The following dizzying ride through that brewery known as contemporary English doublespeak is not for the faint-hearted. Fasten your seat belts. You’ve been forewarned.
These days we’re scared to death to speak the truth for fear that we might offend somebody and be summarily branded as “intolerant.” Even more troubling, many things that once were morally reprehensible are now called “good,” or at best, are simply shrugged off with an air of indifference. Dare to point out another man’s poor behavior and you are likely to hear the increasingly common retort, “It is what it is.” And if you stray too far in this direction, beware, lest you inadvertently trespass right back onto the fuzzy lands of intolerance. This is the one thing you mustn’t do. Lie, cheat, or steal, but do not breach this boundary. To do so would be more than unpardonable, beyond taboo, and not to mention downright unfashionable. And that simply won’t be tolerated!
Enjoying your ride so far? It gets worse. Amidst the hysteria of these ever-changing cultural standards, the expression “political correctness” has most conspicuously been pushed onto the scene, and down our throats. The phrase is so slippery that an accurate definition is hard to pin down. So I have taken the liberty to amalgamate a working definition from multiple sources. Here goes.
Political Correctness: The idea that people should be careful to not use language or behave in a way that could offend a particular group of people who are seen as socially disadvantaged in some way.
“Seen” by whom? Read on.
Increasingly, we witness a cognoscenti (the self-proclaimed well informed of society: media, politicians, and bureaucratic educators come to mind) who add some new utterance or behavior to the growing list of politically incorrect offenses (aka, conduct unbecoming a citizen). Soon thereafter, some unmindful offender is targeted, then brought before the lens of the cognoscenti-run media and reprimanded accordingly. This usually takes the form of a very public and robust scolding, but sad to say it doesn’t always stop there. More than ever, these days, the clamoring rabble isn’t sated until the life of the politically incorrect offender is in total shambles. Ruined relationships and lost jobs are common; and with the cooperation of constitutionally-challenged judges (double entendre intended), punishments such as sensitivity training are now routinely mandated to “re-educate” transgressors. Freedom of speech? Indeed! Systematic cultural indoctrination is more like it.
Hold on tight, sharp curve ahead! To understand the genesis of this cultural indoctrination, we need to flesh out yet another present-day code of conduct, the forerunner of political correctness – relativism. This concept is not new by any stretch. In the Book of Judges–depicting a time period in the life of Israel nearly 3,000 years ago–we read: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (21:25) That’s the essence of relativism right there! It is the belief that there is no absolute right or wrong; rather, things are true, right, and permissible depending on the preferences and perspective of the individual. Not surprisingly, the Bible stands such nonsense on its head throughout. Psalm 119:160 makes particularly quick work of this: “The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” Hence, not only is God’s Word unqualifiedly true, His righteous ordinances still stand! Sorry, cognoscenti. No room for your relative morality here, there, yesterday, today, or tomorrow!
There was a time when our society stood, not on an individual’s preferences, but on the foundations of such nonpareil absolutes as The Constitution and the Bible. Not so now. Today’s culture is hell-bent (literally!) on protecting the illusion that everything is relative. It must convert the populace to do this. And political correctness, most notably in the form of toleration for all things, is the browbeating incantation it wields to force compliance. Moreover, in the ultimate act of condescension, this distorted dogma is actually being touted as virtuous. In the words of the late comedienne Gilda Radner, “That’s so funny, I forgot to laugh.”
Well, nice try world; but not so fast! Noted author John Piper exposes the underbelly of the serpent when he writes:
“Relativism poses as humble by saying ‘We mere mortals cannot know what the truth is-or even if there is any universal truth.’ This sounds humble. But look carefully at what is happening. It’s like a servant saying ‘I’m not smart enough to know which person here is my master-or even if I have a master.’ The result is he doesn’t have to submit to any master and can be his own master. His vaunted weakness is a ruse to cover his rebellion against his master.”
Piper’s insights are spot on. Something devious ferments here. The relativists purport to believe their axiom–that there is no absolute truth–is absolutely true. Thus they cut through the very branch upon which they sit, and it all comes tumbling down. Yet they want to pretend this isn’t happening. We know what’s going on. We’re not fooled. We see you and your unattached branch. In a world of absolutes, you fear having to face the reality that there is a Maker. That would mean you don’t get to be king anymore. Well we’ve got news for you; you’re not the king. The King of Kings simply won’t tolerate it.
And with that, this ride has come to an abrupt end. I’ve said too much and stepped far beyond the line of acceptable discourse. But I realize in a world where truth is subjective, an apology would be meaningless. So I offer you the politically correct words of the relativist instead: It is what it is.
I hope this encourages you to speak truth today.
© 05/20/2014 All rights reserved