Was the beloved quarterback’s expression of respect for the American flag really that incendiary? Yes, it was. Because it was heresy. Brees’ words violated dogmas of the largest, fastest-growing religious group in America — the Church of the Left — the Woke Church. Once he’d uttered those words, church inquisitors cornered Brees with mechanical efficiency, and his public doctrinal examination commenced.
Kneel and Confess
The pedagogical instrument first employed recalls that ancient Christian tool of indoctrination, the catechism — a series of set and numbered questions paired with predetermined answers to be produced by the student, the catechumen. Q1: Can white men understand what black men experience? A: No. Q2: Should white men talk about race issues or listen to blacks? A: Listen to blacks. And on it goes. Q 18: Are white men permanently afflicted with “whiteness”? A: Yes. Q 19: Does “whiteness” oppress all blacks? A: Yes.
None of us are exempt from such catechesis. On the evening of June 3, a self-identified Black Lives Matter employee confronted a random white female on a New York City sidewalk — “my CEO has told me to come out today and to bring you on your knees because you have white privilege. If they see that a white person is getting on their knees, that shows solidarity with the situation. So could you just please apologize?” The inquisitor’s video records the woman’s compliance.
How often must Brees produce freshly reworked apologetic verbiage for his self-appointed inquisitors? Three times? Four times? How about a lifetime?
Woke church expects initiates to articulate orthodox doctrines (white privilege), and to satisfy requirements of obeisance — kneel down, please. Now confess. Police kneel. A governor kneels with marchers, who then violate his curfew.
The limits of humiliation and intimidation remain unclear. A college president begs a rioter who holds him hostage — “I need to pee.” Two young white men scream “we’re on your side” as hurled bricks shatter the plate glass of their shop, missing their heads by inches. Incentives to catechetical preparation prove formidable. Genuflect first. Now confess. Use the exact words provided if you don’t mind. Submission to ecclesial directives marks the faithful.
Hurt Hearts All Around
Brees’ defense of flag and country drew more than reprimands from believers. His teammates let out emotional groans of grievance and personal injury. Woke whites may pretend guilt for public consumption, but Saints players expressed sincere feelings of betrayal and grief to their quarterback. Not surprising. Churches teach their members not only what to say and do, but also teach and nurture in them what and how intensely to feel — what should produce in them hurt and anger, what justifies outrage.
Wise parents strive to temper the emotional meltdowns of their children triggered by disagreements, conflicts, and even personal injuries that are endemic to human experience. They do this to prepare them for adulthood. Woke church fosters perpetual childhood in its members. Blacks and whites learn to attribute the averted eyes of a white student passing a student of color on campus as evidence of systemic racism. Brees’ teammates responded to his words with emotions made sincere by the spiritual training received at Woke Church. Infantilization of blacks and whites by the Church of the Left portends thinning emotional tripwires and easily triggered collective tantrums for our future.
Orthodoxy Now, Try Again, Or Else
The emergence of the Church of the Left concerns every American because membership is compulsory. Rather not be subject to the ecclesial designs of Catholics or Baptists or Muslims or any religious group at all? Not a problem. The Church of the Left? Opting out is not an option. Even the street preachers of other faiths leave final decisions to their hearers. Not so with Woke Church missionaries. Kaepernick’s sainthood must be acknowledged, or else. The confirmed facts of Ferguson must be not so much denied but suppressed, removed from literature and the public square, extracted from minds, obliterated forever. The dark shadows of Orwellian history-annihilating dystopia lie heavy upon the American landscape. Once the work of the Ministry of Truth is complete, denial of Ferguson facts proves not just unnecessary but impossible.
As an involuntary novice, Brees’ failure to satisfy catechetical standards on his first attempt is understandable. Not to worry. Woke Church inquisitors, though never patient, remain dedicated to success. Summoned back again and again to the examination room, Brees frantically attempts to repeat back Church doctrine with the pristine accuracy required.
How often must Brees produce freshly reworked apologetic verbiage for his self-appointed inquisitors? Three times? Four times? How about a lifetime? For someone permanently stricken with “whiteness” and undeniably a beneficiary of white privilege, never-ending catechetical exercise beckons.
Brees R Us
The Church of the Left is a State church with no carveouts for minority faiths. Neither Brees’ wealth, life of charity, nor celebrity could shield him from a nightmarish catechetical ordeal. Nor could hoi polloi anonymity avail for the young sidewalk woman. Even melanin has its limits. Black voices privileged? Think again. Doctrine trumps skin color — always.
That’s why the un-Woke black and brown voices of Carol Swain, Derryck Green, Jason Whitlock, Voddie Baucham, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, and Robert Woodson, far from winning a hearing, are castigated as the heathen squawkings of Uncle Toms and Aunt Tammys. Never mind that most of these persons of color came of age under Jim Crow. You don’t tell church ministers what your black experience means — they tell you. Then you repeat it back for official church assessment and unappealable verdict. The bonds of heresy in America today transcend race.
Rightly fearful of the Inquisition, leaders of other churches scramble to evade or somehow satisfy the heresy-hunters. They rush to anticipate and publish answers to the ever-multiplying demands of church interrogators.
The scope of Woke Church aims comprises far more than suppression of speech — keeping silence won’t cut it. “All Lives Matter” now constitutes hate speech that must be suppressed and punished. But successful catechumens must provide verbal reproduction of core beliefs, not just eschew evil speech. The bonds of church fellowship require mutual and explicit confession of shared dogma. How often Jordan Peterson attempted to correct those who thought he opposed the use of preferred pronouns for transsexuals. No. He refused to produce speech of any kind on demand merely to satisfy Canadian legislation that made certain silences hate crimes. Arrest for yelling “fire” where no flames threaten is one thing. Sanction for refusal to call Mary or Paul “they” on demand is something else.
No Place for Conservatives
Throughout his life and career Drew Brees, minus the celebrity, presents as something of a classic temperamental and instinctual conservative — protective of family, un-prone to activism, mainly staying to himself, engaged in charitable works of his choosing, happy to leave others alone and to be left alone in turn. But minding one’s own business inflames the Church of the Left. No institution, however powerful, no individual American, however harmless, is free to mind their own business any longer.
What we are confronting in the contemporary Left is totalitarian in scope, tyrannical in enforcement, and religious in the claims it makes upon thought, speech, and behavior. Few of us have ever been or shall ever be NFL quarterbacks, but we all share this in common — no matter our color or gender or station in life, a take-no-prisoners involuntary catechesis is coming our way. Better bone up or be prepared to bear up under the many punishments prepared for failed catechumens.