Swiss theologian: Wokism is threat to church




A Swiss LGBT activists places a candle during a vigil for the victims of a mass shooting in 2016. Photo EPA, Ennio Leanza

The woke movement does not leave churches unaffected. Out goes the crucifix because it might offend a visitor. The selection of hymns might not survive the cleanse either, as everyone should feel included in the church. Even the Bible may not be left intact.

Churches are working on their wokeness, the Swiss theologian Beatrice Acklin Zimmermann notices.

Political correctness and woke are a “furore that has gripped the spiritual life of the Western world”, Acklin Zimmermann writes in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. It also creeps into the churches she sees. Nowadays, “the state of mind and the subjective concern of people who feel discriminated against determine what is sung, prayed and preached.”

The Swiss theologian stresses that a bit of wokeness in the church to fight indecency and disrespect is a good thing. However, it can also go too far. “If the right measure is lost, every virtue can become a vice.”

Original sin

The “new, secular religion” demands everyone to abandon their own worldviews and embrace wokeness, she writes. To escape the “original sin of racism and social injustice”, one must make a public confession of sin. And whoever dares to not comply with the woke doctrines risks persecution and ex-communication by means of cancel culture. In that sense, the woke culture does not know any pardon. Whether the “transgression” happened last month, last year or twenty years ago, it must be cleansed, according to Acklin Zimmermann. “The doomsday of political correctness knows no forgiveness.”

The theologian wonders why churches do not raise their voice and comply silently with this “modern substitute religion.” She finds it strange that churches that preach the uniqueness of human beings allow the modern ideology to reduce people to their skin colour, gender, origin and status. She also wonders why churches constantly accused of censorship now silently accept the censorship of the woke movement that silences any possible opposition. “They show little of a Christian rebelliousness when it comes to adapting to the Zeitgeist”, she writes.


As a result, churches may lose their principles and “become less and less attractive because they serve everyone up to the point of facelessness”, she warns. Whoever marries the Zeitgeist, the theologian cites Kierkegaard, will soon be a widower.



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