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WATCH: University Panel: Is Intersectionality A Religion?

By  James Barrett

A group of atheist professors in a recent panel discussion at Portland State University agreed that the social justice concept of “intersectionality” functions more like a religion than anything else, including containing its own version of original sin, its emphasis on moral/ideological purity, conversion, its belief in something like pure evil, and its vision of a utopian future.

The discussion, hosted by the College Republicans and Turning Point USA, featured three panel members, James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian. In his introduction to the event, Boghossian, a philosopher and outspoken atheist, stressed the “irony” that a group of atheists were being hosted by “the most conservative groups on campus.”

“I hope the irony is not lost on anyone that three liberal atheists are being sponsored … by the most conservative groups on campus,” he said. “I hope that irony is not lost, and I think it is perfectly indicative of the sign of the times.”

During the lengthy discussion, the professors agreed that intersectionality — the belief that group identity effectively creates experiential boundaries that people from outside groups can never fully overcome and that there is a sort of “hierarchy of oppression” that makes some groups’ perspective more authoritative or “protected” because they have suffered more than other groups, a concept often used as a rationale for silencing those in the majority by negating the legitimacy of their perspectives — operates more like a religion than an intellectual theory or political idea.

But for the three panelists, it’s not just a concept, it’s a religion, as demonstrated by its substitutes for various religious tenets, like original sin (“privilege”), evil (“hate”), conversion (being “woke”), excommunication of heretics (those who do not fully subscribe to intersectionality), and even a vision of a future glory in a radical, fully intersectional society. A few quotes highlighted by HotAir’s John Sexton:

Those who embrace intersectionality “tend to focus on moral purity for the in-group,” said Lindsay. “They tend to demonize the out-group. They especially demonize heretics or blasphemers or anyone who goes too far outside that dogmatic structure of belief and threatens it. Those people are often excommunicated.”

“People associate with God all that is good, so when atheists say they don’t believe in God they are very often understood to say ‘I don’t believe in good,'” said Pluckrose, adding, “This is also very commonly seen in social-justice movements where to say ‘I don’t like this approach to equality’ is not to say ‘Well, I prefer a universal liberal’ or ‘I am a conservative with a libertarian bent who wants everybody to have the same opportunities,’ it’s essentially to say ‘I am a Nazi.'”

Video below via the Portland State College Republicans and Turning Point USA:

H/T John Sexton

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