(The Daily Signal) – The lead vocalist, bassist, and songwriter for a top Christian rock band is sounding the alarm about the “woke” ideology of critical race theory and transgender identity, insisting that Christians cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as this competing worldview takes over the culture.
Skillet’s John Cooper will release a new book this month on the topic entitled “Wimpy, Weak, and Woke.”
“The main premise of my entire book is that there is a revolution against America, to just tear America down,” Cooper told The Daily Signal in a May interview at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention. “Some of the Christian people just say, ‘Well, you do have to admit there is systemic racism,’ and I say to them, ‘You don’t understand. If you’re saying we are structurally racist, we have to tear down the foundations.’”
Although the Left’s ideology does represent a “revolution against America,” it is more fundamentally “a revolution against Christian civilization. It’s a revolution against God,” Cooper said.
His book lays out two alternatives for America and the West: the god of Man, or the living God.
“One of these things is going to lead to a culture of death and one of these things leads to a culture of life,” Cooper said.
Cooper warned against critical race theory, an approach to history, civics, and other disciplines that encourages students to find “systemic racism” throughout American institutions and to reexamine every aspect of life through a race-based lens that assumes white people are oppressors and black people and other minorities are oppressed.
He said the theory is “not Christian” because “the Bible specifically says you don’t let the father’s sins [be visited] upon their kids. You don’t hold kids responsible for what their grandfathers did. That’s not right. You’re responsible for your own behavior, your own sins, your own standing before the Lord.”
Cooper emphasized that Christians should judge others according to the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech—by the content of their character. Yet critical race theory encourages people to judge others on the basis of skin color.
“I mean, that is just racism,” Cooper said. “And that’s the weird thing about CRT, is that it’s just racist, but it’s acceptable racism, right? It’s just acceptable racism.”
Cooper also warned against transgender ideology.
“We don’t even believe in objective reality now,” he lamented, referring to American society.
“We are saying you can be a Christian as you want to, as long as you privatize it,” Cooper explained. “You can be a Christian at your home, just don’t go around telling people. But in the public sphere, [where] we used to be able to talk about religion and objective reality … in the public sphere, we are going to make people’s personal subjective feelings be public truth.”
“So if you say, ‘I’m a boy, but I know I’m actually a girl, and I believe it in my heart,’ the public has to say your inner feelings are true,” the songwriter said. “But if somebody says, ‘No, I can see objective reality, you are a boy,’ that’s not publicly true, though it can be a privately held belief if you want.”
“That’s the way to end all things,” Cooper said. “That is the destruction of objective reality.”
In contrast to this ideology, Skillet’s songwriter urged a return to the Judeo-Christian outlook at the center of America’s Founding.
“We Christians, or we traditionalists, we should be morally confident because we have a lot of history to look at and say it’s worked for a really long time,” he said. “We know that two-parent families have much better outcomes than one-parent families, from wealth, to less depression, to less people in mental institutes or in prison, or drug arrests, or committing rapes, or committing robberies.”
Cooper defended the Judeo-Christian values at the heart of Western culture as “this inherited wisdom from millennia,” leading America to become “the freest country, the most prosperous country,” where “it doesn’t matter where you come from, the color of your skin, how much money you make, what your religion [is]. You have individual liberties that cannot be taken away by the state.”
“That’s an amazing thing, right? That’s such an incredible thing,” he noted. “You can come here and you can chart your own course. It’s the American dream. You can be born of the poorest family in America and no one is going to say, ‘No, you can’t become the president.’”
Cooper insisted that the Left’s idea boils down to a rejection of this good heritage.
“Christianity and what we’ve inherited is actually causing us to be enslaved,” he said, referring to the opposite vision. “It’s causing us to be sad and depressed, and it’s evil, and the Christian God, namely, is enslaving us into sexual mores and traditional thinking. We need Him to go away. We need to kill God, which is what Marx wanted to do. We kill God, and then we replace God with a new god, which is basically ourselves, and we can find utopia. We can perfect the world with trans ideology and with LGBTQ ideology, and by unleashing sexuality in children we will make a new superman.”
Cooper also lamented that many Christians seem ashamed to defend the goodness of Western civilization or America, in particular.
“They think that it is more Christian to dislike America than to like America,” he noted. “They almost see it as like idolatry.”
Yet the singer recalled learning to value both God and country while he was growing up.
“Yes, of course, you’re more loyal to Christ than you are to America. Of course,” he said. “But these things are not at odds with each other. In fact, loyalty to Christ will make you a better citizen.”
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