Over the past decade, woke ideology has gained traction in America and the West at exponential speed. What was once viewed as a fringe ideology limited to academia has now conquered the “commanding heights” of culture—the media, Hollywood, Big Business, Big Tech, the non-profit sector, and government. Even the military has gone woke, emphasizing left-wing identity politics over competence.
One question has to be asked: why has woke ideology spread so fast? In her book Awake, Not Woke, author Noelle Mering has one solid answer: the lack of meaning in people’s lives.
With the severe decline of Christianity in America and the West over the past century, many people have lost–or never even had–real meaning for their lives. Every person who has ever lived at one time or another has had to grapple with important existential questions such as “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose in life?”, “How should I live?”, and “Is this world all there is?” From time immemorial, religion provided answers to these questions. However, with religion in serious decline, people are turning to other ideologies that can provide answers. Mering writes:
“People are looking for meaning in their lives and answers to human questions such as why we are here and how we ought to live. If we [Christians] aren’t providing these answers in a compelling way, they won’t remain unanswered; they will be answered in distorted half-truths that promise, but cannot deliver, real solutions… The promise that we can cut ourselves off from the Almighty and have no master has been disproven time and again, but it is seeded and sown in new generations, the woke being our current iteration.”
But why is woke ideology our new master, capturing the hearts and minds of so many people; especially our young? One simple reason: because it has emerged as a substitute “religion” for Christianity and is giving people answers to questions regarding meaning. Mering states:
“Though its roots and history are atheistic, woke ideology takes on the manner and characteristics of a fundamentalist religion. It has dogmas and denunciations. It replaces struggle with sin with struggle sessions. Its vision is messianic, its dogmas unquestionable. But rather than an eternal end, it finds and administers salvation and damnation in this world.”
Woke ideology has thus become the new “religion” for many people. Why are we here? Woke ideology answers: to eliminate oppressors and uplift the oppressed. It has “villains” (whites, males, Christians, heterosexuals, people identifying with their sex, etc.) and “heroes” (social justice warriors, non-whites, women who affirm transgenderism, non-Christians, homosexuals, the transgendered, etc.). It has dogmas, such as “America is and always has been a racist nation and thus systemic racism pervades America,” “colorblindness and merit are racist constructs,” and “any biological male can become a woman by saying so.” It severely punishes “heretics”; just dare to oppose even one tenet of woke ideology and the radical left-wing mob will try to cancel you on social media, get you fired from your job, boycott your company, get you de-platformed, and get your neighbors and friends to shun you. (Indeed, just look at what the mob has done to feminist Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling for saying that womanhood should be protected.) And, of course, it offers salvation: the creation of a Maxrist “utopia” here on earth where oppression has been banished. (We saw how this worked out in the last century—it has been estimated that Marxism/Communism in the Soviet Union, China, Eastern Europe, Cuba, Vietnam, and North Korea, among other places, was responsible for the deaths of 100 million innocent people through direct killings, starvation, and being worked to death in gulags and other torturous environments.)
As Nicole Mering writes in her book Awake, Not Woke, one strong reason why woke ideology has been so rapidly gaining adherents in America and the West is because it has filled the void of meaning left by the decline of Christianity. Because people are religious by nature and desire meaning for their lives, if you destroy religion in a country, its people will not stop believing; they will just start believing in the newest secular “religious alternative”; no matter how false that alternative is.
It is time for Christian leaders to step up and once again boldly proclaim the Truth—the only Truth that can give real meaning to our lives—or the false teachings of woke ideology will continue to destroy America and the West.