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Recently, a Tennessee school district held a leaning conference, and the teachers and staff who participated had the opportunity to select from various breakout sessions. One of the offerings was a session about “cultural competency.” This class included a section which asserted that people who are white, men, cisgender (those who identify as the sex registered for them at birth), heterosexual, and Christian are a privileged class, while the oppressed include people of color, women, trans, nonbinary, genderqueer, LGBTQ+, polyamorous (those having intimate relationships with more than one person at the same time), asexual, aromantic (those who have no romantic attraction to anyone), Muslim, Eastern, Pagan, Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist. This material was actually being taught as a legitimate ideology to school staff and teachers for the purpose of getting them to incorporate those beliefs into the curriculum in their schools.
In our modern world where the teaching and implementation of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has become so prominent in schools and businesses, you have probably heard the “white privilege” argument where white people are considered oppressors, and “people of color” are spoken of as “the oppressed.” This training that was provided for the Tennessee school personnel has taken the CRT ideology and raised it to an entirely new level by including all these other designations in their list of oppressed people. While this expanded version is certainly not new, it has now been brought out into the open in a more aggressive way. How in the world can polyamorous people be considered oppressed? In what way are “cisgender” people oppressors? There are some VERY serious problems with this kind of thinking.
The first problem is that stereotypes of this nature simply don’t hold up. You are going to find good and bad apples among ANY group of people you identify (even those who are creating these trainings). To make a broad generalization about any entire demographic is to speak a lie. This collectivist approach to dealing with people is straight out of naturalistic Marxism and has nothing to support it beyond the preferences and assertions of those who are pushing it.
The second problem with this WOKE approach to dealing with people is that it is a bigoted point of view. It tries to position itself as being inclusive by supporting the cause of people who are supposedly oppressed, but the premise is, once again, a false one. There will be people within virtually every demographic who are privileged and others who are somehow disadvantaged. The truth is, this is simply another case of using bigotry in the name of ending bigotry.
Another problem with this thinking is that it is internally contradictory. There are plenty of people (the vast majority, in fact) who fall into both oppressor and oppressed categories. The categories themselves are completely arbitrary, and there is no way to objectively identify who falls into which one.
A fourth problem with this kind of thinking is that it focuses on the wrong thing. It treats people as commodities rather than persons of value, and is only interested in some kind of collectivist temporal political or economic outcome, rather than one that elevates individuals. This philosophy is perfectly okay with destroying certain individuals if it furthers the goal of advancing the objectives of the collective as envisioned by the elites that are running the show.
A biblical worldview simply does not judge people based on a demographic grouping, or any other temporal category. Rather, it deals with them as individuals who are separated from God and who need a savior who can provide for them a path to eternal life. It is not that there is no concern for people’s temporal circumstances, but it is secondary to their spiritual condition, and does not condone trampling on individuals for the sake of certain powerful people’s conception of a temporal utopia.
The fact is, there are people who are well off politically and economically who are miserable and live a purposeless existence. At the same time, there are many others who live in less than optimum conditions, but are full of joy and experience a sense of profound purpose in their lives. The real differentiator is spiritual, not physical.
The WOKE approach has it completely backwards. It is based on a naturalistic worldview that looks at everything through a materialistic lens and completely ignores spiritual reality. That mindset will never produce societal justice, and certainly not personal fulfillment in the lives of individuals.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth Mirage, Rules for Christians Radicals, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication, and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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