In a previous column, I made mention of the “cult of victimhood.” For many months I have thought about writing a column on the rise of this cult, and the insidious consequence of minority rule.
First, let’s get some definitions straight. A “cult” is recognized as a group where the majority are kept in check by a charismatic minority who exert tremendous pressure demanding conformity to a new way of thinking and living.
Second, this new way of thinking and living is declared unimpeachable, and all who attempt push back are summarily ridiculed, ostracized or worse. Lastly, pressure to conform, combined with the fear of isolation, contribute to group think, even when it is clearly illogical and absurd. The result is an ever growing number of people radically charged to believe a lie rather than risk no being part of the group.
Since time began there have been victims of disease, natural disasters and mankind’s propensity to violence. From birth humans develop a conscience which intuitively recognizes right from wrong, good from bad and helpful from hurtful.
We also recognize those who, through no fault of their own, end up the victims of wrong, bad and hurtful. And, appropriately, good people respond to these victims with sympathy, compassion and assistance.
Additionally, many who are victimized demonstrate great courage, resilience and patience becoming role models, even heroes, for the watching world.
Make no mistake, I recognize, honor and respect those who graciously fight through their circumstances in demonstrating what is best in the human spirit.
But things have changed in the world of victimhood. In a largely unnoticed power grab, what constitutes victimhood has been so downsized that now everyone can be a victim of something, and therefore, deserving of special treatment, special privileges, and most of all, the right to never being offended in any way, ever. This power has become pervasive, as a charismatic minority have re-written the rules and created a societal peer-pressure that keeps the majority cowering and quiet even as the absurd and illogical become the norm.
As an example, take the rush to make sure no one ever uses a pronoun that may be offensive to the gender-fluid, non-binary minority. In schools and universities across the nation, teachers are being forced to identify students in any of over 70 “acceptable” pronouns even though medical science and psychiatry agree gender is determined by DNA.
The clear fact that our society is being overrun by a minority—not of true victims—but by wannabe power-seekers, ought to wake the rest of us up. And it ought to anger true victims most of all.
Those who have suffered real life-interrupting trauma ought to be shouting down those who happened to have endured the horror of being whistled at by a man, reprimanded by a teacher, disciplined by a parent, pulled over by a police officer, fired for being incompetent or any of a thousand other realities in our world.
Victimhood should never be allowed to replace integrity, hard work and truth as a means to finding public acclaim.
Real victims work through their suffering with courage and humility. Pseudo-victims use their inflated sense of loss as a means of power by which the few can bind the many to their desires. And as they redefine right as wrong, and whatever they disapprove of as biased, racist, misogynist or whatever-est, we sit by, reacting in one of two ways.
First, we consider it so absurd as to be unbelievable. Surely such tripe-filled declarations will never win the day, right? Or, second, we say nothing for fear of being characterized as small-minded, uneducated and backward. Even worse, we fear being ostracized for believing traditional values and biblical morality are the surest foundation for society as a whole.
As Edmund Burke reminded us, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It’s time for us to winsomely push back against the thought police, against those who are using pseudo-victimhood as a battering ram on the walls of freedom and civil discourse. Our defense is sure.
We have logic, truth and the weight of history on our side.
David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. “Ethically Speaking” runs Saturdays in The Signal.