“The Domestic Church” ✠Jerome Lloyd OSJV resumes his reflections and suggestions for orthodox Catholics on how to respond to the challenges of the 21stC in the world and in the Church.
In this episode… “Awake O sleeper” on woke orthodoxy……
- Beate mundo corde – blest are the pure in heart: God is love and we are created from His love to be His love; with His love in our hearts we should live our lives for Him and His Word;
- Sal terrae – salt of the earth: we must not lose our savour for the sake of Our Saviour; we are not called to judge but to mercy;
- Vos estis lux mundi – you are the light of the world: we should radiate the light of Christ’s truth through the living of our lives; shedding light on the darkness of confusion and ignorance;
- Verbum reconciliationis – the word of reconciliation: we are called to be ambassadors of Christ, proclaiming the word of reconciliation with God, not condemnation;
- Cogito ergo sum – I think therefore I am: true perception and appreciation of this world and life is possible only through seeing with the eyes of faith;
- Puritas cordis – a pure heart: only by living purer i.e. chaste lives can we experience and demonstrate the benefit of living God’s law of sacrificial love for the sake and in the hope of humanity’s redemption;
Episode 7 Surge qui dormis – awake O sleeper
Propter quod dicit: Surge qui dormis, et exsurge a mortuis, et illuminabit te Christus.
Wherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.
The same sentiment is presented to us in Ephesians 5:14 that we hear on the first Sunday of Advent when we are bid by the apostle in the epistle from Romans 13:11-14 “Brethren: Understand, for it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we came to believe.” In the current socio-political climate, it is a prescient admonition, as it speaks to the urgency of the moment and the need to be vigilant in the face of a growing threat to traditional Catholic values.
That threat is “Woke Orthodoxy”, an ideology that has its roots in the “Cancel Culture” movement. Woke Orthodoxy seeks to impose a set of beliefs and values on all people, regardless of their faith or background. It promotes an extreme form of political correctness, and seeks to silence those who disagree with its views. This ideology is often presented as being in line with Catholic teaching, but in reality it is a radical departure from traditional Catholic beliefs.
Woke Orthodoxy is a pseudo-religious ideology that has gradually been gaining traction in the Catholic Church. It is a blend of progressive and conservative values which seeks to make the Church more inclusive, tolerant and understanding of modern issues and worldviews. In essence, it seeks to bridge the gap between Catholicism and modern society. While this may sound appealing on the surface, there are some dangers associated with Woke Orthodoxy that must be addressed.
First and foremost, Woke Orthodoxy can be seen as an attack on traditional Catholic beliefs. It often seeks to reinterpret the teachings of the Church to make them applicable to modern life, while disregarding or even contradicting long-held beliefs or doctrines. This type of “reinterpretation” can lead to confusion and division within the Church as it undermines its authority and its ability to effectively communicate its teachings.
Traditional Catholics can counter Woke Orthodoxy by emphasizing the importance of truth and reason over ideological dictates. They must also be willing to stand up for their beliefs, even when they are unpopular or seen as politically incorrect. Furthermore, they must strive to cultivate an atmosphere of respect and dialogue with those who hold different views, while at the same time vigorously defending the truth of their faith.
The emergence of what is known as “woke orthodoxy,” is a set of beliefs and ideologies that are rooted in social justice and a desire to combat injustice. This “wokeness,” as it’s often called, has its opponents, but it has also gained a lot of traction in certain circles. But what is woke orthodoxy and how can traditional Catholics counter it? Here, I’ll explore what woke orthodoxy is and discuss strategies for traditional Catholics to counter it.
Introduction to Woke Orthodoxy
At its core, woke orthodoxy is a set of beliefs and ideologies that are rooted in social justice and a desire to combat injustice. It is a movement that has gained traction among the younger generations, and it is a set of ideas that holds that the current power structures are oppressive and must be broken down and replaced with systems of equity and justice. It is a belief system that seeks to challenge the status quo and to bring about a more equitable and inclusive society.
The rise of woke orthodoxy has been met with a wide variety of reactions. Some reject it outright, those who embrace it, and those who simply don’t understand it. But regardless of one’s opinion, it is clear that woke orthodoxy has become a powerful force in today’s society. This blog will explore what woke orthodoxy is and how traditional Catholics can counter it.
What is Woke Orthodoxy?
Woke orthodoxy is a set of beliefs and ideologies that are rooted in social justice and a desire to combat injustice. It is a movement that has gained traction among the younger generations, and it is a set of ideas that holds that the current power structures are oppressive and must be broken down and replaced with systems of equity and justice. Woke orthodoxy is a belief system that seeks to challenge the status quo and bring about a more equitable and inclusive society.
Though perhaps based upon essentially well-intentioned and appreciable motives, the woke narrative is becoming increasingly destructive in its outcomes. It is a narrative that is often divisive and exclusive, and one which pits people against each other, rather than uniting them. This has had a particularly damaging effect on the Catholic Church, as many of its members have been caught in the crossfire of the woke movement.
The “Synodal Weg” in Germany is a prime example of the woke narrative impacting and confusing the minds of Catholics. Begun actually as a discussion on how to tackle clerical sexual abuse in the German Catholic Church, it became quickly a platform for the discussion of issues that had nothing to do with the original aim. The Woke narrative was imposed upon the synodal way, leading to discussions about gender roles, same-sex marriage and other topics that have no place in Catholic doctrine.
This has subsequently impacted the “synod on synodality” with ideas from the “synodal way” influencing and directing the discussions. This has led to confusion and division within the Church, and a lack of clarity about what it means to be Catholic. The woke narrative has also caused a rift between those who support the “synodal way” and those who oppose it, creating an atmosphere of division and mistrust amongst Catholics.
The woke narrative is not only causing division in the Catholic Church but in society at large as well. The tendency for woke activists to label anyone who does not agree with their views as “bigots” or “haters” has created an atmosphere of animosity and intolerance towards those who disagree with their views. This has had a damaging effect on our society, as it leads to people becoming increasingly polarised in their views, leading to further division and conflict.
Ultimately, if we are to tackle the issues that face our society today, we must move away from divisive narratives such as the woke narrative. We must instead strive for unity and understanding so that all people can come together to work towards solutions that benefit us all. This is something that the Catholic Church can be at the forefront of achieving if it chooses to reject the harmful effects of the woke narrative.
The Catholic Church needs to remain true to its teachings and not be influenced by the woke narrative if it is to remain a beacon of faith and hope in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to its beliefs and growing in nihilism. Ultimately, if Catholics are to remain true to their faith, they must remember that it is not a political movement but rather a set of beliefs based on love, mercy and grace and divine revelation. We must strive for justice and equality in our society, but we must also be careful not to allow divisive ideologies like Woke Orthodoxy to overtake our faith.
How Can Traditional Catholics Counter Woke Orthodoxy?
Traditional Catholics can counter woke orthodoxy by standing firm in their belief in truth and reason. They can take part in civil discourse and debate with those who disagree with them, while always remaining respectful. They can also continue to uphold traditional Catholic values such as charity, humility, and mercy. Finally, they can continue to work for justice within the Church by working to ensure that all members are treated with respect and dignity.
Origins of Woke Orthodoxy
The origins of woke orthodoxy can be traced back to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. During this era, activists and intellectuals began to challenge the status quo and call for a re-examination of the existing power structures. They argued that the existing power structures were oppressive and needed to be dismantled to create a more equitable society. In the Church this set of ideas began to be known as “liberation theology,” and it was during this period that the term “woke” began to emerge.
All these theories derive from relatively recent developments in socialist and communist thought, largely based not on the experience of these ideologies in practice, like Soviet Russia or Communist China, but from the idealism of academics largely removed from the experience of those they claim are oppressed or require liberation. It began as a late 19C academic exercise in theoretical criticism, especially literary criticism, but developed into schools of thought like Cultural Marxism.
It is not a political movement in the traditional sense, but rather a loose coalition of academics and intellectuals who critique Western society from a Marxist perspective. It is a branch of what is called Critical Theory. There are several tenets of Cultural Marxism that are common to all of its various schools of thought. Many of these were first stated by Karl Marx in the 19th century, and have been expanded on by academics and intellectuals who have picked up on these ideas.
It is important to note that these theories were largely not acted upon or put into practice. They were thought experiments, a way of examining the world and society and probing the limits of what had come before. However, as with all thought experiments, there was a danger that one day someone would try to put them into practice. And this is what happened in the late 20C with the growth of Cultural Marxism as an academic exercise.
Cultural Marxism is a school of thought that has had a strong influence on woke orthodoxy. This ideology argues that society is structured by oppressive power structures, such as capitalism and patriarchy, which must be dismantled to achieve true liberation. This has led to an emphasis on identity politics and the idea that the oppressed must be liberated first before any progress can be made.
Other schools of thought include critical race theory, intersectionality, and post-colonialism. These theories focus on how power structures are oppressive and how they affect people of colour and other marginalized groups. However, these theories lack substantial objective evidence to prove their claims and have been criticized for their lack of nuance and their tendency to oversimplify complex social issues.
Finally, woke orthodoxy has been heavily influenced by social media culture. On platforms such as Twitter, activists have used the term “woke” to refer to a state of awareness and understanding of social injustice and the need to fight it. The rise of the internet and social media platforms in the 2010s helped to spread these ideas and influenced young people to connect with like-minded individuals around the world. This gave rise to a new generation of activists who were committed to challenging the status quo and advocating for social change.
In the present era, the notion of woke orthodoxy is a crucial element of many social justice movements and serves as a method to indicate support for those who are disadvantaged or oppressed. It is also seen as a strategy to confront the pre-existing structures of authority and privilege that are part of our culture. Woke orthodoxy urges people to take steps and be involved in making a more just world. However, it is worth noting that the vast majority of woke activists have lifestyles that contrast immensely with the people they are supposedly advocating for, typically being from middle-class upbringings and more fortunate backgrounds than those they are attempting to liberate.
At its core, woke orthodoxy is a set of beliefs and ideologies that are rooted in social justice and a desire to combat injustice. It is a belief system that seeks to challenge the status quo and bring about a more equitable and inclusive society. The ideologies of woke orthodoxy can be divided into two main categories: political ideologies and social ideologies.
On the political side, woke orthodoxy believes in the need to dismantle oppressive systems and structures, such as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism. It also believes in the need to create systems of equity and justice that promote the rights of all people. On the social side, woke orthodoxy emphasizes the importance of understanding and respecting different cultures, identities, and experiences. It also stresses the need to create a more inclusive and equitable society.
Critical Race Theory is a key component of woke orthodoxy. This theory holds that racism is embedded in the fabric of society and is perpetuated through systemic structures and social norms. Critical Race Theory seeks to challenge these oppressive systems and ideologies in order to create a more equitable and just society. Woke orthodoxy also believes in the need for intersectionality, which recognizes how multiple identities intersect with one another to create unique experiences of oppression.
Intersectionality is especially important when it comes to understanding perceived forms of oppression. For example, a Black woman may experience both racial discrimination and sexism simultaneously. Similarly, a transgender person may experience both transphobia and homophobia. Woke orthodoxy believes intersectionality is key to countering injustice and inequity in our society.
Post Colonialism is the theory that examines the effects of colonization on the colonized and how it has shaped our current world. This theory looks at how colonialism has created structural inequalities and power imbalances between the colonizers and the colonized. Postcolonialism also examines how colonialism has impacted cultural identities, languages, and traditions.
Social Justice is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines how inequality and injustice are created and maintained in society. Social justice focuses on understanding the systems of power, privilege, and oppression in our society. It is concerned with creating a more equitable and just society through policy changes, advocacy, and activism.
Queer Theory is an academic field of study that examines the complexities of gender identity and sexuality. Queer theory looks at how traditional ideas about gender roles can be challenged or re-examined. It also studies how heteronormative expectations have shaped our current understanding of gender and sexuality.
Cancel Culture is the practice of calling out and criticizing people or organizations that are perceived to be perpetuating oppressive or discriminatory behaviour. This includes boycotting their products and services, publicly shaming them, and pressuring them to apologize. Cancel culture is often seen as a way to hold people accountable for their words and actions.
However, woke orthodoxy also rather contradictorily, advocates the supremacy of the individual, subjectivism and relativism, and a belief in the power of personal identity and experience as the ultimate source of knowledge and truth. This can lead to a lack of regard for objective facts, evidence, or reasoning. It also can lead to an over-emphasis on subjective emotions and feelings, which can be used to override or ignore facts or evidence.
It is fast becoming a destructive force in contemporary society, leading to an environment of division and polarization, where facts and evidence are ignored in favour of subjective feelings and emotions. This can lead to an atmosphere of intolerance, where individuals are judged based on their identity rather than their ideas or beliefs. It also can lead to a lack of discourse and dialogue, as individuals are not open to engaging with other perspectives or opinions. Ultimately, this can create a hostile environment that is not conducive to growth or progress.
In conclusion, woke orthodoxy is a set of beliefs and ideologies that claim to be rooted in social justice and a desire to combat injustice, yet are not against realising these by using negative and polarising tactics. It can lead to an atmosphere of intolerance and a lack of discourse, which can hinder or even prevent informed reasoned and rational dialogue.
In the rarefied environment of western academies – and note it is largely a western phenomenon, far removed from the lived experience of say, a peasant member of the underground church in China enduring oppression from the Community Party regime, or peasant-farmer in the Central African Republic facing the predations of warlords, woke orthodoxy can lead to a kind of myopia and moral paralysis.
If the woke activists in our universities rolled up their sleeves to help the poor and disadvantaged in our society, they might actually make a positive difference to the lives of those they claim to be concerned about. Instead, they pontificate from their ivory towers waxing lyrical about the woes of others, while not actually doing anything. In contrast, the Church, for example, has a long history of fighting injustice and poverty through practical action.
The woke movement also lacks humility, often failing to recognise the complexity of the issues they seek to address. They are quick to assign blame and judge those who don’t agree with them. Furthermore, their criticism of those who disagree with them is often vitriolic and even abusive. This kind of attitude only serves to further polarise opinion and does nothing to foster an atmosphere of dialogue and understanding.
In a 1976 homily before he was appointed Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero railed against what he saw as an overly militant liberation movement: “The liberation of Christ and of his church is not reduced to the dimension of a purely temporal project,” he said. “It does not reduce its objectives to an anthropocentric perspective: to a material well-being or to initiatives of a political or social, economic or cultural order, only. Much less can it be a liberation that supports or is supported by violence.”
Ultimately, we must strive for social justice in our society, but this must be done through reasoned discourse and respectful dialogue so that we can come together to find solutions that benefit everyone. Woke orthodoxy can lead us away from this goal as it fails to take into account the nuances of the issue at hand or consider different perspectives.
How Traditional Catholics Can Counter Woke Orthodoxy
Given the influence of woke orthodoxy in today’s social discourse, from elementary to higher education, employment practices to political policies, traditional Catholics should seek to counter this ideology by emphasizing the importance of traditional Catholic Social Teachings, which are based on the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity. These teach that all people have inherent dignity and should be respected regardless of race, gender, or creed; that all people are called to love their neighbour as themselves; and that social and economic justice can only be achieved through meaningful dialogue and collaboration.
Traditional Catholics can also emphasize the need for a balanced approach to social justice, one that takes into account both personal responsibility as well as systemic injustice. Finally, traditional Catholics should reject any form of violence or oppression in seeking justice. They should instead focus on promoting dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
Traditional Catholics have the opportunity to provide an alternative to the woke narrative and to educate people about the importance of upholding traditional Catholic values. Ultimately traditional Catholics by putting their faith in action and leading by example can counter the influence of woke orthodoxy.
Strategies for Countering Woke Orthodoxy
Once traditional Catholics have a clear understanding of what woke orthodoxy is and how it operates, they can begin to develop strategies for countering it. Here are some strategies for traditional Catholics to counter woke orthodoxy:
- Educate Yourself and Others: Traditional Catholics should educate themselves about the issues of woke orthodoxy and then use that knowledge to educate others.
- Engage in Dialogue: Traditional Catholics should engage in dialogue with those who are espousing woke orthodoxy in order to challenge their false claims and to offer an alternative perspective.
- Focus on Traditional Values: Traditional Catholics should focus on the traditional values of the Catholic faith and use them to counter the woke narrative.
- Utilize Social Media: Traditional Catholics should use social media to spread the message of traditional Catholicism and to counter the influence of woke orthodoxy.
The importance and relevance of traditional Catholic catechesis today should not be underestimated. Traditional Catholics should not avoid discussing controversial topics but rather engage with them, in a safe place, in order to know how and why to counter woke orthodoxy’s false narratives. If we don’t learn to discuss these topics in a healthy way and with respect, we will only further the divide in the Church and increase the level of hostility.
For traditional catechesis to be most effective, it must be delivered with love and acceptance of each person, regardless of where they are on their journey. “Anyone who seeks truth seeks God, whether or not he realizes it.” St Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) Traditional catechesis is not just about memorizing facts. It is a process of forming our conscience and developing our intellect in accordance with the truth. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “The encounter with truth is an encounter with God, the source of all truth.”
Understanding Woke Orthodoxy’s Pseudo-Religious Nature
While it is often described as a political movement, many have argued that woke orthodoxy has a pseudo-religious nature. This is because, like many religious movements, it is rooted in a set of beliefs and ideologies that seek to challenge the status quo and bring about a more equitable and inclusive society. It is also a movement that is highly concerned with identity and has a strong emphasis on social justice.
In addition, woke orthodoxy has its own language, rituals, and symbols. This includes terms such as “woke” and “ally,” as well as symbols such as the raised fist. This is indicative of a pseudo-religious movement that seeks to create an identity and sense of belonging among its adherents.
In contradiction, however, unlike Christ’s true religion, wokeism is not based in reality. Remember we’ve reflected before on the false perspective those without faith can have of the world, who do not “see with the eyes of faith” and this ideological approach is particularly prone to the same pitfalls. It’s a worldview that is not rooted in the truth of divine revelation or even science but instead has been constructed out of the desires and opinions of man, which can be easily manipulated and distorted. Furthermore, many of its tactics are aggressive and divisive, leading to further polarization within society.
Ultimately, while woke orthodoxy may have some pseudo-religious elements, it is ultimately a political movement that lacks the true spiritual foundation of genuine religion. It is a movement that seeks to advance its agenda through often coercive tactics, rather than engaging in thoughtful dialogue or working towards common understanding and consensus. It fundamentally rejects the notion of an absolute and objective truth that can be appreciated by all but instead insists on the very opposite—the idea that truth is subjective and can be constructed to suit the whims of any given individual or group. As such, it is an ideology that is ultimately doomed to fail in its quest to bring about lasting change in our society.
Identifying and Challenging Woke Orthodoxy’s False Claims
As I’ve discussed in previous episodes, there’s no need for us necessarily to engage in polemical arguments with ever-changing terminology and definitions when engaging with interlocutors for wokeism. Rather, we can address the false claims of woke orthodoxy by identifying and challenging their underlying assumptions and ideas. We can point out the logical fallacies and inconsistencies in their arguments, as well as demonstrate how some of their core beliefs are not supported by evidence or reason.
At the same time, we should also be aware of the fact that many people who adhere to woke orthodoxy do so out of a genuine desire to make the world a better place. As such, it is important to recognize that this is not necessarily a malicious or nefarious movement, but rather one based on a sincere belief in equality and justice for all. With this in mind, we should strive to engage with our interlocutors respectfully and civilly, while still challenging their ideas and beliefs to arrive at a more nuanced understanding of our shared reality.
However, it is important to be aware of the false claims and arguments being made by woke orthodoxy and challenge them when necessary. This can include recognizing the oversimplification of complex social issues and recognizing when evidence or facts are being used selectively to support a particular point of view. It can also include challenging the assumption that one particular perspective is “the only” correct way of viewing a given issue.
“May Christ be heard in our language, may Christ be seen in our life, may he be perceived in our hearts.” – St. Peter Damian
As Catholics, we often find ourselves in a difficult position when it comes to defending our traditional values in the face of the increasingly popular “woke” narrative. Whether it’s lifestyle, chastity, traditional marriage, contraception, homosexuality or gender identity, the messages we hear every day are often in stark contrast with what we’ve been taught.
So how do we counter these arguments in a way that’s both effective and faithful to our tradition? Well, I’d like to suggest a classic approach – the style of dialogue made famous by the great Catholic theologian St. Thomas Aquinas.
When it comes to lifestyle, chastity, traditional marriage, contraception, homosexuality and gender identity, the classic dialogue style of St. Thomas Aquinas is an incredibly effective way to counter the woke narrative. Aquinas was an expert in the field of natural law and his arguments were based on reason rather than emotion. Aquinas’s approach to moral reasoning is based on four key principles: the importance of the human person, the need for justice, the value of charity, and the centrality of faith. He developed a four-step process for engaging in dialogue with those who disagreed with him.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to agree with everything a person says to respect their opinion. Respecting another person’s viewpoint doesn’t require you to do anything. To truly respect another person, you must first respect yourself. The best way to do this is by accepting that you have flaws just like everyone else. Once you’re able to acknowledge your imperfections, it’s easier to respect and accept the flaws of others. It’s also easier to have sympathy for someone else too. Being objective does not mean being insensitive or ignoring the subjective experience of another.
The first step is to simply listen to your opponent’s arguments. Aquinas taught that understanding the other person’s point of view is the most important part of the process. Just listening to someone’s perspective can help you better understand their argument and how to effectively counter it. Remember we’ve reflected previously about compassionating, especially with those whose lives are affected by sinful attitudes and experiences.
Taking the time to just listen to someone without interrupting them or jumping to conclusions about their feelings or intentions can often be enough to help ease any tension that might be surrounding a conversation and make it more likely that the person speaking will feel comfortable enough to express themselves again in the future. Active listening doesn’t just mean hearing the words that come out of someone’s mouth, but actively taking in their non-verbal communication to better understand where they’re coming from.
Talking with a person in a state of anxiety or stress often has a different cadence to it. Be aware of any words or topics that seem to cause an increase in tension and try to avoid those as best you can. Try to focus on their facial expressions and tone in addition to what they’re saying to help you better understand their feelings and where they’re coming from.
Once you understand the other person’s point of view, it’s time to move on to the second step – presenting your arguments against their claims. Aquinas argued that this should be done with charity and respect. Again, remember we are charged to bring “light” into others’ darkness, we should aim to do so, however, “with all the patience of a teacher”, as the apostle admonishes. “Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which no man is saved.” – St Robert Bellarmine
The second step is to provide a logical response. Aquinas believed that reason should be used to counter any arguments that go against the teachings of the Church. By using logic and evidence, you can present your opponent with an effective rebuttal. Aquinas taught that it’s important to use clear and rational arguments that are based on natural law and the teachings of the Church.
Remember that the Church’s teaching and sacred Scripture apply to all people, in all places, of all time and generally irrespective of their situation, condition or state in life. That said, the Church has always had an open and responsive approach to its pastoral application. Consider the overarching principle of the application of canon law, “Salus animarum suprema lex” the whole point is the salvation of souls. Keeping this perspective in mind should help to depersonalise your contribution to the discussion and avoid distractions from the subjective perspective and personal lives of those you are engaging with.
When presenting your arguments, it is important to be respectful and charitable. Listen to the other person’s point of view, and be willing to hear them out. Don’t let the discussion become heated or personalised, as this will only further cloud the issue at hand. Be sure to keep an open mind and avoid getting defensive or attacking the other person’s beliefs. Ultimately, focus on finding common ground and understanding one another’s perspectives.
According to Aquinas, it is essential to be mindful of refraining from attacking someone’s character or veering into ad hominem arguments. You should also be aware of not referring to any of your opponent’s past actions or behaviours in the argument. This is because people don’t want to be reminded of their past failures or errors while they are in the middle of a discussion. To this end, one should strive to keep the conversation at an impersonal level, concentrating on the facts and using logic to challenge the other’s statements.
Avoid unnecessary confrontation and try to maintain a level of respect for each other’s position. Using ad hominem arguments or insulting your opponent may make you feel better, but it does nothing to prove your point. Remember to present your arguments objectively and without personal bias. This will help you to maintain a respectful and civil tone throughout the discussion, which will make it easier for your opponent to listen and consider your point of view.
Once you’ve presented your arguments, it’s time to move on to the third step – engaging in a dialogue. This is the most important part of the process. Aquinas believed that it’s important to listen to the other person’s arguments and try to find common ground.
Demonstrate respect for your opponent by referring to points they’ve made, this shows the sincerity of your interest, and that you’ve listened to them. Another great way to demonstrate that you’ve listened is to ask questions. Asking questions lets them know you’re interested in what they have to say and clarifies their position in the discussion.
Humility is also crucial in dialogue, not interrupting and allowing the other to speak will leave a positive impression on your interlocutor; whilst enabling you to identify any possible flaws or points of contention in their argument, as well as give you time to formulate your response. Try to be concise in your replies and as objective as possible, and try to avoid speaking from your own subjective perspective, except where doing so may help to illustrate a point.
Aquinas believed that dialogue can lead to a more accurate understanding of the truth. Therefore, it’s important to appreciate alternative perspectives. Convincing others doesn’t have to be a negative experience. With the right approach, it can be a very positive experience!
Finally, the fourth step is to consider the consequences. Aquinas believed that it’s important to think about the long-term implications of any decision or action. Think critically about the possible consequences and look for ways to minimize any negative outcomes.
We should be careful to not alienate anyone, but rather focus on what we have in common and what we can discover about each other. We should be careful not to assume the motives of others, but rather give them the benefit of the doubt. We should be careful not to shame others, but rather lift them up and encourage them to join our cause.
As Catholics, we should be careful to not demonize non-Catholics or those of different faiths, but rather show them the best of our faith. We should be careful not to be elitist, but rather be humble and allow ourselves to be challenged and changed by others. We should be careful not to be ideological, but rather have an open mind and be willing to consider all sides of an issue. We should be careful not to be confrontational, but rather be collaborative and work together.
By following the classic dialogue style of St. Thomas Aquinas, we can effectively counter the woke narrative against traditional Catholic arguments. By listening to and understanding our opponents’ arguments, presenting our counterarguments rationally and logically, engaging in a dialogue, and considering the consequences of our actions, we can effectively defend our values and beliefs.
Reforming Traditional Catholic Education
Finally, traditional Catholics should focus on reforming traditional Catholic education so that it is more accessible and relevant to young people today. This will help to counter the influence of woke orthodoxy and ensure that young people are exposed to traditional Catholic values and teachings.
Traditional Catholic schools should focus on providing a holistic education that is rooted in the perennial teachings of the Catholic Church and that emphasizes the importance of justice, human dignity, and respect for all. They should create an environment that is welcoming and inclusive to all students, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds. This will help to create an atmosphere of dialogue and understanding and will help to counter the influence of woke orthodoxy.
Home-schooling, a preferred and appreciable option for many traditional Catholic parents today, should likewise be careful not to so isolate children from the world that they are unprepared to deal with it and its ideologies later in life. Careful and considered introduction to and rational understanding of contemporary controversial topics should be included. These may include but are not limited to, exploring the facts and consequences of religious diversity, the dangers of materialism and consumerism, the truths and consequences of climate change, and the facts about the fall of communism and the evils of socialism.
All of these topics have significant implications for Catholic identity and action. Helping children to understand these implications, and to know how to respond appropriately to them, is an important part of their education. A natural by-product of home-schooling is that children will be largely responsible for their own education. This places even greater importance on the wisdom and discernment of parents in the materials and curriculum that they select.
Finally, traditional Catholic education should emphasize the importance of critical thinking and help young people develop the skills to think critically about the world around them. This will help them to evaluate the information they encounter in a thoughtful and nuanced way, rather than simply accepting it at face value or dismissing it without proper regard and due consideration.
In conclusion, woke orthodoxy is a set of beliefs and ideologies that are rooted in social justice and a desire to combat injustice. It is a belief system that seeks to challenge the status quo and bring about a more equitable and inclusive society. But it seeks to do this by any means and often the most destructive, consider the BLM so-called protests.
Traditional Catholic education, on the other hand, provides a holistic approach to learning that emphasizes critical thinking, wisdom, and discernment. It also seeks to equip young people with the skills and knowledge needed to live a life of virtue and to become productive members of society. Ultimately, traditional Catholic education provides an invaluable foundation for children that will serve them well in their future lives.
Instead of perceiving wokeism in a negative light, a more suitable pastoral response could be to embrace the connotation of being “woke”, which aligns with the Christian doctrine that instructs us to “arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ep 5:14). Therefore, the Church should put forth the “wokeism” of the gospel, encouraging us to stay alert since the Lord will return like “a thief in the night” (Mt 24.43). We must not be like the sleeping disciples when Jesus was in pain, or else he might say to us “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Mt 26:40). Christ is still suffering at present, and so we must be attentive to this anguish.
Traditional Catholics can counter woke orthodoxy by understanding the woke narrative, rejecting false claims, embracing traditional values, reforming traditional Catholic education, and engaging in dialogue with those who espouse woke orthodoxy. Counter the woke narrative today!