The language battle is heating up.
Redefining marriage is the most spectacular and far-reaching milestone on the secular journey to destroy Christian values in western society, but the language battle began a long time ago with tolerating swearing and blasphemy. Christian terms such as Jesus, Christ, God, Lord, heavens above, hell and damn are all swear words with the aim of demeaning these words and of emptying them of all content.
‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain’ Ex 20:7. There are few that care in our day, although I note that Peter Hitchens at least draws attention to this ill-mannered feature of our secular culture with its supercilious claim to have a better morality than Christianity: “She swears a lot, too. So does everyone.”
If one begins a new job, there is immediate bonding between those that swear, and those who do not swear are ignored or even ostracised, although possibly unconsciously. It is self-select behaviour for group identification and propagation. It works both ways. Jesus says: ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand’ Jn 10:27-28.
People need to learn to use language more accurately. Take for example: “There should be NO debate any more about climate change” says physicist and broadcaster Jim al-Khalili. Really? Where things are well known, people tend not to debate them. People debate because they are not convinced. Evidently, some secularists have still to learn this.
Melanie Philips is a perceptive commentator full of common sense. But even she slips into careless speech. In a recent article on American politics she says of Donald Trump: “He should therefore have specifically denounced white supremacism as having no place in American society.” Is this tolerance or intolerance? Compare this with her next sentence: “At the same time, he should have specifically condemned the hatemongering ideology of left-wing identity politics.” Why the difference? No place … condemned. Was it intended? How does an ‘ism’ have a place in society? Does it not refer to the people promoting such views. So what does it mean in practice? ‘Lock them up’ or ‘deport them’, or was it simply over-the-top, or does it truly reflect different attitudes to the opinions of two similarly ill-mannered groups?
Failure to pay attention to our language has resulted in wild readjustments in western society.
American secularists are redefining paeodophilia as “minor attracted persons”.
Sex-selection abortion is euphemistically known as “family balancing” by those in the pro-abortion lobby.
Various Private Member’s Bills to legalise suicide will redefine the meaning of murder.
And so it goes on.
The Lord Jesus Christ warns us: ‘every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment’ Mat 12:36. The word ‘idle’ in context means ‘thoughtless’. ‘Idle words’ are thoughtless words; words said without any real consideration given to their meaning. We should be careful with everything that comes out of our mouths. Thoughtless abuse of God’s name in swearing and the thoughtless use of words will come back to haunt such mindless use of language.
When people say: ‘That’s not what I meant’, then let them say what they mean. ‘In the multitude of words there is no stopping transgression: but he that restrains his lips is wise’ Pro 10:19. If a person cannot check out his speech, slow down till one can.
As for those who think that thoughtless words are in the past, ‘God requires that which is past’ Ecc 3:15. As Jesus says: ‘they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment’ Mat 12:36.
5 Sep 2017: The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt highlighted the atomisation or disintegration of society as a precursor to totalitarianism, and we are on course with political correctness, which is cultural communism.
5 Sep 2017: some new words: transphobic and womanist. Melanie Phillips calls it “brazen hijacking of language itself that characterise today’s totalitarian leftists. For this they are punishing him, thus demonstrating once again just what a menace they are.” The Scottish Christian Party drew attention to this years ago, before it reached the critical impasse we have now reached, especially since the redefinition of marriage, which has opened the floodgates to ‘gender-bending’.