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January 27, 2007

The Misnomer of the "Politically Correct"

I would be hard-pressed to find any highly-informed liberal thinker who would say that he/she fully supports the concept of "political correctness." The term was not readily adopted by the movement of cultural progressivism. In fact, I would venture to stand in support of the British columnist Will Hutton's claim that PC was in all actuality a pejoritive term created by conservative factions to be applied to and discredit a movement in liberalism taking shape in the 1980s. With a second wave of feminism, increased emphasis on race issues, and the gay liberation movement, it makes sense that the dominant political ideology would be shitting its pants. When people begin to question, it produces mass protest. The movement of cultural progressivism could be thought of as forming on two grounds: linguistic and political. The grounds of the linguistic created the concept of "inclusive language." This is derived from the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (biased language promotes biases). Often, when I hear conservatives say "damn PC run amok..." I often think they only consider the linguistic grounds. Political grounds for cultural progressivism are harder to pinpoint to one source. If I had to take a stab, I'd say that cultural progressivism was a challenge to the "gentleman's club" mindset of capitalists. But even more, cultural progressivism was seeking to do something that the term PC claims it goes against: creating an open discourse.

A good example of the value of this movement and why PC is a misnomer for it can be seen in the movie Philadelphia. The corporate culture can be seen as the inciter of this riot. Because corporations were ruling the show under the economic conditions of the time and because most of the corporate culture was disparagingly white, male heterosexuals, there was an extreme injustice not just in the policy, but also in the birth of future policy. The idea is that no one person or group of people should dominate the political discourse. Because our society is based in self-interest, in order to get the interest of every person met, you need to have every voice represented. The whole unifying concept is that some groups have dominated the discourse with a language based in bullying, and thus, without the ability to use harsh and hurtful language to dominate and exploit minority voices, every voice gets a better chance of being heard. And if every voice gets heard, the problem of the tyranny of the majority can be to some degree solved.

Political correctness is an empty word. It is a self-contradicting value judgment. Restraint must be practiced in holding the conversation so that the dynamic of democracy in our representative system would not succumb to the mobocracy of conservative interests alone. The idea of PC gives the impression that there should be no restraint; that people should be able to speak their minds when they want and the loudest voice is the most right and deserving of power; that anything against this idea stifles progress. But really, discourse without order accomplishes nothing besides one dominating voice and an ochlocracy (mobocracy). The somewhat-anarchic ideals of extreme conservatism are held for a reason. Anarchy not only allows, but promotes exploitation and mob mentality. If the American population thought citically about what these ends achieve, they would see just how fascist and "anti-American" the progression into extreme conservatism and anarchy is. If we look at an inventory of extreme conservative ideas and actions, we see why the current admistration can be seen as subverting the Constitution (ie: wiretap monitoring of American citizens, convictions without trials, the way in which we entered the war with Iraq... the list can go on forever). If we are to uphold the Constitution, we need more than cultural progressivism, we must keep the spirit of democratic discourse alive. If I could suggest anything, get active in politics. Political apathy allows fascism to creep in, even if little by little.

Get up, go out and do a Thomas Payne! The fate of America is riding on your shoulders!!!

Posted by EvanReynolds at January 27, 2007 5:37 PM

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I love when people throw around Biblical verses without context! It makes me feel smart!

Ever masturbated, Anonymous? Guess what? You are unclean! Have you eaten some fat on your steak? Abomination! How about that steak? Was it well done? If you had a little blood on the steak, you would be ceremonially unclean just like the man who “lies [sic] with man as with a woman.” You play football on Sunday? For shame! You touched a pig’s hide on the Sabbath!

Who’s good? Who’s evil? I don’t think you understand Christianity, really. I could just as easily say Mark 12:29-30, Matthew 15:1-20, Luke 6:37-42. So quick to be God… I am not condemning you to Hell as you have with me. I am simply pointing out that you are making such an uninformed statement using the Christian tradition to justify your desire to be God.

Homosexuality may be said to be an abomination, but I believe that the very top of the list of actual sins (Deuteronomy 5:7), you aren’t supposed to take the place of God.

In short, as a Christian, I will not be judged by man. I believe that God is the only one with power over my soul. I also have no illusions that I am a sinner. We’re all sinners… including you! But, let me be clear with one thing: I don’t lie to the Lord. I don’t claim to be so above sin that I can justify condemning other people to eternal suffering.

Think about it… What really divides us? Is it sin? Or is it hypocrisy? Did Jesus specifically state in the Gospel narratives directly to a person: “You have sinned! Repent!” Or did he call the corrupt governance of the Pharisees “hypocrisy”? If even Jesus, the God Incarnate, refused to condemn specific people to Hell, why would you do it?

I think if you see the Bible as “clear” on any matter, you should reread it. If this is the word of God, you have no capability of fully understanding its meaning. If it is not the word of God, you cannot say that any of the verses have any significance. And if you believe you can fully understand everything that God can understand, you are breaking the very first Commandment of God after the Exodus.

I do not claim to be 100% right, but I put faith in my interpretations and beliefs. In the end, that’s all we really have. I hope that you find peace. If you feel the world is that manipulated by Satan, you must feel pretty bad.

Good day and God bless!

Posted by: Evan at February 23, 2007 2:31 PM

At a Christian school, let alone Catholic - the fact something as vile and evil as this exists is revolting. I hope you know people like you wreck relationships and drag good people down. Your twisted and pervese ideas divide families and churches. Wake up and open your eyes, you do the work of Satan - not God.

I think God was rather clear in Leviticus 18:22 “Thou shalt not lie with man, as with woman: it is abomination”

Posted by: Anonymous at February 22, 2007 3:39 AM

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