Everybody Worships

Today I’m happy to publish my first essay at National Review.

Today I’m happy to publish my first essay at National Review, “We’re All Fundamentalists Now.” In the essay I reflect on the curious similarities between the secular social justice movement and religious fundamentalism. I think the two movements are similar because they express the same truth about humans: We must worship and devote ourselves to something that has transcendent power.

Here’s an excerpt:

My fundamentalist upbringing gave me (though of course imperfectly) a grasp of non-neutrality, the inevitable moral character of the things we say, watch, and experience.

The rising generation of students is coming to this same realization but without the help of religion’s spiritual insight. The modern campus culture is a religious culture, but it’s a religion without God, and consequently it is a religion without grace. Many students would probably hear my story about growing up in conservative Evangelicalism and conclude that I have been violently oppressed. What if, though, we have more in common than they think? What if SJWism and religious fundamentalism are both expressions of a dissatisfaction with the decadence of modernity: its mindless consumerism, its divorce of virtue from culture, and its kowtowing to profit and power?

The crucial difference, of course, is that Christians and many other religious conservatives have a coherent theological narrative. Because we retain the language of sin and guilt, we have the categories necessary to confront cultural decadence with more than outrage.

Read the whole thing here.

Author: Samuel D. James

Believer, husband, father, acquisitions editor, writer.

3 thoughts on “Everybody Worships”

  1. I came here through your article at NR. It was terrific. I’m going to subscribe to your blog.

    I hope your writing gets a wider audience. Keep submitting pieces to national publications.


  2. I read this on National Review and sought you out to say I was blown away by the thoughtfulness and quality of your article! You capture flaw in the current post-modern / post-truth climate when quoting Genesis, in that our desire to worship is inherent and we will always believe in something, even if it is the wrong thing, as a human it simply can’t be helped.
    I certainly hope it is not the last time you will be writing for the National Review. Well done!


  3. Great article! I found it on The Gospel Coalition reprint of your NR essay. Your fair-minded style and the careful and creative explanation of the analogous camps drew me in. Your voice needs to be heard–on TGC, NR, and elsewhere!


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