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Political correctness: the new censorship PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 10 December 2015 00:00

By Pat Holder

 

I was watching television the other night when I saw an ad for a big corporation saying they were giving back something to us, and there was some connection to Christmas. Then they had a youth choir singing the old song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” When they got to the part of the song that goes “...with God as our Father,” they changed it to some generic, politically correct lyric that left out the word “God.” They finally broke into a chorus that got back to the original song. I guessed whoever designed this advertisement decided mentioning God in the song would be offensive to some people, so that part got left out.

I just don’t get it. So now we can’t even mention God? Whatever happened to freedom of speech? It seems like that was one of the five freedoms along with freedom of religion, freedom of the press, right to assemble and right to petition. But now, the idea of being sensitive to others has taken a swing way to the other extreme that has the mainstream walking on eggshells, afraid to say something that might be offensive, so much so that we aren’t allowed to say “God” anymore? Give me a break.

The use of the word “God” and the “bible” in our public schools, while not legally prohibited, have become trigger words.

When I taught writing classes, I always used quotes from the bible as examples of good writing. I used the sentence, “Jesus wept” as an example of a wonderful short sentence that would have been made less powerful with the addition of even one word, like “bitterly,” which would have limited its meaning. I also used the 23rd Psalm as a perfect example of writing that went from the general to the specific. Thankfully, nobody ever called me out for such practices. I wonder if anyone would complain if I used these examples in classes nowadays?

I find this oversensitive attitude just as offensive as the racist and sexist remarks that we were trying to avoid in the first place. This political correctness causes us to censor what we say. When we censor what we say, we censor what we think. I remember censorship as a main theme in George Orwell’s “1984.” Orwell suggested if we control the language, we control thoughts and if we control thoughts, we control people. The weird part is this political correctness censorship isn’t an edict imposed by the government. It is a societal rule.

For us, as a nation, to be so oversensitive as to bristle at the mention of the concept of a creator is just plain ridiculous. Perhaps if political correctness becomes equated with censorship, which it undoubtedly is, it will go out of style and we can get back to freedom of expression. Until that time, I will stand on my right as a citizen of the United States to exercise the five freedoms including freedom of speech, may God help me.