What Does It Mean To Be Politically Correct?
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, the phrase “politically correct” came about circa 1936 in order to describe that which was “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated.”1
Of course, what offended political sensibilities in 1936 probably, drastically differs from what offends political sensibilities today. For (as in matters of sex or race) political (i.e., “relating to the government or public affairs of a country”) 2 sensibilities clearly change over time.
Moral Trends vs. Timeless Truths
As I tweeted earlier, it can be tempting to be more concerned with what is politically correct than what is biblically correct. Going against the current social and political currents can cost one social capital (jobs, relationships, status, etc.).
Of course, not all of today’s moral trends are bad (I am glad I was not born in 1936!). However, when culture and Scripture clash, we must remember that what is deemed politically correct now, is determined by what is politically popular now.
Moreover, what is politically correct now is largely determined by who is in power now. What is biblically correct is solely determined by the One who is in power now, yesterday, and forevermore.
Since God is the only logical, objective (i.e., external to oneself) standard for morality,3 true morality is not a result of years cultural conditioning, nor the outcome of a political popularity contest. It flows from the very nature and character of our Creator.
Does It Not Make Sense?
As I said in my trial sermon on Psalm 1, when considering which moral instructions to follow, I asked:
If you want to get the most out of the Microsoft Windows, does it not make sense to follow the instruction of Bill Gates – the creator of Microsoft Windows? If you want to cook a dish by Rachel Ray, does it not make sense to follow the instructions of Rachel Ray — the creator of the recipe? If you want to take care of your Civic, does it not make sense to follow the instruction of Honda – the creator of the Civic?
If you want to get the most out of your life, does it not make sense to follow the instruction of the LORD — the Creator of life?
People are free to make their own moral choices. But, if I am forced to make a choice between what is politically correct or what is biblically correct… as one of my good friends would say, “I’m going with Jesus every day of the week and twice on Sunday.”
JC > PC.
- Inc Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
- Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, eds., Concise Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
- I am open to hearing suggestions, though. Please feel free to offer an alternative