June 14, 2020
Author: Harlan Edmonds
Are you a Bender or a Stander? Haven’t decided? Better start thinking about it while you still have time. Sooner or later, the question will be put to you by the Benders. They never come alone. They operate as a mob, quivering with rage and primed for violence. Their demand is nebulous and open-ended: Repudiate your former life, kneel in contrition for your sins, and prepare for further instructions.
All over America, and even beyond, this little ceremony is being repeated over and over. And, like all pop-cultural episodes that come and go with the moment, it resonates primarily with the gullible and young, the post-modern masses desperate to feel good about themselves and belong. With principles as malleable as their snowflake characters, it costs them nothing to bend the knee, confess to a wicked past of genetically ingrained, “systemic racism” and join the thrilling war on everyone and everything that has gone before: those Standers and all their works.
Having been raised and molded mainly by government schools and mass media, most of the Bender recruits were already de facto foot soldiers in this great crusade without even knowing it. But the imputation of racism as the one great sin of humankind now crystallizes their identities and purpose: They have become “woke” and mean to wash themselves clean by making war on the racism of those who don’t know they are racists.
The accused have but one means of redemption: to bend the knee. It’s the highest sacrament in the metastasizing kook-fringe Cult of Woke. Submit or be turned over to the mob. Submit or be deprived of your rights and your property. Submit or be targeted for beating, robbing, even killing. You can either be reborn into a new life of virtue-signaling your way to salvation, or you can become the next human sacrifice on the insatiable altar of Political Correctness.
If this sounds like some gonzo spoof of Christianity, then you know enough about Christ’s teachings to recognize what a moral disaster these fool Benders are setting themselves up for. Jesus spoke the Hard Truth and brought the Good News: Evil exists in only one place in the world, each and every human heart—and yet, it can be transcended along with death itself through Christ’s perfect and complete sacrifice on our behalf.
The Cult of Woke turns Christianity on its head: Evil only resides in somebody else; in people of a certain color. And the salvation of the faithful requires an unremitting persecution of them.
To conclude that this marks the most absurd escalation yet of the Culture War is an understatement. Racism, like any other disposition towards injustice, is but an amalgam of more basic, definable, and demonstrable sins, such as envy and bearing false witness (those recurring pitfalls of anti-racist warriors everywhere.) Thus, racism is a diversion, a white whale. Even if it could be snuffed out in its entirety, there would no reduction whatsoever in the creativity and scope of human depravity.
And yet, the Captain Ahabs multiply, demanding “justice” as the price for peace, as though such a thing were possible. For as God the Creator brought order out of chaos, so Man the created is perpetually tempted to bring chaos out of order. That is our true original sin, of which racism can occupy but the smallest fraction.
Without a shared definition of Truth, without a shared understanding of Right, without a shared system of laws, with a fixed perimeter of jurisdiction—and the police and military to maintain them— chaos and injustice are the natural state of mankind. No peace, no justice.
Our founding documents say as much. By temperament and history, Americans have always been Standers. We stood against the howling wilderness of the new world. We stood up to the mighty British Empire and won our independence. We stood and defended our freedoms from the very biggest and baddest of the other empires and despots of the world ever since, to the benefit of all mankind. Culturally if not personally Christian, we know better than to descend into the idolatry of bending and genuflecting before anyone or anything other than God Almighty.
In the Progressive mind, of course, this is all very “problematic.” It leaves no room for the competing gods of human manufacture: Marxism, globalism, radical environmentalism, transhumanism, UFO worship, and certainly not the Cult of Woke.
And so it all has to go: Western culture and Christianity and the Constitution; our laws and our books and our works of art; our military and our police; our flags and our statues and the graves of our war dead; the monuments to our heroes, and the names of our places, and the words of our ancestors, and any shred of identity that is not Political and Correct according to the Benders.
You can either bend with them or stand against them.