We are a nation at war. This war is being waged not on blood-stained battlefields where thousands of soldiers meet a tragic demise, but rather in the minds of our young people. The battle lines have been clearly drawn between left and right ideologies, and there is seemingly no middle ground or willingness to compromise or call a truce.
It’s not unusual or unexpected for the meanings of words to change over time. One only has to open and read (or assay to read) a 1611 King James version of the Holy Bible or one of Shakespeare’s plays to be confronted with divers utterances that can befuddle and vex even the most astute person who is wont to trow themselves a lexicon maven.
Word usage and definitions changing over time is not an unusual or new phenomenon. Words such as many from the previous paragraph as well as “pot,” “weed” and “sick” are some examples of words that have have fallen out of common speech or have multiple meanings in today’s American culture. This is not always a bad thing, nor can it be stopped. However, there are changes being made so rapidly and drastically to certain words right now that to ignore and allow them is harmful to our fundamental freedoms of speech and religion. Here are some examples:
Phobia. Dictionary meaning: An extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. New meaning: A condition experienced when a person simply dislikes or disagrees with something or someone.
Hate – Dictionary meaning: Intense or passionate dislike. New meaning: Any sentiment, word or action (even a facial expression) that contradicts the ideology or hurts the feelings of another person.
Tolerance – Dictionary meaning: The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with. New meaning: Something demanded by one group or person, but not extended or reciprocated to those with differing beliefs or opinions.
Bigot – Dictionary meaning: A person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions. New meaning: Anyone on the opposing side of the political spectrum, especially if they are religious, who holds firm to their convictions.
Protest – Dictionary meaning: An organized public demonstration expressing strong objection to a policy or course of action adopted by those in authority. New meaning: An opportunity to show outrage (even if it’s faux) using any method necessary, to include violence, slander, theft, vandalism, profanity or other explicit, immoral and even illegal means.
Misogynist – Dictionary meaning: Someone with a dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. New meaning: Anyone who does not support aggressive feminism, and especially anyone who believes in complementarianism (that men and women have inherently different and distinct roles and abilities).
Racism – Dictionary meaning: Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. New meaning: Any negatively construed word or action, regardless of how legal, moral or ethical, against a person of any ethnic background other than Anglo-Saxon.
Violence – Dictionary meaning: Behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something. New meaning: Any word or action that contradicts a person’s ideology or makes them feel badly, no matter how moral, ethical or truthful said actions or words might be.
We are losing the battle to mainstream media and social media to maintain the true and historical definitions of key words. As the saying goes, if you say something loud enough and long enough, it becomes true. Too bad for those who seek to change or redefine truth by shouting down anyone who attempts to contradict them, the court of public opinion and popular consensus will never change what is ultimately and finally true – God and His Word. We may lose the battle, but He has won the war. In the meantime, fight the good fight and lovingly counter error whenever you can.