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By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture, March 15, 2021

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at …


“Surveys may indicate that Americans have lost or are losing their religions; however, the fever of identity politics that now sweeps the nation suggests these surveys are looking in the wrong place and asking the wrong questions.” Those are the words of Georgetown political theorist Joshua Mitchell, in the preface to a fascinating new book, American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time (Encounter, 2020).

Mitchell sees identity politics as a sort of religious phenomenon: a regression to ancient times when pagan tribes would view their enemies as the root of all the world’s ills, and hope that by exterminating a rival tribe they could eliminate those ills. Primitive peoples sought scapegoats, and in identity politics, the new primitives of the 21st century do the same. …

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