Political Correctness

“Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind, but now I see!”
John 9:25

In recent years there has been a significant emphasis on speaking in language which is “politically correct” - which reflects the prevailing ideology of the time. Thus the ability to speak out has been stifled, along with a sense of ‘being yourself’. Jokes which reflect on some of life’s ironies have been deemed to be inappropriate because they were deemed racist/sexist/discriminatory. In addition, comment on certain aspects of (political) life has been silenced. Its absurdity has been highlighted by the suspension from school of a six-year-old for sexual harrassment for kissing a girl (at her behest).

Political correctness is not a new phenomenon. Nor is it restricted to secular society. In Jesus’ day, it was politically incorrect to declare that God healed on the Sabbath, or that God could use sinful people. The Pharisees were the masters of political correctness, and continually pulled Jesus up for crossing those boundaries. Instead of ‘political correctness’ however, they called it ‘theological correctness’.

We need to be careful about stifling people in their expression of their experience of God. We may not agree with the theology, but we need to recognise the heart of love and thanksgiving which motivates the expression. People should not only be free to express their faith, but ought to be encouraged to do so in their own terms.

October 13, 1996
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