According to Richard Dawkins, biblical Christians have an ‘unhealthy preoccupation’ with sin. He is of the opinion that this is the centre of the Christian life: ‘The Christian focus is overwhelmingly on sin sin sin sin sin sin sin. What a nasty little preoccupation to have dominating your life.’
Progressives should learn the old adage about people in glass houses throwing stones. At the heart of the progressive view of humanity is the belief that every single one of us is culpable and in need of drastic re-education. In progressive terms we are all sinners.
It has emerged that since 2016 the staff of the House of Commons have had to undergo ‘unconscious bias’ training, and in the wake of Black Lives Matter this is being urged on MPs. Behind it is the idea that our legislators and their staff all need to be re-educated, made aware of their inherent wickedness and taught to suppress their natural urges to behave abysmally towards each other whenever they have an opportunity.
Unconscious bias training assumes that we are all guilty of holding views of which we are totally unaware. Deep in the dark recesses of our mind we harbour prejudices and biases which seep out and mould our behaviour for the worse. It is the progressive equivalent of original sin, a doctrine which Dawkins considers ‘that no good person should support’.
Unconscious bias training originates in the Marxist concept of ‘false consciousness’. The aim of the process is to persuade people that they are despicable on account of the deplorable views they don’t even realise they have. The fact that they don’t know they have these views or, even worse, insist on denying that they have them, is proof of just how detestable they are.
In the area of unconscious bias training you cannot win: no matter how pure your speech and actions might be, you are automatically guilty as charged. It is impossible to defend oneself against the accusation of unconscious bias.
This is a process which would have received enthusiastic approval in Soviet Russia. The oft-repeated accusation appears true: there really are those who take Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four not as a warning but as a guidebook. Nevertheless, this onslaught on freedom and rationality in its attempt to readjust western cultural identity is being remorselessly applied in companies, public sector bodies and other institutions around Britain and the west.
In Britain, it’s being rolled out by a Conservative government who want all their MPs to take unconscious bias training. Sir Keir Starmer has introduced it for all Labour Party staff and MPs. Lord Woolley, a crossbench peer who founded Operation Black Vote and formerly chaired the government race disparity unit’s advisory group, said he was ‘appalled’ that any MP would say no to the training being piloted in the Commons. He has called on party leaders to make the training mandatory for their MPs, warning that politicians who pushed back on it were demonstrating their ‘inability to move into the 21st century’.
Do our MPs need to be ‘trained’ what to think about race or any other matter such as immigration, LGBTQ+ matters? There is something deeply sinister about MPs, democratically elected to represent their constituents, being taught what to think. That at least 40 Conservative MPs have said that they will not sit through two hours of someone telling them what awful human beings they are and that their thinking is a mass of prejudices is a sign that all is not lost for the supposedly Conservative Party.
This training is effective. On Sunday the Telegraph reported that white parliamentary staff are being encouraged to ‘acknowledge their privilege’ and ‘internalised racism’ on an internal online work message board which was set up following the Black Lives Matter protests.
One such message seen by the newspaper said that ‘as a white woman I acknowledge my privilege and continue to educate myself’.
‘I am a white man and from that privileged position I now see that I can’t ever fully understand the relentless impact of racism,’ another message read.
Another woman felt the need to confess: ‘I am a white, privately educated, middle-class female.’
Do we really want our MPs to come out with this self-hating condemnation not only of themselves but of Western culture and history? Do we want such attitudes to spread throughout society?
This attempt at the gradual eradication of supposed ‘Wrong-think’ should be of particular concern for biblical Christians. If a Christian is opposed to same-sex marriage, according to unconscious bias such a position need not be a principled decision based on the evidence of Scripture, research and experience; rather the cause of such thinking can be supposed to lie in an unconscious bias against homosexuals. A Christian who believes that generally speaking women are better at some tasks than men and that in other tasks men may be better than women may be said to harbour an unconscious bias against women.
The purpose of unconscious bias training is not to combat actual racism, homophobia and all the other phobias beloved of progressives. The purpose is to enforce conformity. Wrong-think is to be replaced by Right-think.
We should all occasionally examine ourselves and confront our conscious biases and prejudices. A person who is unwilling to discover and confront his or her errors is not healthy. What we do not need are witch-finders in the workplace seeking out the dangerous non-conformists in order to ensure that they undergo training in how to think in an approved manner.