Political Editors / February 22, 2022

In Brief: The Left’s Nicene Creed

Those “IN THIS HOUSE, WE BELIEVE” signs are very revealing.

Leftists do have a religion, as it turns out. It just is a self-serving, self-righteous religion where only woke beliefs can save you. Matt Purple takes on those obnoxious virtue-signaling yard signs to illustrate.

I live in a blue city in a blue state, meaning I can’t so much as walk to the CVS without seeing a certain sign in half a dozen front yards. You know the one: “IN THIS HOUSE, WE BELIEVE: BLACK LIVES MATTER, SCIENCE IS REAL, WAR IS PEACE, MY LIFE FOR AIUR” and whatever the hell else they’re on about these days.

The sign has become so commonplace, so utterly oblivious to its own irony, that it feels less like a show of defiance than a profession of faith. Think of it as the left’s very own Nicene Creed, the statement of belief that Catholics recite every time they go to mass. One imagines a congregation of the pink-haired standing in pews: “I believe in Science, and in xis only son Dr. Fauci, creator of BIPOCs and TERFs…”

Then again Fauci has said he is the science, so we may have some issues of Christology to work through here.

Leftists ended up, he says, “chiseling [their] own Ten Commandments.” It all started with a librarian in Madison, Wisconsin, “feeling dispirited” over the election of Donald Trump. Her resulting signage took off as a sign of the resistance.

The idea that progressivism has become a religion is by now so familiar as to be unremarkable. The so-called New Atheists who had hoped the decline of Christianity would usher in an age of perfect rationality have been disappointed. Instead one faith appears to have replaced another. The apocryphal old Chesterton quote hangs in the air: “When a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing, he believes in anything.” Emphasis on anything: racist highways, de-gendered Spanish words, you name it. …

The obvious objection here is that this doesn’t have to happen, that theology and politics can be split into churches and a limited government respectively, as has happened in countless countries. Yet we also shouldn’t dismiss the idea that the political can become theological, that politics can be exalted to the level of dogmas and absolutes. A society must derive morality from somewhere, and if the old ideas of Christ and cross fall away, those of identity politics and public-health commandments might very well take their place.

This is what’s happened on the left (and on the Trumpist right to an extent, though that’s another story for another time). Hence the yard signs. In addition to their confessional tone, it’s their gray-faced literalmindedness that gives them away. Even the most devout Christian doesn’t hammer his entire litany into his front lawn; that takes a special kind of zealot.

Besides, Purple says, the stuff on the yard sign is dumb and hypocritical. Thus, he concludes:

So while progressivism might be religion, it’s stupid, hypocritical bad religion.

Read the whole thing here.

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