What is ‘s focus for the use of considerate language? Well, she does not like certain insulting words, especially “retard”. Here we can sympathize, but we still need perspective. “Retarded” is a word that people use to describe people with learning disabilities. It is simply a word that describes a problem nobody wants to have. “Cancer” is the same sort of word. “Retard”, on the other hand, is a word that some people decided would be cute to use as an insult instead of “stupid” or “dumb”. Hence, the problem is the desire to hurt or insult, not the word.
Why do we insult people? Generally, this desire comes from a deficiency in character. In our pride (see the peacock above), we want elevate ourselves over others. Thus, we can get into these discussions over whether my stuff is better than your stuff, or whether my way is better than your way, or whether I am better than you. Hence, as The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux indicates in the comment thread on ‘s post (see here), intent matters. Are we trying to help someone or put them down beneath us?
silenceofmind makes a different observation in the comment thread. He observes that ‘s post (see here) “is an ode to political correctness and is thus a disgusting insult to the free exchange of ideas”.
Political correctness is a method of shutting people up by shaming them into silence. Supposedly, the politically incorrect are mean and selfish because they don’t use the right words and believe the right things. Political correctness is ironic, actually. When those propounding the glories of their own beliefs angrily shame the “politically incorrect”, they are just engaging in another form of bigotry. To silence their opponents, they end up being at least as insulting and hurtful. Because they can put an end to communication, such exchanges risk unraveling our nation.
What is the alternative? Is it not liberty, the freedom to believe what we wish, the freedom to exercise our own beliefs? So long as we do not infringe upon each others liberty, we do not have to pay attention to people spouting senseless insults. We still retain the right to choose better company.
What about our personal conduct? How do we avoid insulting people? How do we avoid political correctness? To some extent we cannot. No matter what we do we cannot control what others think of our words. We can only work on what is in our own hearts.
Matthew 5:21-26 New King James Version (NKJV)
Murder Begins in the Heart
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26 Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
We can also strive for reconciliation, but that works only to the extent the fault is within our own heart. We cannot make our brother or our sister repent of the their sins. We can only repent of our own.