The Progressive Freak Out
Recent data from the Cooperative Election Study shows 20% of atheists have participated in a march or protest, compared with 6% of white evangelicals. Forty percent of atheists have contacted a public official, compared with 24% of white evangelicals. Fifty-two percent of atheists have donated to political candidates, compared with just 26% of white evangelicals. Pull back further, and the divide between progressives and conservative evangelicals shows the former, not the latter, more actively involved in protest and politics.
Secularism as Religion
As progressivism secularizes, politics becomes religion. Virtue signaling replaces a Christian ichthus fish on the back of a car. Outrage becomes a signal for identifying heretics. If one is not outraged, one just might be a heretic to secular, progressive zealots.
This past weekend, college students took to stadiums across America to experience the joy of fellowship and football. Across television networks and social media, progressives decried the activity as unsafe. Outdoor festivities again became superspreader events in ways mass protests and ransacking small businesses did not during the riots and protests surrounding George Floyd’s death in summer 2020.
The Supreme Court let a Texas law stay in place because the plaintiffs in the case sued the wrong people. The Supreme Court refused to halt the law because the Court does not stop laws. The Court only stops people from enforcing the laws. When the wrong people are sued, the Court has no power to stop them. Progressives insisted, despite the dereliction of duty by the plaintiffs, that the Court should stop the law anyway. While four justices would have done so, they would have deviated from legal precedent.
Undeterred, instead of blaming the plaintiffs for their collective screw-up, progressives assailed the Supreme Court, Texas, former President Donald Trump, conservatives, and babies. They fixated on the worst-case scenario -- rape. According to progressives, women who are victims of rape will have to carry their babies to term and face untold psychological trauma. They patently ignored that Texas cannot stop a woman from traveling to another state to terminate her child. Nor did they care to point out that rape accounts for, at most, 1% of abortions. To listen to the commentary on television, one would think rape and pregnancies therefrom happen constantly. Meanwhile, one doctor admitted to killing dozens of children in the run-up to the law taking effect, none because of rape, but rather because of the mothers’ convenience.
As the remains of a hurricane went up the East Coast, sending flooding with it, progressives freaked out about climate change. Never letting a crisis go to waste, politicians and supposed experts paraded onto television screens across America demanding Americans give up their way of life to stop storms. Storms will not be stopped by a battery-powered car. One would be hard-pressed to realize that from the media coverage.
Freaking Out as Theater
Podcaster Joe Rogan received ivermectin from his doctor. The inventors of the drug received a Nobel Prize for ivermectin’s contribution to human progress. The drug has saved billions of people from blindness and parasitic infestation. It is also used in livestock, and a few people have tried to ingest dosages meant for horses. Rogan, however, got it from his doctor. Some doctors believe the well-documented anti-inflammatory properties of ivermectin can help prevent or combat the so-called cytokine storm whereby COVID-19 triggers a release of inflammatory proteins called cytokines into the bloodstream. The Food and Drug Administration has discouraged ivermectin prescriptions pending further study.
Progressives freaked out about Rogan and his doctor while assailing Texas for getting between a woman and her doctor. All of the freaking out is theater. In the postmodern age, one demonstrates one’s commitment to a particular truth or cause through performance. The screaming and wailing on social media and television is performance designed to both signal one’s commitment to a supposed truth and identify the heretics who choose not to perform.
As progressives continue making secularism a religion, the ritualistic outrage will get more intense, but this will also help discredit the progressive cause. Most people don’t have time for outrage these days as they struggle to get by thanks to progressives closing schools and causing inflation with massive spending binges.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.
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