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  • Rick LoPresti

Awake or woke?

There are binary aspects to many areas of life, and there also more nuanced areas. Today we are seeing more and more polarization. While it is good to see clearly where people and issues are, and th There are binary aspects to many areas of life, and there also more nuanced areas. Today we are seeing more and more polarization. While it is good to see clearly where people and issues are, and that superficial masks be removed so “true colors” can be seen, unity of common values and purpose also hold great value to any organization or society to matter how big or small. There are many areas where Biblical/spiritual/moral issues overlap with political/social ones such as the death penalty, freedoms of speech and religion, and family values. One question which strikes at the core of the current bipolarization of societal values is, are you awake or woke?

From a Biblical perspective, what does it mean to be awake? Physically, it is being arisen from sleep, being fully conscious with all senses active, to be fully aware, to be alert. Spiritually, it means for one to become active, including God (Jud 5:12, Job 8:6, Ps 7:6, Ps 35:23, Ps 44:23, Ps 57:8, Ps 59:5, Ps 78:65, SOS 4:16, Is 51:9, Zech 13:7). In the New Testament, it means for Christians to wake up to the times (Rom 13:11-14, 1Cor 15:34, Eph 5:14-16). Whereas sleep is a metaphor for death (Job 7:21, Ps 13:3, Dan 12:2, Jn 11:11, Acts 13:36, 1Cor 11:30, 1Cor 15:51, 1Thes 4:14), to awake can mean to rise from the dead (Job 14:12, Ps 17:15, Is 26:19, Dan 12:2, Jn 11:11).

What does it mean to be asleep? Physically, it is state of inactivity. All senses are still capable except sight. The eyes are closed. Their only activity is REM which is movement based on what we are dreaming, not what is actually happening. Our eyes are responding to what is happening in our imagination and not reality. Our dreams usually incorporate elements which cannot happen in real life. What are dreams?

1. In the Bible, they can be a message from God revealing or guiding His plan:

a. Abimelech – Gen 20:3-7

b. Jacob – Gen 28:11-17

c. Laban – Gen 31:24

d. OT Joseph – Gen 37:5-11, Gen 38:11-13

e. The baker and butler – Gen 40

f. Pharaoh – Gen 41

g. A prophet – Num 12:6

h. Midianite – Jud 7:13-15

i. Solomon – 1Ki 3:5-15

j. Eliphaz - Job 4:12-21

k. Elihu said – Job 33:14-26

l. Nebuchadnezzar – Dan 2, Dan 4

m. Daniel – Dan 7

n. Your old men – Joel 2:28, Acts 2:17

o. NT Joseph - Mt 1:20-21 & 2:12-13 & 19-20

p. Pilate’s wife – Mt 27:19

2. God bringing issues or information to us

3. pizza too close to bed

4. our mind sorting out events

Our mind simultaneously creates the dream and lives in the dream without us realizing it until we awake. Sleep can mean spiritual dullness (Is 29:10, Jer 51:39 & 57). It can mean failing to watch (Mt 26:45, 1Thes 5:3-10). Awake can mean becoming spiritually aware, receptive, or active (Dan 8:18, Dan 10:9, Zech 4:1).

In contrast, what is woke? “Woke” culture is part of the social justice movement. “You are “woke,” or “awake” if you believe in a certain set of beliefs agreeable to extreme liberal progressive politicians and pundits (Freedom Defense Canada)”.

“It can be hard to trace slang back to its origins since slang’s origins are usually spoken, and it can be particularly difficult to trace a slang word that has its origins in a dialect. Woke’s transformation into a byword of social awareness likely started in 2008, with the release of Erykah Badu’s song “Master Teacher” (Webster’s Dictionary)”:

To support ya baby, youn't got no money

To support ya baby, you

(I stay woke)

Even when the preacher tell you some lies

And cheatin on ya mama, you stay woke

(I stay woke)

Even though you go through struggle and strife

To keep a healthy life, I stay woke

(I stay woke)

Everybody knows a black or a white there's creatures in every shape and size

Everybody

(I stay woke)

Here is an excerpt from the New York Post about how those who do not embrace the values of “woke” culture can respond:

“10 ways to fight back against woke culture” by Bari WeissJanuary 31, 2021:

“It’s time to stand up and fight back. That means you. Social conservatives. Never-Trump

Republicans, and anti-anti-Trump Republicans, too. Lukewarm liberals and libertarians.

Progressives who have a little curiosity still left. Exhausted parents who want nothing to do

with politics. Joe Rogan stans. Reddit revolutionaries and the hedgies getting crushed.

Facebookers and email chainers and Etsy-shop owners and Boomers who still use AOL

accounts. Start with the following 10 principles:

1. Remind yourself, right now, of the following truth: You are free.

It’s true that we live in an upside-down time in which pressing the “like” button on the

wrong thing can bring untold consequences. But giving in to those who seek to confine you

only hurts you in the long run. Your loss of self is the most significant thing that could be

taken away from you. Don’t give it up for anything.

2. Be honest

Do not say anything about yourself or others that you know is false. Absolutely refuse to let

your mind be colonized. The first crazy thing someone asks you to believe or to profess,

refuse. If you can, do so out loud. There is a good chance it will inspire others to speak up,

too.

3. Stick to your principles.

If you are a decent person, you know mob justice is never just. So never join a mob. Ever.

Even if you agree with the mob. If you are a decent person, you know betraying friends is

wrong. So if a friend or a colleague does something you disagree with, write them a private

note. Don’t be a snitch. Any mob that comes for them will come for you.

4. Set an example for your kids and your community.

That means being courageous. I understand that it’s hard. Really hard. But in other times

and places, including in our own nation, people have made far greater sacrifices. (Think of

those “honored dead” who “gave the last full measure of devotion.”) If enough people

make the leap, we will achieve something like herd immunity. Jump.

5. If you don’t like it, leave it.

A class in college, a job, anything. Get out and do your own thing. I fully understand the

impulse to want to change things from within. And by all means: Try as hard as you can.

But if the leopard is currently eating the face of the person at the cubicle next to yours, I

promise it’s not going to refrain from eating yours if you post the black square on

Instagram.

6. Become more self-reliant.

If you can learn to use a power drill, do it. If you’ve always wanted an outdoor solar hot

tub, make one. Learn to poach an egg or shoot a gun. Most importantly: Get it in your head

that platforms are not neutral. If you don’t believe me, look at Parler and look at

Robinhood. To the extent that you can build your life to be self-reliant and not 100 percent

reliant on the Web, it’s a good thing. It will make you feel competent and powerful. Which

you are.

7. Worship God more than Yale.

In other words, do not lose sight of what is essential. Professional prestige is not essential.

Being popular is not essential. Getting your child into an elite preschool is not essential.

Doing the right thing is essential. Telling the truth is essential. Protecting your kids is

essential.

8. Make like-minded friends.

Then stand up for them. Two good tests: Are they willing to tell the truth even if it hurts

their own side? And do they think that humor should never be a casualty, no matter how

bleak the circumstances? These people are increasingly rare. When you find them, hold on

tight.

9. Trust your own eyes and ears.

Rely on firsthand information from people you trust rather than on media spin. When you

hear someone making generalizations about a group of people, imagine they are talking

about you and react accordingly. If people insist on spouting back headlines and talking

points, make them prove it, in their own words.

10. Use your capital to build original, interesting and generative things right now. This

minute. Every day I hear from those with means with children at private schools who are

being brainwashed; people who run companies where they are scared of their own

employees; people who donate to their alma mater even though it betrays their principles.

Enough. You have the ability to build new things. If you don’t have the financial capital,

you have the social or political capital. Or the ability to sweat. The work of our lifetimes is

the Great Build. Let’s go.”

Here is an excerpt from the New York Post called “If the woke have their way, soon we won’t have ANY culture to speak of” by Bruce Bawer published March 30, 2021 | 8:39pm:

“If things continue on the current trajectory, soon we will have no real culture at all, save for

the most drearily PC kind, drearier than even the worst of Socialist Realism — the Soviet

Union’s one acceptable genre of art and culture.

Oxford wants to scrap sheet music over complicity in ‘white supremacy’

Not all that long ago, the woke iconoclasts assured us that they were only out to topple the

statues of Confederate generals. People laughed at then-President Donald Trump when he

suggested that George Washington and Abraham Lincoln would soon be targeted, too.

Sure enough, Washington and Lincoln were next. Along with Aunt Jemima, Dr. Seuss,

Harry Potter, Mr. Potato Head, Churchill and many others.

It seems like only yesterday that everyone was cheering “Hamilton” as a hip-hop

masterpiece, a brilliant re-envisioning of American history. Now the mobs are out to bring

“Hamilton” down because it celebrates the Founding Fathers — who aren’t deplorable just

because they owned slaves, mind you, but also because they founded a racist, sexist nation

built on stolen land.

In 1993, Tom Hanks was a hero to gays for starring in the AIDS drama “Philadelphia.”

Now, straight actors are being lambasted for playing gay characters. Only gays should play

gays. Only trans people should play trans people.

Cancel culture has often been called Orwellian. But the idea of eliminating musical notation

takes us even a step or two past George Orwell. In the dystopian world of “1984,” the

government of Oceania is busy replacing English with Newspeak, which has a far more

limited vocabulary, the idea being that a language less capable of articulating dissent will

inhibit dissent itself.”

Here is a comment by Brie Stimson on Fox News March 28, 2021: “"Sadly, this is where we've now arrived in society: the truth can be whatever someone decides it is… "But if our rights to free speech are denied, then democracy as we know it will die," he said. "It's time to cancel the cancel culture before it kills our culture." (Piers Morgan)

Then there is the recent phenomenon called cancel culture. Here are some definitions of it:

1. “Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is

thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in

person. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to have been "cancelled".

(Wikipedia)

2. “the practice or tendency of engaging in mass canceling as a way of expressing

disapproval and exerting social pressure (Webster)”

3. “a way of behaving in a society or group, especially on social media, in which it is

common to completely reject and stop supporting someone because they have said or

done something that offends you (Cambridge)”

4. “Cancel Culture is when a large mob of people come together to relentlessly attack a

certain person over an accusation of some kind, which later on is usually proven false

Generally the accusation starts on Twitter, the original gets questioned then deleted but

the mob has already started attacking and the person who made the accusation can

enjoy a boost in followers (urbandictionary.com).”

Examples of its repercussions are:

1. Mike Lindell

2. Gina Carano (actress)

3. Founding fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln) and American history

4. Christopher Columbus

5. Goya foods

6. social media (Facebook, Twitter) (platform vs. publisher)

7. Dr. Suess

8. Hobby Lobby

9. Wedding services

10. College campus

11. Hate crime laws

12. The equality act

Here is an article entitled “11 Myths About H.R. 5, the Equality Act of 2021” published on February 24, 2021 by The Heritage Foundation:

“SUMMARY The proposed Equality Act of 2021 (H.R. 5) would make mainstream beliefs about marriage, biological facts about sex differences, and many sincerely held beliefs punishable under the law. The Equality Act makes discrimination the law of the land by forcing Americans to conform to government-mandated beliefs under the threat of life-ruining financial and criminal penalties. Presented as a bill with commonsense and decent protections against discrimination, H.R. 5 is anything but. The Equality Act politicizes medicine and education and demolishes existing civil rights and constitutional freedoms.

KEY TAKEAWAYS Every person should be treated with dignity, and no one should face discrimination. But the Equality Act makes discrimination the law of the land.The so-called Equality Act is anything but. It would give government the power to dictate how Americans think and act regarding gender and sex.This bill violates Americans’ constitutional freedoms and weaponizes civil rights law to punish those who do not hold the “correct” beliefs.

Myth 1: The Equality Act Simply Punishes Discrimination Against People Who Identify as Gay or Transgender

Fact: The Equality Act—introduced as H.R. 5 in the House of Representatives on February 18, 2021—makes mainstream beliefs about marriage, as well as basic biological facts about sex differences, punishable under the law. Every person should be treated with dignity and respect and no one should face discrimination. But the Equality Act makes discrimination the law of the land by forcing Americans to conform to government-mandated beliefs under the threat of life-ruining financial and criminal penalties. The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed state-sanctioned discrimination that caused systematic economic and material harm to black Americans. The Equality Act is different: It forces every American to agree with controversial government-imposed ideology on sexuality or be treated as an outlaw. The Equality Act demolishes existing civil rights and constitutional freedoms.

Myth 2: The Equality Act Preserves Religious Freedom

Fact: The Equality Act guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and threatens constitutional freedoms by eliminating conscience protections from the Civil Rights Act. If enacted, H.R. 5 would force employers, medical professionals, educators, and religious organizations to allow men into women’s shelters, pay for or perform sex-change operations, and engage in speech that violates their consciences. Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies would be forced to violate their belief that every child deserves a mother and a father. Section 2(a)(2) of the bill refers to the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman as a “sex stereotype.” This stigmatizes the beliefs of hundreds of millions of Americans, including Catholics, Evangelicals, Jews, Mormons, and Muslims.

Myth 3: The Equality Act Does Not Expand the Scope of Federal Civil Rights Law

Fact: By expanding the definition of “public accommodations” under Title II of the Civil Rights Act to include “any establishment that provides a good, service, or program, including a store, shopping center, online retailer or service provider, salon, bank, gas station, food bank, service or care center, shelter, travel agency, or funeral parlor, or establishment that provides health care, accounting, or legal services,” many more individuals and establishments would, in fact, become liable to discrimination claims, including doctors who do not want to perform abortions.

Myth 4: The Equality Act Is Irrelevant to Abortion

Fact: H.R. 5 endangers unborn children. The Equality Act opens the door to taxpayer funding for elective abortions, which the vast majority of Americans oppose, regardless of political affiliation. The bill does not contain any conscience protections for those with moral or religious objections to paying for or performing abortions. It also takes away judicial relief by blocking claims based on the RFRA. The Equality Act expands the term “sex” to go far beyond the state of being male or female, and includes “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical condition.” Both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the 3rd Circuit Court have interpreted “related medical condition” to include abortion. This expanded definition of sex applies to public accommodations, which—under the Equality Act—includes providers of “health care.” This definition also applies to section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is the act’s nondiscrimination provision guaranteeing that people will not be denied benefits in a federally run or federally funded health program. Section 1557 of the ACA looks to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which addresses nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, to interpret what constitutes discrimination. If the Equality Act were to pass, section 1557 nondiscrimination regulations could be used against providers who refuse to perform abortions, or against hospitals that receive federal funding and do not provide abortions. The Reproductive Blueprint promoted by Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and other abortion industry actors specifically calls on the Biden Administration to interpret section 1557 in this manner.

Myth 5: The Equality Act Is Good for Women and Upholds Title IX of the Education Amendments Act, Which Prohibits Sex Discrimination Against Girls and Women

Fact: The Equality Act’s changes to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act do not uphold Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments Act. Gender-identity policies will require biological males to be permitted to participate in female-only activities. In sports, the physical bodies of biological males (even after two years on estrogen) put them at an obvious unfair advantage over female athletes, who are losing out on opportunities and scholarships designed for girls and women. Three brave female high school athletes in Connecticut are suing the state because two boys who identify as girls defeated them in track and field and demolished the state records held by 15 other girls.

Myth 6: Safety and Privacy in Sex-Specific Spaces Will Not Be Diminished

Fact: All single-sex spaces will be open to both sexes under the Equality Act. The Equality Act adds sexual orientation and gender identity rules to Title III of the Civil Rights Act on “public facilities” as well as to public accommodations (Title II) and federal funding (Title VI). This would create a nationwide transgender policy in single-sex facilities. It would affect everything from girls’ and women’s showers and locker rooms to women’s shelters and women’s prisons, endangering safety and diminishing privacy. Giving people blanket permission to enter private spaces for the opposite sex enables sexual predators to exploit the rule and gain easy access to victims.

Myth 7: The Equality Act Treats All Students Fairly, Promotes Inclusion, and Cannot Affect School Curricula

Fact: By adding sexual orientation and gender-identity rules to the Civil Rights Act’s Title IV on “desegregation of public education,” the Equality Act could pave the way for K–12 federal courts to require sexual orientation and gender-identity curricula the same way they required black history curricula. All children deserve to learn in an environment where they and their views are treated with respect. Imposing one political viewpoint on students about questions of gender and sexual orientation stigmatizes and excludes those who hold disfavored (read: mainstream) views. Denying a child the right to a supportive educational environment effectively denies that child meaningful access to the right to an education. Additionally, changing Title VI to include sexual orientation and gender identity means that any school, even private and parochial schools that receive federal assistance, would have to adopt transgender policies in sports and private facilities.

Myth 8: Doctors Will Not Be Forced to Perform Sex-Change Operations or Prescribe Hormones for “Gender Affirmation”

Fact: As a result of the expanding definition of public accommodations, as well as changing federal funding requirements, doctors (and counselors) could be punished for treating gender dysphoria according to their own best medical judgment. Even a referral to another doctor could be a violation of the Civil Rights Act. If a doctor performs a double mastectomy to treat cancer, she must also do so for a woman who identifies as a man. Transgender individuals have already sued hospitals for discrimination in New Jersey and California because the hospitals refused to perform surgeries, including mastectomies, for “gender affirmation.” This, despite the fact that evidence has shown that “transitioning” does not provide any lasting mental health benefits. In fact, many patients who undergo a sex change end up with damage to their physical health, such as heart problems and decreased bone density, as well as loss of fertility.

Myth 9: Parental Rights Will Remain Unchanged

Fact: The Equality Act’s politicization of medicine and education through gender ideology will undermine parental rights. Since most schools will be pressured to comply with sexual-orientation and gender-identity policies, parents will have limited educational choices for their children. Those who do not believe that their daughters should have to compete against biological males in sports, or who do not believe their daughters and sons should have to share bathrooms with members of the opposite sex, will be hard pressed to find schools where this is not happening. Parents should not have to sacrifice their children’s safety in order to attend school. Counseling that has proven to help children suffering from gender dysphoria reconcile with their bodies will no longer be considered an acceptable approach. This means that parents will be left without therapeutic alternatives that do not cause irreversible harm to their children’s bodies. A judge in Ohio terminated the rights of parents who opposed administering testosterone to their underage daughter and wanted her to go to counseling for gender dysphoria instead.

Myth 10: The Equality Act Helps Children in Need of Foster Homes and Adoption

Fact: The Equality Act hurts vulnerable children by punishing faith-based adoption and foster-care agencies that believe that every child deserves both a mother and a father and that children’s bodies should not be irreversibly harmed by hormonal or surgical interventions due to gender dysphoria. Imposing this radical ideology on child-welfare providers will reduce the number of “forever families” for the more than 424,000 foster children in need of them. Adding sexual-orientation and gender-identity requirements to laws in Massachusetts and Illinois diminished the supply of foster families at the same time that more children needed them due to the opioid crisis.

Myth 11: The Supreme Court’s Decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, Requires the Equality Act’s Changes to Civil Rights Law

Fact: The Equality Act goes far beyond the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock ruling. While Bostock invented a misguided theory of sex discrimination in employment law, it did not redefine “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. But the Equality Act does. Bostock was limited to employment law; the Equality Act adds “sexual orientation and gender identity” to all of the nation’s civil rights laws. Because Bostock was limited to employment, it said nothing about schools, sports, or medicine. The Equality Act adds sexual orientation and gender identity to all of them.”

It is a tactic of the left to control language in an Orwellian attempt to control all thought, belief, word, and deed. They are quite proficient at it. Examples are calling pro-life people anti-abortion and calling people who support family values and morality haters and phobic. When global warming was exposed as a fraud, they just changed the name to climate change and kept right on going. This is not just a matter of semantics, and they know it. There are real and dangerous consequences to this. The “mainstream” media, social media, and the government-run education system are main perpetrators. Examples are the teachings of critical race theory, the 1619 project, hypocritical and dishonest covid restrictions that were more about controlling people than protecting them, election fraud, and economic control. The sowing of division and lawlessness are not accidental or byproducts of efforts at making things better. They are engaged in a conscious effort to destroy Christian and western values and society and bring us all under totalitarian, socialistic control. It’s not challenging ideas. It’s silencing them. It’s not a boycott by those who disagree. It’s a total elimination and shutdown. It’s not free speech. It’s only their freedom to speak. Their hypocrisy is on full display for those who choose to observe it. Fear compliance has caused companies such as Coca-Cola, Amazon, Mr. Potato Head, Uncle Ben’s, the Washington Redskins, and Cream of Wheat to proactively bow down. Once cancelling is OK, who gets cancelled? Can the very cancellers get cancelled? When the narrative is controlled by liars, what happens to the truth? History repeats itself because we never learn from it. Russia, China, North Korea, and Nazi Germany are recent and current examples. There is no vacuum. When truth is eliminated, lies replace it. The awake must not allow themselves to voluntarily be silenced by the “woke”. Truth must be spoken in love.







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