I have discovered, while politely debating my friends on the Left, that we speak the same English language, but some of the same words have vastly different meanings.
I used to think that since we spoke the same language, we agreed on the meanings of our shared vocabulary, and all I had to do was marshal enough facts and logic to persuade them that their idea was incorrect. However, it has dawned on me over the past few decades that logic and facts are not as powerful as I thought when dealing with the Left, since we have very different definitions for simple, basic words.
The following is a brief list of six words the Left twists and redefines to further their agenda and silence you. I have also supplied some helpful information on good strategies to employ when discussing or debating issues with our friends on the Left.
As I was growing up I was always taught that tolerance meant allowing something (that was the definition in my Webster’s dictionary). You didn’t have to agree with the action or idea, but you wouldn’t try to stop it, either. You tolerated it. You let it happen as long as you were not being harmed or prohibited from doing what you want to do. Live and let live. Free speech for all, and that includes people with whom I have severe differences.
Not today, however. In some of my recent discussions I have been personally introduced to the political “tolerance” of the day. (I’ve seen this new idea of tolerance on TV and videos, but I had not personally experienced it until recently.) Here it is: unless you agree with me and endorse what I believe and embrace it and love it, you are an intolerant bigot. You must do everything I tell you to do, or you are intolerant. No kidding.
I was discussing President Trump’s latest executive order, in which medical personnel in hospitals are free to withdraw from procedures that they find consciously objectionable (such as abortions or sex change operations). I thought this was very reasonable. After all, our country has a time-honored tradition (sometimes violated, I know) of honoring the will of people who are conscientious objectors. Should we honor the deeply held convictions of people of faith, or should we compel people to perform abortions or sex change operations?
A few people said such an executive order is an example of intolerance. It is intolerant to refuse to do abortions or “gender reassignment” operations. Since we don’t know what these people are going through, to refuse to do such an operation is intolerant, I was told.
I responded with logic: since they did not tolerate my supposed intolerance, that made them intolerant as well. That went over like a lead balloon.
I was then instructed that it is perfectly fine to be intolerant of intolerant people like myself.
We weren’t talking about fighting Nazis or jihadists, we were talking about people of faith (Catholics, Baptists, Jews, Mormons) who simply believe it is wrong to perform an abortion!
It’s not like there’s a shortage of abortionists in our country. I’m sure there are plenty of abortion providers or sex change surgeons who will be glad to take your money. But no, because I think peaceful people should be able to opt out, I am intolerant.
This sort of nonsense is what we see going on all over the country. If you are a Christian baker or photographer and refuse to work at the wedding of a same sex couple, you are sued in court for your intolerance and fined.
Of course, the politically correct mob would NEVER go after a Muslim baker for refusing to make a same sex wedding cake. Or for, say, refusing to draw a picture of Mohammed on the cake. Here is Steven Crowder asking just such a question:
Can’t we use our reasoning skills, and remember that tolerance can only mean you live your life and leave me alone to enjoy mine? Apparently not.
I have been told that I am a hater. I have been informed that if someone believes in absolute moral truth and is a sincere person of faith, and objects to the ways some people are living their lives, then that person of faith is a hater. To be sure, I’ve met people on the Left and the Right who are consumed with hatred and venom. We see it in the likes of the Westboro cult and Antifa. I pity both groups and pray for them.
But I confess: I am a hater! I hate all kinds of things: lima beans, zucchini, butterscotch, and the Oakland Raiders. (OK, maybe I just really never liked them much.) Aren’t there things you hate? Like lying, stealing, and murdering? It’s good to hate certain actions, isn’t it? Isn’t it right to hate the actions of the Nazis? Isn’t it right to hate the actions of the Communists or the jihadists? Since they are all bloodthirsty murderous tyrants, I certainly think it is perfectly fine to hate what they do.
So, is it alright to hate actions but not the people themselves? Personally, I hate the actions of Communists, but I seriously love all people and hope they repent of their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ. God tells us in His word to hate. Yes, he does. Take a look at Romans 12:9: “Abhor (pretty strong word for hate) what is evil; cling to what is good.” Of course, this verse implies that there must be absolute moral truths in the universe, and we are to reject what God says is evil. We are not to coddle it or excuse it. We are to look at whatever he calls evil or sinful or an abomination with the same intensity that He has. And we are to love anything He loves with the same intense love He has. My Bible tells me that God certainly loves people. It is not right to hate people, and I don’t. But He does not excuse our behavior. We are indeed to hate behavior that He says is wrong, and to love behavior that He says is right.
So, when people tell me I am a hater, as though that is something evil, I just ask them “aren’t there some things that it is right to hate such as injustice, poverty, stealing, murder, and cancer?” Calling someone a hater is merely throwing out a word in a vain attempt to silence someone in a discussion.
If you disagree with me, you are now JUDGING me, and that is just intolerable (says the tolerant person). Today if anyone labels ANY sort of behavior immoral, that is “judging” (unless, of course, they are condemning behavior by evil politicians or Hollywood producers. I guess that sort of judging is fine). I have had people throw Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:1 at me time and time again. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” I doubt that most of the people who quote that passage even know where that is found in the Bible, but apparently it’s a good little “weapon” to shut people down. So, let’s go look at that passage — but this time, keep reading through Matthew 7:5.
Do Jesus’ words there mean we should never, ever judge anyone about anything? If so, then Leftists are violating this command while they cite it! They are telling me that my thinking, my evaluations, my conduct is wrong. If we are never, ever to judge, why do we have judges? What is their job again?
What is Jesus saying here? To judge means to discern, to evaluate, to discriminate. We discriminate every day when we choose between a Honda or a Ford. When we look for deals at the store, we evaluate who is giving us the best bargain. When I want chocolate ice cream over strawberry, I am discriminating against and rendering a judgment against strawberry ice cream for that moment. We judge every day between fair and unfair, between good and evil, don’t we? So, judging is merely discerning truth from falsehood.
When Jesus spoke Matthew 7:1, He also spoke Matthew 7:2-5. Read the whole context. He did not say that ALL judging was wrong. He was saying that hypocritically judging like the Pharisees did was wrong. Before you judge, “first take the log out of your own eye, and THEN you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” He expects us to judge.
In fact, Jesus commands us to judge in John 7:24: “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with righteous judgment.” Can I judge a thief? Yes, because I’m not a thief. Can I judge a liar? Yes, because I’m not a liar. God tells us to judge, but to look at ourselves first and be careful.
OK, so I have put two words here. Sorry, but these are used rather interchangeably by the politically correct crowd, in my opinion. I used to think that justice was rendering a true and fair verdict. Justice is what we want from a trial — for the judge and jury to fairly and honestly uphold the law, protect the innocent and to punish the guilty. Not so today, however. “Justice” is now attached to several words in order to mean some sort of deficiency in our culture and the need to forcefully eradicate the perceived deficiency.
There is “food justice” and “economic justice” and “environmental justice,” and even “transportation justice!” Just take whatever your gripe is, attach the word “justice” to it, and immediately someone in academia or the media will probably take you seriously.
“Social justice” is an all-encompassing umbrella term from the Left that means just about anything — as long as it entails an ever-increasing central government gaining more and more power over the lives of citizens. Prager U has a good little explanation of exactly what “social justice” means:
The goal of this new definition of “justice” is “equality.” Now, as I was growing up, I always thought of equality in terms of the Declaration of Independence. All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. That is, we are all intrinsically equal. We are all humans and thus have the same God-given (not government-given) rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit (not promise) of happiness.
But the goal of the “social justice warriors” is a so-called “equality of outcomes,” instead of opportunities. I know that I’m short, and old, and near-sighted, so I’m fine with the fact that I’ll never be a green beret or an Olympic skier. No government program can possibly guarantee fairly an outcome for me in which I would become a green beret or an Olympic skier — both occupations would suffer simply because I am not qualified. We all have different talents and abilities. Government cannot possibly guarantee that everyone is equally wealthy or prosperous.
Ben Shapiro does a great job in making this point about social justice and equality:
I used to know what racism was. It was treating someone differently just because of the color of their skin. I was told as a kid that that was wrong — that all men are created equal. If someone can do the job better than others, give that person the job. Pay no attention to the color of their skin. I don’t care if the person is from Mars, if the person is qualified to do it, then the person is qualified no matter his or her appearance. I’ve always thought the words of Martin Luther King Jr were pretty good about this matter: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
We all know that the Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and their ilk are racists. They are practicing pure evil and should be shunned by any civilized society. So what do we do when groups such as Black Lives Matter or La Raza make demands such as these? Aren’t these demands racist?
I am told that these groups cannot possibly be racist because they do not hold sufficient economic power to be racist.
Oh, so hating someone because of the color of their skin depends only on whether you have a certain amount of cash in the bank? I am also told that I cannot criticize people who have darker skin color because I have never been a person of color, and I have not suffered as they have. Well, actually no one knows what I have suffered in this world but God and me, but let me ask this: Do I have to be a mechanic to talk about cars? Just because I’m not a chef I can’t criticize a restaurant? Just because I haven’t robbed a bank I can’t talk about incarcerating bank robbers?
I have heard that because of “white privilege” I have no right to talk about matters of race. I cannot raise questions, criticize, or give suggestions. Isn’t that a form of racism to point out the color of my skin and blame me for the sins of some white people over 150 years ago?
Remember, hundreds of thousands of white people died to end slavery 150 years ago, too.
Here are excellent videos by Ben Shapiro and Jordan Peterson (beginning at the 3:30 mark) debunking the fraudulent theory of “white privilege”:
Now I’m really confused. I thought all my life that these two words were synonymous. But not so, says the Left. Sex is still male or female (maybe), but gender … well that is a social construct. Hard gender definitions are restrictions placed on us to behave in certain “acceptable ways” by society. So even if you are born with an X and a Y chromosome, and are male, you can actually choose to be a female if you so desire (even though you still have an X and a Y chromosome — in every cell in your body — and that will never change).
Here is Bill Nye “The Science Guy” himself telling us that our chromosomes dictate whether we are a boy or a girl:
I hear that he has since changed his mind. Science hasn’t though.
Two X chromosomes still make you female. X and Y still makes you male, even if you change your name, wear a dress, and get an operation. Bruce Jenner has changed his name, but he is not a female.
Can we really change the facts just because we feel a certain way? Once again, Ben Shapiro has a very reasonable response:
So, what do we do with all this twisting of words in our vocabulary? First, don’t get angry. I’m not angry at any of the people I’ve debated on the Left.
Second, don’t let anyone silence you. Ever. You have a right to your opinion, and you can voice it.
Third, keep reading and keep watching videos (like the ones I’ve posted, and even the ones you disagree with). Don’t live in an “echo chamber” — read stuff you disagree with. Write down your thoughts to clarify them.
Finally, it’s OK to feel that you’ve “lost” a debate. How else will you learn? And anyway, nobody is right all the time, right? Respect other people’s opinions, even if you think they are totally out to lunch.
And keep smiling. It irritates the people you’re debating!