cain hitting abel with cancellation

Can cancel culture be traced back to the Bible? Andrew Cuomo thinks so – and he's not alone. The former governor of New York is among a number of prominent figures who've made the comparison recently. 

Cuomo stepped down in August 2021 following allegations of sexual misconduct and corruption. Now he's is back in the news thanks to his recent remarks comparing "cancelation" to unjust biblical stonings and claiming, “God’s not finished with me yet.”

While he’s apologized for some of his actions, Cuomo appears to also be blaming cancel culture for his fall from grace. 

Biblical Origins?

“Cancel culture says if you don’t agree with me and my point of view, then you should be canceled,” Cuomo explained during a recent visit to an NYC-area church. 

“It’s a social death penalty. Our cancel-culture mentality today is like modern-day stonings. Remember the stonings in the Bible?” 

Critics weren't amused. Erica Vladimer, co-founder of Sexual Harassment Working Group, said that Cuomo taking the pulpit at a church and blaming cancel culture is “an insult to those who truly see Sunday as a day of worship.

Another former Cuomo staffer said that “he should really try confession first.”

Would Jesus Cancel?

In drawing such biblical parallels to cancelation, Cuomo has found an unlikely ally: Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Although the words ‘cancel culture’ might be a relatively new entry into our daily lexicon, Boebert has echoed the idea that ‘canceling’ goes all the way back to biblical times. 

“We are in another cycle of cancel culture, but this is nothing new. Cancel culture has been around since the beginning of time,” she stated in a recent interview. “Cain canceled Abel. We had Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that were thrown into the fiery furnace.”

“King Nebuchadnezzar wanted to cancel them but there stood another in the midst of them and he was the son of God. And then they tried to cancel Jesus, but you can’t cancel God.”

Boebert continued: “this has always been an issue, the 'I don't like you, I don't like what you're doing, I don't like the attention that you're getting, so you shouldn't be here. You shouldn't have a voice. You shouldn't have a movement.'”

The sentiment extends beyond the political class, as well. 

In a recent sermon, evangelical Pastor David Jeremiah said that Jesus Himself would be against “unbiblical” cancel culture. "Cancel culture is laser-focused on judgment and accusation and punishment," he explained. “Christ's goal, on the other hand, is love, mercy, and grace."

What do you think? Is cancel culture a feature of human nature that's been around for millennia, as its appearance in the Bible would suggest?

Or is this just a newly-created term being exploited by people who don’t want to accept personal responsibility for their actions?

[UPDATE 3/28]: Speaking of refusing to accept responsibility, Russian president Vladimir Putin recently compared the international backlash against Russia following its decision to invade Ukraine to "cancel culture." Putin specifically drew a connection between his situation and the backlash against "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling, who has repeatedly been the target of criticism over her views on trans rights issues. Here was the full quote:

"J.K. Rowling has recently been canceled because she... did not please the fans of the so-called gender freedoms. Today, they are trying to cancel a whole 1,000-year-old country, our people. I am talking about the increasing discrimination of everything related to Russia, about this trend which is unfolding in a number of Western states."

Rowling shot back at Putin's attempted comparison in a recent tweet:

21 comments

  1. Tom Thackrey's Avatar Tom Thackrey

    Shouting "cancel culture" is simply an excuse for avoiding responsibility. As long as I can remember, and I've been around a while, some politicians and famous people have been held accountable, by the public, for their actions (real or not.)

    Fatty Arbuckle, OJ, Gary Hart, Nixon, McCarthy, Enron, Madoff, etc. the current bunch, Cosby, Cuomo, Weinstein, Epstein, etc. are trying to use the "cancel culture" meme to escape blame for their actions.

  1. David Arthur Lewis's Avatar David Arthur Lewis

    The word is 'shunning'. It's the way Christians discipline the ranks. The Amish are famous for it.

  1. Dr. Jerry Moyes's Avatar Dr. Jerry Moyes

    There's nothing new to see here. This concept is as old as human civilization, all that's changed is the application of a label chosen to evoke reactions.

  1. Chris's Avatar Chris

    So the people who want to cancel marriage equality, Transgender equality, basically any equality for anyone they don't like are whining about "being canceled." The people who boycotted Starbucks for not having "Jesus cups", who boycotted Netflix for signing a deal with the Obamas, who boycotted the NFL for players kneeling in protest are all crying foul because they're being called on their bullshit.

    I have no sympathy for Cuomo or any of them. I pity them.

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    I've never known of a cancelation to leave someone literally broken, bloodied, even dead. The equivalent is pathetically faulty.

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    I'm a pagan witch and I get put down all the time because of what my beliefs are but nobody should be able to ask you I don't care if it's the government or who it is what your beliefs are or your religion is leave religion out of political crap

    1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      I'm a Norse Heathen, and try very hard to keep my political views well away from mixing with my religious ones.

    2. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I’m a human being 🤷🏼

  1. Lori Lassiter's Avatar Lori Lassiter

    Geez, we just called it boycotting!

  1. Dawna Marie Perry's Avatar Dawna Marie Perry

    Cuomo is blaming cancel culture? And likening it to being biblically stoned? Sad. Personal choices got him where he is, nothing else. Blaming anyone, or anything but his own actions tells me the behavior won’t change.

    Growing up at home (and in the church) we are taught that bad behavior will get us punished. It’s not “cancel culture”, it’s a reaction to the action. If Cuomo wants redemption, he needs to accept that his own actions led to society’s reaction. The internet has made our “neighborhood” very large and and just like a small one, the “neighborhood” hears news and reacts. IMO, if this is the route he’s taking, he still has a long way to go. Redemption is humble and personal, not boastful and blaming.

  1. Jeffery Wayne Weatherholtz's Avatar Jeffery Wayne Weatherholtz

    Blaming his failure as a man on cancel culture is sad and speaks volumes about Cuomo. And the reference to stonings is even worse. He should use the internet, download a video of a stoningfrom the Taliban or Iraq and look at the horror of that death. Hom losing his job is a slap on the wrist for what should have happened...he should be in prison.

  1. Leah Glass's Avatar Leah Glass

    No………

  1. Travis's Avatar Travis

    Not. Quite. The. Same.

    Stonings were about murdering somebody for differing lifestyles, beliefs, or ways of life .

    Cancel Culture targets a person's livelihood and ability to survive, while leaving them alive to suffer their inability to survive, for merely saying something somebody doesn't like. A debatable worse predicament.

    Cancel Culture is where the saying "there are some fates worse than death" is so true.

    1. Robert James Ruhnke's Avatar Robert James Ruhnke

      Many conservative thinkers low key love cancel culture as people know it in a modern sense. They’ve been doing it since the 50’s. They did it by accusing someone of being communist, atheist, non Christian, in some cases LGBTQ, or some other thing that got their underwear in a twist. Many conservatives today are trying to ban any conversations about race, identity, orientation, etc. in schools. Not to mention they’re always trying to ban books. Now that “cancel culture” is turning on the author do they decry and whine about it. From your description, your idea of cancel culture is just a long drawn out stoning. Ignoring the fact that people can change and adapt.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Cancel Culture is a recent thing.We were NEVER taught about this garbage when I was a kid This year I will be 64 my parents were Christians and I was bought up as one.Its as bad as Snow flakes don't do this Do that instead it's all gone crazy.Mankind is stupid enough to let this happen.

  1. Ann's Avatar Ann

    Cuomo, really?
    This is mob mentality and they're getting away with it because we allow them to. Everytime they get away with it they feel more powerful and can't wait to do it again to those who don't follow the current narrative. No different than the "mean girls" in high school.
    There was a small group of five girls in high school who would attempt to torment me every day in the halls. One day they were waiting for me outside and had planned on beating me up. When I dropped my books and said It's party time, let's go. They left and apologized to me the next day at school. Stand up to bullies even when they are in a group.

  1. Kurt Neuleuf's Avatar Kurt Neuleuf

    The cancel culture is alive and well and now practised by most every nation on earth. In France you need to be triple vaccinated in order to be part of society. World wide we have the vaccination passports. If you do not agree with vaccination for whatever reason, you are shunned by your nation, state and peers. Disregard the right or wrongs for the vaccinations. What we have now is a society where we are ruled by fear. We live in a bubble of fear. we project fear Each person is scared of personal contact so project fear anger, distrust, aggression and reframe from normal interpersonal communication that has to be censored and approved by the authorities first. This we project out for others to see. So add religion to the mix, and boy if you are not a believer or a different cult or sect ............... look out. You will be cancelled. Physically (in some countries) socially , or imprisoned. Does it not remind you of a history that lasted several hundred years? The dark ages?

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    I THINK WE ARE STILL IN BIBLICAL TIMES WITH CON MEN PREACHERS a/o PRIESTS, WE NEED MORE TO CANCEL CORRUPTION NOT CULTURE if ANYTHING WE NEED MORE CULTURE, WE BASICALLY S U C K, LOOK AT THE RNC COMPLETE IDIOTS ALL, THEY THE RNC NEEDS TO BE CANCELED PERMANENTLY !

  1. Carl A. Hankins's Avatar Carl A. Hankins

    In the end there won't be enough good left on earth for God to ever remember his promises. Not even a savior. Then the end will be the end...

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Was it Vishnu, or Zeus, that made those promises, I just don’t remember the stories now, or was it some other mythical God? 🤔

      🤗❤️

  1. Brian Scott Hoff's Avatar Brian Scott Hoff

    Travis, Are you saying that Mr. Cuomo is finding it hard to survive? As in, actual survival? Or, is he unhappy that his behavior was against the law, he was found out, he seems to have landed fairly softly (he's avoided jail), but now he's complaining about being held responsible for what he did? Just trying to understand your post.

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