Calling Things by Their Actual Names

 

In his memoir Fear No Evil, Natan Sharansky recounts his experience at the hands of the Soviet KGB during his years as a refusenik . A favorite tactic of the KGB was to torture prisoners with the intent of getting them to confess to false charges which could be used to justify their imprisonment. In a gripping account of one particularly brutal torture session, Sharansky describes how he was on the verge of breaking down and giving a false confession, when the memory of those who had come before him and refused to lie about themselves suddenly came to his mind. He remembered how his knowledge of the gritty refusal of others to speak untruths had enabled him, up until that moment, to stand up to his own tormentors. The realization came crashing down upon him that if he broke by giving a false confession, he might be doing great damage to those who came after him by failing to provide for them the same example that others had provided for him. That memory, in that terrible moment, was an ultimate game changer for Sharansky — he never did go on to bear witness to a lie.

It turns out that a commitment to the truth can yield surprising downstream effects.

Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson originally burst upon the world scene because of his own outspoken refusal to conform his language to the requirements of the social justice speech police. “I’m not going to be a mouthpiece for language I detest,” he declared. He was specifically referring to such language as relates to modern innovations in sexual identity.

Derick Dillard, husband of one of the Duggar girls of 19 Kids and Counting fame, discovered that failure to use approved language can actually cost a fellow his job. Dillard was fired from his role on the TLC network’s Counting On reality show because, among other things, he “refused to use feminine pronouns” when discussing a transgender colleague at TLC.

Totalitarian movements throughout history have long understood the criticality of conscripting the general population into participating in a myriad of small fictions, or lies. That’s probably because a powerful tool for controlling entire societies is the moral humiliation of the individual. Over the longer term, such participation in lies can even have the effect of bringing the individual’s actual perception of reality into conformance with the requirements of the state.

Theodore Dalrymple, one of the finest contemporary essayists around, has reflected on the moral aspects of this pressure to conform one’s language:

“When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed.”

Even the very term “social justice movement” represents, in some ways, a kind of reality distortion field, because there is nothing actually just about the ends being sought by that movement. The movement seeks to subjugate the individual to group identities (an idea that incontrovertibly cost the lives of millions in the 20th century alone) and to eliminate the human right of conscience. If you doubt this, just try being Jack Phillips for a day. Or Brendan Eich. Or James Damore. Or a multitude of others.

Ours is not the first culture to be subjected to this kind of pressure. A great deal of writing and thinking was done during the 20th century which explored the relationship between human flourishing and truth – and specifically within the context of totalitarian societies. Thinkers who lived under regimes that pressured them to “assent to obvious lies”, to use Dalrymple’s words, thought deeply about what integrity means.

Vaclav Havel was, perhaps, one of the leading writers and thinkers along these lines. Havel was a playwright, recipient of the U.S. Presidential medal of freedom, and one of the early prime ministers of Czechoslovakia after the fall of the iron curtain. In his famous essay The Power of the Powerless, Havel wrote of the pressure to conform one’s speech and actions to things one knows to be false. He argued for the importance of “living within the truth,” by which he meant having the courage to speak and act within the context of what one actually believes to be true. “Living within the truth” begins, he said, with something as simple as “calling things by their actual names.”

I try to live, however poorly I might do it, as a follower of Christ. I have been quite surprised by the extent to which the social justice community appears to have given much more thought to the criticality and uses of language than some of the contemporary Christian writers and thinkers I’ve been reading lately. I have been struck by the readiness, on the part of Christian writers and speakers, to adopt the terms and language of the social justice movement.

This surprises me for at least two reasons. First, it seems to be a widespread phenomenon across numerous Christian publications and speakers, but nowhere have I found an explicitly stated thought process by which the decision to embrace such language was made. That doesn’t mean, of course, that no one within the Christian publishing community has elaborated their views. But I’m a fairly avid reader and consumer of Christian publishing, so my own experience is likely to be representative of other readers besides myself. And what I’m finding is that the new language is being slipstreamed into Christian writing with little acknowledgment of even having done it.

The second reason I find this surprising is that Christianity places a uniquely high value on the use and meaning of words, a predisposition it closely shares with Judaism. Jesus himself is described as the logos – the word. The very faith that Christians espouse is described by the apostle Paul as coming to us primarily through the auditory word. Satan certainly understood the mischievous and destructive power of words, as evidenced by beginning his entire landslide of disaster by first calling into question God’s words: “Did God really say…?”

So I find it surprising, I guess, that so many Christian writers and thinkers have so casually adopted the language of sexual identity and social justice.

The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.  A surgically or chemically altered man has not become a woman no matter our use of feminine pronouns, but this seems not to have occurred to a surprising number of Christian publishers. A gay man can be said to have a “husband” only by redefining the word “husband” to such an extent that it has been drained of its meaning, ceasing to have any essential correspondence to its original etymology. The legal rights of gays have never been dependent upon the corruption of the language, nor on such a morally ambiguous use of words. There seems to be more behind the current mania to distort the language than an understandable concern for civil rights.

This is not a merely pedantic concern. The danger of adopting the language of sexual identity is that its impact isn’t confined to just smoothing over potentially awkward social exchanges. At one level I want to say “who cares” what pronouns we use. Or “who cares” if we talk about gay “husbands.” But if I think very long about the uses of language, it gives me pause. Over time, such accommodating language may turn out to be a vehicle for subtly altering our own consciousness, acting as a kind of moral anesthetic. I worry that altering language as a way to gloss over the discomfort of our principled differences may ultimately have the effect of smoothing over our differences all right, but at the eventual cost of eliminating our principles entirely.

I can’t help suspecting that the longer-term elimination of a principled conscience is the very motivation for going to the extreme of penalizing dissenting voices like Mr. Dillard and others. Language works in such a way that how we use it inevitably begins to inform our own perception and understanding of reality. We may start out with the knowledge that we’re only humoring the other side, but we’re likely to end up thinking along the very lines we had originally opposed.

I’m nagged by the recurring suspicion that “living within the truth” in the 21st century may really start with something as simple as insisting on the use of pronouns that conform to reality.

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  1. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    The gender diversity movement — trans movement, whatever one wishes to call it — is, I think, unique in American history in that it attempts to mandate specific speech. It was precisely that to which Jordan Peterson rightly objected (though Canada offers scant protection for free speech). As you note, the forced confession is a particularly terrible injustice; and pronouns amount, in my opinion, to forced confession.

    Great post. Thank you.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Keith Lowery: The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Technically, the word husband literally means “the head of a household”.  It’s from the Old Norse words hús for house, and bóndi for farmer (which is why animal husbandry is not a reference to bestiality).  As such, there’s very little linguistic reason why a subordinate gay man cannot have a husband, nor for that matter why a woman cannot be a husband since the word wife comes from old germanic languages’ wif, which simply meant “female”.

    Now, one could argue that those are not the common, generally-accepted meanings of the words husband and/or wife in modern English, but to make that argument is to concede the very point that the meaning of words can be changed, which is precisely the linguistic mission of the LGBTQ+ movement in the first place.

    In fact, if the English-speaking world hadn’t allowed the language to degrade evolve to such a degree over the centuries many of these linguistic disagreements would largely vanish.  The word man would still be the gender-neutral word for a human being as it was in the old germanic languages, and male human beings would be called weremen in the same way that female human beings are called women (or, more properly, would be called wifmen).  Meanwhile, there are plenty of candidates for an etymologically-correct and gender-neutral word for a married person.  Along with the Latin-derived spouse there’s also the germanic-derived wedder.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    • #2
  3. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery: The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Technically, the word husband literally means “the head of a household”. It’s from the Old Norse words hús for house, and bóndi for farmer (which is why animal husbandry is not a reference to bestiality). As such, there’s very little linguistic reason why a subordinate gay man cannot have a husband, nor for that matter why a woman cannot be a husband since the word wife comes old germanic languages’ wif, which simply meant “female”.

    Now, one could argue that those are not the common, generally-accepted meaning of the word husband and/or wife in modern English, but to make that argument is to concede the very point that the meaning of words can be changed.

    In fact, if the English-speaking world hadn’t allowed the language to degrade evolve to such a degree over the centuries many of these linguistic disagreements would largely vanish. The word man would still be the gender-neutral word for a human being, and male human beings would called weremen in the same way that female human beings are called women (or, more properly, would be called wifmen).

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    Good comment. While I’m one of the throwbacks who quietly refuses to use “husband,” “wife,” or “marriage” when referring to same-sex couples, I acknowledge that language does, and must, evolve. I just won’t participate in that evolution in this particular instance.

    The words “husband” and “wife” carry a wealth of associations, associations that will be lost as children are brainwashed by public school teachers and popular media into believing… well, into believing nothing, really, except that everything is as normal as anything else. I value the ideas associated with these words, the implication of support and protection still implied by “husband,” the ideas of submission and domesticity still implied by “wife,” and the diversity of sexually defined roles still implied by “marriage.”

    Now get off my lawn.

    • #3
  4. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    The words “husband” and “wife” carry a wealth of associations, associations that will be lost as children are brainwashed by public school teachers and popular media into believing… well, into believing nothing, really, except that everything is as normal as anything else.

    I largely agree, which is why I’m a fan of the (somewhat tongue-in-cheek) Anglish movement to reinvigorate the germanic-derived versions of words. Instead of submitting to linguisic “innovations” that weaken the plain meaning of words, Anglish seeks to strengthen the plain meaning of words by returning to the incredibly clear and unambiguous linguistic rules of our germanic forebears. Charles Dickens was a supporter of this idea, as was George Orwell who thought it could be a bulwark against Newspeak.

    Trying to argue that Modern English is more “etymologically-correct” than Postmodern English is a losing battle since so many of the rules of Modern English are so painfully arbitrary, relatively recent, and in violation of the lexicological rules of virtually every language from which English derives.  It’s sorta kinda like the joke about how the Amish somewhat arbitrarily chose the 18th century as the moment when technology reached its biblically-acceptable zenith.

    In other words, the problem is that 21st century conservatives don’t go far enough when it comes to championing a rational set of linguistic rules.

    Personally, I blame this whole mess on Noah Webster.  He’s the one who first got Americans into the habit of imposing arbitrary new rules on the English language.  These postmodern innovations are merely the fruit of the poisonous tree he planted back in 1806.  ;-)

    https://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/anglish

    • #4
  5. Keith Lowery Coolidge
    Keith Lowery
    @keithlowery

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery: The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Technically, the word husband literally means “the head of a household”. It’s from the Old Norse words hús for house, and bóndi for farmer (which is why animal husbandry is not a reference to bestiality). As such, there’s very little linguistic reason why a subordinate gay man cannot have a husband, nor for that matter why a woman cannot be a husband since the word wife comes from old germanic languages’ wif, which simply meant “female”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    This is a legitimate point. In actuality, I misspoke (miswrote?) in regard to what I was trying to say.  What I had intended to write was:

    A gay man can be said to have a “husband” only by redefining the word “marriage” to such a extent that it has been drained of its meaning, ceasing to have any essential correspondence to its original etymology. 

    My intent had been to place the usage of “husband” squarely within the context of “marriage”. But I didn’t. And I’m disinclined now to edit it as it would leave your valid comment and point dangling.

     

    • #5
  6. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery: The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Technically, the word husband literally means “the head of a household”. It’s from the Old Norse words hús for house, and bóndi for farmer (which is why animal husbandry is not a reference to bestiality). As such, there’s very little linguistic reason why a subordinate gay man cannot have a husband, nor for that matter why a woman cannot be a husband since the word wife comes from old germanic languages’ wif, which simply meant “female”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    This is a legitimate point. In actuality, I misspoke (miswrote?) in regard to what I was trying to say. What I had intended to write was:

    A gay man can be said to have a “husband” only by redefining the word “marriage” to such a extent that it has been drained of its meaning, ceasing to have any essential correspondence to its original etymology.

    My intent had been to place the usage of “husband” squarely within the context of “marriage”. But I didn’t. And I’m disinclined now to edit it as it would leave your valid comment and point dangling.

    And yet, the word marriage is another imposition on the English language by the damned Normans, coming from the Latin verb marito meaning “to become a husband” or “to impregnate”.  The Anglish word for marriage would be weddedness, and it’s intrinsically gender-neutral.

    Incidentally, the Latin verbs meaning “to become a wife” can either be nubo (literally “to veil oneself”) from which we get the English word nuptual,  or matrimonio (literally “to accept a mother’s obligation”) from which we get the English word matrimony.  The gender-neutral Latin word for “to marry” would be coniugo (literally “to join together”), from which we get the English word conjugal.

    Therefore, if one’s argument against same-sex marriage is truly simply a linguistic dispute then it follows that one should have no argument against legalizing same-sex conjugation.

    ;-)

    • #6
  7. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Many Western Christians can believe the lie of “gay marriage” because they no longer understand true (heterosexual) marriage. They have been conditioned against recognition of innate roles and any limits on free will — to a point of self-creation. 

    Christian tradition and The Bible identify the man as the head of the household. In a religion that asserts “The first will be last” and advises even kings to act as humble servants, conflating roles with esteem is foolish. Yet Christians of the West submitted to feminism in adoption of worldly views of power. 

    This is why I hope our next pope will be a non-Westerner like Cardinal Sarah. But the Lord knows better.

    • #7
  8. SecondBite Member
    SecondBite
    @SecondBite

    To bring the whole farce full circle:  the whole purpose of the gay marriage debate was to force the use of the word “marriage” to be used for same sex couples.  All of the necessary rights were being assembled under various doctrines of domestic partnership, but the word “marriage” was reserved for heterosexuals, which was unacceptable.  So, whatever its etymology, a word that was previously applied to a near miraculous combination of unlike things, is now applied to the combination of like things.

    • #8
  9. Thaddeus Wert Coolidge
    Thaddeus Wert
    @TWert

    Great post! It complements Rod Dreher’s latest book, Live Not By Lies very nicely. He interviews many Eastern European survivors  of communism to make several of the same points you do.

    • #9
  10. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    Keith Lowery: The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.

    Last year a worker was killed in an auto accident. She was “married” to another woman and in the company-wide announcement, the boss mentioned her “wife”. I wondered how I would have worded the announcement if I’d been in his shoes so as to avoid using that language but still convey condolences.

    • #10
  11. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    SecondBite (View Comment):

    To bring the whole farce full circle: the whole purpose of the gay marriage debate was to force the use of the word “marriage” to be used for same sex couples. All of the necessary rights were being assembled under various doctrines of domestic partnership, but the word “marriage” was reserved for heterosexuals, which was unacceptable. So, whatever its etymology, a word that was previously applied to a near miraculous combination of unlike things, is now applied to the combination of like things.

    Apropos of nothing: The concept of joining two like things, as opposed to joining two unlike things, made me think of the word welding, and I thought it might be evidence that the word wedding actually literally means to join two like things.

    However, it turns out that the words welding and wedding are not actually related, even though one would think they should be. Welding comes from the proto-germanic wela meaning “good or strong” (i.e. “to make something well”), while wedding comes from the proto-germanic word wadja meaning “to pledge, promise, or guarantee”.

    Wadja is also where we get the English word wager, which I find kinda hilarious.

    • #11
  12. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    This is a very important post.

    This is why it has been a mistake to accept the nonsense that we cannot permit the spelling or pronunciation of the word “nigger” when used in a non-insulting way.

    Back a few months, a Marine General Officer upbraided a junior Marine within his earshot because he was using the word “nigger” to refer to fellow black Marines.  In his discussion he actually pronounced the prohibited word.  He was promptly cashiered.  This is sick.

    This example is the progenitor of all our politically correct vocabulary.  It is very important that we not accept this.  We should never say “n-word” when we mean “nigger.”  Of course, you shouldn’t use the word to refer to someone, and you shouldn’t use it to insult someone, but to use the word as an example of words one should not use in polite company is absurd.  

    I was recently removed from a court wheel because I made this argument on facebook.  A “friend” saw it and forwarded it to the judge who kicked me off.  So much for freedom of speech.  I lost a lot of income that day.  Ho ho ho.

    But being “cancelled” is not the measure of right and wrong.  We need some leaders to recognize that we have allowed activists and race baiters to control us and our speech.  The end result is going to be similar to what Natan Sharanski experienced.  

    Speech is not free unless we accept free speech as people, not just through the government.  

    • #12
  13. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Skyler (View Comment):

    This is a very important post.

    This is why it has been a mistake to accept the nonsense that we cannot permit the spelling or pronunciation of the word “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” when used in a non-insulting way.

    Back a few months, a Marine General Officer upbraided a junior Marine within his earshot because he was using the word “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” to refer to fellow black Marines. In his discussion he actually pronounced the prohibited word. He was promptly cashiered. This is sick.

    This example is the progenitor of all our politically correct vocabulary. It is very important that we not accept this. We should never say “n-word” when we mean “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    .” Of course, you shouldn’t use the word to refer to someone, and you shouldn’t use it to insult someone, but to use the word as an example of words one should not use in polite company is absurd.

    I was recently removed from a court wheel because I made this argument on facebook. A “friend” saw it and forwarded it to the judge who kicked me off. So much for freedom of speech. I lost a lot of income that day. Ho ho ho.

    But being “cancelled” is not the measure of right and wrong. We need some leaders to recognize that we have allowed activists and race baiters to control us and our speech. The end result is going to be similar to what Natan Sharanski experienced.

    Speech is not free unless we accept free speech as people, not just through the government.

    Hmmmm.  You seem to have been “canceled”.  This is wrong (not what you said but what the others said about what you said).

    • #13
  14. Misthiocracy got drunk and Member
    Misthiocracy got drunk and
    @Misthiocracy

    Skyler (View Comment):

    This is why it has been a mistake to accept the nonsense that we cannot permit the spelling or pronunciation of the word “[redacted]” when used in a non-insulting way.

    Another apropos of nothing: While looking up the Latin words for white and black, I finally get the joke behind the Beatles putting out a record with an all-white cover.

    • #14
  15. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery (View Comment):

    Misthiocracy got drunk and (View Comment):

    Keith Lowery: The use of social justice language in Christian circles ranges from such things as fuzzing the meaning of pronouns when writing of transgendered people, to speaking of gay men as having “husbands”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = on >

    Technically, the word husband literally means “the head of a household”. It’s from the Old Norse words hús for house, and bóndi for farmer (which is why animal husbandry is not a reference to bestiality). As such, there’s very little linguistic reason why a subordinate gay man cannot have a husband, nor for that matter why a woman cannot be a husband since the word wife comes from old germanic languages’ wif, which simply meant “female”.

    < devil’s advocate mode = off >

    This is a legitimate point. In actuality, I misspoke (miswrote?) in regard to what I was trying to say. What I had intended to write was:

    A gay man can be said to have a “husband” only by redefining the word “marriage” to such a extent that it has been drained of its meaning, ceasing to have any essential correspondence to its original etymology.

    My intent had been to place the usage of “husband” squarely within the context of “marriage”. But I didn’t. And I’m disinclined now to edit it as it would leave your valid comment and point dangling.

    And yet, the word marriage is another imposition on the English language by the damned Normans, coming from the Latin verb marito meaning “to become a husband” or “to impregnate”. The Anglish word for marriage would be weddedness, and it’s intrinsically gender-neutral.

    Incidentally, the Latin verbs meaning “to become a wife” can either be nubo (literally “to veil oneself”) from which we get the English word nuptual, or matrimonio (literally “to accept a mother’s obligation”) from which we get the English word matrimony. The gender-neutral Latin word for “to marry” would be coniugo (literally “to join together”), from which we get the English word conjugal.

    Therefore, if one’s argument against same-sex marriage is truly simply a linguistic dispute then it follows that one should have no argument against legalizing same-sex conjugation.

    ;-)

    Indeed. And I was in favor of civil unions with the same exact legal standing as marriage — but without the word.

    • #15
  16. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Skyler (View Comment):

    This is a very important post.

    This is why it has been a mistake to accept the nonsense that we cannot permit the spelling or pronunciation of the word “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” when used in a non-insulting way.

    Back a few months, a Marine General Officer upbraided a junior Marine within his earshot because he was using the word “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” to refer to fellow black Marines. In his discussion he actually pronounced the prohibited word. He was promptly cashiered. This is sick.

    This example is the progenitor of all our politically correct vocabulary. It is very important that we not accept this. We should never say “n-word” when we mean “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    .” Of course, you shouldn’t use the word to refer to someone, and you shouldn’t use it to insult someone, but to use the word as an example of words one should not use in polite company is absurd.

    I was recently removed from a court wheel because I made this argument on facebook. A “friend” saw it and forwarded it to the judge who kicked me off. So much for freedom of speech. I lost a lot of income that day. Ho ho ho.

    But being “cancelled” is not the measure of right and wrong. We need some leaders to recognize that we have allowed activists and race baiters to control us and our speech. The end result is going to be similar to what Natan Sharanski experienced.

    Speech is not free unless we accept free speech as people, not just through the government.

    Apparently even ricochet can’t tell the difference between using a word in an insulting manner and using it as an example of what no to say.  For shame. 

    • #16
  17. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker
    @CarolJoy

    At a nearby Methodist Church, there is a banner that states “Black Lives Matter.”

    Also I am hearing that the method of attack should someone reply to such a slogan the expression “All Lies Matter” is that all lives cannot matter until Black Live do.

    • #17
  18. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    This is a very important post.

    This is why it has been a mistake to accept the nonsense that we cannot permit the spelling or pronunciation of the word “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” when used in a non-insulting way.

    Back a few months, a Marine General Officer upbraided a junior Marine within his earshot because he was using the word “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    ” to refer to fellow black Marines. In his discussion he actually pronounced the prohibited word. He was promptly cashiered. This is sick.

    This example is the progenitor of all our politically correct vocabulary. It is very important that we not accept this. We should never say “n-word” when we mean “

    Editor’s Note:

    Automatically redacted for Code of Conduct violation: Obscenities and vulgarities.

    If you are the author, you can edit this and remove the offending word. This is an automatic filter and does not reflect editorial judgment.

    .” Of course, you shouldn’t use the word to refer to someone, and you shouldn’t use it to insult someone, but to use the word as an example of words one should not use in polite company is absurd.

    I was recently removed from a court wheel because I made this argument on facebook. A “friend” saw it and forwarded it to the judge who kicked me off. So much for freedom of speech. I lost a lot of income that day. Ho ho ho.

    But being “cancelled” is not the measure of right and wrong. We need some leaders to recognize that we have allowed activists and race baiters to control us and our speech. The end result is going to be similar to what Natan Sharanski experienced.

    Speech is not free unless we accept free speech as people, not just through the government.

    Apparently even ricochet can’t tell the difference between using a word in an insulting manner and using it as an example of what no to say. For shame.

    It would be asking a lot of an automated filter to understand when language was being obscene or patently offensive, versus when the same language was used in an instructive way to provide an example of obscene or patently offensive speech. And, since it’s never necessary to actually use the offending language in order to explain to someone what was said, it’s an economically sensible tradeoff to simply filter out any use of the words in question, without trying to understand natural language.

    I think that’s not unreasonable.

    • #18
  19. CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker
    @CarolJoy

    SecondBite (View Comment):

    To bring the whole farce full circle: the whole purpose of the gay marriage debate was to force the use of the word “marriage” to be used for same sex couples. All of the necessary rights were being assembled under various doctrines of domestic partnership, but the word “marriage” was reserved for heterosexuals, which was unacceptable. So, whatever its etymology, a word that was previously applied to a near miraculous combination of unlike things, is now applied to the combination of like things.

    If a couple spent ten thousand bucks in legal fees, domestic partnership ended up providing the same rights and protections as traditional marriage.

    • #19
  20. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    CarolJoy, Thread Hijacker (View Comment):

    SecondBite (View Comment):

    To bring the whole farce full circle: the whole purpose of the gay marriage debate was to force the use of the word “marriage” to be used for same sex couples. All of the necessary rights were being assembled under various doctrines of domestic partnership, but the word “marriage” was reserved for heterosexuals, which was unacceptable. So, whatever its etymology, a word that was previously applied to a near miraculous combination of unlike things, is now applied to the combination of like things.

    If a couple spent ten thousand bucks in legal fees, domestic partnership ended up providing the same rights and protections as traditional marriage.

    Right. But if civil unions had been enacted through legislation, then it could have cost no more than marriage.

    But BiteTheSecond is correct: what was desired was that the word “marriage” be redefined. Nothing less than that was adequate.

    • #20
  21. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

     

    It would be asking a lot of an automated filter to understand when language was being obscene or patently offensive, versus when the same language was used in an instructive way to provide an example of obscene or patently offensive speech. And, since it’s never necessary to actually use the offending language in order to explain to someone what was said, it’s an economically sensible tradeoff to simply filter out any use of the words in question, without trying to understand natural language.

    I think that’s not unreasonable.

    I understand.  I think we are learning that we have played into the hands of the race baiters and people who wish to control others. 

    • #21
  22. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

     

    It would be asking a lot of an automated filter to understand when language was being obscene or patently offensive, versus when the same language was used in an instructive way to provide an example of obscene or patently offensive speech. And, since it’s never necessary to actually use the offending language in order to explain to someone what was said, it’s an economically sensible tradeoff to simply filter out any use of the words in question, without trying to understand natural language.

    I think that’s not unreasonable.

    I understand. I think we are learning that we have played into the hands of the race baiters and people who wish to control others.

    I understand your point, but I’m going to respectfully reject it — at least in my case. I don’t like vulgarity, including vulgar racial slurs. At the same time, I reject the notion that America has a racism problem: America has a racism industry, and it’s owned and operated by the left. We aren’t a racist country, the problems attributed to racism are largely the result of cultural decay and government programs, and BLM and its ilk are dishonest and destructive hate groups.

    We can say all that without using ugly words that are clearly associated with past racism and oppression. They add nothing to the discussion.

    The damned rappers should stop using the N-word as well, as they’re hurting the cause of black Americans by keeping division alive. And I don’t like their “music” and never have.

    Now, about the lawn. Get off it.

    • #22
  23. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    America has a racism industry, and it’s owned and operated by the left. We aren’t a racist country

    You are absolutely correct.  

    I’m sorry you don’t see the evil of destroying a man fur pronouncing a word in order to ask people not to say the word.  I find it profoundly evil.  

    It is fundamentally wrong for one race of people to be allowed to say a word, but others destroyed for saying that same word even when devoid of its meaning.  Allowing that mindset is what is spurring the “hate speech” is unprotected mentality that is growing popular in our country.

    • #23
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Skyler (View Comment):
    I’m sorry you don’t see the evil of destroying a man fur pronouncing a word in order to ask people not to say the word. I find it profoundly evil.

    Whoa there, my friend.

    I don’t see the evil in an automated filter excluding the N-word and other obscenities. That was the point of my content.

    • #24
  25. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    I’m sorry you don’t see the evil of destroying a man fur pronouncing a word in order to ask people not to say the word. I find it profoundly evil.

    Whoa there, my friend.

    I don’t see the evil in an automated filter excluding the N-word and other obscenities. That was the point of my content.

    No, that’s not what I meant.  I don’t care about the stupid filter for the word n-i-g-g-er.  But allowing people to control our speech to such an extreme is evil.

    • #25
  26. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):
    I’m sorry you don’t see the evil of destroying a man fur pronouncing a word in order to ask people not to say the word. I find it profoundly evil.

    Whoa there, my friend.

    I don’t see the evil in an automated filter excluding the N-word and other obscenities. That was the point of my content.

    No, that’s not what I meant. I don’t care about the stupid filter for the word n-i-g-g-er. But allowing people to control our speech to such an extreme is evil.

    Ah, got it. I was responding only to the bit about Ricochet not knowing the difference between instructional and offensive speech. I scoff at the “racist” label as usually applied, because it’s almost always wrong.

    • #26