Hi, my name is Kristen, and I’m a recovering Social Justice Warrior. It has been nearly two years since my last self-righteous attempt to shame people that see the world differently than I do.
It’s been a hard road;)
I’m not quite sure how it all started. Maybe it was the charismatic Sociology professors I had at my University. Or, perhaps it was processing my own feelings of powerlessness within my personal experiences of being violated by the opposite sex that initially lead to my holding such a lofty view of identity politics.
What I’ve learned on my journey to recovery is that the dynamics at play in the views we hold are complex. Not only that, but the nature of our motivations for holding certain viewpoints are often hiding in plain sight– just outside of our present awareness. The fact that the route to bringing our inner motivations into awareness can be boarded off completely by our own feelings of ‘righteous’ indignation only adds to the potential for spiritual peril.
To be completely transparent, it was the all-encompassing power of my own self-righteous indignation that forced me to admit that I had developed a problem.
Regardless of how righteous our political views make us feel, we do not hold them because we are superior to those with divergent opinions. That any single one of us can rightly and truly perceive the totality of Reality– on our own — is flawed at best, idolatry at its worst. We are, after all, limited not only by the narrowness of sensate perception, but also by our varying ability to integrate all of that raw data into meaningful information. Human cognition is finite, and prone to error. Add to that the irrationality of what remains of our mammalian instinctual drives, and you begin to realize how foolhardy it is to set human consciousness up as god-like.
However, at the heart of every ideologue is the belief that their thoughts and ideas are the Gospel truth. As the focus becomes fixated on right or wrong ideas, there is this clear movement away from objectively right or wrong action, along with a rejection of measuring up to any standard other than the one set up for one’s self (or the one constructed by your tribe of like-minded idealogues).
My “rock-bottom” moment came about when my family was hounded and harassed by other Christian Social Justice Warriors, after leaving Seminary a few years back. Here’s the thing, when any secular ideology usurps the actual Gospel as the measure of what it means to follow Christ, the Christian faith loses all of its power. The life-changing dynamic of a personal striving to obey the Greatest Commandment (and the one that follows) at all costs is overshadowed by self-serving Neo-Marxist theories of power dynamics. And, as far as human behavior is concerned, anything goes and no one but those that are labeled as enemies are held to account for what transpires.
Disillusionment can be a very effective catalyst for change. A very painful catalyst. Which is why I’m telling my story. I used to be a Christian Social Justice Warrior. Now, I’m just a much humbled follower of the Living Christ. And now my righteousness is rooted in striving to be faithful to Him, and to what He personally expects from me–not in unchallengd adherence to unproven theories of human behavior.