This doctrine protects woke employees from being fired for their woke beliefs. That’s intuitive, but legally it also means woke employers can’t fire employees for failing to adopt those same beliefs. Yet that’s the essence of what’s happening across corporate America today.
Further strengthening the legal case that wokeness is a religion is the uncomfortable fact that, well, wokeness really is a religion. As Joshua Williams argues, Americans “have not lost their religion” but “relocated their religion to the realm of politics.” Like most religions, wokeism is comprehensive and indivisible; just as no good Christian can pick his or her favorite five commandments, no woke practitioner can pick and choose which parts of the LGBTQ or BIPOC acronyms to like or dislike. Wokeism doesn’t give suggestions; it gives affirmative commands. You can’t just be “not racist,” but must be “anti-racist.”
And like any good religion, wokeness has its catechisms, clothing guidelines (no cultural appropriation) and taboo words. Mr. Cafferty’s sin was the accidental use of a prohibited hand gesture. Mr. McNeil’s was that he vocalized an unspeakable word, akin to blasphemy.