Intersectionality Is Our New National Religion

The demise of religion among American youth is greatly exaggerated. It turns out that America isn't raising a new generation of unbelievers. Instead, rising in the heart of deep-blue America are the zealots of a new religious faith. They're the intersectionals, they're fully woke, and the heretics don't stand a chance.Just ask Christina Hoff Sommers. The American Enterprise Institute scholar and feminist-who-says-things-that-upset-feminists walked into the First Intersectional Church of the Lewis and Clark Law School and promptly experienced the congregation's wrath as student protesters tried to shut down her talk.Just ask Bethany Mandel. Recently she published a harrowing story in the New York Times, describing an experience with a home intruder and how she, as a young Jewish mom, receiví a wave of threats from actual Nazis during the 2016 election season.But according to gun-control activist Shannon Watts, the real issue is white privilege. No, really, she said in a Tweet: "Your white skin makes you less likely to be at risk as a gun owner - regardless of your hardscrabble background. I guess you don't believe in racism."Every day can bring new stories. College shout-downs are common. Online social-justice shame campaigns are a regular feature of Internet life. People who live in the cathedrals of intersectionality -- the nation's most progressive campuses and corporations -- report that they risk their careers if they dare dissent.America has struggled with university censorship before. Litigators have battled campus speech codes for a full generation. Intolerance in the name of tolerance has been a fact of campus life for a long time. But there's something different about intersectionality. The virus has jumped from patient zero and is spreading like wildfire in blue culture. And it's spreading in part because it is filling that religion-shaped hole in the human heart.I'm hardly the first person to make this argument. Andrew Sullivan has noted intersectionality's religious elements, and John Sexton has been on this beat for a year. Smart people know religious zeal when they see it.While there's not yet an Apostle's Creed of intersectionality, it can roughly be defined as the belief that oppression operates in complicated, "interlocking" ways. So the experience of, say, a white trans woman is different in important ways from the experience of a black lesbian. A white trans woman will experience the privilege of her skin but also oppression due to her gender identity. A black lesbian may experience the privilege of "cis" gender identity but also oppression due to race and sexuality. It's identity politics on steroids, where virtually every issue in American life can and must be filtered through the prisms of race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.Intersectionality privileges experiential authority, with each distinct identity group able to speak conclusively and decisively only about their own experience. So when an issue impacts trans rights, the trans community takes the lead. The responsibility of the rest of the community is to act, then, as their "allies." If a racial issue comes to the fore -- for example, in the context of protests over police shootings -- then African Americans take the lead, and LGBT or women's groups come alongside in support.This is why you'll often see activist organizations on the left tweet in support of people or causes that have little to do with the mission of the organization. When one part of the movement is threatened, the entire movement is threatened.  Continue reading...

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