Word games

We at Mad Mondays don’t know a lot about the model Chrissy Teigen, but she seems to know how to grab headlines. Teigen and husband John Legend tragically lost their baby son to a second-trimester miscarriage in 2020. But during an interview last week, Teigen said it wasn’t really a miscarriage: “Let’s just call it what it was. It was an abortion. An abortion to save my life for a baby that had absolutely no chance.” While those who value the lives of both mother and baby will see the difference between intentional killing and an attempt to deliver a premature baby to save his mom’s life, Teigen’s devotion to the abortion narrative is causing her to engage in a deadly word game. 

Euphemisms have always been important to the pro-aborts. Talking about a “woman’s right” or “autonomy” or the “fetus” makes it sound as if there is only one person affected by an abortion. But that word-play is key to continuing the macabre practice – speaking plainly about what abortion is might wake people up to what is going on. Controlling the language however, distracts from the truth and lets them control the debate. 

Earlier this month, author James Lindsay wrote that changing the definitions of words is a standard weapon in any totalitarian arsenal – “war is peace,” “freedom is slavery!” He argues that Communism, expressed through Critical Theory, moves the semantic goalposts on many key words which readers will be familiar with – citizenship, education, and democracy. 

During the last few years, there has been quite a list of words whose definitions have become fuzzy or altogether different. Inclusion, justice, what qualifies as inflation or even the defining characteristics of a vaccine. Requiring someone to prove their identity is “voter suppression”. “Tolerance” used to necessitate disagreeing first, but now it involves affirming and celebrating. “Family-friendly”, “gender-affirming” is anything but and who can say what a woman is? 

Pen America recently stretched the definition of “book banning” to mean “any action” taken against a book so that access to it becomes “restricted or diminished”. On his podcast Al Mohler compared Pen‘s panic in the USA to the consequences of owning or selling banned books in places like North Korea. There you can get you thrown in prison or killed. Moving a book out of the children’s section at the library is not really the same thing. But beside that, Pen America‘s piece is referring to books containing explicit sexual content and the parents who want to keep them out of school libraries. So moving toxic substances out of reach of children is now called “banning”? Got it.

great thread from Twitter user @wokal_distance pinpoints what is happening – being mercurial is the goal. Someone who takes time to nail down a definition is left in the dust, while progressives are laying down fresh meanings to reinforce their own warped worldview. All the while, the goal is to keep you from crystalizing or articulating yours. 

More than that, he says, labelling invites scrutiny. “They want to act like all the bits of woke activism we see are unconnected phenomena spontaneously springing forth in the name of justice in an undefinable way. When in fact woke activism is the fruit of a well thought out and clearly defined worldview.”

We know English has morphed as the centuries pass. So when a word is co-opted and twisted, the temptation is to put it on the shelf and stop using it. If you’ve been listening to Pastor Fisk for a while, you may have heard him promote the idea that we should not be afraid to use words that have become loaded or watered down in our culture. Bible words like “born again”. Words that have fallen on hard times like “patriarchy”. It is not we who would give ground but the ones who are manipulating reality with their newspeak. 

 It is exhausting to be always asking “What do you mean by that?” but it is a battle worth fighting. The original twister of words, the devil deceived Eve with his new definitions – “You will not surely die..you will be like God!” But it is the truth that sets people free, so we should not be afraid to speak it.

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