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Cancel Culture Attacks Are Leftist Attempts To Protect Their Political Religion

Ilya Shapiro
Image CreditGage Skidmore/Flickr

As attacks on Joe Rogan and Ilya Shapiro show, the woke have certain doctrines that one cannot deny while remaining part of their fellowship.


It seems that every day in this era of wrath and buffoonery, woke lefties wake up and seek to devour someone’s career like a bowl of Lucky Charms. In recent days, they homed in on one fresh-faced target and one familiar punching bag — the former being author and legal scholar Ilya Shapiro and the latter being podcaster-comedian Joe Rogan.

Recently, Georgetown Law announced it had hired Shapiro to be executive director and senior lecturer at the Georgetown Center for the Constitution. Unrelated to this, and in response to President Joe Biden’s promise to choose a Supreme Court nominee primarily based on the categories of sex and race, Shapiro wrote the following (since deleted) tweets:

Imprecise as his words may have been (let he who tweeted without editing cast the first stone), it was abundantly clear that when Shapiro referred to a hypothetical “lesser black woman,” he meant neither “a woman who is of lesser value because she is black” nor “a woman who is less qualified because she is black,” but  “a lesser qualified woman who happens to be black.” 

Despite the obvious absence of bigotry, the professional slander vultures of social media began to gin up a mob calling for Shapiro to lose the position he’d just received. As of Monday morning, Georgetown placed Shapiro on leave while the school determines whether the tweets everybody in the universe knows weren’t racist were racist. Unsurprisingly, this act of half-cowardice was unacceptable to many Georgetown Law students, who staged a sit-in and demanded the school take full-cowardice measures and fire Shapiro.

Rogan, on the other hand, found himself in the crosshairs of singer/songwriter/human sacrifice apologist Neil Young. Young informed Spotify that he would not share the platform with Rogan, a platform Young claimed Rogan was turning into “the home of life threatening COVID misinformation.”

When Spotify refused to deplatform Rogan, Young made good on his promise and removed his music. Other artists joined Young’s protest, causing Spotify to promise they would add a “content advisory” notice to podcasts that discuss the coronavirus. Whether this will serve as a half-measure leading up to Rogan’s canning remains to be seen.

Why the Rage?

For those who fall somewhere on the “digitally or professionally existing near someone I don’t agree with doesn’t give me panic attacks” spectrum, these attempts to silence contrary viewpoints can be rather confusing. Why the rage? Why the vitriol and misrepresentation? Why go out of your way to destroy the careers of people whose views should be easily refuted if they are, in fact, so baseless?

To answer these questions, it helps to remember, as others have noted, that wokeness is more of a religion than a political philosophy in various and sundry ways. Just as Christians have certain doctrines that one cannot deny and remain a part of their fellowship, so the woke have certain dogmas that cannot be questioned.

Some men get pregnant. Abortion is health care. Cheeseburgers are white supremacy. Likewise, both Christians and the woke have a vested interest in protecting their pulpits from those who might spew false doctrine from them.

To illustrate this point, imagine you’re the pastor of a humble Lutheran church. You walk into your sanctuary one Sunday morning, eager to proclaim the gospel to your saints again. But when you gaze upon your pulpit, behold, it is occupied by a Mormon missionary who informs you that he is going to preach to your flock that morning. You politely inform him that he has five seconds to vacate the premises or you’re going to call the police. 

Why would you respond this way? The answer is simple. According to your religion, God has given your congregation this sanctuary to hear the word of truth. God has given you that pulpit to feed your sheep with the gospel and to keep them safe from the preaching of anyone who would deny your most sacred beliefs. Out of love for your God and your fellow Christians, you zealously protect your pulpit.

In a sense, this is what leftists are doing with cancel culture. They do not want their sanctuary filled with falsehoods that they believe will destroy peoples’ bodies or souls. They want to ensure that everyone who steps into the pulpit is going to speak what they consider the orthodox truth to the faithful.

Leftists Believe Their Pulpit Is Everywhere

The difference between the Lutheran pastor and the leftist mob, however, is that the Lutheran pastor recognizes his sanctuary is the building located at 123 S. Main Street, while the woke are firmly convinced their sanctuary is every square inch of the entire world. They have convinced themselves that every avenue of human communication is their pulpit.

Educational institutions are their pulpit. Corporations are their pulpit. Entertainment is their pulpit. Social media is their pulpit. The PA system at Sam’s Club is their pulpit. There is no microphone on earth that does not exist to proclaim their doctrines.

On account of this, whenever anyone has the audacity to publicly articulate views they consider heretical, the default reaction of the woke is to drive them out of the pulpit and into the wilderness. What, then, were Shapiro and Rogan’s sins that warranted these froth-mouthed attempts to take their jobs and their audiences away?

Shapiro and Rogan’s Sins Were Preaching Without a Leftist License

In Shapiro’s case, it wasn’t really his inartfully crafted tweets. He could have tweeted a recipe for vanilla almond fudge and the slander vultures would still have screamed that this was a neo-Nazi dog whistle and demanded his job. Nor was Shapiro’s sin bringing shame upon Georgetown.

It was being hired by Georgetown. Shapiro’s sin was stepping into an academic pulpit that leftists believed was given to them by the gods of racial grievances and then blaspheming those gods by questioning the sacrament of identity politics. 

Likewise, Rogan’s sin was not so much misleading his listeners about Covid but merely having acquired listeners without the left’s permission. How dare that meathead walk into our pulpit and depart from the holy script we expect everyone with an audience to read! How dare he embolden Covid vaccine skeptics by interviewing accomplished doctors who are questioning the current coronavirus corporate consensus!

Rogan should be interviewing saints like Anthony Fauci and Rochelle Walensky and Bill Gates, all of whom are infinitely more responsible for driving vaccine hesitancy but perfectly acceptable to us because they repeat the orthodox truths! How dare Rogan share a platform with faithful cantors like us! Get him out of the Spotify pulpit before his dangerous, anti-science rhetoric contaminates our holy psalms.

If Lefties Actually Wanted to De-escalate Their Culture War

I doubt I’ll ever walk into my sanctuary on Sunday morning and find a Mormon occupying my pulpit. It’s not within their nature to be so presumptuous and disrespectful.

But if I did, I imagine the best way to deescalate the situation would be to say, “My friend, you can’t teach in my sanctuary, but there are plenty of places that aren’t my sanctuary. You are not welcome in my pulpit, but you are welcome at my dinner table. So tell me about your beliefs there and I’ll tell you why I don’t share them.”

If any left-leaning folks would like to deescalate the culture wars, perhaps this is how they could convince their more zealous brothers to ease up on the heresy hunting. Perhaps they could look at the high priests of wokeness and say, “If we want to make a religion of politics, fine. If we want to make election night our high holy day, good and well.

“But nobody is asking us to elect Joe Rogan president or to appoint Ilya Shapiro to the Supreme Court. Not every corner of the earth is our sanctuary. In fact, most places are dinner tables. So let them talk. Hear them out so we can refute the ideas they’re endorsing. In the end, perhaps we’ll discover that those vile heretics didn’t end up profaning our holy house at all.”