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Author Topic: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)  (Read 4852 times)

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Offline grdellTopic starter

One person saying it I could disregard, but two I can no longer ignore.

People hear the term "Political correctness" and they scowl. It's apparently scorn-worthy to be sensitive to others' feelings that may contradict your own. Admittedly, in some cases, PC has been taken too far, but there is one case where I feel it was completely warranted, and that is the case that has prompted me to bring this whole mess up:

The Pledge of Allegiance.

Over in the Off Topic board is a thread dedicated to the Fourth of July. Fine. But in that thread there were references made to it being a shame that the Pledge was "struck down" in the name of PC.

First of all, the Pledge didn't always contain the verbage that is the major point of contention these days - both from the ACLU and from me. "Under God." That was added in 1954 and almost immediately came under fire. That alone should tell you how controversial it was even then. It isn't even an implication - it is most definitely an outright statement for Christianity. Now, a lot of people say "Well, what's wrong with that?" but the problem is that these people are Christians, so of course they don't see anything wrong with it. But what of the vast number of Americans who are not Christian? Why should they and their children be forced - by law - to pledge allegiance to a deity they don't believe in?

It violates the Bill of Rights. Clear and simple. Freedom of Religion.

The U.S. DOES NOT have a state-endorsed religion. Shya, right. Officially, anyway. I think the fact that our currency has "In God We Trust" on it proof otherwise. It's insidious little things like this that get my ire up. People talk about separation of Church and State, but that's a fallacy, and this whole business over the Pledge is just one minor piece of that.

Imagine if legislation got passed that required - by law - all people in the U.S. to pledge allegiance to Pan or to Buddha or to any deity other than the Christian one. What would happen then? A fucking riot, that's what. But how is this any different? Please tell me how this is ANY different. Because I don't see it.

Offline Zakharra

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2011, 04:35:41 PM »
 I think it slides (the Pledge and what's printed on the money) because it's never specified what god is meant. It's vague.

 The term 'political correctness' has been used to shut peopleup and to cover over things that should be discussed in some instances. It's used as a club to silence opposition and beat the other side down with labels they most likely do not deserve.

 As I see it, Political Correctness is mostly bullshit because of the way it's used.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2011, 04:51:04 PM »
Just don't say UNDER GOD when I was in school I refused to say that and early on it was my choice, and I explained since the nation is built on blood, slavery and violence invoking God seemed to be at the time sacreligious. Even the founding was an ungodly act of rebellion to the legitimate sovereign placed over us by God.

Well that is what I though growing up for several years.

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2011, 04:56:13 PM »
I think it slides (the Pledge and what's printed on the money) because it's never specified what god is meant. It's vague.

How many religions worship a monotheistic god, as opposed to an entire pantheon? What about goddesses?

Offline Zakharra

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2011, 04:57:41 PM »
 I think the term God/god can be genetic to male or female.  As for pantheons, you might have a point there, but it's kind of minor.

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2011, 05:07:35 PM »
Just as a note, the case that got the Pledge pulled involved an atheist, as I recall.  Requiring an atheist to acknowledge any god is just as wrong as requiring people to pledge allegiance to a specific god that isn't their own.

But yeah, it's the 'club' aspect that gets most people bent over 'political correctness'.  While it's admirable to want to avoid offending people, there are some people who have taken offense and used the 'PC' banner to excuse the fact that they get bent faster than spaghetti that's been boiled for an hour.  This has made legitimate use of 'political correctness' (like making sure that Army chaplains respect all religions, and Wiccan soldiers being able to have religious symbols on their person and on their tombstones) easier for people to scoff at as 'Huh.  More of that PC crap.'

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2011, 05:22:00 PM »
I think the term God/god can be genetic to male or female. 

Maybe, but I've never seen it used that way. In my experience, god is for male deities, goddess for female.

As for pantheons, you might have a point there, but it's kind of minor.

Not to the billions of the worlds population that do not follow a monotheistic faith I would guess.

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2011, 05:26:38 PM »
Maybe, but I've never seen it used that way. In my experience, god is for male deities, goddess for female.

I've only seen it used that way in the plural (i.e., the Greek gods, the Norse gods, the Egyptian gods) where it usually includes the goddesses implicitly.  'Deity', on the other hand, is gender-neutral.

Offline Caela

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2011, 05:44:10 PM »
There's nothing wrong with being sensitive to the beliefs of others. There is something wrong people try to bludgeon other's into complete silence in the name of that "sensitivity". That is being no more sensitive than the people they are attacking and that is my issue with being "PC".

I will be polite and am respectful of the fact that I don't know everything there is to know and that people certainly have the right to their own beliefs and opinions, even when they differ from mine. I expect to be treated with that same politeness and respect for my right to MY opinions and beliefs. However, just because I respect someone else's beliefs doesn't mean I will defer to them and too often I've been told I am a bitch and should be silenced simply because I won't kowtow to the alter of being "politically correct".

As for the church and state thing...as long as humans are in office you won't get a true separation. People's religious beliefs color who they are and how they think. Not that they don't try to be unbiased and fair but an atheist will see something differently than a monotheist, than a pagan multi-theist. There's nothing wrong with those differences and I think they each bring something unique and valuable to the table.

I do think it is sad that we no longer recite the pledge. When I was a student we did the pledge and read the first part of the DoI every morning and I think it helped to give us a sense of continuity and patriotism. Now kids don't grow up with that sense of who we are and where we came from. Did we have students who abstained? Yep. We had a couple of JW kids who left during that portions of the morning (and for every holiday and birthday celebration) and others who abstained from saying "Under God" and it wasn't an issue. I'd love to see the pledge put back in schools and would have no problem if it was in it's original format, without the "under God".

Offline grdellTopic starter

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2011, 06:25:24 PM »
I have no problem at all with the pledge in schools if it didn't have the words "under God" in it. The problem as I see it is that people would rather froth at the mouth and hurl recriminations and pejoratives than remove those words. And that is what strikes me as irrational and the root cause of the problem. For a lot of people (in my personal experience), it is an "all or nothing" situation and they are totally unwilling to compromise. If they would just agree to disagree, everything would work so much smoother, but they regard any compromise as an attack on their faith, which is not (at least from me) how it is intended.

Offline Caela

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2011, 06:36:17 PM »
I have no problem at all with the pledge in schools if it didn't have the words "under God" in it. The problem as I see it is that people would rather froth at the mouth and hurl recriminations and pejoratives than remove those words. And that is what strikes me as irrational and the root cause of the problem. For a lot of people (in my personal experience), it is an "all or nothing" situation and they are totally unwilling to compromise. If they would just agree to disagree, everything would work so much smoother, but they regard any compromise as an attack on their faith, which is not (at least from me) how it is intended.

YOU may not mean it that way, but a lot of people do. The other problem that a lot of people have with "political correctness" is that there are groups that it is perfectly acceptable to NOT be PC toward. At least that is often the general attitude, and those groups are just supposed to sit back and take it. Examples (and these are general I know) are men, and (often though not always) Christians. There are others but those are the most obvious so yes they get a bit up in arms when they feel like they are being attacked again and that somehow their beliefs and opinions aren't as worthy of the same respect that everyone else demands.

Offline Brandon

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2011, 06:50:41 PM »
"A society where anyone can make a joke about anyone and everyone laughs is a truly tolerant society. Political correctness charged censorship only serves to engender distance and resentment between social groups. "

I dont know how many times Ive said that before. This is my problem with political correctness, it sounds great on paper but in reality its just further segregation of social groups and will only harm societal growth.

Also Im not touching the topic of the pledge of allegiance.

Offline Maiz

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2011, 06:54:56 PM »
Plenty of schools still say the pledge. My school recited it every morning, and i graduated two years ago. it still does as far as I know. I don't agree with it though because it's thoughtless reciting. It's an automatic repeating of it. No one thinks when they say the pledge, they zone out. It has no function in my eyes. A history or civics class does so much more than a silly pledge.

As for being 'PC'. In every case that I've seen, being ~un-PC~ is a sign that that person is an asshole who thinks it's okay to tell racist or sexists or heterosexist jokes, etc. And I mean people who don't have the right to tell those jokes. i find that a lot people who are in a position of privilege like to pull the 'omg y u be so pc' card when they try to say a slur that they cannot reclaim, or tell a joke that they have no right to say (like a white guy telling a black joke or a guy telling a woman/kitchen joke, or whatever). Also I find it hard to be respectful and polite to some opinions, especially those who say that I don't exist, or attack me. I am 'intolerant' of intolerance you can say.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2011, 08:35:03 PM »
A lot of times the problem with being “sensitive” is that people feel disagreement is not sensitive.  Many times disagreeing or having an opposing opinion is construed as not being sensitive to the other view point.  Typically this does create a social pressure on the other person to keep their opinion quiet or at least give only a token nod to their own beliefs.  There is nothing truly wrong with being sensitive or aware of another group, merely in using the expectation of sensitivity to silence any opposition.

Per chance, who has the right to tell racist, sexist, etc. jokes?  Are there people privileged with the responsibility to ridicule a group of people and others are not able to?

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2011, 08:52:26 PM »
Per chance, who has the right to tell racist, sexist, etc. jokes?  Are there people privileged with the responsibility to ridicule a group of people and others are not able to?

Not that I agree with it, but the position I've heard is that only members of a specific group of people are 'allowed' to tell jokes about that group of people.  In other words, Poles are allowed to tell Polish jokes, but it's racist for anyone else to.  Likewise with slurs (witness the language used by young, predominantly urban folks of African descent).

Offline Maiz

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2011, 09:12:05 PM »
Per chance, who has the right to tell racist, sexist, etc. jokes?  Are there people privileged with the responsibility to ridicule a group of people and others are not able to?

Well in my opinion if someone tells a black joke and they're not black then I side eye the hell out of them, especially if it's a white person, because of race issues/white privilege/old racist archetypes/etc. Same with a straight person making a lispy gay joke or whatever.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2011, 09:16:35 PM »
Not that I agree with it, but the position I've heard is that only members of a specific group of people are 'allowed' to tell jokes about that group of people.  In other words, Poles are allowed to tell Polish jokes, but it's racist for anyone else to.  Likewise with slurs (witness the language used by young, predominantly urban folks of African descent).

That's the take I've heard too. It's a viable position on jokes sometimes (not always), the case about who has the 'right' to tell 'my n***a' jokes is a good one, but I think it sends you into trouble if it's extended into politics and public speech in general. I mean, nobody here would accept the idea, if you imagine it spelled out in the Soviet Union thirty years ago, that "only communists and their sympathizers (i.e. "the people") have a say in what kind of statements are anti-communist, and therefore disreputable or criminal" but it's basically the same as saying only Christians can have a say in what constitutes anti-Christian/anti-church prejudice, only Jews should be allowed to have a voice about what is antisemitic talk, only LGBTs should have a say in what constitutes offensive heterosexism or disrespectful talk about gays, and so on.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 09:21:21 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Caela

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2011, 09:19:50 PM »
Well in my opinion if someone tells a black joke and they're not black then I side eye the hell out of them, especially if it's a white person, because of race issues/white privilege/old racist archetypes/etc. Same with a straight person making a lispy gay joke or whatever.

Here is where I, personally, disagree with a lot of people. If a "joke" is racist, sexist, whatever-ist, no one should be telling, or everyone should be able to. Saying only certain people should be able to say thing gives them even more power to hurt than if people simply ignored them. By trying to relegate them to only one group (thus making them taboo and tempting for others) they grow in meaning.

Words have power in our world. They can be used to hurt people or to build bridges between them. If a term is considered a slur, then saying only certain people can say them doesn't make them meaningless, it actually ends up giving them even more meaning to both sides. It makes them hurt the people they are used against more, and gives the bigots and jackasses in this world a stronger weapon.

Just my own 0.02$ worth, I know a lot don't agree with me.

Offline Maiz

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #18 on: July 04, 2011, 09:25:29 PM »
That's the take I've heard too. It's a viable position on jokes sometimes (not always), the case about who has the 'right' to tell 'my n***a' jokes is a good one, but I think it sends you into trouble if it's extended into politics and public speech in general. I mean, nobody here would accept the idea that "only communists have a say in what kind of statements are anti-communist, and therefore disreputable or criminal" but it's basically the same as saying only Christians can have a say in what consuitues anti-Christian/anti-church prejudice, only Jews should be allowed to have a voice about what is antisemitic talk, only LGBTs should have a say in what constitutes offensive heterosexism or disrespectful talk about gays, and so on.

Sure someone who is not x can say what constitutes xhatetalk, but they should  defer to people who are x and talk about xhatetalk. Also  it's not right to ignore what someone who is x is calling xhatetalk. And that's what's important is that people of x minority are being listened instead of allies or people of the majority are trying to speak for them.



Quote
Here is where I, personally, disagree with a lot of people. If a "joke" is racist, sexist, whatever-ist, no one should be telling, or everyone should be able to. Saying only certain people should be able to say thing gives them even more power to hurt than if people simply ignored them. By trying to relegate them to only one group (thus making them taboo and tempting for others) they grow in meaning.

Words have power in our world. They can be used to hurt people or to build bridges between them. If a term is considered a slur, then saying only certain people can say them doesn't make them meaningless, it actually ends up giving them even more meaning to both sides. It makes them hurt the people they are used against more, and gives the bigots and jackasses in this world a stronger weapon.

Just my own 0.02$ worth, I know a lot don't agree with me.

I guess what I mean is *-ist is in the realm of reclamation, like black people saying the n word, or queer people reclaiming gay stereotypes for jokes or whatever. Because reclaiming helps some people deal with the fact that bigots use words against them.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2011, 09:30:23 PM »
I would not go so far as to say that is a right of that group to ridicule members of their own group for being..well members of that group.  Perhaps a social norm, but in any event the attitude is an ignorant one.  That serves only to allow ridicule against another person and also serves as a division between groups.  “I can do this, but you better not.” 

In point of fact that is being prejudice because a certain group of people is not allowed an action or privilege based on skin color, sex, religion, sexual orientation etc.  Making a point of fact to white people is highlighting that racism.  Essentially marking them as especially being denied the “right” because of their skin color based.  A blanket statement of “privilege,” “archetype racism,” and a “history of racism” is further justifying prejudice with further prejudice.  In essence justifying racism with racism.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #20 on: July 04, 2011, 09:44:28 PM »
I would not go so far as to say that is a right of that group to ridicule members of their own group for being..well members of that group.  Perhaps a social norm, but in any event the attitude is an ignorant one.  That serves only to allow ridicule against another person and also serves as a division between groups.  “I can do this, but you better not.” 


On the whole, agree - though jokes are sometimes meant as jokes and sometimes "it's a joke" is a half-hidden excuse for  just lambasting someone. There is always a market for people of a particular group who are willing to jump on people of their own class/gender/ethnic/sex-orientation group in print. Women from a poor background (or at least, who claim to have elbowed their way up from the gutter) who are sitting on editorial pages or in tv sofas and putting down women who are from a poor background and who don't share their own outlook or their own values. And IMO it's harder to get to grips with that, to get a fair discussion and give those people a chance to get further, to advance on their own terms, if there's a norm that "you're only allowed to enter into discussion with that writer who is jumping on them if you have a similar background yourself, if you belong to the same 'group' as she does".
« Last Edit: July 04, 2011, 09:47:05 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Caela

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2011, 09:47:07 PM »
I would not go so far as to say that is a right

of that group to ridicule members of their own group for being..well members of that group.  Perhaps a social norm, but in any event the attitude is an ignorant one.  That serves only to allow ridicule against another person and also serves as a division between groups.  “I can do this, but you better not.” 

In point of fact that is being prejudice because a certain group of people is not allowed an action or privilege based on skin color, sex, religion, sexual orientation etc.  Making a point of fact to white people is highlighting that racism.  Essentially marking them as especially being denied the “right” because of their skin color based.  A blanket statement of “privilege,” “archetype racism,” and a “history of racism” is further justifying prejudice with further prejudice.  In essence justifying racism with racism.

You said this so very much better than I did!

I guess what I mean is *-ist is in the realm of reclamation, like black people saying the n word, or queer people reclaiming gay stereotypes for jokes or whatever. Because reclaiming helps some people deal with the fact that bigots use words against them.

If it works for people personally, I can't tell them not to, but as a whole I disagree with this idea as well. If you want to reclaim a word, then you can't really do it by saying "only we can say it" because you can't ever stop others from using it. If you want to reclaim a word you need to stop giving it the power to hurt you by giving them back to everyone to use in their original meanings. Take a word back to what it is supposed to mean and only give it that meaning and it loses it's ability to hurt anymore because it no longer carries the derogatory meaning someone else gave it.

Also, how you speak influences how people see you and many attempts at "reclaiming" words (the most obvious being the urban use of "nigga") do not reflect well on the speakers themselves. It tends to make people that could be very intelligent sound ignorant and hostile which does nothing to improve misconceptions between any group.

Offline Maiz

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2011, 09:50:18 PM »
In no way is saying a white person shouldn't say racist jokes or 'reclaim' the n word or anything like that comparable to the centuries of racism white people have inflicted on various peoples of color. lol. Just no. There's a big difference in someone of color being 'prejudiced' against a white person and a white person being racist against someone of color. Why? because there is a long ass history of white Europeans colonising, enslaving, oppressing, etc people of color. And it doesn't just stop now, it's just under new names. I suggest you look up 'privilege' and the relationships between minority and majority groups. racism isn't just prejudice. it's prejudice and power in a society.  same with sexism or heterosexism or any other type of *ism. it's prejudice and power.

Also I would not go as far to say if you aren't in the same group/have the same background as someone who is discussing whatever, you can't participate. The point is if you have privilege over that person then you better listen to what they are saying, and think before you speak.

Also obviously no one can make someone else stop using a word. But if a person of privilege uses a word or idea or whatever that someone they have privilege over is reclaiming, then fine. They said it, but that does not mean they can't come over heavy amounts of criticism/being called out on their bullshit.

Offline Caela

Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2011, 09:57:31 PM »
There's a big difference in someone of color being 'prejudiced' against a white person and a white person being racist against someone of color.

This one sentence I have a serious problem with. Is there a history (particularly in America and places like South Africa) of white people oppressing people of color? Yes, no denying it. It's an attitude and a mind set that I think we are slowly changing, faster in some places, and among certain age groups than others, but not as quickly as anyone would like.

To say that someone of color being prejudiced against a white person is different though is bs. Prejudice is prejudice. Hate is hate. If a black/latino/asian person hates me simply because I am white, it is just as bad as me hating them for being their own ethnicity. It simply keeps the cycle of hate going like some sort of old fashioned blood fued that doesn't end until everyone is dead. (Yes I know that's a bit dramatic but this is something that has always bothered me) This isn't to say that people shouldn't fight for their rights and to change things, but returning hatred with hatred only breeds more hate.

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Re: What is so wrong with PC? (A separation of church and state issue)
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2011, 10:02:34 PM »
Like I said, it's not a position I particularly agree with either.  If you're going to 'reclaim' a word, then you should be fine with anyone saying it (Mr. Oniya once referred someone who called him 'weird' to the second definition, which is 'fantastic', thanked them, and went on his way.).  Some words are beyond reclamation, as shown in the 'Spread the Word to End the Word' campaign.  Others are not, as shown in the fact that no one really bats an eye when hearing the name of the show 'Queer as Folk'.


To say that someone of color being prejudiced against a white person is different though is bs. Prejudice is prejudice. Hate is hate. If a black/latino/asian person hates me simply because I am white, it is just as bad as me hating them for being their own ethnicity. It simply keeps the cycle of hate going like some sort of old fashioned blood fued that doesn't end until everyone is dead. (Yes I know that's a bit dramatic but this is something that has always bothered me) This isn't to say that people shouldn't fight for their rights and to change things, but returning hatred with hatred only breeds more hate.

Word.  As somebody's personal text on here says, 'An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.'