I have long ago given up trying to keep up with the Joneses, and not just because they have moved away. I have a hard enough time trying to keep up with myself, let alone trying to figure out what somebody else is doing so I can top them at it.
One aspect of trying to keep up with the Joneses is being on top of what is referred to as being Politically Correct. As far as I know, I do not have a political bone in my body. I do have a bone to pick with some politicians, but that is another story.
Everybody is so afraid they are going to break some PC rule and offend somebody. Most people today are so easily offended that it is virtually impossible not to offend somebody. I do not want to intentionally offend anybody and I try my best not to. However, for the life of me, I am not able to keep up with all of this political correctness that seems to be domineering in our country today. Because, as soon as you figure it out somebody changes the rules and another word or phrase has been deemed not politically correct.
What was politically correct yesterday may be politically incorrect today. If you get your days mixed up and confused, you are not going to know what is politically correct. I think a book should be published every year listing all of the things that are politically correct and politically incorrect. Nobody is allowed to change any, at least for a year. Then, when they come to change it there has to be a national election to vote the political correctness in.
Some people believe it to be un-American to use phrases that are politically incorrect. I for one, have a hard time keeping a list of all of these politically correct and incorrect words and phrases.
I had some business with an attorney and once we finished our business, we had a few moments and were chatting together. I could tell from his chatting that he was rather politically correct in everything he does. I guess that is what comes to being an attorney. Somebody once said that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. Whoever said that was so wrong we need to take that phrase and make it politically incorrect.
“This is America,” he pontificated with me, “and we have freedom of speech. Everybody is free to have their opinion and to express it. That is what America’s all about.” He went on and on about this matter of freedom of speech.
Then, I am not quite sure how it happened, but we got on some rather indelicate subject that was positively politically incorrect.
With the majority of people, freedom of speech does not really mean that the other person is free to speak. It simply means I have the freedom to speak.
“So,” I said rather delicately trying to feel my way through this subject, “you believe everybody has the freedom to express their opinion?”
“Yes, sir,” he said very emphatically. Then he went off on another pontificating spree asserting the rights of all Americans to express their opinion.
I knew which side of the issue, he was on and so I broached it this way. “You then believe,” I said weighing each and every word and syllable, “that you have the right to say a certain thing is right.” I mentioned what the thing was but I do not need to include it here.
“Not only do I believe it,” he said on another pontificating spree, “but I practice it every day of my life. Nobody has the right to tell me what I can and cannot believe!”
“Let me get this right, you have the freedom to say that this,” and I mentioned what it was, “is perfectly right.”
He nodded and smiled very broadly and then I continued my thought. “Do I have any rights in this area?” He nodded and indicated I could continue speaking. “You have the right to believe that this certain thing is right, but do I have the right to believe that it is wrong?”
Well, you might have hit him with a double-barreled shotgun. He never thought of it that way. All he thought of was what his opinion was and that he had the complete freedom to express that opinion. Anybody who had a different opinion did not have the same right as he did to express it.
“I never thought of it that way,” he stammered as he stared at me. “I’m going to have to give that some more thought.”
Somebody who believes something is right has the complete freedom to say so. On the other side of the track, the person who believes it is wrong has just as much right to think and say that it is wrong.
It is hard to keep up with a world that is constantly changing, especially in this area. That is why I love the Bible so much. That is why I am a follower of Jesus Christ because neither one ever changes. I take great refuge in what the Bible says. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” (Hebrews 13:8).
Today I rest in the unchanging grace and character of the God who loves me and provided for my salvation. And, tomorrow will be the same.
Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. His web site is www.jamessnyderministries.com.