War of words: changing society through language

War of words: changing society through language

Audrey English

Catholics, wake up! Our cultural heritage has been sabotaged and a secular, atheistic counter-culture substituted in its place.

This erosion has gradually occurred through the use of language. Slowly, seemingly unconsciously, the definition of words is altered and the meaning of words changes; new words come to replace the old ones, new expressions take over and we adopt a new way of talking.

When communism was at its peak, Cardinal Minszenty warned us: "If you speak their language, you will think their thoughts."

Like the Reformation which effected a radical change to the doctrines of the Faith, we are experiencing a reformation of language which effectively alters our way of thinking.

The deceptively positive language used by the anti-life lobby is meant not only to diminish the impact, to lessen the seriousness of its agenda; it is intended to make this act appear to be a "right" or "an act of compassion".

Words such as "pro-choice", "death with dignity", "assisted death" hide the truth.

Ugly reality

The reality of killing a human being needs to be acknowledged.

We must avoid substituting vague, general terms for the precise ones which clearly spell out the truth. When it comes to value words which have a moral impact, this becomes a dangerous practice. George Orwell told us in 1984: "You destroy a word and you destroy the concept which goes with it."

Even good Catholic people adopt this type of Newspeak, thinking this is the correct way of talking. Saying "partner", when we mean "husband", "wife" or "spouse", devalues marriage. In place of an exclusive relationship which implies permanence and fidelity, the situation is reduced to an arrangement which suits any kind of relationship.

The expression "same sex marriage" is a contradiction. Sexual activity between a same-sex couple is not an act of genuine love, just as it is not genuine love for a heterosexual couple to commit their body without entrusting themselves to each other in marriage.

"Family" is often redefined as "a group of people living together". Yet same- sex couples clamour to become "mothers", "fathers", "a family".

If we can redefine a term and change its meaning, why not call stealing "a matter of justice or reparation" or anything we choose it to be.

Changing the unchangeable, making the unnatural become natural, comes as the result of a subtle, clever campaign of indoctrination.

In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, Humpty Dumpty tells Alice: "When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master – that's all."

Political correctness becomes the master, just like Humpty Dumpty. Loud cries of "discrimination" accompany us if we express our thoughts. We are told that no-one thinks like this nowadays. Except of course for the silent majority.

The manipulation of terms succeeds in altering our minds so that traditional Judeo-Christian values are replaced by a no-value system.

A no-value system becomes a culture in which there is no right or wrong based on the truth of human nature. Everything is considered to be relative, dependent on each one's personal judgment.

Catholic people often accept the destruction of our culture and through ignorance adopt current attitudes and values.

Many Catholics' grandparents are proud to tell about their grandchild, conceived by IVF. Many Catholics are happy to tell you that their divorced child is now happy with a new partner.

Our perception of the truth, our freedom to express this truth are stifled by the fear of being considered "judgmental" or old-fashioned.

To make decisions, we use our judgment. We constantly make choices in everyday life: whether to do one thing or another, whether to buy one brand or another. In the moral sphere, we must also use our judgment.

We have to discriminate between good and evil, between right and wrong behaviour, between what is in accordance with our human nature and what is unfitting.

We have a right to voice our opinion about moral issues just as we give our opinions about other matters. The more we are silenced by fear of being thought out of tune with current political correctness, the more we are going to passively accept a culture totally in opposition to our Catholic beliefs.

It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. There is no point in deploring what is happening in our society without doing something about it. Indeed we have an obligation to state what we know is the truth.

It is time for the silent majority to become just as vocal as those with opposing views. It is time for us to evangelise and restore our Christian culture. We can start with family, friends, at work, with those we meet daily.

Over a friendly chat, it is possible and indeed necessary to disagree with wrong ideas expressed about moral values or at least to offer an alternative based on the teaching of the Church.

We need to be compassionate and sensitive as these issues touch the very heart. It is also necessary for us to be well-informed about what we believe and why we believe this, otherwise we shall not be able to explain or defend the teachings of the Church.

Let us make a concerted effort to try this approach and not lose any opportunity which comes our way.

The grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation which we received as children will help us now as adults in our daily encounters.

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