There is a lot of misleading stuff which tries to say that Leftism is 'a religion' (usually, implicitly meaning that religion is A Bad Thing) - and there are a bunch of political theorists who like to explain the increasingly anti-Good destructiveness and inversion of Leftism in terms of 'Holiness Spirals' - as if Leftism was a religion, in which there was such a thing as Holiness.
(And as if Holiness was a good thing only 'up to a point', beyond which we would be 'too Holy'?... In Christianity, this is nonsense - and the Holier we are, the better, without limit.)
Such rhetoric is either deliberately or ignorantly subversive of Christianity.
Serious Christians would not be keen on trying to prove that the very obviously demonic ideology of modern Western Leftism is 'A Religion'; nor would real Christians want to call the increasing evil of the Left a kind of 'Holiness'.
Christianity and Leftism are in essence opposites; religion and ideology are opposites, increasing-holiness and increasing-evil are opposites.
(This is surely obvious, yes? Not rocket science!)
A real Christian wants society to be organised on Christian principles (everything else fitted-around); but a Leftist wants society organised on political, economic, sexual, racial, environmental or some other Not-Christian principles.
Now, it is trivially-true that there are resemblances between almost any two things or people or groups - but so what? It is by ultimates that we discern: and between Christianity and Leftism there is opposition of metaphysics, motivation, ideals - they are as different as things can be (despite that there is Good and evil in every person and group, and that there is deception and error in all understanding).
They are different because Christianity and Leftism are on opposite sides, because Leftism is demonic.
There is no overlap between the view that God is real, and that of materialism; that Jesus was divine versus that he was an ordinary human (and probably did not exist) (and that there is indeed nothing divine); that death is a transformation versus that death is annihilation; that those who follow Jesus will live eternally and resurrected in Heaven with the divine family versus that everybody who dies will merely burn or rot. And so on...
Why then go to such lengths to use religious terminology, concepts, analogies for what is in essence and reality the ultimate anti-religion?
For the modern Christian; we are in a spiritual war, a war between Heaven and Hell, between God and Satan; and this war is hotting-up by the month. The two sides are becoming more clearly differentiated, and more easily detected. The gloves are coming-off...
The Christian side is in favour of God, Good, and Creation - the demonic side is against all of these and not in favour of anything specifically, except what helps (here-and-now) in the strategy of destroying GG&C.
The evil of Leftism (as it exists here and now in The West) is Not about creating some alternative-Heaven; it is not about making a utopia, a Heaven on Earth. That is a lie.
Instead evil is defined negatively; evil is about the subversion and destruction of Good, and ultimately it is about the inversion of Good.
Consider the sexual revolution. The post-middle-sixties developing agenda of divorce, promiscuity, perversion, homosexuality, trans, paedophilia and whatever comes after... is not aiming-at any specific ultimate alternative form of human sex and sexuality.
There is no Leftist utopia of sex/ ulaity towards-which Leftism is moving us. Instead there is merely a series of dishonest, expediently subversive, incoherent stances: adopted tactically, then set-aside when convenient.
The sexual revolution (like Leftism in general) it is a negative program. Any positive elements are merely expedient, temporary, discarded when the next stage of destruction is ready to proceed; just as 60s style 'free love' (heterosexual extramarital promiscuity) was discarded in favour of feminism; and feminism discarded in favour of trans.
The sexual revolution is directed against Christian Goods such as celibacy, marriage, and family. Leftism in general is directed against real Christianity and real Christians ('real' regardless of denomination, church or no-church).
Leftism is opposed to holiness and real Christian religion. So, to deploy religious language and concepts to analyse Leftism is to serve the agenda of evil; to take the wrong side in the ongoing spiritual war*.
*Of course - we all err and sin, and we can find ourselves fighting on the wrong side. I certainly have found this to be the case, more than once. But then the situation is remediable. Any Christian can repent at any time - it is never too late (this side of death).
I think the key point here is the negative nature of Leftism, not the list of specific differences from Christianity. Very different beliefs and practices are to be expected among different religions, but what makes me tend to agree with you that Leftism is not a religion, is the lack of any bottom-line loyalty to anything or anyone. The metaphor of "devil worship" comes very naturally, but what we are actually seeing is a lack of any worship at all, not loyalty to any particular devil.
Also, of course, the whole idea of Leftism's enemies "accusing" it of being a religion presupposes that a religion is a disreputable thing to be. We see something similar with atheism, where its enemies always seem to be keen to call it a religion and even insist that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a theist -- as if religion and faith were bad things!
Leftism appears to be a religion because for many it occupies the same psychic space as the public aspects of religion (i.e., the organization, cultivation and enforcement of moral authority). What it lacks is an underlying spiritual dimension, the realm of the private and transcendent. It is mired in the materialism of the present. But the public resemblance that Leftism has with religion has allowed it to occupy the vacuum that opened up as organized Christianity atrophied in the West due, in no small part, to that very materialism. So while it may be the opposite of religion in many ways, Leftism is surely an effective social competitor.
@Wm - Indeed the term 'religion' is itself a problem. There is no good definition, and historically it served an anti-Christian role.
The current example is illustrative.
It is only really coherent to discuss this from a Christian persepctive (i.e. reality) because That, specifically, is what Leftism is directed against.
@BW - That is exactly the view I am challenging, trying to refute.
To be opposed to something is Not equivalent to being an alternative version of the same-kind-of-thing. There is no symmetry between Christianity and Leftism.
Perhaps another analogy would be between sanity and psychosis - they aren't opposites. Psychosis is the breakdown of sanity - loss of a Real world view, not an 'alternative' world view.
(Leftism is literally psychotic, so the analogy is pretty exact.)
The Puritan holiness spiral disproves your thesis.
When Cromwell cracked down in the seventeenth century, he was cracking down on puritans whose holiness had spiraled into nineteenth century communism and twentieth century leftism.
Venezuela is the umpteenth replace of the famine that the first puritan settlers in America inflicted upon themselves.
@jj - No, Leftism (as in this example, precisely) is the enemy of Christianity. Diggers, Levellers etc were apostates, they were not engaged in increasingly holiness; they were replacing Christianity with politics.
Left this at bonald's too.
It’s not “holiness spirals” or “virtue signaling”, it’s status spirals/signaling.
@BB - Well, not really. That's a reductionist/ cynical sociological analysis - I really think we need to set aside such things and try to understand from assumptions of spiritual warfare.
So, the use of 'holiness' in this context (by people who do not believe in real/ objective holiness, nor perhaps in real virtue) is a covert/ deniable example of anti-Christianity - motivated (usually) by a personal committment to some leftist aspect of sex/ sexuality (eg./ especially extra marital promiscuity). It is thus an Antichrist phenonomenon - affecting support for Christianity, but subverting Christianity by giving it an subordinate priority.
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