Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Defence/Offence

Being offended is a popular position. Crying foul, or in our times, claiming political correctness is the 'right' of an individual. Being offended, claiming mistreatment as a victim of political incorrectness has become the mark of the oppressed. The irony is that 'being offended' creates an implicitly positive self-description. It isn't about the 'right-to-be' or the 'right-of-being', it has become about the 'right to differ' or to be  'different'  without viable or reasonable justification for that position. It has created the mantra for the self-proclaimed 'liberators' of our culture. Marginal and fringe groups of society have taken as a right of ownership the option of holding hostage the world-view on issues of behaviour, gender, culture and sexual orientation to a politically correct agenda. The creation of a position whereby they posit themselves as a victim (tenuously) as a result of being offended by a politically incorrect statement. This has become an accepted, if not credible, argument in the verbal repartee of this age. It has become the excuse for the absence of debate and the exchange of ideas by reasonable advocates of differing opinions. After all, I am rendered powerless to voice my opnion because of a 'politically correct' prohibition. The declaration of a right (way, or view) is no longer a right I possess.


*NOTE: I am not talking about situations where abuse, oppression, torture and persecution occur. The gist of this conversation is about the abuse of political correctness.

In the arena of political correctness the claim of intolerance is the theme.
Intolerance is derived from the idea of a burden upon a person, "that cannot bear, that cannot be borne, carried, supported", "not proper or right to be allowed; insufferable; insupportable; unbearable, extremely offensive or insulting," and "an unwillingness to endure a differing opinion". The original context of the usage was descriptive of situations where the endangering of life was prevalent. Contrary to that definition, we live in a seemingly emotionally fragile culture. People are in touch with every hurt past, present, and perceived. People are walking around wounded, limping, displaying their crutches. Those who are genuine victims profoundly, egregiously wronged, do not deserve to be identified in the same category with those who have the option for deciding to live a life-style which places them outside the norm, or which is a magnet for scorn and ridicule. There is an inherent hypocrisy in the definition of political correctness, more appropriately in the abuse of the term 'intolerance' and its use as a defensive measure to quiet the adverse opinions of those who disagree with any position contrary to a view or are seen as 'intolerant'. 'Liberators' and 'equal opportunity groups' have used the term 'politically correct' ironically, as a guard against their own (oft-times militant) orthodoxy in social change efforts.


Those voices of contempt and derision will never be quieted. Whether right or left, right or wrong, there will always exist other marginal groups, as unbending in their resolve to persecute as those who are unbending in their resolve to liberate. Such is the nature of man. There will never exist legislation which will quiet a man who believes he is right.



The term 'political correct' has its most common usage as referring to comments, editorials, ideologies etc. that are "pejorative (disparaging, belittling or derogatory) and should be limited to refering to instances of excessive deference to particular sensibilities at the expense of other considerations." As painful as it is to admit, there have been those affiliated with the Church who have been guilty of offence. Even more painful is to admit to and apologize for my own volitile comments.

The liberal (left-wing) interpretation of the term is to create "a movement [that would] declare certain topics ‘off-limits’, certain expressions ‘off-limits’, even certain gestures ‘off-limits’ ”. As the hyprocrisy expands it has the potential to move at exponential speed. The intent is to take from others what is not offered in return, the hyprocrisy is not being willling to give back what is taken.

What is not offensive? As diverse as people and cultures are the possibilities of an offence occuring is infinite. What really has to be determined is the root cause of an offence? Why am I offended? Am I offended because I am weak? Or my position is weak? Am I a bully? Or I am attempting to assauge my feelings of alienation? Guilt? Conscience?
Is the offender jealous? Are his intentions distinctive because of hatred, disgust or anger?
What motivates a person or community to offend another? Pride? Power?

Mathew 5:8-11 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake."
"Blessed" implys the fortunate and enviable state of enjoying citizenship in God's Kingdom. As the blessings and benefits are different so is the attitude of the beneficiary. It isn't just about inward peace, a peace which passes all understanding, and yet it is very much about that peace, that peace establishes the attitude to become an instrument of peace to the world around. People are essentially projections of their heart and what they truly believe, whatever the facade created, will eventually manifest itself as a verbal or physical expression. All things will be brought to light. We believe we hide, in reality, our shadow will reveal our place.

Proverbs 17:14, "The beginning of strife is like releasing water;..." The first contentious word fans the flames of strife, it is the pinprick which begins the flood. To get under the skin of someone you need merely needle them with words.

There are opportunities for intelligent people to engage in debate over issues without devolving to a point where the 'political correct' agenda killer has to be called in to adjudicate the discussion. The emphasis for this intervention and interference has been placed upon the Christian community. We are to be the peacemakers, we have the mandate. If we live as peacable members of our community, hopefully we will have the influence. If we have practiced in developing and maintaining peaceful relationships with our neighbours we will have gained wisdom.

Proverbs 25:21, "If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty give him water to drink; ..."

Leviticus 19:18b, "... but you shall love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord."

There seems to be too many that speak the truth without any grace.

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