The Political Correctness (PC) Movement has been a huge factor in turning our culture upside down. There has always been, and always will be, a need to be thoughtful, tactful and kind in how we express ourselves as we communicate with others. Everyone has experienced emotional pain as a result of comments that were unduly critical, harsh, insulting, mean, hurtful and demeaning. Sometimes, they’re the result of carelessness. A person who speaks without giving proper consideration to how he should say what he is about to say. Often, however, hurtful comments are simply the product of a person who is mean-spirited, arrogant, uncaring and thoughtless.
But the PC Movement has carried things to a whole new level. Political correctness has become, in effect, an ideology. Certain words and expressions cannot be used because some people could find them offensive. Those very words and expressions may have been used, without offense, for decades or even centuries, but now they’re being scrutinized under a new magnifying glass. The list keeps changing, so nobody really knows what words and expressions to avoid.
There are also politically correct positions to hold on certain issues, abortion and global warming are examples. Those positions are the only ones acceptable, in order to be politically correct, and no disagreement with those positions can be tolerated.
If you don’t buy in, and conform to, the ideology, you’re subject to being publicly criticized, censured, scorned, denounced, ostracized and quite possibly destroyed, professionally and in reputation. And, while the PC crowd is super-sensitive to the descriptive words used by others, they have no reluctance to unleash a barrage of hateful and demeaning labels to criticize anyone they deem to be an opponent to their movement.
The movement seems to be sweeping across many of our nation’s college campuses. Establishing supposed safe zones, wherein students can feel insulated against any possibly offensive language, is being considered. To violate the prohibition is to risk disciplinary action. These institutions are supposed to be bastions of progressive thinking and free expression. Just another example of how our culture is being turned upside down…
The PC Movement is not new. It’s been around, and it’s influence has been gradually growing stronger, for a long time. Now, it appears to have reached a level of near insanity. In some cases, it’s almost as if people are looking for reasons to be offended. It’s not a big step to move from analyzing what people say to trying analyze what they’re thinking. There’s an intimidation factor that can be stifling, effectively shutting down important, needed communication for fear of some form of retribution.
The PC Movement has already had serious detrimental effects upon Christianity, and it will almost certainly get much worse. In the next article we’ll examine some specifics along this line…
Gary L. Hutchens