If culture is defined as “religion made public,” then as all religions have rituals we would expect to find public religious rituals adorning every culture. And that is exactly what we do find. In a Christian culture a public religious ritual are things like attending church weekly, saying prayer before school starts, putting “In God We Trust” on our coinage.
As we in the West and in America find our culture changing that means by necessity our religion is changing. As our religion is changing then we can expect different public religious rituals to adorn our new religiously driven culture. And that is exactly what we find with the advent of new rituals. Our new rituals have been things like the administration and receiving of the vaccine. Whereas pagan cultures used to engage in the ritual of offering up a virgin to the volcano God every year, we today have the public ritual of offering up ourselves to the strange belief that the vaccine will save us. Whereas Christian cultures would often don the sign of the Cross as a public ritual, we today in our public ritual took to putting on masks, or hoisting and flying a pride flag. Whereas as a Christian people we would offer our children up to God in Baptism with our new public rituals we are offering up our children to grooming, hormone blockers, and surgery.
Public rituals that communicate the religion that drives the culture are an inescapable category.
Once upon a time American culture, because of its Christian underpinnings, would find public ritual days set aside for prayer and fasting. These days were often called for because some disaster had visited the people and the leadership understood that there was a need for public repentance — a crying out to the God of the Bible for forgiveness.
But now our culture has changed with the advent of our new Globo-Homo religion. Now instead of days and prayer and fasting that bespoke a repentance that took ownership for our sin, what we get in its place is the act of public scapegoating and shaming. We have thus moved from a culture where public rituals would include days of prayer and fasting with the theme of repentance — all of which communicated that we were taking responsibility for our sin — to a culture where via the public ritual of scapegoating where instead of taking responsibility and owning up to our sin and guilt we now transfer responsibility for our sins by shaming and scapegoating thus blaming our problems on things beyond our control like heteronormativity, white supremacy, global warming, and gender bias.
As such we have moved from a culture of guilt to a culture of shame and in a culture of shame one main priority is to make sure that the shame can be passed on to somebody else so as to avoid the cultural isolation that comes when shame finally finds a home. With this kind of religion driving this kind of culture the inevitable outcome is a cancel culture reality where, when the blame finally finds someone to land upon and settle, that person finds themselves cast out of society. With this kind of religion there is a great deal of time and energy spent avoiding the shame. This translates into a cultural infrastructure that does not operate smoothly for the benefit of the citizenry. This translates into a culture of suspicion and defensiveness.
Our new culture, which has changed out the previous one is just a matter of a few decades is a very different culture than the one many of us over 45 grew up in.
And it is all driven by religious commitments.