A common charge made against Social Justice Warriors by members of the online resistance movement is that social justice has become a religion for Social Justice Warriors – that feminism is a religion. Given that most of the anti-SJW pro-liberty figures are atheists, this charge is meant to be an insult. But it is far closer to the truth than those who make the charge realize. Contemporary Social Justice Warrior-ism has taken root in the US, UK and Canada predominately, all of which have some things in common, including a religious history rooted in Protestantism.
What does Protestantism have to do with a largely atheistic movement? The answer lies in the impact these religious doctrines have on culture. Protestant ideas, especially extreme ideas associated with Calvinism, are pervasive in American culture today. This was revealed to me by reading a book for my doctoral dissertation on an entirely separate topic. The book is Broken Trust, Broken Land by Robert G Lee, which focuses on the topic of environmentalism and the authoritarian nature of the environmentalist movement. Lee is a forester and sociologist who himself believed in the claims of the environmental movement until he grappled with two major issues in the movement.
The first movement issue he dealt with was the authoritarian nature of the environmental movement. According to Lee, natural resource managers don't particularly care about the jobs lost, lives destroyed, and families undermined by the policies of resource managers who live and work hundreds if not thousands of miles away from the lands they manage. Lee responds to the claim made in the 90s by conservatives that environmentalists are not American:
There is a tendency for Americans to be easily seduced by biocentric views because we still hold a Calvinist outlook on life, and have difficulty accepting responsibility for others. We tend to see ourselves through a lens of religious imagery as a favored people whose destiny is to lead the world to freedom and enlightenment. Hence, it would be totally wrong to say that radical environmentalists are 'anti-Americans.' They are instead about as American as they can be. Environmental preservationists are simply the latest in a long line of reformers who have drawn upon our Puritan origins and Calvinist ethics to divide the world into the saved and the damned. The religious imagery we inherited from Calvin, although now highly secularized, is what makes the environmental movement so appealing. Calvinism is a familiar resting place in a time of uncertainty and rapid change. (Lee 1994, pg 52).
Lee goes on to illustrate the destructive nature of dividing society between the 'saved' and the 'damned.' If you change the words 'environmentalist' and 'biocentric' into 'Social Justice Warrior' and 'feminist' (respectively) you'll see that this idea applies equally to the landscape in the US today. As Lee says, Calvinism is hidden in the idea that some authorities have the right to tell others how we should live, to plan our lives, and to manage the technical infrastructure that makes modern life what it is. Thus we see ideologues like Anita Sarkeesian as part of the new censorship movement on Twitter. Thus, to shamelessly rework a quote of Lee and apply it to the current landscape, “Anyone who has seen Calvin's ghost will conclude that [feminism] embodies moral exclusion and could, under adverse political circumstances, lead to horrors few would have anticipated. A secularized Calvinism provides no limits to radical solutions for [social justice] problems” (Lee, pg 53, edits mine). The horrors today include the case of Gregory Allen Elliot who made the mistake of confronting radical feminists online and disagree with them forcefully; Elliot was charged in Canada with harassment and banned from the internet for 2 years until he won his case in court. The Elliot case only touches the surface of the horrors of social control we see being promoted by adherents to the new Calvinism, however.
Feminist curriculum in public elementary schools targets children at their most impressionable age. That is, taxes are being used to promote an ideology rooted in a strange and unholy marriage between Marxism and Calvinism. Children are actively being taught unscientific and unsupported theories regarding gender identity. Children are being indoctrinated to believe race-based privilege is a real thing when they are too young to engage the concept and make informed decisions on their own regarding these important topics. Jailing people for saying unpopular things is scary but the terrifying prospect is that feminists are using the state in the US and Canada to remake society in their image. In true Calvinist form they are conditioning people into being in the feminist elect.
If this book sounds interesting to you follow the link. I make no money off the sales of the book and have no connection to Dr Lee in any way. Buy it here for the current cost of 1 penny plus shipping in the US. It's worth the read.