Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Abolition of Man - Excerpts from an Interview

I love words and language and writing.
I even love letters; the shape and form...

After listening to this radio interview [below] a few days ago [which someone suggested to me], the information has been haunting my thoughts. It is so disturbing to me that we pass over the seriousness of what is happening before us and glaze it over – whether we recognize that this is what we are doing or not – with a nicer word, or a softer meaning. Or just the opposite – we infuse a word with meaning it does not hold, and infiltrate what should be innocently perceived with an implication of the polar extreme.

Many of the thoughts below have concerned my mind for years - this twisting of words and meanings. Now, the subject of abortion and homosexuality are addressed in this interview, and if you haven't already had a conversation [or read my thoughts] about these topics, I'm happy to talk about them with you if you'd like. If you have already, you know that my perspective and attitude is not one of condemnation. If you've had an abortion, I don't want you to think that I have written you off as "evil". However, we have to talk about the reality of what is being done. We manipulate definitions and meanings to comply with our purpose, and I say this gently - but with certain conviction – this manipulation of language is wrong, friends.

We use terms like "War on Women". I appreciate hyperbole, but let's clear things up a little, shall we? Who’s been in a war lately? Do you see masses of women being gunned down in America? No? Oh yeah. That’s because the war is not, in fact, on women. The war is on the innocent and helpless children we carry who are being brutally destroyed in alarming callousness and breathtaking numbers.

I feel as though I’m living in the tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes. We are all so afraid of possibly offending someone that we just nod and pretend not to see what is just so very clear. Please, someone…just call naked, ‘naked’.  It’s naked. Our arguments and our justifications are naked. There’s nothing there. We skirt around the issue, we call it something new, we re-direct the heat of the debate – but look me in the eye and tell me it’s okay to kill your baby. Listen to their heartbeat, watch their movement – see life begin and grow and form – and tell me that it is not life. All the other issues are secondary to the big issue. Is it naked or not? Are we destroying human lives? I’m not saying or even suggesting that there are no valid concerns and agonizingly difficult circumstances and situations that women are faced with – and I’m not minimizing these. But the real core question we have to answer is the question of life. Instead, we stare mute at the bare Emperor. Not only do we not call ‘naked’ what it is, we also allow ourselves to be stripped down, so as not to “appear ignorant”. I don’t say this to shame anyone, but to encourage us all to speak up. Be the little kid who questions, “Why is the Emperor naked?” To which the whole crowd gasps in half-sincere horror, “Did he say, ‘naked’?!”  

Where is the truth? Even the word “church” is misleading, I think. We don’t GO to church, Christian, we ARE the church. Entertaining “Christian” music is not “worship”.  And it is NOT a Bible study if you are studying Beth Moore. [It’s a Beth Moore study…just sayin’.]

Words like "tolerance", "hate", "bigotry" - are all so very often misused. Another word: "judge" ["judgment", "judging"...], is also spoken with blurred meaning. "Committed" and "commitment" have little value left, it seems. We are often in a "committed" relationship that we are unwilling to actually commit to.

Don’t get me started on “swear words”. Okay, actually, I have to say something here. It drives me crazy when I hear young girls call each other “bitch” or “whore”, in place of “friend”. And the term “pimp” should never be used to describe anything attractive or glamorous.

I digress. The point is: language is valuable. Words mean something. Not only should words be spoken thoughtfully, but truthfully.

Is it all just about spoken sound? It there really no deeper significance? As I consider all that is before us in this upcoming election, and the use of words that surround debates and campaigns and conversations, I cannot help but to think that there is, in fact, profound significance to language and definition. Let’s not be so brilliant in our “forward thinking” that we neglect, to a devastating fault, the wisdom of history behind us. Let’s not forget the past and so let it again become our future. Let’s not ignore the insight of a 76-year-old man who has witnessed brutality that most of us have absolutely no true concept of. Why? Because men and women dedicated their lives and blood to our freedom.

Let’s not forget what freedom means – it’s not the right to do whatever we want to. It is the right to be free – to think, to speak , to live, to enjoy our liberty. We seem to think it is the right to impose our freedom on others. We throw out phrases like, “It’s a free country!” like bratty, careless, self-absorbed adolescents, who have no respect for the reality of what that freedom cost, or even means. We’re like children who grow to learn no sense of material value or financial concern, because our parents have always provided for us and we were never taught to appreciate their generosity – only in regard to freedom, not finance.

Now I’m way off topic. Words mean something. They are significant. Here’s a few bits from that radio discussion…

The Abolition of Man
[Excerpts from a radio interview with Uwe Siemon-Netto, a former war correspondent for German newspapers, by Chris Rosebrough]

Chris Rosebrough:

You need to understand the fundamental problem that’s going on here…

Some people are going to just have, like, a conniption for me making this…drawing this connection; this parallel, but this parallel is historical and it’s factual.

It was the Nazis, it was the fascists who engaged in language deconstruction…who played all of these word games and they were taught how to do this…

And the Nazis employed it to diabolical ends; they were brilliant with language deconstruction.

We are literally having language stripped away from us and we don’t even perceive that that is what is happening. Words have meaning and they need to be discussed with those meanings attached to them - with all of the horrific consequences and logical conclusions that go with that language for very specific reasons, and when we lose language, we’re literally giving up the battlefield. You’re giving away the tools and the weapons that you need in order to fight for the truth when you give away language and meaning.

In the political discourse that’s been taking place in this country regarding particular issues, the words have been sanitized; the real issue is not being discussed because the language has been taken away from us.

You need to start wrapping your mind around what is really going on. We are on the fast track to a major catastrophe in civilization and we’re doing this to ourselves and what’s greasing the skids is our loss of language and the loss of being able to discuss things factually, correctly and truthfully using specific words that have particular meanings.

Uwe Siemon-Netto:

Let’s step back for a second. What is abortion? It is the willful destruction of human life. Life begins at conception. We know this: it’s scientifically true. We know that a new person grows in a mother’s womb…this person has a different DNA than the mother, it has all the information, all the genetic information – it’s a new person. I’m saying this is, of course, the equivalent of what has happened in Nazi Germany. Nazis didn’t start out killing Jews. They first of all killed handicapped people. The Nazis created a term, it’s: ‘life not worthy of living’. So, in other words, a human being – in this case, the Nazis: in the case of abortion, the mother, the doctors and the father, presumably – decide which life is worth living and which life is not.

We’re not talking theology. We’re talking fact here. This is historical.

The Nazis killed approximately 6 million Jews and then 500,000 gypsies in concentration camps in three, four years time. The United States alone, since Roe v. Wade, has killed 55 million people – children, innocent people, were killed. Why were they –are they – being killed? Because it wasn’t convenient – in more than 90% of all cases - it didn’t suit the parents to have a baby. It wasn’t convenient to carry out this pregnancy because obviously the child could have been brought up through adoption after birth, so therefore it’s not even an imposition on the mother other than she would have to carry out this pregnancy.

Okay, now let’s jump forward to this current campaign…

…we don’t call it abortion. We don’t call it what it is. But we call it a social issue! A social issue is when I go to a ball or a banquet whether I wear black tie or tails. That’s a social issue. It’s a social issue whether you affirm or deny affirmative action. These are social issues. Or how many weeks vacation you get. This [abortion] is not a social issue. This is an issue that pertains to none other than life and death and it is absolutely despicable that [political figures] talk about this as a “social issue”.


Words are being redefined and euphemisms are being put forward when we’re discussing these important issues. They’re being trivialized in such a way that words don’t mean anything and it’s as if both sides have kind of bought-in to this post-modern way of manipulating language and words in such a way as to obfuscate real meaning…


All these horrible words that Americans have introduced to the English language…
The destruction of human life – we don’t call this ‘destruction of human life’, we don’t even call it abortion anymore. We call it: choice. What’s a choice? Do I, as a growing baby in my mother’s womb, have a choice of being born or being slaughtered – and in ways that are the equivalent of the tortures suffered by people in the middle ages?? Absolutely wrong!  It is killing. Why don’t we call it? It is horrifying.


Calling abortion a ‘social issue’ – that utterly trivializes it. The way the word issue is kicked around, it just basically means, there’s something in your life that’s kinda making things…the results not exactly what you want it to be.  So now, abortion is an issue?! I mean, let me kinda put it starkly: no one discusses the holocaust as “an issue”.  And this, in the United States, - the systematic murdering of over 50 MILLION people is being discussed as, ‘an issue’.


And the ongoing murder of approximately 1.2 million people every year. …as an ‘issue’, which we can sideline for the sake of the economy. We are talking about a genocide here. Like those Germans, that I can remember after war, in their embarrassment over what happened, said, yeah, you know, it wasn’t very nice of Hitler to kill all those Jews, he was probably wrong doing it, BUT we have to remember he was good for the German economy or seemed good for the German economy… sidelining what really mattered: life.

That to me is frightening and I have very, very dark premonitions about where this is heading because, they’re not talking to their children about that… Truth has to be learned. We’re talking about ultimate truth. It’s true that I am 76 years old and living in California. That’s an ultimate truth. These truths have to be learned. Now, since schools don’t teach these truths anymore, since more and more parents no longer bring up their children in the truth and in telling the truth, we are in trouble. Now I must say…by saying ‘social issue’ they are already telling an untruth: it’s murder.


I think this is exactly what C.S. Lewis was writing about in his book, The Abolition of Man, which was written in 1943. He literally starts off the book talking about the importance of teaching English in school and gave examples of how people wrongly using English literally will end up unraveling society and leading to the abolition of man or what he calls, “men without chests”. It’s not that nothing good comes from language deconstruction, but historically, the worst atrocities committed against humanity have been done by people who have, as a fundamental working in their way of thinking, the right to just willy-nilly change language in order to blunt, shunt, and push away the truth. We need to be aware of this. Changing the meaning of words in order to subvert the truth - that’s the trick of the devil.