Easter has just passed, but not in New Zealand it would seem. Woke cancel culture and a resurgent paganisation are winning. Holy Week, Palm Sunday until Resurrection Sunday, passed by without most New Zealanders noticing. Indeed an examination of the media in other English-speaking countries would suggest that New Zealand is at the bottom of the heap.
Even the Australians do better.
The drama of Holy Week slips by. That great opportunity for us to see who we really are, once every year, is lost. The Grand Gospel Narrative that for centuries has given us our understanding of human dignity, freedom, justice and forgiveness must be cancelled: not because it is understood but because it isn’t.
At the beginning of the First Holy Week Christ entered Jerusalem as the expected Messiah. He wasn’t just a politician gathering a crowd but a Messiah promising freedom from the Roman yoke. So the people thought.
They were wrong. By Friday, the adulation has gone and given way to “Crucify him. Crucify him”. Christ’s response on the cross was, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.”
For hundreds of years, we knew every one of us was part of that crowd. It was theatre and reality all at once. We could see ourselves as vulnerable, duplicitous and fragile. We had all fallen short of even our own standards. But reconciliation and redemption were real. We learned the liberation of forgiveness as we were forgiven.
And so we are offered hope in the midst of error. We learn that humility is not weakness and that compassion is expensive.
But not any longer. The woke cancel culture has squeezed the last drops of truth from that grand narrative that gave comfort to every suffering believer. To those who suffered unjustly and to those mourning the loss of a loved one.
With an irony that is almost sublime, “wokeness” has no idea that every idea it has is a plagiarised distortion of the very thing it rejects. And it does that because it is certain that the progressive human being is a very major model of the real human being.
The Wokerati talk ad nauseam of compassion, kindness, justice and all the other hollow-sounding neologisms that obscure meaning. They don’t realise that the meaning they obscure is found only in the story they reject.
For the Wokerati life finds its meaning in a struggle between oppressor and victim. The solution is to seize the gateways of power and simply pass the right number and the right kind of laws. Life is not, and has never been about the power of evil corrupting human desire.
The entire woke culture gives all its energy to cancelling history, literature, art and music. They understand neither tragedy nor comedy. The Wokerati world is ruled by that old innkeeper Procrustes. All the beds were the same length and if a traveller was too tall his feet were cut off; too short, then he was stretched on the rack.
There is only one evil, inequality. Racism and her sisters let loose by an unknown Pandora are the demons that would consume us. The old overarching narrative that would teach us about ourselves, give us hope and teach us why forgiveness is so essential to human happiness does not solve the problem of inequality.
The great weakness of the Wokerati is that they cannot forgive; they have no reason to do so because everyone must learn to think the same thoughts as them. The Easter story is a myth best forgotten. It is just too embarrassing.
The faith that sustained any workable foundation to European civilisation – the faith that brought together the sublime and the workable in its description of human dignity – is a fairytale.
Meaning and purpose in New Zealand no longer flow from the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. There will be only power in Aotearoa.
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