“Virtue signaling” is a catchphrase in the current cultural confusion. In the last few years, it has been exhausting to keep up with the new terms and re-definitions. I often wonder if some folks even know what they are saying or if they are just parroting the latest mantra from their side of the fence. By the way, virtue signaling is not a right or left problem, it is a human problem.
Politicians are notorious for saying the “right thing” to get elected and to keep their place in power. Now corporations are trying their hand at it to stay ahead of the cultural wave. There are a lot of head-nodders just trying fit in or just look cool to their peers.
Virtue signaling is a relative new term, but it has an older cousin that has been around for a long time called “hypocrisy”. The genesis of the word hypocrisy comes from the Greek word meaning to be an actor on a stage (think theatrical mask as in the featured photo). I am sure not everyone accused of virtue signaling is a hypocrite because some may have genuine moral outrage or concern about various issues.
Long before virtue signaling was coined as a term, I noticed people who nodded their heads in agreement, but you knew they were not really into the game. Mental assent or verbal agreement does not mean a person is whole-hearted about an issue.
As a Christian minister for almost four decades, I have witnessed many head-nodders. They wanted to pretend to agree with me, but you just knew their loyalty to the cause would fade in about six feet as they walked away.
I have seen people shed crocodile tears over the plight of the poor, the lost, and the dying but do little to alleviate the problems. Head-nodders with tears but their hands and feet were not moved.
Social media has also deceived many. People can post a tear-jerking post and get many “likes” and comments and think they are changing the world. Nope! For many, a like on social media is just another form of a heart-less head-nod.
The true test of loyalty is sacrifice. If you witness someone sacrifice their time, convenience, lifestyle, and money for a cause then you can begin to believe they are onboard with that cause. Head-nodders on the other hand are clouds without water.
So, please do not get sucked into the head-nodders club. Find someplace or someone then make a difference in that place or someone. Do something meaningful, practical, and righteous. Be a doer not a say-er. Say what you really mean; mean what you say!
If you want to test the virtue signalers of our time, go back about three to four years, and see what they were saying then—that is what they really believe!
Consider the words of Jesus Christ:
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37 NKJV).
“Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: / ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:7-8 NKJV).
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt