Historically, what does it mean when someone wishes to go parading themselves around as a person of virtue?
- Douglas Murray
I think the great unveiling that is 2020 can be understood if we have the nerve to answer the question Murray is asking. Across numerous fields of endeavor, the lust for a sense of one's own moral superiority has taken the world by storm.
As Theodore Dalrymple observes, a sense of moral superiority is one of the most enjoyable emotions there is.
The growing tendency to virtue signal, even among Evangelicals, and to embrace causes whose very raison d'etre is to feed the ego of its participants, is suggestive of less than a firm grasp of the very essence of the gospel.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. - Paul the apostle
That's the good news. It is that real events took place in history which had been foretold by written prophecy. That the very Word of God himself became an embodied human being and died for our sins, just as had been foretold by ancient prophecy. Not only that, but he came back to life and appeared to scores of people who saw him with their own eyes. We are beneficiaries of, but not contributors to, the consequences of these ancient events. Only Jesus is truly virtuous.
We don't improve our moral standing - only our social standing - by advertising our adherence to popular and faddish opinions on social media. Nor is our actual virtue enhanced by loudly and publicly repenting the sins of our forebears. This is just faux repentance and pretense designed to signal one's own virtue and self-superiority. Not least because the sins allegedly being mourned actually belonged to someone else. It's far and away more congenial to lament the sins of others than to admit one's own.
There's been a lot of adding to the gospel in 2020 going on among people who should know better. It's more than a little nauseating.