September 18, 2021

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Thoughts of Sunday: political correctness versus free speech or aimless foul language

Political correctness (CP) is a term used to refer to language that appears to be intended to offend the least number of offenses, especially when describing groups identified by external indicators such as race, gender, culture or sexual orientation. This can be extended to ideologies, religions and simply the expression of opinions. The concept has been discussed, challenged, criticized and satirized by commentators across the political spectrum. The term has often been used derisively to ridicule the idea that altering the use of language can change public perceptions and beliefs, as well as affect results.

For example, the CP culture prefers the terms “spokesperson” or “spokesperson” to be replaced by the gender-neutral term “spokesperson”. To promote religious tolerance, “Merry Christmas” becomes “Happy Holidays” and a request for simple empathy asks that “mental retardation” be replaced with “intellectual disability”. Other PC examples are simple attempts to change narratives. Avoid describing terrorists or showing their photos. Excessive representation of narratives or avoidance of narratives can also become PC mechanisms.

This presents a problem. Political correctness seeks to place limits on offensive speech and behavior. However, there is a risk that such boundaries could be determined by the beliefs and personal values ​​of those in power. This means that the definition of what is offensive can change with each group rising to power.

The goals of political correctness are often noble, often serving to protect marginalized and less powerful groups. Critics, however, argue that legislating on political correctness offends the First Amendment.

Not surprisingly, Democrats are less concerned than Republicans and unaffiliated voters about the threat political correctness poses to free speech – see table insert. Democrats tend to want society to conform to collective leadership to the point of tyranny, even to the point that collectivists can often fall victim to political correctness themselves.

See below a comic view of political correctness gone awry, even by left-wing comedian Bill Maher.

In today’s social discourse, we have clearly gone too far in trying to control discourse – online and offline. We have seen from time to time, so many are being censored on social media. As of June 2020, 73% of total adults in the United States reported that social media platforms were highly likely to censor political views they found questionable.

However, can freedom of speech ever become purposeless foul language?

Atheists and non-religious people roll their eyes when we introduce the biblical text into these discussions, but after all, this post is part of a series of Sunday thoughts. It’s free speech, right? Consider the following.

  • Ephesians 5: 4: “Let there be no obscenities, no foolish talk, no gross jokes, which are out of place, but let there be thanks.“Much more on this notion of foul language here.
  • Psalm 141: 3: “Put a guard on my mouth, Gentleman; watch over the door of my lips.
  • Mark 9:45: “And if your foot trips you, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.“The idea here is not to let your action stumble others – this could extend to language. Much more on that notion here.
  • Proverbs 15: 1: “A sweet answer drives away anger, but a harsh word arouses anger.”A great tactic to open people’s minds.
  • Psalm 83: 1: “O God, do not be silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aside, O God.Yes, freedom of speech – don’t be silent.

Is this an attempt to censor your speech? No. It is an attempt to make the reader think so that you do not needlessly self-censor and strengthen the power and effectiveness of your speech. Like? Consider the following tips.

  • Endless Curses, F-Bombs, and other cursing deleted comments will just make sure others don’t take you seriously.
  • When you challenge an opponent who opposes your ideas, attack his ideas and not the aimless attributes of your opponent. He will simply give ammo to your opponent to label you absurd and someone not to listen to.
  • Watch for social cues on trigger words / language that can cause others to label you as something you are not. You can still convey your ideas without unnecessary inciting language.
  • Sharp language is sometimes needed to wake people up to your ideas. But if that’s all you do, eventually no one will listen to you.

None of these suggestions should censor your sensible ideas or speech. Sometimes memes, satire, and comedy are effective ways to express yourself. However, no one should censor your ideas except yourself – be smart and balanced about it. While free speech is key to ensuring a free society, aimless foul language is a good way to censor yourself.

Find out more in this Sunday Thoughts series: click here.

Syndication source for the original RWR article.