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Five-Minute Logic: Speaking PC

My Friend Debbie

A Snake is a snake

         Personally, I am dizzied by the sheer volume of synonyms required to be "politically correct." It's unnecessary. It might even border on adjective abuse. A felony perhaps! Can we just admit something and start talking to each other again? Speaking "PC" is just another way to say what you really WANT to say, while looking sensitive and worldly. And the mammoth vocabulary is a plus.

         Shakespeare observed in Romeo and Juliet that"...a rose by any other name smells as sweet." It really doesn't matter what you call "it." "It" will still be "It." Calling something by a different name that is allegedly "PC" doesn't change what it is! It does NOTHING to its molecular structure, appearance or function. That's a little crazy. If we call something that is something that it isn't, are we granting our own wishes by casting spells? Why are we not using this amazing genie-esque gift?! The next time I see a heap of trash, I will be calling it a huge pile of CASH and head straight for the bank. I am sure my ridiculousness will be amusing, especially when I am getting arrested and hauled off to jail for just being extremely weird.

         The most hilarious thing about the word wars we engage in is that we all know what is REALLY being said anyway. Why are we wasting time? I know the following example is an elaborate exaggeration, but that is part of my point. And, sometimes, to uncover the logic being used underneath, exaggeration removes the subject and distractions, and focuses on the reasoning itself.

         Let's say...a group of friends, when out on a walk, come upon a poisonous snake in their path. Instead of being rational and using common sense to avoid danger, they focus on what to call this harbinger of death first. "I shall henceforth refer to this 'snake' as a 'slithering reptilian creature' because the word 'snake' has a bad connotation, and I don't want to scare anybody or offend the snake. After all, this snake is a nice snake, and being called a snake is preventing him from having true relationships because he is judged unfairly..."

         Guess what? The snake is a snake, whether you personally acknowledge his "snake-ness" or not. Why? Because! He's a SNAKE! That is how God made him, and that is what Adam chose to call him. While they are discussing new, exciting names for the snake, one friend gets bitten right in the eyeball. First of all, snakes don't have the patience for lectures and vocabulary tests. And secondly, when the poor friend is warned about this snake and impending danger by his PC friends, "Hey! Watch out for that slithering reptilian creature with the rattle-shaky THING on its THING! Sorry for all of the profiling. Now, listen up, we KNOW you strike when provoked, but we're going to pretend like that isn't what we expect because you'll freak everybody out with your fangs and venom and such. We wouldn't want to tap into any knowledge we have gained, or use common sense, because our knowledge is a threat to your agenda, which, in all fairness, we will pretend doesn't exist, either. In fact, I'm just going to give you a big hug and hope that instead of doing what snakes do, you'll suggest that we share a cappuccino and talk about the good times...Hnh! Oh, I LOVED you in that 'Riki-Tiki-Something' movie!' "

         Are you still awake? I almost slipped into a coma just writing this. Slithering Reptilian Whatever, MD isn't going to have any idea what you just said. Look, I don't even know what I just said. Ludicrous? Obviously. Insane? Quite possibly. Well, welcome to Planet Nonsense, where we have absolutely no concrete ideas about anything, yet amazingly possess strong convictions about each and every one of them. In the case of the above snake allegory, "SNAKE!" would have sufficed beautifully and been highly effective, and Captain PC over there wouldn't have to wear an eye patch and be unfairly profiled as a "pirate." Arg! Where does it end?

         For the Christian, it is especially challenging in this atmosphere of growing resentment towards anything remotely "Jesus-y." I'm not even sure how you could talk "PC" about Jesus at all without the Word Militia parachuting in and tisk-ing in your general direction. Having the courage to speak about your faith without compromising it is very difficult. It is so crucial that you know where people are "mentally/logically" to be an effective witness, especially with unbelieving family and friends.

         Your role in that can start when you communicate with them on a "logical" level. The world is madly in love with logic. Instead of arguing the particulars of your faith in Jesus, start with what they believe and know at the core. Trying to discuss specifics first usually leads to disagreements. Usually. You know, God's Word tells us that people who do not know Him cannot understand. This isn't a matter of being obnoxious or confrontational. They truly are not capable of comprehending it fully. That ONLY comes with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. If you have not been saved, you don't have the Holy Spirit. One of the Spirit's purposes is to "search the things of God." He is your teacher, your tutor. The invited presence of the Holy Spirit completes the circuit, so to speak. What if someone got frustrated with you if you didn't understand, let's say calculus, after they find out you have never cracked a book on the subject or taken a class. Not fair, right? You cannot hold people responsible for what they DON'T know...

         Ask them questions; "What does that word/concept mean to you? Why?" Sometimes false beliefs arise from misunderstandings of a single word. Yes, ONE WORD. "Politically correct" speech only adds to that confusion, and melts one word into the other. This blurs the definitions and differences between words, and causes us to use words "out of context." It doesn't take long before no one knows what he or she is saying anymore. It is as if we are being robbed of our ability to communicate with each other effectively. Hmmmmm. . . Sounds vaguely familiar. In Genesis, the Bible tells us of a time where God said, "Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." (Genesis 11:7-9, NIV) Huh? Sounds like we are going overboard by confusing our own native language, too. . . at the local level.

         So from now on, let's all do ourselves a favor and call a snake a snake!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Jodi Crago

Reader Comments...
2009-04-25 03:44:27
"Thanks Jodi, Somebody had to say it loud and clear. "
        - Esther
2009-04-06 18:34:46
"Jody, GREAT ARTICLE!! I love your writing and your humor!!"
        - Linda

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