The sourpusses of wokeism
What you believe in should make you happy, even joyful. The title of Pope Francis's apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is right on target: the Gospel is joyful. Indeed, the word "Gospel" itself means "Good News."
That makes me wonder what psychological impairment encumbers the woke. Have you ever seen a happy wokester? Everything seems to be perennially bad. They await a promised good day sometime in the undefined future — kind of like Marxists (but I repeat myself) who grimaced in expectation of a heavenly earth after the victory of "communism."
Case in point: a July 3 New York Times article, "No Sparklers for These Folks." It informs us why some Americans are choosing to opt out of Independence Day.
It's a standard Times genre that precedes every American holiday, telling us why we should suppress our joy. Columbus Day is about a mistaken dead white European male bent on genocide. Thanksgiving must be preceded by diatribes over "stolen" land and supplemented with talking points to correct right-wing Uncle Joe at the Thanksgiving dinner table, to everybody's universal indigestion. Christmas, if it dare speak its name, is now analyzed by how it's better not to go home for the holidays. It will, of course, be preceded by etiquette advice about how not to offend people by its Christian roots and, most likely, be supplemented by how the best and brightest are celebrating "Winter Solstice." Mother's Day requires cancelation, ostensibly in the name of grieving mothers, but one suspects out of radical antipathy to the institution of motherhood as something noble.
Now the Times informs us why people don't want to celebrate the Fourth. After all, given America's systemic racism and its refusal to reckon with its past; its ongoing X-, Y-, and Z-phobia; its failed promise; and the bellyache du jour, how could one be proud of such a country? The truly patriotic thing would be not to be patriotic.
It seems a paradox, though, that the woke who bear the hard burden and heavy yoke of being American insist on maintaining open borders for those who, being less useful idiots, are also less conflicted about where they want to live.
No doubt the next gripe piece — for Labor Day — will be how oppressed American workers (especially those in the Times newsroom) are being told to get back to the office full-time three years after COVID.
John M. Grondelski was former associate dean of the School of Theology, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey.