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It’s Time For Political Incorrectness

August 30, AD2017

resitutionThe transgender issue seems to be all on the front pages of our local paper. It appears as if it is the only newsworthy issue to report on. I guess poor schools, crime, poverty, health care, worn roads and bridges and the ISIS genocide of Christians aren’t that important. In turn, I never thought I would see the day that belief in marriage as only between a man and a woman and the simple fact there are only two sexes as created by God would be considered “hateful” and antiquated. But that day has arrived. Add to that the frenzy over “safe zones” and the curtailment of free speech on college campuses and one can conclude we have entered a different reality in the world. It appears that certain ideological agendas have taken over the public discourse with sexual orientation capturing the headlines and nothing is considered more damaging than to disagree with the so called “enlightened view”.

After shaking my head several times at the false and bizarre claims, innuendos, and attacks against the voicing of any disagreement against the so called prevailing view I finally decided to attempt to grasp what is going on so that I can get a grip on my confusion. After much reflection, I have concluded that we are in a “perfect storm”. That is-  our world and society have been thrown into a maelstrom of ideological moral transformation and it appears that education, government, and the media have bought into to it lock stock and barrel and woe to those who disagree.

The Notion of “NewRrights” for a View of Humanity

The proponents of this new progressive morality have done a masterful job of convincing a large segment of the culture, educational leaders, the judiciary and political leaders who make policy that their frame of reference is correct and on the “right side of history”. A simple way of viewing the agenda is one of the culture accepting and the government granting so called “new rights” to be promoted and in some instances require the public to accept a new ethic. However, public opinion, court rulings and government regulation do not determine the truth about rights.  Our rights do not come from the whims of government, personal feelings or social trends, they come from God and the Natural Law. The mentality of this new rights movement goes against this established order.

The cultural and political movement to promote and establish the so called rights of gender identity and same-sex marriage as examples are concerns for reasons that are independent of their specific nature such as gender identity or homosexuality per se. The underlying concern we all need to be aware of is the trend to insist upon a forced acceptance, affirmation, promotion and eventual government regulation granting the new rights. The classic example is seen in the legalization of same-sex marriage.  This progressive cultural and political agenda that is being applied goes way beyond a toleration to diversity with significant implications for the denial of our speech and religious freedom rights.

The Impact of Political Correctness

If there is one common denominator to the advocacy for these so called new rights it is the use of political correctness to promote a position and vilify those who disagree. Archbishop Wenski of Miami summed up the situation in a homily reported in The Catholic Register (June 19, 2016) on the Fortnight for Freedom, “Today, a regime of ‘political correctness’ wishes to impose itself on us and force us to conform ourselves, our values and our beliefs to the ascendant secularism of our time.”

Social bans on opinion are emerging into legal bans such as hate speech, discrimination laws etc. Society appears to be getting polarized between traditional values and “relativist individualism” seen in litigation, legislation and government decrees. Political correctness is the attempt to squelch dissent, discussion and logic.  If one can’t debate intelligently then the attitude is to just deal with it by majority decree and eventual persecution of alternative opinions.

The most scared “right” nowadays seems to be that of “to not be offended”. Once the conversation is considered politically incorrect no more discussion is needed. Political correctness is the day to day “tool” to push forward the progressive transformation of new rights and consequent definition of the nature of the human person.

The language of political correctness is reminiscent of “newspeak” in George Orwell’s classic novel 1984 where a totalitarian government invents a new vocabulary for propaganda where good becomes bad, war is peace etc. An example is the baker in Oregon who was fined over $130,000 for refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding out of his religious conviction to not participate in what the church taught as sin. The Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian was quoted in the Oregonian (August 14, 2013) “The goal is to never shut down a business. The goal is to rehabilitate”. The implication is clear – if one disagrees with same sex marriage he/she has a pathology and needs therapeutic rehabilitation. This is the same mindset that justifies requiring individuals from soldiers to college students to go through mandatory sensitivity training to accept gender identity and the like.

The Distortion of the Truth

The ultimate victim of political correctness is the truth with serious implications for education and public discourse at all levels. California State University Education Professor William Joynes coined the term “defactualization” to express what is happening on our schools. Diversity, subjective opinion and feelings are being elevated to a higher level of prominence over factual truths. From a progressive framework if everything is relative and subjective then every alterative view or comment is taken personally and emotionally which leads to no objective truth being discussed – just feelings.

This relativist mindset makes for incorrect perceptions of reality and what constitutes priority rights making it impossible for society to move forward in the promotion and defense of the dignity of the human person.   The extremes of denying factual truths can be seen in the acceptance of the false narratives of what it is to be considered human (transgenderism and transhumanism) to the deliberate destruction of humans (abortion, euthanasia).

A Politically Incorrect Faith

Political correctness represents a long line of progressive thought forced into social and government action to impose that view of the world. Once its acceptable to deny and distort the truth for an agenda then the door is open to attack both the freedom of speech and freedom of religion for both have the same roots. Religious freedom has always been viewed as facilitating the freedom of expression of one’s faith in the public square. However, current cultural and political climate is defining it only as just freedom of belief and worship within a church.

A subtle progression has occurred. First a tolerance to a progressive view on an issue is encouraged as the “enlightened” position that leads then to a forced acceptance and finally to a requirement to promotion and affirmation of a given view by social pressure or legal requirement. This has placed the Catholic and all Christians at odds with the culture and our government. Consequently, it is no wonder that we see the secular progressives in academia, the media, government and the courts attack the Catholic Church and other Christians who refuse to go along with their agenda. Traditional Church doctrine is at odds with this agenda and it seems, at times, that by being Catholic we are, by definition, “politically incorrect “. The implication for our faith may even go further. The Catholic League (May 27, 2015) reported that Senator Mark Rubio was quoted as saying in response to the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage: “The Catechism of the Catholic Church may well be labeled as hate speech”.

There is an active pressure on religious freedom for a forced acceptance of politically correct viewpoints occurring in western society. Fortunately the Church has instituted efforts to confront this such as the yearly Fortnight for Freedom established in 2012 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that has several objectives to include:1) developing an awareness of what is happening with all its implications, 2) encouraging all to always speak the truth and confront the falsehoods of a progressive position, even if has been codified into law or regulation and 3)  refusing to participate in the application of that position and, where possible, to work to overturn its application. One thing is certain, we, as individuals need to wake up and recognize we are in a “perfect storm” and we need to confront it.

The only way to confront political correctness is to challenge it – on the spot. We need to stand up and speak up. The question for us all is – Are we prepared to be politically incorrect and be willing to be called homophobic, transaphobic, anti-women and the multitude of other “phobic’s” if we disagree?

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

Tom Collingwood Ph.D. is an exercise psychologist who has installed exercise programs to prevent substance abuse for at-risk youth and in developing physical fitness programs for law enforcement agencies nationwide. In addition, he has instituted numerous environmental education projects while serving as a Master Naturalist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife and as a volunteer Interpretive Ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. A convert to the Catholic Church he serves as a catechist in the RCIA program and adult ministries such as “Renew” and “Why Catholic”. Working with CREATIO, the faith based stewardship organization affiliated with the Christian Life Movement, he provides lectures and seminars on “A Catholic Ethic for Stewardship of the Environment and the Body” (physical fitness)” His guardian angel is St, Michael the archangel, the patron saint of paratroopers and law enforcement officers in which he has served in both those capacities. He has authored 10 books and is the recipient of the Healthy American Fitness Leader Award from the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as one of the top 10 fitness leaders in America.

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  • Mike Monagle

    “At first, it was acceptance, and then it became appreciation, and then it became celebration, and now it’s become forced participation.”
    Charlotte resident in response to schools telling staff not to call students “boys” or “girls”.

  • DLink

    Anyone whose opinions can not stand up to offense either has weakly held opinions or the opinions themselves are flawed. The “right” side does not always win nor the “wrong” lose but that is the way of the world and a lot of anxiety and ulcers could be avoided if that is understood. The whole of humanity that believes in tradition and real principle should be invigorated by challenge and meet it head on. The feckless Catholic “leaders” who go along with this nonsense should be similarly confronted.

  • Western culture is irredeemably dead and gone, and today we face the undertakers who bury it. All that is holy and honourable is now declared a form of hate. One of the scariest things is that this irrational turning away from tradition and religion is no longer supported by any rational discourse, and goes on despite its deeply self-contradictory flaws. The regime of Antichrist is near and it will be neo-fascist. The will to power and the will to destroy our spiritual and historical heritage is now the all and everything.

  • polistra24

    “Rights” do not come from Natural Law. The whole concept of “rights” was invented by the atheists of the Age of Enlightenment. A new “right” can’t be excluded by referring to Natural Law because ALL of the “rights” are human inventions.

    The concept has proved to be purely destructive and needs to be abandoned.

    • Caine

      Polistra, Natural Law goes back further than the Enlightenment to Plato from ancient Greece. St. Thomas Aquinas helped bring it into the Catholic Church as it’s alluded to in the Bible.

  • adam aquinas

    This is a democratic republic and we are governed “by the people.” The people decide what is acceptable; we are NOT a theocracy. Bigotry, under the guise of ANY religion, is still bigotry. All religion belongs in places of worship, not in government and its interpretations of equality and justice. Political correctness is a meme, justice and non-discrimination are realities. God belongs in church and in private homes, not the public square…. if it is in the public square it needs to be taxed. The use of political correctness is a conservative meme to demean the sincerely held beliefs of others. Get over it …. we are not going back to the dark ages.

    • Caine

      The wording of the First Amendment is clear as it states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” In other words, the First Amendment of the Constitution was designed to protect freedom of religion, not “freedom from religion.” Being an agnostic or atheist is a form of religious belief because one is choosing not to believe in a higher power. That doesn’t give an atheist or agnostic the right to force their beliefs on Christians or any other religion that does believe in God. Under the Constitution, you can’t prohibit everyone else from exercising their constitutional rights to participate in something like a group prayer because one atheist objects to it. So in effect, you are arguing for establishing that atheism is the official state religion of United States of America, and the only one that is constitutionally protected.

    • retiredconservative

      From everything ‘adam aquinas’ wrote in his post, we can see that he’s a troll. He has all the right talking points. He may come back and claim to be a catholic, but his understanding of the Catholic faith is on par with my dog’s understanding of the importance of the glottal fricative in Urdu.

    • cestusdei

      Disagreement with your ideology is NOT bigotry. That is you imposing your view on the rest of us. You are the bigot here. The public square is not yours to police and own. The first amendment protects explicitly the “free exercise of religion”, not just worship and not just in private. We are entering a dark ages where folks like you who talk about “equality and freedom” persecute any who dare disagree with you. We will not agree not matter what you do to us or how many of us you end up killing. But you do prove that “ignorance is strength.” Ingsoc is proud of you.

    • ranger01

      In your world, disagreement is bigotry. The Left loves this easy out.
      The Constiution says what it says…”free exercise thereof.” The public square is most certainly not off limits.
      Except in your world, of course.

    • Phil Steinacker

      Your potty training has taken hold. Have you ever been brainwashed through and through. Your entire post is a leftist meme.

    • James

      troll

    • Dagnabbit_42

      adam,

      Every sentence you just wrote constitutes a declaration of one of your personal dogmas.

      You are indeed outspoken in your religious sentiment.

      Now, some of your dogmas are actually true, and some are not.

      You say: “This is a democratic republic and we are governed ‘by the people.'” True enough.

      You say: “The people decide what is acceptable; we are NOT a theocracy.” Ehhh, that’s debatable. It’s true in theory; but in practice the academic/upperclass clerisy really does function as a priesthood. When the most politically-influential and culturally-influential people in the U.S. (you know: popular entertainers, academics, jurists) decide that they wish to impose their religious dogmas on the rest of the country, then, in practice, that’s typically what happens.

      And that’s what’s happening now, as people who embrace LGBTQ/SJW dogmas impose their dogmas on others through a mix of direct state compulsion and indirect economic compulsion (e.g. denial of dissenters from entering certain career fields). I admit that the LGBTQ/SJW superstitions are not, at this time, held by most Americans. But they are held by most of the Americans who hold significant economic, cultural, and political power. That is how they have attained the power to oppress minority religions (e.g. traditional forms of Christianity).

      You say: “All religion belongs [solely] in places of worship, not in government and its interpretations of equality and justice.” No. That’s false, and irrational, and obviously so. The LGBTQ/SJW superstitions obviously impact the political thinking and decisions of those who embrace them, and for a very good reason: The persons who embrace these dogmas think them to be true. And only an irrational and conflicted person can simultaneously think something true and then make important public policy decisions affecting millions on the basis of thinking it false.

      You say: “Political correctness is a meme, justice and non-discrimination are realities.” At present, the abusive discriminatory power of those who embrace political correctness as a dogma is a reality in the lives of those who suffer from it. But I grant it is also a meme: Every philosophy-of-life as a repeatable, spreadable idea, doesn’t it? You also state that justice and non-discrimination are “realities.” Well, all I can say is that they aren’t felt as realities by the Christian bakers et alia who are on the receiving end of discrimination. They hope for justice but in the meantime they are bankrupted. Christians on university campuses would enjoy an environment of non-discrimination but are regularly silenced.

      You say: “God belongs in church and in private homes, not the public square….” This is false, of course. But…why do you even think it’s true? It’s never been true in human history previously (except under murderous totalitarian systems like Ceaucescu’s in Romania and the Kims in North Korea, of course). I realize you’re just stating one of your religious beliefs here, but I have to ask: How did you develop such an extraordinarily odd belief?

      You say: “…if it is in the public square it needs to be taxed.” Could be. I’m open to argument about that. Certainly all not-for-profit organizations which receive donations of any kind are “in the public square” in some sense. However, most societies have tried to avoid doing this because not-for-profit organizations, especially theistic ones, provide such a large majority of their infrastructure for caring for the needy and the sick. This system has proven to be reliable over centuries; no alternative has yet done so. Remember Chesterton’s wall!

      You say: “The use of political correctness is a conservative meme to demean the sincerely held beliefs of others.” No, not to demean.

      It is a meme, as you say. But it was a meme started by the political left in the 1970’s, which became widespread on college campuses in the 80’s. It started as a sort of ideological policing of fellow leftist within leftist movements. They held that everything contrary to the current strategically-selected terminology was “politically incorrect.” They did so with perfect sincerity and straight faces. However, this terminology (being implicitly totalitarian) didn’t go down well with most Americans, who retaliated by embracing “politically incorrect” as a badge of honor.

      Because of its unpopularity, conservatives label certain religious ideologies “politically correct” (e.g. LGBTQ/SJW-ism). This usage, I grant, is a subversion of the original meme. Why do conservatives do this?

      Easy: To prevent competing religions and superstitions from “stealing bases” by pretending to not be religious.

      LGBTQ/SJW-ism, and other neo-Marxist/postmodernist ideologies, are clearly religious. They provide all the functions of religions: They give their adherents a metaphysic, an epistemology, an anthropology, an ethics, a series of cultural identifiers. And the religious fervor with which they are embraced confirms that they are filling the religious function in their adherents’ psychology.

      Now because this ideology is embraced by most persons with cultural, religious, and economic power, it runs the risk of falling afoul of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment prohibition against establishment of religion. Likewise, the attempt of LGBTQ/SJW adherents to stamp out the free exercise of Christianity in the public square runs the risk of violating the prohibition against “prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

      To avoid these limitations, the adherents of the LGBTQ/SJW faith insist that their ideology, with all its unfounded metaphysical assertions and strict cultural rituals, is somehow not a form of religious belief. This allows them to argue that establishing LGBTQ/SJW practices as obligatory is not an establishment of “religion.”

      But this is mere window-dressing, of course: A fig leaf covering the essentially superstitious character of the claim that a boy is magically made female by his belief that he feels female. Such unscientific faith-claims are — like all religious beliefs — free to be practiced in the public square. But they have no business being enshrined into law at the expense of competing, more-scientific beliefs.

      That last sentence, of course, is my belief (and that of the authors of the U.S. Constitution).

      Can you argue against it, without undermining or contradicting any of yours? I’d be pleased to see you try! …but pardon me for not holding my breath.

  • YikesAndAway

    These current social trends to denounce, reinterpret, redefine social norms is not based on facts from leading experts, but are some group’s skewed interpretation that seems to have already been decided to be the truth.

    With respect to the statues/monuments we need to hear from those who know the history and intentions of each statue/monument rather than mob mentality whose agenda is suspect. The same can be said about transgenderism. We have not heard from those who have studied and researched this issue as to whether it is to be indulged or not. I do not believe for one minute that a prepubescent child has the mental ability to fully understand not only gender, but acting on this change through drugs. I am not saying I doubt that there are people who have gender dysphoria or that they struggle with it, but to reaffirm this with children who cannot even read for the most part I find abusive and agenda orientated.

    Groups wishing to upend society because they believe what they do does not give credence to their claims for one minute. Nonpartisan experts (because we all know any view can wheel out their own “expert” that agrees with them), are needed to give us the truth of the matter so that as a society we can stand firm on whatever that truth may be. Society built on lies and propaganda will always fail, be in a perpetual state of chaos, and divide. Some I am sure would just love to see that anyway, but those of us who value peace and truth will need those to counter the anarchists.