Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Beware of the SJWs!

Looking at my gamut of Facebook friends, I have noticed a growing antipathy to SJWs. It took me a while to realise that SJW did not stand for "Serious Jehovah's Witness" but rather for "Social Justice Warrior".

Now what is this beast and how does it attract such vilification?

First of all, it must be realised that the term is a pejorative, and therefore not a term that one should use in a debate with those who get described as SJWs. Essentially, it is a derogatory term for all those who subscribe to "progressive" social views which include feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, identity politics, LGBTI values, et c. These are difficult issues in our society, and the tension that we have lies in trying to live together despite some radically different ideas on how Society is to be run. The Church is in the World and therefore in Society, but it is not of the World, and therefore not of Society. It therefore lives in tension between this "in" and "of", a tension which seems to be causing a schism as groups from either extreme pull away from each other.

I have tried to argue that the Church needs to recover its creative capacities that it derives from Her Head. We do seem to be reacting to social changes that are happening, but this is because fewer and fewer people see the Church as an authority on social issues. There is a disjunct between the Church's Orthodoxy and her role in the world as a champion for Our Lord's radical ideas on how Society should be run. The Church needs to be preaching the realities of Eternal Life and the Kingdom of God that is here and now and always has been here and now. Does this Eternity exclude Feminism, Civil Rights, Multiculturalism, Identity Politics, and LGBTI values? Well that depends what you mean. Each of these terms has slightly changed its meaning and its impetus over the decades, and this change is largely a result of secularisation and, dare I say, Marxism.

Marxism has decried Religion as the opiate of the people. This is probably the greatest category error in all of political thought. There is no such thing as Religion save as a catch-all term for the different systems of belief - a term that Marxism defines carefully so that it doesn't fall into the same trap. Religions are not the same, and only superficially comparable. Of course, Marx had Christianity in his sights when he made his statement. He saw Christianity as the reason why the oppressed workers did not rise up and take control. This Marxism has brought about the notion of revolution as an acceptable way for the oppressed to turn the tables and govern. It is pernicious and infects all political systems, even those that predate Marx. I wonder, then, whether Marxism should be given an older name, for it preaches the first sin in Creation: that of Lucifer in rebelling against God.

Each of the "progressive elements" described under the banner of SJW is born from God's desire that mankind should love each other with the same type of love with which they love Him. What is the social justice that God demands? Isaiah says:
Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. (Isaiah lviii,6-8)
Is this Marxist? With its talk of freeing those oppressed, and breaking every yoke, making sure that everyone is fed, clothed, visited, it may appear so. Yet notice that there is no notion of "equality" here. There is no discussion of rights, but still there is the urge to protect the vulnerable.

Feminism is godly when it seeks to ensure the protection of women from rape and abuse, when it seeks to ensure that all people are recognised to be human beings, and that if someone does a job then they should be paid as much as another person doing the same job. Feminism is godly when it recognises that men and women are different but share the common humanity and the dignity wherewith God has bestowed it. It ceases to be godly when it attempts to destroy masculinity, when it seeks revenge for the abuses of the past in the name of justice, when it attempts to claim superiority in the same way as men have done so. The Church is naturally a patriarchy in the spiritual sense because God is always described as a Father, by His Son no less. That God chooses clergy to be male should not be an affront against the dignity of the female. Indeed, though Society may find it hard to accept, the virtue of obedience to God's will is one that may mean swallowing the unpalatable for now, but trusting in God's Justice which will come when His Kingdom is made manifest once more.

This is the key thing. Christians submit to the will of God, no matter how arbitrary it may appear. To succumb to the will of society which does change in Time is disobedience against the Eternal Changelessness of God. Whatever is Sin at one point in Time is Sin in all points of Time, because God is Eternal and Sin is separation from God.

The key to the Church's reaction to social issues must be one with its Gospel and its conclusion which is Heaven. Its duty is to transcend earthly issues by drawing humanity towards Heavenly thinking, but we need to be, as Our Lord warned us, innocent as doves and shrewd as vipers. This reflects our straddling of our earthly predicament and our heavenly destiny. Marxism simplifies things by bidding us forget about our heavenly destiny. In that sense, it is not "Religion" that is the opiate of the people; it is Marxism. It is Marxism that forms the procrustean bed whereby people are made to fit by Law.

If the Church truly wants to be a warrior for social justice, then it must promote the system whereby "justice" makes sense. The procrustean justice of Marxism is not, cannot, be a sensible justice.

If I ask, "how many legs does the average human being have?" a Marxist will say "1.985" or something similar because it takes the mean number of legs: i.e. it counts the total number of human legs and divides that by the total number of humans to get the mean number of legs per human. Those above the mean are "privileged" and thus must succumb to those who are "disadvantaged" who lie below the mean.

Yet that makes no sense. We know that the majority of human beings have two legs - this is the average known as the mode. We're not expected to saw off bits of leg to make it fair for other people. We are expected to ensure that people who require wheelchair access receive that access. We are expected to help create better prosthetics for those whose lives would be better for them. God bids us address the actual need, not penalise those who are not in need. The one who looks down on the white middle-class man just because he is a white middle-class man is just as discriminatory as the one who looks down on the black working-class lesbian because of who she is.

What do we do? The Church can lead the way by ensuring that they uphold God's justice rather than the world's expectations. God decrees that marriage is between a male and a female - that's why He created male and female in the first place. To say that there is no such thing as male and female now flies in the face of thousands of years of male and female. Yet, the justice of God (which is an expensive justice) means that homosexual people don't get to have sex with a partner of the same sex. This flies in the face of social justice for the reason that sex is not a right, nor a privilege. For a Christian to want sex with someone of the same sex flies in the face of God's will. It sounds harsh, but there is a perfect opportunity for that Christian to refrain from what he might perceive as good for what he believes to be truly better - namely a relationship with God. Sexual intercourse is a distraction, an idol which takes the place of loving the One True God.

The Church's Gospel is to demonstrate that the relationship with God is better than anything that anyone could wish for. While each one of us is separated from God, we are all in need: we are all poor, naked, blind, in prison, oppressed, and there is no cure save Eternal union with God. This is something we have to learn. While the Church must meet the corporal needs of every human being, it must not subscribe to their earthly wants, nor to a Marxist agenda that, far from celebrating diversity, smudges it into a bland, language-free pottage of meaninglessness. The more that the Church looks upwards rather than downwards, the more it will encourage others to do so.

Should the Christian be an SJW? Only if the J truly comes from Jesus.

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