Preaching in a context of rising hostility to Christianity.
In his homily this week, Fr. Steve talks about the importance of spreading the Gospel in word and deed in light of this week's readings. As he talked about the challenges of living and proclaiming our beliefs in this current cultural and ideological context, he referenced "wokeness" and "identity politics." Like other commentators, Fr. Steve claimed that this kind of "social justice" activism has the character of a "civil religion," one that is clearly gaining adherents in our day.
In his bulletin article on October 13th, Fr. Steve wrote the following:
Before I continue, I want to say clearly that the Church is clear about the realities of imbalance of power in society, and she offers remedies based in the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church and our common human dignity.
“Wokeness,” on the other hand, is the belief that there are fundamentally unjust power structures in society, and that society must change the power relations for justice to be attained. Wokeness, identity politics, and social justice activism depend upon uncovering “systematically unjust structures of power” that keep some groups down and others in power. This new “religion” has roots in Critical Theory (which draws on Marxist materialist philosophy), and is increasingly evident in universities, business, public schools, and the broader culture. It is fast (in fact, very fast) becoming the “religion” of the elites.
Daily we see and hear from “ministers/preachers” of this new religion who articulate politically correct and incorrect beliefs. As one example of a “heresy” of this new “religion,” consider how quickly a previously “obvious” belief, namely, that marriage should be restricted to one man and one woman, has today become “hateful” or “bigoted.” In other words, the old belief is now “heretical” among cultural/political elites today.
The ideological press of “wokeness” is steadily growing in business, in the university, and our public schools. For those who want more background on this important array of issues, I have inserted links on our website in the commentary on the homily from last weekend. I would also be happy to speak with you about it. Let us please pray for wisdom as we address real concerns with the insights we have from our Lord and our Church.
Here is a link to an article about "Social Justice: Our New Civil Religion" with focus on LGBTQ Pride.
Here's a link to an article about Anti-Racism as a New Civil Religion.
Here is a link to a very comprehensive treatment of this new "Civil Religion"
Here is a link to an article by Rod Dreher describing the climate in academia, business, and government that arises from the press for "social justice" and "LGBT rights," and its potential effects on the First Amendment.