Empathy, Feminism, and the Church

In most of these dustups, there is an underlying dynamic that manifests again and again, and now seemed as good a time as any to identify it. Providentially, the recent controversy involving Fr. Calvin Robinson and the Mere Anglicanism conference provides the perfect opportunity to do so. The dynamic I have in mind is the intersection of feminism in the church, theological drift, and the sin of empathy.

My basic contention is that running beneath the ideological conflicts surrounding all things “woke” (race, sexuality, abuse, and LGBTQ+) is a common emotional dynamic involving untethered empathy–that is, a concern for the hurting and vulnerable that is unmoored from truth, goodness, and reality. In the modern context, empathy is frequently, as one author put it, “a disguise for anxiety” and “a power tool in the hands of the sensitive.” It is the means by which various aggrieved groups have been able to steer communities into catering to greater and greater folly and injustice. And a key ingredient in making this steering effective is feminism.

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