of foreign ideology is coming to Shiawassee County. A mob that worships at the altar of atheism, sings the hymns of equality, and evangelizes the message of wokeness. This mob demands you wave its flag, use its pronouns, and surrender your children’s education. The appetite of this unruly bunch is not satisfied with the sweet fruit of individual liberty; it hungers for more. It hungers for control. This taste for tyranny is inherited from its Marxist fathers. And like Marx, it seeks societal revolution by erasing God from the public space, dissolving the Biblical family, and replacing traditional values with critical theory. Unable to advance in a free marketplace of ideas nor the soil of common sense, this “Great Awokening” must silence speech in order to control your thoughts.
Do you believe you have the right to think for yourself?
Do you enjoy being coerced to speak things you do not believe to be true?
Do you want the freedom to run your business without the pressure of waving a flag?
If you say yes, then you are an advocate for freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. The open expression of speech and religion preserves a community’s ability to think for itself. This is why our American founders enshrined it in the Bill of Rights, for free thinking requires free expression. And this is the point of conflict: to be “woke” is to justify all means necessary to bring about the submission of thought, regardless of conscience.
Today, to be woke is to view the world through the lens of the oppressor and the oppressed. Christianity is oppression. Fatherhood is oppression. Sexual purity is oppression. Binary genders are oppression. The list grows every day because “woke” assigns value to a person based on how much they are hated. This is why any person or institution that does not bow to wokeness is called a “hater,” because to be hated is to be valued.
This warfare of identity is the modern incarnation of the conflict of the classes that Marxism utilizes to destabilize civil society. This destabilization manifests itself as the manipulation of language. If value is derived by being “hated,” then the assumption of a hated identity becomes necessary. The result is that identity is no longer determined by reality but rather by ideology. For example, a person can be black but not ideologically black enough so that their literal “blackness” does not count. Or a person can be female but not ideologically “feminist” enough not to be seen as an oppressor. This is why a person like political commentator Candace Owens, a black female, is not valued as being a part of two oppressed groups but is devalued because of her ideological identity. How about a female-owned business that employs an all-female staff being condemned by woke feminists? It doesn’t make sense, does it?
The fundamental flaw of wokeness is the abandonment of absolute truth that makes the recognition of legitimate authority possible. This is the premise of Critical Theory, also a gift from Karl Marx. The objective of Critical Theory is to destroy historical social structures with the promise of liberation. Wokeism seeks to destroy the pillars of society and thus delegitimize authority by rejecting the absolute truths that serve as the foundation of the civil order. Realize no one is truly committed to the philosophical skepticism of relativism to reject all absolutes. For instance, the law of gravity is universally believed to be absolute, and yet everyone, regardless of ideology, submits to its authority. In reality, wokeness is nothing more than rebellion against legitimate authority. To the woke, the very idea of legitimate authority is repulsive. Defund the police, burn the Constitution, surrender cities to anarchy; sound familiar?
Wokeness is by nature cannibalistic, whose natural outcome will result in the destruction of everyone in the struggle to be crowned the most hated. If you have not yet been labeled a hater, just wait; soon you will be told you are. Yet, for our community, the danger is the destruction that will take place as this progressive agenda runs its course. The promise to solve poverty, injustice, and mental health will have the opposite effect. We only have to look to other nations and other communities who have implemented this playbook and see these unfilled promises.
WE NEED A GREAT AWAKENING
In every century of our nation’s history, times of societal confusion have been met with a Great Awakening. During the 1700s, the First Great Awakening confronted the deadness of religion and resulted in the spiritual climate in which our nation was founded. During the 1800s, the Second Great Awakening plowed the unjust field of slavery and produced the fruit of emancipation. During the 1900s, the Third Great Awakening established a line of demarcation between theological liberalism that resulted from rationalism and theological conservatives that stood upon the Bible as the inspired, inerrant revelation of God.
Now this century requires a new Great Awakening to preserve for this generation the gifts of liberty entrusted to us by our predecessors. Here is the good news: it worked then, and it will work now. These previous “awakenings,” although separated by decades and confronting different societal issues, had similar ingredients.
First, each awakening recognized the authority of the Bible. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16) The Bible is a book of order. It orients the elements of humanity into a God-ordained order that creates a healthy society. The Bible declares that God is the ultimate source of authority. It also describes the delegation of God’s authority to three institutions: the government, the family, and the church. Each of these God-ordained institutions serves a societal purpose that formulates a social order. The government protects life and property, the family procreates children in a nurturing environment, and the church proclaims the Gospel, creating worshippers. You can see why God is the enemy of Marxism and Wokeism because God provides the order they seek to destroy. Therefore, atheism is not a reliance upon scientific knowledge, but rather a rebellion against Divine authority. Atheism is not an intellectual conclusion as much as it is a willful rejection of God. This makes clear why good government, strong families, and living churches are the enemies of the woke. A new awakening to the authority of the Bible will strengthen and rebuild these foundations of civil society.
Secondly, each awakening was marked by the very public exercise of religion. Crowds would gather in the public square to listen to Holy Spirit filled preachers proclaim the truths of God’s Word. This public preaching changed private lives. When a person admits themselves a sinner before God and by faith believes that Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead to pay for their sin, their life is changed. This change brings order to a life made chaotic by sin. Today, the woke would rather the exercise of religion be eliminated, but is willing to settle that it be kept inside the church building.
Yet it is the free exercise of religion in the public square that is the preserving agent of civil society. The freedom to pray publicly, distribute literature, and participate in community events are exercises of the liberties that define us as free people. I have yet to see a display of public prayer in a government meeting, classroom, or athletic event that trampled upon an individual’s right to respectfully not participate. You may not be a praying person, but you want to live in a community where people are free to pray publicly. We need more public prayer.
Finally, each awakening was marked by the distribution of Gospel literature. A free press is crucial to a democratic society. The ability to print and distribute literature is a bedrock of our nation. The liberty of private citizens utilizing personal funds to print and distribute materials is a mark of a free society. Imagine a community where you could only print and distribute what the woke mob approved. You may not agree with anything written in this newspaper. You may plan on throwing it away or using it in the litter box, but you do not want to live in a community where you cannot print your ideas and share them with others. I have yet to witness a mob of Christians using the threat of force to compel a person to take and read any piece of literature. I have yet to see churches tell business owners that they must display a cross or else their business will be run out of town. Yet it seems these are the tactics of the woke. There are a few inconveniences to living in a free society. When a sincere Christian offers you a Gospel tract, you may have to say, “no, thank you.” When a piece of literature appears on your door, you may need to discard it along with the other sales circulars. Better to deal with these small nuisances than live in a world in which you cannot speak your mind.
Our community is at a crossroads, and before we decide which direction to choose, we must remember who we are. We are a community that cherishes public prayer, as evidenced by hosting one of the nation’s oldest National Day of Prayer events for the past fifty-nine years. We are a community that gathers to worship on Sunday, evidenced by a large number of churches, many with growing congregations. We are a community that protects children by promoting decency in the public space. We are a community that rewards hard work and initiative by supporting our local businesses. We are a community that can trust the values of our past to provide us with a vision for the future.