Changing language taboos

Some words are taboo, so that when they are used they constitute the “bad language” of socially inappropriate “swearing.”  Those taboo words used to consist of the irreverent use of religious language.  Then words about sex and “bodily functions” became taboo swear words.  Now,  profanity (words that profane what is sacred) and obscenity (words about what is done “out of the scene,” or out of sight, referring to sex and excretion) have become commonplace, even in public social situations.

Our culture doesn’t take religion or the body as seriously any more, so words about them are not so shocking.  Now our forbidden words are “slurs,” words that denigrate racial, ethnic, gender, or sexual groups.  The shock of hearing those taboo words and the social disapproval they create are equivalent to what the old “bad language” used to create.  So says linguist Randall Eggert, who discusses ‘how the n-word became the new f-word.” [Read more...]

“Elder orphans”

As the Baby Boomers move into old age, a new problem is emerging. Many of them chose not to have children.  Now large percentages of the elderly will have no children or other family members to care for them.  As it is, 60% of the residents of nursing homes have no regular visitors.  These isolated old folks are being called “elder orphans.” [Read more...]

How should Republicans respond?

Pretty much all of the Republican presidential candidates, with different tones and emphases, are pro-life, anti-gay marriage social conservatives.  So are they politically doomed in today’s socially-liberal cultural climate? [Read more...]

“Voting Republican will not save us now”

Rod Dreher takes a bleak look at the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage.  It is now clear, he says, that we really do live in a post-Christian culture.  Now that homosexuality has been given the status of race, the government and the public really are going to go after those who don’t believe that homosexuality is moral.  The institution of marriage as a whole is going to be affected, since, if it can be redefined at will, it will no longer have any boundaries.  So Christians will have to live as exiles in their own country.  Dreher goes on to advocate “the Benedict option.”

What do you think about this?  Is Dreher over-stating the problems?  Are things really going to be that bad? [Read more...]

Newspaper won’t allow opinions against gay marriage

Where we are already, after the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling:  A Harrisburg, PA, newspaper has announced that since  the gay marriage issue is now “settled,” it will not print op-ed pieces or letters to the editor that oppose gay marriage or say that homosexual acts are immoral or unnatural.  We won’t print racist, sexist, or anti-semitic letters, the editor explained.  “To that we add homophobic ones.” [Read more...]

Withstanding beatings, but not tweetings

Christians want to be liked.  And we want to be known for our love.  So the charge that we are “haters” cuts deep, and public scorn is hard to take.  To the point that we are sometimes tempted to adopt a more socially-accepted posture.  David French has some trenchant words about being a Christian in this new social climate. [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X