Politicization of Language

Ryzard Legutko’s Critique of Western Liberalism

For quite some time now, American intellectuals have taken a particular interest in Poland. During the Cold War, the Polish people's resistance to communism was held up as an example of fidelity, and Pope John Paul II's leadership of the Church was taken to be a quintessential example of the Polish spirit. The honeymoon is [...]

Contraception and the Manipulation of Language

Individual Americans have enjoyed more personal freedom, individual rights, and collective liberty than most, if not all, other civilizations in history. Yet we are living in a time when freedom, rights, and liberty have been so thoroughly redefined and distorted that we struggle to communicate with each other. A faithful Catholic uses the same words [...]

AMA Rebuffs Advocates of Physician-Assisted Suicide

Over the past few years, proponents of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) have been pushing the American Medical Association (AMA) to amend its Code of Ethics as it pertains to the practice. In 2016, a delegation from Oregon asked the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) to recommend that the AMA adopt a neutral stance [...]

Pronouns, Prefixes, and the Cult of the Self

This will sound like a humorous question, but it is one I have turned over in my mind for months now, and one that cultural conservatives and practicing Christians will eventually have to confront: how much should we care about pronouns? Put differently, should we care that one individual wants to be called “they”? Or [...]

“What Are We Trying to Hide?”

“Sticks and stones may break my bones / but names will never hurt me.” So goes the old children’s nursery rhyme. We know, of course, that the claim is not exactly true: CBS produced a documentary in 2011 about the effects of bullying in a digital age, “Words Can Kill.” What is less talked about [...]

Pro-Life Redefined at the Vatican

Fair is foul and foul is fair at the Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV). Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the PAV, recently redefined the term “life” for the Catholic Church, stating that the PAV will now refocus its pro-life mission to include issues of migration, arms control, poverty and the environment. He suggested that to [...]

The Babel Story Is About Speaking the Truth

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves...” (Gen 11:4) As a small child the tale of Babel’s tower seemed a large story, one filled with men who were wicked and a god who was powerful. [...]

Why Cultural Renewal Requires a Restoration of Meaning

One of the most common attitudes I encounter with today’s college students is a kind of blasé non-judgmentalism—or, worse, a passively nihilistic relativism. They are reluctant to label any behavior or belief bad, even if, in the most extreme thought experiments, it involves killing innocents. This attitude seems to get worse every year; it’s as [...]

Fighting the Pronoun Police

The new transgender revolutionaries would like to go beyond bra burning and accusations of patriarchy. They would like to change language itself—particularly pronouns—and abolish “he” and “she” and to replace it with “they”—or other inventive pronouns, to indicate anyone of any gender. While this has not been seriously institutionalized in western countries, transgender revolutionaries would [...]

Abuse of Language Leads to the Abuse of Power

The great Thomist Josef Pieper penned a short book in the late seventies on how totalitarian regimes use words to gain control over the masses: Abuse of Language – Abuse of Power. Pieper’s treatise came to mind as I read that the Canadian government is no longer going to refer to ISIS as ISIS (that [...]

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