By Tim Von Dohlen

We Christians Face a Difficult Road Ahead

April 24, 2021

If someone were to tell you there is a new religion sweeping across America and the west, would you be surprised? What if that person could show you this has been in discussion since the early 20th century, would that make you start to listen?

What’s Happening Has Been Planned for More than a Century

In fact, this started in the early 20th century in a German school of philosophy called the Frankfurt School which developed a social philosophy called Critical Theory.

“Critical Theory critiques culture and challenges the underlying power structures of society. It is a movement to ‘liberate human beings from the circumstances that enslave them,’ reinterpreting western culture as a story of the oppressor vs. oppressed,” wrote Max Funk in an article entitled “Wokeism-The New Religion of the West.”  (Please find a link to Funk’s piece in the “Related Resources” section at the end of this article)


Where has this already played out in front of us,

but with us not realizing exactly what was happening?

Recall several recent events, riots, not peaceful protests, particularly in Oregon and Minnesota (not to mention Chicago, Oakland and Walnut Creek California, Seattle, and other cities) where hundreds of businesses have been broken into and property destroyed.

Recall the recent and growing calls to defund the police.

Recall taking a knee instead of standing for the national anthem, or holding up a fist to show solidarity with a progressive or socialist cause.

Could these and other events have been part of a bigger plan?

Critical Theory Seeks to Dismantle and Rebuild Our Culture and Is Rampant in Colleges, Universities and Public Schools

“In Critical Theory, the only things that exist are hierarchies of power, and those hierarchies must be torn down. The goal of this movement, whether stated or not, is nothing less than the compete dismantling and rebuilding of western culture from the ground up.

“Critical Theory started to become prominent among western academics in the 90s and eventually infiltrated almost every university in the western world. In recent years, the ideology has left the university and has made the jump to media and corporate culture, establishing itself as the primary moral culture within western societies. Currently, the main lines of separation between oppressors and oppressed are race, sex, and gender identity.

“This is not just a political or social movement within the framework of traditional enlightenment values. Concepts such as logic, science, and reason are viewed as tools of the oppressive white patriarchy. Values like individualism, hard work, punctuality, and delayed gratification would be understood as perpetuating white supremacy. Critical Theory has become much more than a social philosophy and is the primary philosophical driving force behind the new civil religion of wokeism,” writes Funk.

This has even reached into high schools, elementary schools, and junior high schools.

For example, in Dedham, MA, “Cancel culture has come to high school football. Coach Flynn was fired for exercising his constitutional rights to object as a citizen and father (of a 7th grade daughter) to an extremist and racially inflammatory school curriculum in his child’s history class,” documents Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch.


A New Religion Masquerades Under the Guise of Compassion and Justice

“There is a new religion,” explains Funk. “It is moving like a tidal wave through every facet of western culture, shaping and redefining society as it goes. This religion masquerades under the guise of compassion and justice, but underneath is an evil ideology that is incompatible with western values and incongruent with the Christian worldview. This movement did not start in Minneapolis on May 25th, when George Floyd was murdered. That event acted as a watershed moment for an ideology that has been growing for decades. If left unchecked, this new religion could lead to a complete unravelling of western culture.

“There are many names for what we currently find ourselves in; wokeness, political correctness, and cancel culture are some of them, but these only encapsulate a portion of the phenomenon. Cultural Marxism, new-marxism, social justice, identity politics, and Critical Theory are broader descriptors. We would like to use a term that adequately captures the religiosity of the movement: wokeism.

Wokeism is a religion. Although it has not been organized into any formal religious structure, it has all the functions of religious doctrine. It has a unique epistemology (theory of knowledge), an evaluation of the human condition, and a redemption narrative.”

Personally, I have been hearing the word “wokeism” for well over a year, but I had not taken time to learn what it really is.


Is Wokeism truly a New Religion?

Again, Max Funk explains:

“Why call wokeism a new religion? The fact is that the rise of secular humanism over the past 70 years created a religion-shaped hole in our culture. Secularism, for all of its cultural dominance, failed to offer a robust philosophy of meaning and purpose, nor did it provide any moral framework for how to act within the world besides ‘be a good person because the alternative is undesirable for everyone.’ Alternatively, wokeism has developed its view of reality with its own set of values and narratives. From the ashes of secular humanism, a new civil religion rises.

“Wokeism offers everything that secularism failed to provide and has quickly filled the God-shaped hole in our culture. It purports its version of truth, justice, righteousness, sin, and judgement. It provides its adherents meaning, with its metanarrative of societal conflict, power struggle and the struggle for redemptive freedom.

“The tearing down of those oppressive power structures helps give purpose to the individual and the collective. These values are solidified in public ritual like sensitivity training or confronting white fragility. There is a strong communal aspect, and people feel like they are part of something greater than themselves. Also inherent in this “social progress” is the hypothetical future utopian society liberated from the evils of the current oppressive system. Most of all, however, Wokeism offers what every sinful human heart deeply longs for, and that is moral justification. People believe they are acting justly within the world, and being fair, sometimes they are. But often, all that they are doing is mere posturing, or worse, destructive.

“The ideas of sin (privilege) righteousness (victimhood) and damnation (cancellation) are well established within Wokeism. While it provides rituals of penance (“check your privilege” and “allyship”) and piety (kneeling during the anthem or posting black squares), what it never offers is forgiveness.


What makes so-called “Wokeism” so Evil?

“What’s so nefarious about Wokeism,” explains Funk, “is that it regularly plays on people’s better motivations such as compassion and a desire for justice.

“Most people have a genuine desire to see the lives of others improve, and many Christians have engaged with these ideas as if they are congruent with the teachings of Christ. Of course, there are disparities in our society where justice is needed.

“Still, the point is that Wokeism has different interpretations for the concepts of truth, justice and equality and leaves no room in the conversation for alternative ways of addressing those issues. Wokeism is incompatible with the biblical worldview, differing in several key ways. First, it attributes intrinsic guilt or innocence to the individual based on their group identity, regardless of individual actions.”


We Are Each Made in God’s Image, Worthy of Dignity and Respect

“The belief at the core of western culture is that each individual is made in God’s image and is therefore intrinsically worthy of dignity and respect,” Funk rightfully asserts.  “This idea sits at the foundation of our legal system as well. In the biblical moral framework, the individual is responsible to God for his or her actions.

“As followers of Jesus, we are not to judge people based on natural identifiers (race, age, sex, etc.); instead, we are to evaluate them based on the moral standards of the scriptures and treat them as equals, created by God.”


The Wokeism Narrative of Redemption is Incompatible with Christianity

Funk lays it all out:

“Second, the narrative of redemption that Wokeism puts forward is entirely antithetical to the Christian narrative.

“The biblical stories present the pattern of the individual, in relationship with God, as the primary mechanism for the redemption of the world. The pattern culminates with Christ as the perfect man and sacrifice for the sins of the world. Our belief in his finished work and submission to his Lordship is our motivation to act justly within the world. Therefore, the ideal Christian behavior is one of mercy, peace, kindness, and forgiveness.

“Wokeism, on the other hand, presents the redemptive pattern of various groups vying for power within an inherently oppressive system. In this tribalistic vision of the world, the only thing that exists is power, and if only power exists, then power and control are necessary to tear down a corrupt system. In this narrative of redemption, violence is easily justified. For this reason, we have seen violent riots and not just peaceful protests sweeping America over the past months.

“We have already seen an autonomous zone called CHOP (named after the French Revolution) and a guillotine in front of a man’s house. People seem to think that something like “The Great Leap Forward” couldn’t happen in the western world, but it’s precisely this assumption that could be our undoing.

“As Christians, we must be the ones to offer this “alternative moral vision,” namely, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We cannot incorporate Critical Theory into the Gospel. The mixture of these two ideologies will only result in church fracture, the loss of brotherly love, and the perversion of the Gospel. Unfortunately, many believers have already integrated these doctrines into their theology. The trojan horse of Wokeism has entered the Church. Time will tell how the Church responds.


There are Areas Where We Must Do Better, But Not by Changing God’s Definitions

“Again, all this is not to say that we shouldn’t care about this issue or justice or socioeconomic disparity,” Funk continues.

“Black lives do matter.  Just law enforcement policies are important. Poverty should be alleviated. These issues deeply matter to the heart of God, and we need to be seeking God’s solution to address the roots of the problems.

“But God has already put forward his definitions of sin and righteousness, justice, and redemption. His interpretations are the ones that matter, and his meta-narrative is the one that we are actually living in. It’s up to the Church to identify the lies of the enemy, speak the truth in love, and seek the solutions that come from heaven. Perhaps it’s not too late.”


Our Responsibility as Catholics, as Catholic Leaders, and as Catholic Business Professionals

Echoing Funk’s exposé and going further, I  would say it is up to informed laypersons to inform those within the hierarchy of the Church what Wokeism and Critical Theory, along with the Cancel Culture, intend to do to the United States and other countries.


An Example from the Past to Illustrate What Could Happen in America

I was not aware until recently of the Hill of Crosses in Lithuania.

For several hundred years crosses and crucifixes and other religious articles have been brought with the Catholic pilgrims.

There are now over 100,000 crosses placed on the hill.

The crosses are said to signify the peaceful endurance of Lithuanian people despite the threats they faced. I particularly want to focus on the time period from 1944-1990 when Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union.

The Hill of Crosses became the location for Lithuanians to show peaceful resistance while demonstrating their allegiance to their original identity, religion, and heritage.

The Russians did all they could to destroy the will of the Lithuanian people bulldozing the crosses three times and spreading rumors they would build a dam and immerse the hill under water.

In 1993, Pope John Paul II visited the Hill of Crosses and called it a place for hope, peace, love, and sacrifice. This is an example of the type of fear and exercise of control by a Communist government over its people.

As stated earlier in this article, the plan comes under a variety of names, but the goal of the perpetrators is all the same – domination of the people by the government and control of one’s life. This is what anyone who has lived under communist domination will tell you.

This is what is happening in the United States right now.

Please share this with your family and friends.

If we freedom loving believers in the goodness of our constitution and the American people do not wake up, stand up, and push back against these radicals if will soon be too late to do so.

May God guide us and may we Be Not Afraid!





Catholic business leader, former Texas state representative, business owner and co-founder of the St. John Paul II Life Center, Tim Von Dohlen and his wife Pat put their faith into words in in their book, In Life The Journey Is Everything: From the Dump to the Gym and Beyond. Together they recount their adventures, their journey of healing from grief, their discovery of hope after tragedy and ultimately finding love again…

Tim Von Dohlen is not only a sharp business entrepreneur with both legal and pharmacy degrees, having formerly practiced in both fields, and a former elected representative in the state of Texas, but he is most honored to be the founder and president of the St. John Paul II Life Center and Vitae Clinic in Austin, Texas. ( He may be reached at

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