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Language has always been changing and evolving over time, and continues to do so. This is to be expected, especially with the emergence of digital technology. However, in recent times the left has sought to further its destructive agenda by manipulating language through redefining many of today’s buzzwords like “racist,” “sexist,” “justice,” and even “male” and “female.” These rapid changes have not only affected the political sphere, but have also made their way deep into many of the nation’s liberalizing churches like the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) and the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA). To make matters worse, the left has the cultural megaphone and control of almost every major communication platform. We need to understand how and why the left is doing this, and then what we can do in response.
How and Why is the Left Doing This?
Understanding the why is easy: power. By controlling the dictionary, the left is able to alter and control people’s speech patterns. If you control how the people talk, you control how the people think, and if you control how the people think, you own them. This is a sophisticated method of gaining control over those who aren’t naturally a part of one of the left’s many client groups. Furthermore, the constantly updating jargon is a form of social signaling, allowing leftists to spot fellow leftists and quickly identify their friends, and by extension, their enemies. So how does the left get away with this?
First, as mentioned before, they have the cultural megaphone, and so whether we like it or not, people are going to hear their ideas much more frequently and much more loudly than they hear ours. Second, the indoctrination camps that are public schools and universities are breeding grounds for leftist thought among the teachers, and thus factories mass-producing leftists as we speak. Third, those children whom the schools failed to make into leftists have, by virtue of their sorry excuse for an “education,” become weak-minded and incapable of critical thought. Thus, they don’t have the tools necessary to mount an effective resistance against the left’s manipulation of language. For example, if they don’t know history and haven’t read old books, they won’t have a reference point from which to clearly see the left’s word games.
In order to understand the extent of the left’s manipulation of language, let’s look at the etymology of one of their favorite words: racism. “Racism” or “racist” is a relatively new word. It is believed to have been first used around 1902 and became more popular between 1928-1936. “Racism” replaced older words with similar meanings such as “racialism” (originating in 1882). It was first defined as “...the theory that human characteristics and abilities are determined by race…” Now, of course, as Ann Coulter put it, “A racist is someone winning an argument with a liberal.”
In recent years, racism has almost exclusively been used as an abusive ad hominem to malign a person to one’s political right. Concepts such as hard work, the nuclear family structure, and competition are called aspects of “white culture,” and those who advance or practice such values are, by implication, guilty of “white supremacy” and fostering a culture of oppression and racism. This is seriously what is being taught in universities and corporate “diversity trainings” all across the country.
Obviously this is a difficult situation, so what can we do about it? The first and easiest way to combat these politically driven etymological changes is to purchase a paper dictionary. Owning a paper dictionary allows people to preserve the historical knowledge of words before they are altered in a more permanent fashion. Digital dictionaries, while convenient, can be altered instantly. Unfortunately even companies like Merriam-Webster have become politicized and are now changing definitions of words like “female” to appease the leftist mobs.1 So then, having physical dictionaries around might prove to be very beneficial now as they were in the past.
Another way in which we can combat the leftists’ linguistic machinations is to eliminate the opportunity for leftist institutions to indoctrinate our children by homeschooling them. The left targets America’s youth so that a new generation of weak-minded sheep, preprogrammed with the leftist worldview, can be released into society. The new federal regime in power is proposing adding two more years of post-high school education “for free” which would mean children would be indoctrinated by the government for up to 16 years during the most critical developmental time in their lives. You have little hope in competing with the left if you give them your children for 16 years for 40+ hours per week. By homeschooling our children, we can ensure that they will be raised in a Christian setting where truth is prioritized in every aspect of education.
It is easy to be discouraged in these troubling times where truth is being traded for control, and an unquenchable lust for power motivates the left’s totalitarian tactics. But never forget the Lord whom we serve, who holds all authority in Heaven and on Earth, who created language for his glory, and who is in the process of crushing Satan and all his enemies under his feet. As followers of Christ, we follow the embodiment of truth, and in so doing, we need to take the prohibitions and duties enjoined in the 9th commandment more seriously than ever. Defending the Christian worldview through our speech requires great courage and sacrifice. And since the left is becoming increasingly hostile to the truth, it is becoming increasingly important to remain steadfast in the truth and be willing stand up for it no matter what the cost may be, being wise and discerning along the way. God bless.
Author’s note: For further reading, check out George Orwell’s masterful 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language.”
In fact, the day this article was published, Merriam-Webster updated their definition of “anti vaxxer” to “a person who opposes vaccination or laws that mandate vaccination,” the second clause of the definition being a completely novel aspect of the definition, and one made for ham handedly obvious political reasons.