The misuse of language produces evil in the soul.

Socrates

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The horrible church killings in Charleston will, as these matters always do, have us point our finger at the “usual suspects.”  In this case they will be: race, guns and identifying white people as having hatred of non-whites.

We will not think of ourselves as being responsible in any particular way.  Nor will we look at language and our inflammatory use of it and the consequences of that inflammatory rhetoric.

In the last 50 years, we have spent a great deal of time using language to divide us from one another, and reality.  We have used language to “feather our own nest,” promote our political cause, advance narratives that deny we are brothers and sisters, children of God, neighbors, Americans in a very hostile world.

Frankly, those of the intellectual class, those in the media and politics are the prime purveyors of divisive language. Let’s be honest here, their language is sophistry.  What is says about race and gender and class is often nihilistic.  It destroys relationships and distorts life.  It promotes what is not true.  It antagonizes.

Need examples? “Keep your rosaries of my ovaries,” “the war on women,” “depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is,” etc.

In the world of the sophists marriage is not marriage, conception is not conception, dysfunction is not dysfunction.

In their world “homophobia” is invented and used as if it is a diagnostic reality. Ditto “white privilege” and “hands up don’t shoot.”

In their world what is false becomes “true” and convenience trumps honesty.  Yet, the costs are degradation of truth itself, and of the human person, reality, community, relationship and unity.

Yes, a psychologically, socially, emotionally lost young man killed innocent Christians as they attended a prayer group in their church.  Yes, he used a gun. Yes, his victims were Black men and women.

He was also a school dropout, estranged from society.  In his disordered state he adopted language of hate to attend to his estrangement, explain it, decipher it.

However, we gave him plenty of divisive rhetoric to latch on to; we showed more than sufficient division to convey that we are perpetually in conflict with one another.  This, of course, is the legacy of Marxist dialectic materialism.  Yet, lest we miss a very serious responsibility we bear, some people in public office, in media and on the Left, have made a habit of demeaning the place of faith in civil society, and in particular Christians in this culture.

Is it really any wonder a lost and injured soul would adopt language and thinking that promotes destruction when we use language as we do?

Shalom.

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