The Origins of Woke Madness

It should be clear by now that truth is not a Woke value. Those on the far-left side of the political spectrum have made certain claims in recent years, including: maintaining slavery was the primary reason for the founding of our nation; innocent, unarmed blacks are being shot down by police with impunity in great numbers all across America; because of systemic racism, people of color have little chance of escaping poverty and achieving a middle-class lifestyle in the U.S.; and, because of sexism and glass ceilings, women face limited opportunities in the workplace. 

Several other claims could be furnished. The four assertions listed above, however, are easily debunked: see here, here, here, and here. Apparently, the Woke mob didn’t get the memo from the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.”

No doubt many in this contingent have been misinformed by the media. But, after the data has been made known, how can one explain their stubbornness in clinging to their original narrative? When the truth is made known, it reveals the hearts and minds of the audience. Simeon prophesied to Our Lady that Christ the Truth would reveal the thoughts of many hearts. Holy Writ goes on to declare that the truth of the word of God discerns the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

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What’s becoming obvious to even the casual observer of public life is that the Woke are more than happy to sacrifice the truth on the altar of power. If you can exert inordinate influence in the major institutions of America, including on the President of the United States, why let the facts get in the way? If the main thesis of The New York Times’ 1619 Project has very little historical support but wins a Pulitzer Prize, then why recant when eminent historians reduce that thesis to rubble?

The origin of the Woke madness is complex, but its etiology has at least two prominent sources: (1) an indoctrination from without; and (2) a predisposition from within. The former has been thoroughly catalogued in describing how institutions like the media, universities, and the entertainment industry shape the culture around us. The latter has been explored a lot less and takes us back to Genesis and even before the foundation of the world. It looks at such things as our Adamic DNA and the influence of Satan as the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). This article provides a small window into those origins.

For example, in the mists of pre-history, Lucifer was more than happy to sacrifice truth on the altar of power. He knew the truth that God was worthy to be served, honored, and glorified, but his desire to rule in hell rather than serve in heaven trumped such eternal verities. Thus, many in the Woke mob are truly “of [their] father the devil, and [their] will is to do [their] father’s desires” (John 8:44).

Eve was given a clear, divine oral command about what she could and couldn’t do in the Garden, but the desire for power (“You shall be as gods”) muddied the waters. Cain also knew the truth: “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7). However, the knowledge that his brother had a leg up on him because Abel’s sacrifice was accepted and his was not, fueled Cain’s jealousy and anger and led to the fratricide.

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, unredeemed people have a precarious relationship with the truth. St. Paul sheds a lot of light on this in his writings: Our intellect has been darkened (Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:18), and, even if we know the truth, our will has been weakened (Romans 7:18-20) and we have difficulty carrying it out in action. The existence of God, His attributes, and the moral law are obvious, but we choose to suppress the truth because of our own unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-23).

Fulton J. Sheen once warned (paraphrased) that if you didn’t practice what you believe, you’d end up believing what you practice. He also noted these dynamics at work in some of the more famous atheists in the twentieth century. Heidegger said that even if it could be proven with mathematical certainty that God existed, he still wouldn’t accept it because that truth would destroy his freedom. Both Sartre and the pederast André Gide made similar statements about the existence of God and their sexual appetites. As a youth, I rubbed shoulders with young men who admitted that they didn’t want anything to do with a Christian God who would make them give up their pot and premarital sex.

The root of everything that has been discussed so far is godship. In godship, Adam and Eve took God off the throne of their hearts and minds and put themselves there. The True (“You can do this but not that”) was replaced with the serpent’s narrative (“Hath God said…?”). The Good, which would’ve conformed Adam and Eve’s behavior to the True, was replaced with actions that were consistent with the moral latitude the devil gave them. The Beauty of the Uncreated God and their relationship with Him that prefigured the Beatific Vision was replaced with the beauty of the forbidden fruit, what many saints call “an overattachment to created things.”

The Woke, too, have taken God off the throne of their hearts and minds and put themselves there. Instead of being submitted to a divine metanarrative (e.g., Scripture and Tradition), they are submitted to their own narrative: i.e., American institutions are riddled with inequity and that inequity must be eradicated by any means necessary, even if that means burning those institutions down to the ground. This narrative is the True (subjectively but not objectively) and behavior that seeks to eradicate inequity is the Good. The result of replacing inequity with equity is the Beautiful. Here an earthly utopian kingdom, where unequal outcomes among different groups have been eliminated, emerges and will be built on the ruins of the former, evil America.

Jerome said: “…the whole world groaned in astonishment to find itself Arian.” Many mornings I wake up and feel like the whole world has gone Woke as another person gets cancelled (e.g., Gina Carano) because they contravened Woke dogma. It’s no coincidence that Our Lady of Fatima had her six Apparitions happen at the same time as Lenin-Trotsky fomented their Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The anti-Woke Mary counter-punched the proto-Woke Commies, and the battle rages until this day.

Much could be written about how orthodox Catholics should respond to the Woke mob of our day. For now, in the context of this article, a good beginning, in this Lenten season, is to examine our conscience concerning the issue of godship in our lives. We desist from being the arbiters of the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. In being fully submitted to Scripture and Tradition as interpreted by the Magisterium, we make Christ Lord and do our part, however small, in counteracting the spirit of the age. We become a part of Mary’s Heel and share in her future triumph when she will, as Guadalupe, crush the head of the serpent and consign the Woke madness to the slag heap of history.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]


  • Jonathan B. Coe

    Jonathan B. Coe writes from the Pacific Northwest. Before being received into the Catholic Church in 2004, he served in pastoral ministry in rural Alaska and in campus ministry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

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