The ‘Religious Privilege’ of Leftism

 

I often say that Islam is a political system disguised as a religion, and leftism is a religion disguised as a political system.  Leftism makes no sense to me, unless viewed as a type of religious faith.  And the further left they go, the more the leftist faithful move from simple beliefs in nice platitudes, to ignoring alternative views, to expulsion of those who question its ideology, to the use of violence against heretics.  This pattern should look familiar to those who have studied the history of various religions.  It should also look familiar to those who have studied the history of leftism.

The indispensable John Hinderaker at Powerline has an article up today about Cigna Insurance Company moving along the spectrum I described above.  They are currently moving past “ignoring alternative views” and diving headlong into “expulsion of those who question their ideology.”  Cigna is actually a step behind parts of the United States, which have already progressed to “the use of violence against heretics.”  A paragraph from a Washington Examiner article John quotes describes the work environment at this company.  Remember: this is a company that sells health insurance, it is not a political organization.  They sell health insurance.  From the Examiner article (emphasis mine):

Those who work at Cigna told the Washington Examiner that they are expected to undergo sensitivity training they consider racist and discriminatory. Lessons include reviews of concepts such as “white privilege,” “gender privilege,” and something called “religious privilege,” which is described as “a set of advantages that benefits believers of a certain religion but not people who practice other religions or no religions at all.”

I presume that the leftists who designed this ‘sensitivity training’ exercise mean Christianity when they describe a religion “that benefits believers of a certain religion but not people who practice other religions or no religions at all.”  I doubt that they mean Islam or Buddhism.

But if they had the self-awareness to recognize that their leftism has taken on the characteristics of a religion, they would recognize that that statement makes the most sense when applied to their own religion – the religion of leftism.  Cigna is openly hiring leftists and minorities over conservatives and whites.  They make no effort to hide this, as the Examiner article documents.  In fact, that is the whole point of their “sensitivity training.”

The “religious privilege” they describe is very real.  But only for their own religion.  You must genuflect at the altar of leftism before being offered a job at Cigna, and you must continue to do so at endless “sensitivity trainings” to remain employed there.

There is “religious privilege” at Cigna.  They should know because they’re doing it themselves.  To benefit the believers of their religion of leftism, but not people who practice other religions or no religion at all.

And they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Does this help them sell health insurance?  Of course not.  Their job applicant pool is reduced by at least half before they begin.  So they can’t hire all the most talented applicants.  They know this, and they are ok with it.

Because matters of faith must take precedence over more mundane concerns, of course.

Peace be upon them.

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  1. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    It is almost unfathomable that such a small and obnoxious minority can impose this nonsense on otherwise sensible people. I continue to hope that we will hit a tipping point and this stuff will come to a screeching halt.

    Andrew Klavan likens it to other moral panics, such as the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy anti-communism activity. He believes that it will run its course, die out, and soon enough be remembered as a shameful moment of irrational excess. I hope he’s right, and have no reason to doubt it. But even if he is, enormous damage is being done now.

    • #1
  2. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    I had Cigna insurance at one point. It now appears that I am not fit for that privilege.

    So be it.

    • #2
  3. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Religious questions are a direct natural product of human nature.  They don’t proceed from answers to other questions.

    Progressivism is a systematic philosophy, not just a political philosophy, as it appears to be, to some.  That means that its political questions are the product of economic answers, and its economic questions are the product of moral answers, and its moral questions are the product of religious answers.

    A necessary characteristic of a systematic philosophy is that it be factually and logically self-consistent.

    Islam is also a systemic philosophy.

    • #3
  4. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    But even if he is, enormous damage is being done now.

    This.

    • #4
  5. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Too bad their book list isn’t diverse enough to contain some works by Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell. 

    HR departments are where gender studies graduates go to work. Now why does this scene in Dirty Harry come to mind?

    • #5
  6. W Bob Member
    W Bob
    @WBob

    Dr. Bastiat: Does this help them sell health insurance?  Of course not.  Their job applicant pool is reduced by at least half before they begin.  So they can’t hire all the most talented applicants.  They know this, and they are ok with it.

    Maybe they’ll stop selling insurance to people who don’t agree with them too. 

    • #6
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    It is almost unfathomable that such a small and obnoxious minority can impose this nonsense on otherwise sensible people.

    Lenin’s group was small as well. Chaos and total ruthlessness is the path of such groups. 

    • #7
  8. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    ‘Progressives’ seem to live largely in the past. It is possible, even likely, that being a Christian offered some social and career advantages in, say, 1956, but there are few environments where that is true today…in many communities and companies, the opposite is true.

    • #8
  9. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    “Does this help them sell health insurance?  Of course not.  Their job applicant pool is reduced by at least half before they begin.  So they can’t hire all the most talented applicants.  They know this, and they are ok with it.”

    Their argument will be: Millennials (and younger) are very concerned with Social Justice, and we need to get on board the SJ train if we hope to either hire this demographic or sell insurance to them.

    • #9
  10. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    I am a “customer” of Cigna, but not by choice. They are a vendor of dental insurance in my benefits package. Next year I’ll take a hard look at the other options, because I doubt they will remain competent as insurance sellers.

    • #10
  11. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    It is almost unfathomable that such a small and obnoxious minority can impose this nonsense on otherwise sensible people. I continue to hope that we will hit a tipping point and this stuff will come to a screeching halt.

    Andrew Klavan likens it to other moral panics, such as the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy anti-communism activity. He believes that it will run its course, die out, and soon enough be remembered as a shameful moment of irrational excess. I hope he’s right, and have no reason to doubt it. But even if he is, enormous damage is being done now.

    Weimar Germans: “This crazy Nazi thing will blow over on its own. Pass the salt.” 

    • #11
  12. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    It is almost unfathomable that such a small and obnoxious minority can impose this nonsense on otherwise sensible people. I continue to hope that we will hit a tipping point and this stuff will come to a screeching halt.

    Andrew Klavan likens it to other moral panics, such as the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy anti-communism activity. He believes that it will run its course, die out, and soon enough be remembered as a shameful moment of irrational excess. I hope he’s right, and have no reason to doubt it. But even if he is, enormous damage is being done now.

    Socialism, Fascism, Nazism,  Jewish Holocaust, Armenian Genocide all died out in a decade or two.  I am sure this one will too.  Not sure we will live through it or keep our livelihoods.  That remains to be seen.  

    • #12
  13. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    W Bob (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: Does this help them sell health insurance? Of course not. Their job applicant pool is reduced by at least half before they begin. So they can’t hire all the most talented applicants. They know this, and they are ok with it.

    Maybe they’ll stop selling insurance to people who don’t agree with them too.

    I can see that coming.  Laws requiring you to have insurance then companies will not sell it to you thus the reason to lock you up.  

    • #13
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    I am a “customer” of Cigna, but not by choice. They are a vendor of dental insurance in my benefits package. Next year I’ll take a hard look at the other options, because I doubt they will remain competent as insurance sellers.

    They will remain viable.  I am sure they will get government support to help them and hurt their opponents.  

    • #14
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    It is almost unfathomable that such a small and obnoxious minority can impose this nonsense on otherwise sensible people. I continue to hope that we will hit a tipping point and this stuff will come to a screeching halt.

    Andrew Klavan likens it to other moral panics, such as the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy anti-communism activity. He believes that it will run its course, die out, and soon enough be remembered as a shameful moment of irrational excess. I hope he’s right, and have no reason to doubt it. But even if he is, enormous damage is being done now.

    Weimar Germans: “This crazy Nazi thing will blow over on its own. Pass the salt.”

    I was just commenting to the wife earlier.  I am pretty sure what we feel today is akin to what the Germans felt when the Nazis took over Germany.  The average German was just sitting there going “what the hell is going on?”, “this thing will blow out on its own soon”, etc.

    • #15
  16. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    I am a “customer” of Cigna, but not by choice. They are a vendor of dental insurance in my benefits package. Next year I’ll take a hard look at the other options, because I doubt they will remain competent as insurance sellers.

    They will remain viable. I am sure they will get government support to help them and hurt their opponents.

    They may be financially viable, but I am concerned about their competence. The article I read about Cigna stated that they are having trouble filling IT and other technical positions with the desired “diversity”.

    • #16
  17. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    I am a “customer” of Cigna, but not by choice. They are a vendor of dental insurance in my benefits package. Next year I’ll take a hard look at the other options, because I doubt they will remain competent as insurance sellers.

    They will remain viable. I am sure they will get government support to help them and hurt their opponents.

    They may be financially viable, but I am concerned about their competence. The article I read about Cigna stated that they are having trouble filling IT and other technical positions with the desired “diversity”.

    Not sure how IT is an issue.  Most IT shops I have been in are mostly people from India.  I have been in many IT meetings where I am cut out because the meeting is held mainly in Hindi.  And I work in the middle of the country.  I understand it is worse on the coasts.  

    • #17
  18. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    I am a “customer” of Cigna, but not by choice. They are a vendor of dental insurance in my benefits package. Next year I’ll take a hard look at the other options, because I doubt they will remain competent as insurance sellers.

    They will remain viable. I am sure they will get government support to help them and hurt their opponents.

    They may be financially viable, but I am concerned about their competence. The article I read about Cigna stated that they are having trouble filling IT and other technical positions with the desired “diversity”.

    Not sure how IT is an issue. Most IT shops I have been in are mostly people from India. I have been in many IT meetings where I am cut out because the meeting is held mainly in Hindi. And I work in the middle of the country. I understand it is worse on the coasts.

    I thought Indians were now counted as white because they are successful and from Asia, but I can’t keep up with this stuff because it seems to change all the time.

    • #18
  19. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    re the Nazi analogy:  Sebastian Haffner, who wrote an important memoir about his experiences and observations, was quite upset by the Nazi ascendence to power:.

    I do not know what the general reaction was. For about a minute, mine was completely correct: icy horror…for a moment I physically sensed the man’s odour of blood and filth, the nauseating approach of a man-eating animal–its foul, sharp claws in my face.

    But that evening, after discussing the situation with his father, he felt better about the future. Hitler, after all, had not been elected dictator: he was merely head of a coalition government and indeed had sworn an oath to the Weimar constitution.

    We agreed that (the new government) had a good chance of doing a lot of damage, but not of surviving for very long: a deeply reactionary government, with Hitler as its mouthpiece…Even with the Nazis it would not have a majority in the Reichstag…Foreign policy would probably be a matter of banging the table. There might be an attempt to rearm. That would automatically add the outside world to the 60 percent of the home population who were against the Government…No, all things considered, this government was not a cause for alarm.

    (Review and excerpts of Haffner’s book here.)

    Important differences between Germany in 1933 and the US in 2021, of course…we have not experienced anything like the 1-2-3 punches of defeat in a major war followed by insanely runaway inflation followed by deep unemployment.  And we have a more deeply-embedded culture of democracy and a better-developed legal system.  Still, there are plenty of causes for worry.

    • #19
  20. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    re Cigna, I was on a Zoom call last week which included a guy who does consulting for large corporations as well as startups. He said that among the larger companies, he is getting a sense of near-panic about the need to be ‘Green’.  (Which I would cynically translate at the need to *be perceived* as ‘Green.’)  Probably the same about ‘Social Justice’ perceptions.

    • #20
  21. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I was just commenting to the wife earlier.  I am pretty sure what we feel today is akin to what the Germans felt when the Nazis took over Germany.  The average German was just sitting there going “what the hell is going on?”, “this thing will blow out on its own soon”, etc.

    It really is that bad. The key signs: 

    — Explicit hatred has been normalized in public rhetoric, even among politicians. The left generally does not attempt to debate us. 

    — Division of people by class is law and policy throughout society. 

    — Violence, vandalism, and destruction of lives is condoned by public officials and popularly cheered. 

    — Truth is not only abandoned but often verboten. The Big Lie pervades most major corporations, media, education, and all of society. 

    — Madness reigns. So much is nonsensical in government and life generally today that satire is indistinguishable from reality. 

    The West has turned to apostasy. War, murder, and overt oppression are coming if we do not return in faithfulness to God.

    The darkness we see today is only a hint of horrors to come. But the Lord will secure His people in their hearts. Be brave and trust that peace and justice will follow the storm. 

    • #21
  22. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    David Foster (View Comment):

    re the Nazi analogy: Sebastian Haffner, who wrote an important memoir about his experiences and observations, was quite upset by the Nazi ascendence to power:.

    I do not know what the general reaction was. For about a minute, mine was completely correct: icy horror…for a moment I physically sensed the man’s odour of blood and filth, the nauseating approach of a man-eating animal–its foul, sharp claws in my face.

    But that evening, after discussing the situation with his father, he felt better about the future. Hitler, after all, had not been elected dictator: he was merely head of a coalition government and indeed had sworn an oath to the Weimar constitution.

    We agreed that (the new government) had a good chance of doing a lot of damage, but not of surviving for very long: a deeply reactionary government, with Hitler as its mouthpiece…Even with the Nazis it would not have a majority in the Reichstag…Foreign policy would probably be a matter of banging the table. There might be an attempt to rearm. That would automatically add the outside world to the 60 percent of the home population who were against the Government…No, all things considered, this government was not a cause for alarm.

    (Review and excerpts of Haffner’s book here.)

    Important differences between Germany in 1933 and the US in 2021, of course…we have not experienced anything like the 1-2-3 punches of defeat in a major war followed by insanely runaway inflation followed by deep unemployment. And we have a more deeply-embedded culture of democracy and a better-developed legal system. Still, there are plenty of causes for worry.

    Both of which we seem willing to toss to the side at a sneeze or a cough.  Out legal system means nothing when it is just perverted by the woke to bend to its will or ignored as is convenient.  legal system is just a way to say we have a system to use government power abuse its citizens.  The BLM protest followed by the “Trump insurrection” as well as all the pandemic laws and election rule changes pretty much negate my belief in the American system of anything.  You want to know why what happened to German can not happen here?  Not a d@mn thing….   As for 1-2-3 punches, they do not have to happen, all you have to do is convince the population that they happened.  We were the freest, least racist nation on the planet but we are convinced we are a country that is 60% populated with the most racist people that ever existed.  

    • #22
  23. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    David Foster (View Comment):

    Important differences between Germany in 1933 and the US in 2021, of course…we have not experienced anything like the 1-2-3 punches of defeat in a major war followed by insanely runaway inflation followed by deep unemployment.

    Inflation is on the way. And inflation always has a chance to turn runaway. Takes real guts and some pain to stop it. I lived through the ‘stagflation’ of the 70s and it was no fun at all.

    • #23
  24. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Dr. Bastiat: Peace be upon them.

    Actually, I think they should go straight to hell.

    • #24
  25. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Fifty years ago, many companies diversified their employee composition and marketing in large part to capture a large market share by adding minority customers.  Similarly, trying to accommodate a feminine perspective or create a more generally inclusive image all made marketing sense and well as promoting equality, social justice etc.

    I don’t get the deference to the woke.  They are clearly not a big part of any customer base in major industries.  Their impact is entirely negative–nasty uses of social media.  Hobby Lobby and Chik Fil A did not go into bankruptcy so why would Cigna go in the tank for these people?  Once inside, the woke will shrink Cigna market share by throwing tantrums about policies issued to bad people and bad companies.  The less competent an employee, the more he/she/zhe/they/it will try to leverage political and social media pain to provide cover.

    The more woke your employees, the more likely they will turn on each other (and their superiors) as the list of political crimes continues to grow.  

    I don’t get it.

    • #25
  26. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):
    I was just commenting to the wife earlier. I am pretty sure what we feel today is akin to what the Germans felt when the Nazis took over Germany. The average German was just sitting there going “what the hell is going on?”, “this thing will blow out on its own soon”, etc.

    It really is that bad. The key signs:

    — Explicit hatred has been normalized in public rhetoric, even among politicians. The left generally does not attempt to debate us.

    — Division of people by class is law and policy throughout society.

    — Violence, vandalism, and destruction of lives is condoned by public officials and popularly cheered.

    — Truth is not only abandoned but often verboten. The Big Lie pervades most major corporations, media, education, and all of society.

    — Madness reigns. So much is nonsensical in government and life generally today that satire is indistinguishable from reality.

    The West has turned to apostasy. War, murder, and overt oppression are coming if we do not return in faithfulness to God.

    The darkness we see today is only a hint of horrors to come. But the Lord will secure His people in their hearts. Be brave and trust that peace and justice will follow the storm.

    The problem with God, The Lord, Jesus or other deities is that they seem interested in our souls but not so much in our bodies or livelihoods.  

    • #26
  27. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    David Foster (View Comment):

    re the Nazi analogy: Sebastian Haffner, who wrote an important memoir about his experiences and observations, was quite upset by the Nazi ascendence to power:.

    I do not know what the general reaction was. For about a minute, mine was completely correct: icy horror…for a moment I physically sensed the man’s odour of blood and filth, the nauseating approach of a man-eating animal–its foul, sharp claws in my face.

    But that evening, after discussing the situation with his father, he felt better about the future. Hitler, after all, had not been elected dictator: he was merely head of a coalition government and indeed had sworn an oath to the Weimar constitution.

    We agreed that (the new government) had a good chance of doing a lot of damage, but not of surviving for very long: a deeply reactionary government, with Hitler as its mouthpiece…Even with the Nazis it would not have a majority in the Reichstag…Foreign policy would probably be a matter of banging the table. There might be an attempt to rearm. That would automatically add the outside world to the 60 percent of the home population who were against the Government…No, all things considered, this government was not a cause for alarm.

    (Review and excerpts of Haffner’s book here.)

    Important differences between Germany in 1933 and the US in 2021, of course…we have not experienced anything like the 1-2-3 punches of defeat in a major war followed by insanely runaway inflation followed by deep unemployment. And we have a more deeply-embedded culture of democracy and a better-developed legal system. Still, there are plenty of causes for worry.

    I’m beginning to believe that the Constitution is the dike holding back the “progressive” Leftist flood, especially for the next two years while they have control of the other two branches of government. Even those conservatives who opposed Trump should be grateful for his wise judicial appointments.

    • #27
  28. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    David Foster (View Comment):

    re the Nazi analogy: Sebastian Haffner, who wrote an important memoir about his experiences and observations, was quite upset by the Nazi ascendence to power:.

    I do not know what the general reaction was. For about a minute, mine was completely correct: icy horror…for a moment I physically sensed the man’s odour of blood and filth, the nauseating approach of a man-eating animal–its foul, sharp claws in my face.

    But that evening, after discussing the situation with his father, he felt better about the future. Hitler, after all, had not been elected dictator: he was merely head of a coalition government and indeed had sworn an oath to the Weimar constitution.

    We agreed that (the new government) had a good chance of doing a lot of damage, but not of surviving for very long: a deeply reactionary government, with Hitler as its mouthpiece…Even with the Nazis it would not have a majority in the Reichstag…Foreign policy would probably be a matter of banging the table. There might be an attempt to rearm. That would automatically add the outside world to the 60 percent of the home population who were against the Government…No, all things considered, this government was not a cause for alarm.

    (Review and excerpts of Haffner’s book here.)

    Important differences between Germany in 1933 and the US in 2021, of course…we have not experienced anything like the 1-2-3 punches of defeat in a major war followed by insanely runaway inflation followed by deep unemployment. And we have a more deeply-embedded culture of democracy and a better-developed legal system. Still, there are plenty of causes for worry.

    I’m beginning to believe that the Constitution is the dike holding back the “progressive” Leftist flood, especially for the next two years while they have control of the other two branches of government. Even those conservatives who opposed Trump should be grateful for his wise judicial appointments.

    Let’s hope it holds.  I expect the Democrats have a plan for that issue….  When you have no respect for the Constitution then nothing is off limits.  

    • #28
  29. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Headedwest (View Comment):

    I am a “customer” of Cigna, but not by choice. They are a vendor of dental insurance in my benefits package. Next year I’ll take a hard look at the other options, because I doubt they will remain competent as insurance sellers.

    They will remain viable. I am sure they will get government support to help them and hurt their opponents.

    They may be financially viable, but I am concerned about their competence. The article I read about Cigna stated that they are having trouble filling IT and other technical positions with the desired “diversity”.

    Not sure how IT is an issue. Most IT shops I have been in are mostly people from India. I have been in many IT meetings where I am cut out because the meeting is held mainly in Hindi. And I work in the middle of the country. I understand it is worse on the coasts.

    Hmmm.  Interesting.  I had anywhere from 8-15 contractors on my staff (DBAs and a few coders) and the only language they spoke with each other was English.  In India there are 121 languages which are spoken by 10,000 or more people.  My Indian folks told me one of the few positives from the colonialization was the forced move to a common language.  (There were probably 6-7 languages spread over the folks I had on my staff.)

    • #29
  30. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    It is almost unfathomable that such a small and obnoxious minority can impose this nonsense on otherwise sensible people. I continue to hope that we will hit a tipping point and this stuff will come to a screeching halt.

    Andrew Klavan likens it to other moral panics, such as the Salem witch trials and the McCarthy anti-communism activity. He believes that it will run its course, die out, and soon enough be remembered as a shameful moment of irrational excess. I hope he’s right, and have no reason to doubt it. But even if he is, enormous damage is being done now.

    Your assumption is that it’s a small minority. When will you realize that assumption is not true?  The Woke crowd may still be a minority but it is not as small as you think. 

    • #30