The late moral thinker Monsignor William Smith oftentimes remarked that “all social change is preceded by verbal change.” Whether he learned this insight from someone else or it is an original insight, I do not know, but the wisdom of the statement continues to manifest itself time and time again as the progressive left continues their assault on traditional morality, objective science, and common sense by creating and injecting into the culture specifically designed terminology to promote their cause du jour even when the terminology they utilize is objectively inaccurate, misleading, and frequently just pernicious.
Even sadder in all of this is the acquiescence of many people not given to progressive tendencies to accept and use the same terminology promoted by progressives, and this surrender of language plays right into the progressives’ hands.
And of course, worst of all is that too many people accept at least in part the claims of progressives despite the false nature of these claims. Hence, after being bombarded continually for years, many opponents of abortion grant the misleading label of “pro-choice” to those who favor abortion as an option. Accurate and appropriate terminology rightly labels and describes such individuals as pro-abortion, because one does not have to be in favor of abortion 24-7 in order to be a proponent. Anyone who favors the use of a particular action even if there is some reluctance is still pro-that particular action. But when the term “pro-choice” is granted to proponents of abortion, it softens their image, it makes them look more democratic, and it even grants the hideous practice of abortion a quality of legitimacy it does not possess or deserve. “It’s not really murder – it’s just a choice” say abortion advocates, and the exercise of such a choice is part of the freedom enjoyed by all Americans, right?
More recently, the assault on morality involves the genetic/biological impossibility of changing one’s particular gender, and how people who falsely claim they have undergone such a transformation or otherwise became such a fictional being are to be accommodated by society in general. Progressives refer to these misguided people who suffer from the psychological disorder known as gender dysphoria as “transgender” or “transgendered people” or simply “transgenders.” Of course, each person’s gender is determined via their basic biological make-up (this includes various anomalies/distortions that appear in extremely limited cases), and this is supported by objective science. As such, no human being can change that which is inherently unchangeable no matter how many operations, varieties of Orwellian speak they employ to falsely describe themselves, or any other things they do that cannot and will not alter their basic biological reality.
But despite the utter nonsense of the so-called “transgender” claim, many people who oppose various laws and other kinds of accommodations for gender dysphoric people still unwittingly assist the progressive cause by adopting the language of the progressives which falsely describes these psychologically impaired people. Even worse, others accept the progressive claim that these people are healthy individuals who are simply “transgendered” if they merely declare themselves to be so or they make physical and cosmetic changes to their appearance, and so on.
So for instance, on a recent O’Reilly Factor TV show, host Bill O’Reilly made the remarkably obtuse claim that some people are in the process of transitioning from one gender to another as if this is a real procedure that actually occurs despite the fact that such is impossible. For O’Reilly and others of like mind, they have accepted hook, line, and sinker the irrational belief which claims gender can be changed cosmetically and physically via various medical interventions. Despite their opposition to changing laws and making other accommodations, they have granted a victory to the progressives who continue to use the false descriptions to get society to bend to their will as has been demonstrated with greater frequency of late.
What to Do
First and foremost, right thinking individuals who oppose the attacks on morality and objective reality must cease using the misleading and/or false terminology of the progressives in support of their claims. Secondly, the use of such terminology by progressives and others must be challenged at all times. The use and/or acceptance of the bogus terminology cannot be justified even as a matter of politeness or academic discourse protocol, and so on. As has been illustrated time and time again, abusing and manipulating terminology is a major weapon employed by progressives in the culture war, and whenever objectively false terminology is directly or indirectly treated as being even marginally legitimate in describing reality, those who use such terminology to aid their opposition to objective morality make progress in their ongoing destructive efforts, especially when the same terminology is also accepted and used by those who otherwise oppose the immoral nonsense.
If in conversation with a person who favors abortion and uses the term “pro-choice,” this must be countered immediately with politeness, but it must be clearly and forcefully explained that such a term is at best misleading,…and anyone who claims to be “pro-choice” is actually pro-abortion since that is one of the choices they accept. Even if this upsets the person, so be it. He or she must be told the truth regarding the so-called “pro-choice” claim. The same approach should also be employed whenever encountering the misleading terminology in written discourse.
In similar fashion, the term “transgender” or its equivalent substitutes must never be used without employing quotation marks and/or otherwise indicating the objective falsehood of the term when writing about people who suffer from gender dysphoria. In conversation with a person who employs the “transgender” term or its substitute labels, this must also be countered immediately with politeness, but it must be clearly and forcefully explained that such a term is flat out false for the reasons set forth above. In addition, it should also be pointed out that anyone who uses such terminology and/or accepts the false claims underlying such terminology are actually helping to perpetuate a psychological illness in the name of that other abused term tolerance – the high god of relativism.
Other terms used to attack objective morality and reality should be similarly treated by opponents at all times. I have read way too many articles, heard too many speeches, and witnessed too many conversations and debates that include unthinkingly or uncaringly accepting and/or using the terminology that promotes the progressive agenda. Reclaiming a culture based on natural law, reason, and objective science starts with a relentless insistence upon and use of objective terminology that correctly reflects objective reality.
Let us always bear in mind the importance of words in service to the Word of God.