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The parties cast lots for issues, not principles, and the Democrats have the most issues on offer (partly out of a lack for any cohering principles). Are you indigenous? You’re on our team. Obese? Get over here, that’s a genetic defect and soon to become labeled a disease (Now take your Ozempiq.). Non-binary? Okay, put aside those suicidal thoughts and see if you can better a woman in basketball by calling yourself one. Feeling oppressed as a Black? Well, pay no attention to the nearly half of European Jews slaughtered by Nazis yet still kick everyone’s butt. One issue not working for you? Well you are clearly intersectional (which is just individualism with a Marxist playbook of power and oppression).

Thomas Sowell calls this the unconstrained vision: none of my flaws are really mine to own and master, and I am willing to cede my agency to the state, something of which Churchill was rightly very suspicious. Orwell would think of this as justice by way of envy.

If one individual can be cast “on the wrong side of history” as the Left’s moralists tell us, what gives us the confidence that all on the Left are any wiser and should effectively run history?

For those who read with care the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, what they find is a very sophisticated working out of human consciousness and free will. Whether you are a 21st Century Atheist or not, America’s ideals are Judeo-Christian and you are, in fact, a small “c” Christian. Find another place where human dignity and sanctity of life is on display (starting with the more than 100 million dead across Nazism and Communism in the last century).

America needs a new Conservative Party that allows the Change Party small windows to try new ideas., because a wholesale rejection of our foundational principles will leave us all in misery. We may have killed God, but God is never dead. And neither is ultimate justice. It just may lie outside our lives’ short time.

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Hello friends,

Bringing up Aristotle is not a new phenomenon. Aristotle's impact is brought up in early Church writings such as St. Irenaeus on Aristotelian heresy (I'm sure modern scientists would agree that the Philosopher harboured some poorly researched assertions) and St. Augustine of Hippo was heavily influenced by the Categories. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote more than any one person can study in a lifetime, but the Aristotelian influence is clear from the bits I have read. The categorization of "Religious Right" is underdefined and could improve with a refresh. We Christians aren't perfect but can handle criticism of our beliefs, but you aren't demonstrating that it's religiosity qua religiosity that is stoking "wokeism".

Catholics have not "reinterpreted" anything to fit evolution. Mendel was a Catholic monk. Mendeleev designed the Periodic Table with spaces left for yet undiscovered elements because of the Book of Wisdom, a text placed as Apocrypha by some Protestants but accepted by Catholics/Orthodox, which states that God "ordered all things by measure, number and weight" -- Mendeleev correctly assumed that God ordered the elements by measure, number and weight too. Catholics invented universities and even seismology because of our belief that God's universe is ordered and therefore measurable for study.

As well, the term "Judeo-Christianity" -- which is not a term I hear Christians use in any meaningful sense -- is not the same as the Abrahamic religions, which includes our friends of the Muslim faith.

Thank you, love you all, being a good person is tough for everyone.

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This is a good essay but it has missed one key fact about the "religiously unaffiliated," that they are NOT atheists. The decline of mainstream churches does not mean those people stop believing in divine or invisible things. On the contrary, American religion has continually swung back and forth between intuitional and institutional. The unaffiliated are still believers, but their belief systems are being reconstructed out of whatever resonates with them: Mindfulness (secularized Zen) here, sage and Native American ideas over there, etc. This is a "remixing" of religion, NOT a movement towards atheism. In that environment, it makes perfect sense that wokeness has been integrated into the belief systems of the unaffiliated. In fact, if you take the demographic description of the unaffiliated and hold it side by side with the demographic description of the woke, you will see they are the same description.

Should I write a guest essay, Colin?

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May 22Liked by Joseph (Jake) Klein

In addition to linking atheism with wokeness, the Right confuses atheism with A-moralism. Not believing in God or practicing a faith does not preclude someone from knowing right from wrong and behaving accordingly just as believing in God and practicing faith doesn't mean you are a 'good person.' ie priests have done heinous things. I've had to explain this to religious people more times than I can count. Many atheists see hypocrisy in many kinds of doctrine as each relates to practice, not just religious. In simple terms for myself, I am not a 'group think' person. I am free to accept or reject ideas based on their own merits, and I am free to incorporate them into my own world view.

This doesn't always mean I am more or less right than anyone else, but I am free to decide how to live my life and accept responsibility for my mistakes when made.

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May 22Liked by Joseph (Jake) Klein

Some random thoughts:

1. Wokeism has many characteristics of religion without any of the redeeming features. Those who claim wokeism is a substitute religion seem to make a plausible if not compelling argument. A lot could be said about this.

2. Religiously unaffiliated does not equal atheism, as others here have pointed out. There are a lot of shades of gray in that group, and likely more agnostics than atheists. I’m hesitant to say this, but I’ve met many atheists who are as dogmatic as the most fundamentalist religious people.

3. Someone once made the statement that if God doesn’t exist, humanity would need to create him/her/whatever. I can’t count the number of people who have told me they feel “a God or religion shaped hole” inside that they can’t seem to fill. Some of these same people also report trying to fill that hole with unhealthy or addictive behavior.

4. There is a ton of scientific evidence that people who a) believe in a religious faith, and b) are active in a religious community flourish on a wide variety of measures of happiness and well-being compared to the religiously unaffiliated.

5. It would be nice if there were more options for religious affiliation than what currently exists. The texts of multi-thousand year old faiths have a lot of beliefs that are incredibly hard to reckon with reason. Many of the newer religions, however, are captive to woke zealots, e.g Unitarianism.

6. Maybe religion serves as a benign delusion at worst, that fulfills an essential human need. A moderate and gentle embrace of religion that somehow embraces and reconciles faith and reason is appealing to a lot more people in the face of our current turmoil.

7. This is all very complicated and if someone figures it out they deserve a dozen Nobel prizes. But it sure seems like the time has come in our culture where we need to get this figured out or we will keep descending into madness. We seem to have reached an inflection point of alienation and insanity.

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As your article correctly outlines, and as we've discovered the hard way, religion is not optional. People are inherently religious and they will worship something. If you deny them God, they will make gods of their own--in our case, these gods are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

If you are determined to identify as an atheist and deny God, then you still need to assert that there is a natural law as defined by the reality around us and a natural moral order that derives from that natural law. Say that you don't know where it came from if you don't want to believe in God. But you still need to forward this idea with a religious mindset. Otherwise your beliefs are empty and hollow, and people will turn instead to religions that have authentic beliefs to offer, even if those beliefs are misguided and evil.

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May 22Liked by Joseph (Jake) Klein

For this atheist, the ultimate source of our rights, ideals, and other positive aspects of modern society can be an interesting historical question. When it comes to maintaining them today, however, it doesn't matter. I am not going to be believing in the bizarre (apologies believers, I firmly believe to each their own on this, but I'm making a point here) tales of my ancestors if every last right and benefit depends on it. I just don't believe that. I've considered it at length. I'm not going to lie about it. However, I am willing to work with anyone who agrees with me about the value of said rights and positives. Those are practical questions. I won't be refusing to work with anyone based on their personal beliefs (within reason), and I think it is the highest form of folly for anyone to do so.

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May 22Liked by Joseph (Jake) Klein

I agree with your sentiments. I'm "right" and I believe in God but I reject organized religion, especially in light of its refusal to fight lockdowns and vaccine mandates. I welcome atheists in those causes that we mutually agree upon and it's a shame that there are Republicans and "right" people who do or say anything that rejects the atheists.

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May 22Liked by Joseph (Jake) Klein

I agree it’s important for the right to adhere to the separation of church and state. Any attempt to base their political beliefs in religion will fail, because sensible people of all beliefs will see that allowing one group of people to impose their religious beliefs through law opens the door for other groups to take power and impose their own beliefs on you. The best way to protect freedom of religion for everyone is to base our society on a set of principles we can mostly all agree on, regardless of our religious beliefs or lack thereof, and disallow any imposition of religion on others by any group.

That said, the far left now seems to be operating on a set of beliefs that are akin to a religion (or a cult?!) and are not based on logic, reason, or science. But the way we fight this is through a return to the Constitution, an emphasis on freedom, a return to classical logic, reason, science, data, and impartiality. Trying to fight the left’s religion with the right’s religion just further polarizes society and leaves many in the middle without a political home (if I have to choose between Biden and Trump again I just may give up all hope and go live as a hermit in the wilderness).

And let’s just call the left’s religion what it is - Marxism. The extremists are playing a long game - indoctrinating the youth in hopes of inciting an eventual Marxist revolution, egged on by countries who know all too well the death, destruction, and economic devastation that Marxist revolutions cause and would love to see it happen in the US, leaving a power vacuum they can move into.

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I'm really happy about this article. We atheist liberals who've been tossed out of the blue camp, need to remind everyone how we got here. The Christian Right was abusive and totalitarian not to mention supported war (especially in the Middle East) because it might bring around the end times faster. I won't let them forget.

I lay transgenderism at their feet as well. Most of the MtF people I have talked to come from religious or extremely gendered homes. They became transgender in order to escape "being gay". Until two years ago when the right decided to mansplain this issue, feminist have been at forefront. But no one listens to women.

This is of course, why most FtM transition. They're simply trying to escape being female and deal with societies treatment of women and especially mothers.

In short, I'll vote Republican because I refuse to vote for people who mutilate children. However, I remember the sins of the right and they have not repented. Therefore I can not forgive.

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May 22Liked by Joseph (Jake) Klein

Excellent essay.

I, too, have a problem with the religious right's hostility to rational secular philosophy.

I point out that Pope Francis is woke-lite as are whole denominations of Christianity. The idea that religion can unity ended with the Reformation. When I talk online to those on the right about defining their religion, in a manner of hours Catholics & Lutherans are resuming their eternal hostility; and the fragmentation continues as others join in. I remind conservatives that our founding generation could never agree on religion but found common ground in secular philosophy, i.e. Cicero, Locke, etc. Jerome Huyler has an excellent book "Locke in America" on this topic.

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As an older person with deep roots in the radical, socialist, feminist, and revolutionary Left of the 1960’s, 70’s and into the 80’s, I need to point out that the anti science, sex-denying authoritarianism of what is referred to as the “woke Left” has nothing to do with the politics I cut my teeth on. That Left barely exists today and to the extent it does, has mostly lost its way, a caricature of its former self. Moreover, the corporate dominated Democratic Party has never been “the Left.” And while I appreciate rhe humor in Colin’s cartoon, the problem is not that the Left has moved Leftward while he stood still; but that in the name of “the Left” an extreme post-modern reality-denying individualism is being promoted because it represents rhe last frontier of corporate profits - the commodification of the human body.

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It's true that conservatism should welcome both religious and secular people, who can and do agree on many practical matters (albeit, in some cases, for different reasons). But this cooperation is unlikely to follow from a misunderstanding of religion.

For one thing, not all religious people (and I include myself) affiliate with churches or other formally organized religious communities (many of which have, in fact, become profoundly secularized).

More important, it's not true that religion is inherently irrational. Rather, religion is ultimately neither rational nor irrational but non-rational--that is, non-cognitive. At the heart of Western traditions is the experience of holiness (a.k.a. the sacred). At the heart of Eastern traditions is the experience of enlightenment. In short, religion is not merely a set of beliefs or doctrines that might or might not allow room for scientific thought. Although religion is explained and "organized" intellectually, it is ultimately experiential.

Consequently, religion per se does not prevent political or even moral alliances with secular people. Hostility toward either religion or secularity, of course, would indeed prevent cooperation. And to the extent that atheism fosters either direct or indirect hostility toward religion, even alliances are impossible. Fortunately, though, not all secular people are militant atheists--that is, people who disagree with religious doctrines and refer to them with contempt. Otherwise, "dialogue" between religious and secular people is not only possible but also desirable from both perspectives and in the interest of sustaining our civilization.

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I strongly agree that the Right will fail politically if its members persist in pushing Fundamentalist Protestant beliefs and values on everyone else. We have probably lost a realistic chance to defeat the Democrats in the next national election, due to the extreme anti-abortion positions being imposed on everyone by the Republicans. Gov. DeSantis has probably blown his chance of being elected president; I say this with disappointment, as a woman who was hoping to be one of those who elected him.

The main problem among the conservative Christians and the radical woke is the same; both demographics are completely unwilling and unable to tolerate the expression or practice of any beliefs that differ from their own. This tendency is due to limitations in peoples' intellectual and emotional development, rather than to any particular beliefs they may regard as true. People are not in reality as simple as either of these groups want them to be.

The two extremes on the left and right together still comprise only a minority of the American voters. The rest of us have a range of views that are more moderate and much less rigid, because we are more concerned about solving our national problems and getting along with each other better than we are about forcing our religions down other peoples' throats. We are not represented by the political candidates who can succeed in the two party system, which is losing its meaning and usefulness for those of us who recognize the existence and validity of more than one right way to think, believe and live.

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Whether atheist or Jew, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, or of no particular belief or non-belief, it doesn’t matter. The sexes are as natural and obvious as the air you breathe and the ground you walk on. There never was and there is not now any room for discussion or debate, yet here we are.

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G.K. Chesterton — 'When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.'

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