Dirty words

“You’re not going to throw the term ‘liberal’ at me as a dirty word, liberals brought an end to slavery, the vote for women, for blacks, led the civil rights movement… I will wear it as a badge of honour” 

Stirring stuff from the West Wing (Can you tell i’ve been watching it a lot).

Dirty words – words which have become tarnished, have become derogatory terms. Don Millar is on to something when he talks about christianity being one of thse terms or words that he doesn’t really want to associate with in ‘Blue like Jazz’. Now before you dismiss him as  a heretic, read on. What do people mean when they use the term? Too often they are talking about a religion that was involved in the crusades, that people in Ireland fight over, that is intolerant and narrow minded.

Miller doesn’t want to be associated with these things but instead wants to be known as a follower of Christ  – a phrase which doesn’t carry the same baggage with it. I understand where he’s coming from. There are lots of phrases which have lost their meaning or we use which have several connotations. I’ll maybe start a wee series of blogs looking at some of them.

Going back to the West Wing we do have to be careful in the words we use about people We always want to label people, and often in doing so to write them off. we need to remember that the people we are writing off with the derogatory labels we give to assert our superiority (and mask our insecurity?) are people created in the image of God, and when we demean them we demean what He has created, and God himself.

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