With all the controversy lately surrounding the whole Chick-Fil-A situation, I've noticed more and more, certain words being used in a completely incorrect way than what they are technically defined as.
Here are a few:
That's a biggy, and one we hear all the time. But, what is homophobia, really?
First, let's look at the dictionary definition of a phobia:
"an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation"
Now allow me to confess something. I do have a phobia. It's called mazeophobia and you've likely never heard of it. It's not even in most dictionaries because it's a relatively new word that means a "fear of getting lost". Yes it's true, I have an irrational, illogical fear of going places I've never been, by myself, because I'm afraid I'll get lost. It's so bad that for Christmas 2011, hubby bought me a GPS to help me conquer this phobia. Before that, even the suggestion of driving somewhere alone (somewhere unfamiliar) would case me to feel anxiety, stress and start coming up with excuses for why I couldn't do it.
Now, going back to the real, historical, commonly accepted definition of the word phobia and adding "homo", those who throw the word around so liberally, literally want us all to believe that there are all kinds of homophobics out there in the world. People who have an exaggerated, inexplicable and illogical fear of homosexuals. Seriously?
I've been alive for nearly 48 years and in those 48 years I've honestly only met a handful of people that I can think of, that would literally fit that description. I can recall a few conversations with some of those folks from 20+ years ago and remember thinking their attitude toward gay people sounded nearly identical to the way a racist sounds when talking about blacks, Asians or whoever they happened to be racist towards.
Well, I've never been a racist, nor have I ever been a homophobe but the tone and the attitude disgusted me, even as a non-Christian. And yet, I have actually been called homophobic. Why? Well, because I disagree with the homosexual lifestyle. That, and only that, is the reason I'm called homophobic. Of course it's not true, and of course my own attitude and that of MOST Christians toward the gay lifestyle is not even close to genuine homophobia, but that's the word that gets thrown around to make us sound like monsters, victimizing, discriminating against and hating on an entire class of people. In a word? It's a large load of bullsnot. I would have used a different word there a few years ago but I'm a Christian and I don't like to use those ugly words anymore. It totally fits though, and I think 99.99% of my readership will agree.
Which brings me to another word:
That's another one I've heard a lot lately and believe it or not, something else I've been accused of. I actually laughed out loud, literally, the first time someone called me that. They might as well have called me a potato chip with dreadlocks (since that description of me is just about as accurate as a bigot would be). Here's the dictionary definition of bigot:
"a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance"
Okay now... let's just get real for a minute, shall we? There are some folks on this planet that call themselves Christians, yet openly and obnoxiously treat members of numerous classes of people (homosexuals included, to be sure) with hatred and intolerance. First, these people are not Christians and secondly, they truly do not represent Christianity in any way, shape or form. I think most rational, mature people understand that. Anyway I hope they do.
Secondly, the most ironic thing of all to me is that it's the very people that accuse others of being bigots (many times) that are the ones who are intolerantly devoted to their own prejudices. There is NO room (none, zero, zilch, nada) for disagreement and if you dare do disagree, you're not only a bigot but a homophobe. See how that works? Further, no matter what you say, or how you say it, or how kind or sincere or genuine or heartfelt, if you express any kind of disagreement you're met with name calling, insults and derision because you're still the homophobic bigot. Why? Because you disagree. Yes, it really is that simple.
Now here's another buzzword flying around the social networking arena, blogs and mainstream media outlets:
Oddly enough, you'd think we all know the meaning of this word but it doesn't really mean what we think it means. While the dictionary says one thing:
"intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury"
What it really means in today's definition is "if you disagree with me". Yes, if you or I or any other Christian, regardless of lack of display of any type of anger, hostility, fear or what have you, if we disagree with the homosexual lifestyle we are vile, homophobic bigots filled with hate.
Now I realize there are some really sharp folks out there who see this the same as I do. I also realize that some of those folks are gay/lesbians themselves. I know this for a fact because I recently read a blog article by a professing homosexual that finds himself truly disgusted with the headgames and wordgames being played with the hot buzzwords of the day. I found that quite refreshing that someone I disagree with on this subject was at least honest enough to say "yes, it's going on and yes some of us are willing to admit it". I know for a fact also that many many Christians see this to as we're all sort of backed into a corner trying to defend our way out from these downright phony accusations. It's practically impossible though.
I never read the book "1984", but from what I've heard lately, this whole redefinition of words and way of thinking is one of the ways the people were so easily controlled, in the storyline of that book. Personally, I find it mind-boggling that sharp, well-read, educated people would buy into this garbage and let themselves be controlled by idiotic word games, when the truth is staring them right in the face.
What is the truth? It's simple really. We just disagree. It doesn't mean we hate anyone, it doesn't mean we wish them harm or injustice or want their human rights stripped away. It means we just disagree. We (Christians) have a different world-view because we believe the Bible. That's it. It's not complicated and it's not calculated and it's not hard to understand.
For those that is, that really want to, and haven't jumped on the bandwagon.