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Wokeism Meets Reality

Wokeism Meets Reality

by David G. Duggan
March 31, 2022

As if don't get enough wokeism at Chicago's transgendered and non-binary parishes, I had to attend a service at the epicenter of wokeness--Southern California. Though the hymns were traditional ("Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," "Guide me O Thou Great Jehovah"), the prayer of consecration and the sermon went off the rails. "God dwells in you" replaced "The Lord be with you"; "In wonder and gladness we celebrate your creation of all that is, your incarnation in Jesus Christ, and your inspiration through the Holy Spirit" replaced "It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, Everlasting God." The sermon, taking as its peg the Serenity Prayer of Reinhold Niebuhr commonly used in 12-step programs, doubled as a rant that, rather than accept the things we can't change we should change the things we can't accept. Whipping the congregation into applause more common at a Pentecostal service, the preacher cited Ketanji Brown Jackson, Angela Davis and Halle Berry rather than Luke or Paul who had written the Scriptures read earlier.

But even more jarring than this veneer of the social Gospel over the particle board of race-mongering was the complete revision of the parable of the Prodigal Son. The father became the mother, the son became the non-gendered "younger sibling," and the older brother who stayed behind to work in the fields became "the elder child." Compounding the dissonance was the use of the plural pronoun "they" to describe each child, the wayward and the faithful. "You killed the fatted calf for them," complains the elder child not given a goat to celebrate with his (or her) friends. I was left wondering whether I'd missed the other siblings in the hundred or so times I'd read the parable.

Even if women in antiquity could own and manage property in their own right, a proposition subject to some academic debate, the gender-bending of the Scripture creates more cognitive dissonance than a score-settling evening-up of patriarchal roles. Of course a mother would welcome a wayward child back no matter what level of indignities had been heaped on the family name. Just go to a gang-banging son's sentencing for murder and see how the mother always bewails the fate her son faces. And of course a mother would reason with a faithful child: "this sibling of yours was dead and has come to life; they were lost and now are found." Having borne their children through painful delivery, mothers want peace between siblings at all costs.

But the very heart of the parable is that in Luke's telling, the father acts counter to type. First: he had no obligation to split up the property before his death. Yet he did. Second, he had no obligation to receive back his son, and yet he did. And third, he had no obligation to justify his grace to his faithful son and yet he did.

"Prodigal Daughter" might be the title of a book by any number of women who have seen the light and sought salvation. But it is not the Gospel. The concluding verses of Revelation say it best: "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away the words of the book of this prophecy God shall take away his part out of the book of life and from the things which are written in this book" (22: 18-19). The woke brigade are in for a rude awakening.

David Duggan is a retired attorney living in Chicago. He writes occasional devotionals for Virtueonline.

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