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Spread the Word to End the Word

March 31, 2009

*******UPDATE*******

I’ve decided to turn off the comments on this post. The discussions that began here can be finished offline (person to person, or via email), should any readers choose to do so. I am shutting off the comments NOT because some were in dissent of my own views, but rather because these discussions have outgrown this forum and can better be handled offline.

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Today is “Spread the Word to End the Word” Day.Β 

Want to know what it’s all about? Click here. And here. Or even here. I like this one, too. And one more.

Let’s be better. Let’s try harder. And let’s just knock it off.

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17 Comments
  1. Gramma GG permalink
    March 31, 2009 1:05 pm

    Agreed.

  2. April 1, 2009 9:18 am

    Huh, what happened to my post?

  3. April 1, 2009 9:28 am

    lol…this will be a hard rule to enforce when your President doesnt seem to care

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2009/03/obama_likens_his_bowling_game.html

    http://www.newsvine.com/_question/2009/03/20/2571003-were-you-offended-when-president-obama-compared-his-bad-bowling-to-the-special-olympics

    Frankly, I cannot stand President Obama or anything he stands for….and even when he said this…I didnt care.

    People need to stop being so over-sensative.

    Maybe we should stop using the words:
    Stupid, Pronk, Foolish, Dumb, Lazy, Nerd, Crazy, Wacky, Insane, Strange, Odd, Second-Rate, Last Place, Second Place, Little, Small, Tiny, Average, Bad, Criminal, Thief, Wrong…etc..etc..

    Any word that might ever offend someone…then we can pass out carebears and sing songs and hold hands.

    Sounds like fun…anyhoo…good seeing you on Sunday.
    Kentucky Signed John Calipari…woot woot…poor Memphis…they will stink now…wait…I mean they will be bad…wait…
    *thinks of a word that doesnt hurt someones feelings*

  4. April 1, 2009 9:30 am

    Oh, and…TIMMY!

  5. BCP permalink
    April 1, 2009 10:43 am

    I think when I post something that is opposite what this blog thinks it gets deleted. lol

  6. BCP permalink
    April 1, 2009 10:44 am

    Was fun reading the blog for awhile. But if people who disagree with you are going to get deleted…then you probably shouldnt open it up for comments.

  7. April 1, 2009 11:25 am

    Ben,
    When you post a comment with links, WordPress sends it to me for “approval”. I just got to the blog now and approved it, so the comment should be up.
    Amanda

  8. BCP permalink
    April 1, 2009 11:30 am

    Oh, wierd… I thought that…thats why I re-posted it without links and that one got deleted too. I think your blog just hates Ben…lol

  9. Scott permalink
    April 1, 2009 11:39 am

    I guess it sounds like someone else got offended…LOL.

    Interesting comment BP, however, I don’t think that your comment is quite in line with the post. From what I understand about the post is that it is a way to end the use of a word that has had negatvie connotations aligned with it. This post is not about being politically correct, but rather loving our neighbor as ourself. If there are people who are being hurt by something, shouldn’t we decide then to question ourselves about using that word. This specific group of people were created in the image of God, but most people don’t treat them that way. Their very identity has been tarnished and they are looked down upon because of how God made them. God didn’t make a mistake, people did. We first started labeling people with mental challenges as retarted, but the word has morphed into a slang put-down that is used all over the place.

    I agree that we need to stop worrying about being politically correct, but for different reasons. We need to start thinking about loving others they we would want to be loved. The list of words above are not words that are challenging a person’s being and therefore this is like comparing apples to oranges.

    To wrap up, this post is about people, not being politically correct. If I were hurt by what someone was calling me (not offended, but hurt), I would want others to walk alongside me and be my support in stopping that hurt.

    For this reason, I am going to do my best to stop using this word as it doesn’t need to be used.

    Scott

  10. BCP permalink
    April 1, 2009 12:03 pm

    Interestering…

    But Nerds, Dumb, Odd, Strange, Crazy, Bad are indeed comparing apples to apples.

    People cant help if they are created kind of nerdy, if they are created dumb, if they are created Strange or Odd or if they are created bad at sports.

    So by your explanation, we should never use those words or it will directly affect the person who was created that way.

    One of amanda’s links for this article was to a Special Olympic support. Which is exactly what Obama mocked….as a joke.

    Of course, these same over-sensative people complained FORCING a stupid apology from Obama.

    I think everyone on this planet knows when not to use the word.
    Example: I call you a retard for not passing me the ball in basketball. I dont say it in front of an actual mentally handicapped person because that would be offensive.

    You can say that my examples arent the same… but they are. If a person is born tiny…they might take offense to the word when used to describe someone.

    You can only know a persons heart…and if you dont know the person who used the word “retarded” then you probably arent in any position to question them…and if you do know them….then you know if they are/arent a hurtful person.

    When I call you retarded for not passing me the ball…you know full well it is a joke and that no feelings are meant to be hurt and that I wouldnt say it in front of a person who is actually mentally challenged.

    This entire planet has become so politcally correct its disgusting…
    You can no longer say Molado…as “mixed” is now prefferred.
    You can no longer say retarded…as “special” is now prefferred.
    You can no longer say midget/tiny…as “little people” is now prefferred.
    You can no longer spank your kids as its “abuse”

    Who decides what is appropriate and what isnt?
    Because frankly, if its as easy as this is being made out to be…
    I think I am going to start taking offense to people calling me “Big Ben”

    Because maybe they are saying I am fat. Which hurts my wimpy feelings.
    Maybe I have no backbone whatsoever and everytime someone hurts my feelings I can shout to the mountain tops and then go find the nearest lawyer and sue someone.

    I totally understand your point about loving others…but thats not what this is about. Maybe thats Amanda’s point…but thats not the worldview point.
    Maybe I should get offended that you have a different viewpoint of the word retarded than me.

    Maybe we shouldnt even be a free country….because it opens up too much you know…actual free speech.

  11. Scott permalink
    April 1, 2009 12:20 pm

    Good thoughts. There’s a lot of truth in a lot of your statements, and I agree with many of them. I don’t have time to mention them or the areas where I disagree, but there are some areas. I’ll mention just as couple.

    Your comments about nerds, dumb, etc. is received. I do understand that. However, someone is not exactly created a nerd, but is influenced by surroundings, environment. People who are special or challenged mentally were born with that, as someone is not necessarily born a nerd. I guess that’s where I differ.

    I will challenge you to study the history of the use of these words that you bring up…especially “mulatto” and “little people” and “special” and see why people don’t want to use those words. Mulatto is actually a reference to a donkey. I wouldn’t want to be called that either. While I agree with you still that many people are too p.c., we as followers of Jesus cannot expect all people to live like that. Also, if we are talking about this as free speech, I will not participate in it. Other people can, but I won’t, and that’s my choice to do that. God tells us again to treat others the way we would want to be treated, and that’s what I want to do.

    If individuals I know are offended, I will try not to speak a certain word. If they are not, I will still try.

    Again, I encourage everyone reading to study the history of the use of some of these words and see why it is that people don’t want to be called a certain thing. That’s all for now.

  12. BCP permalink
    April 1, 2009 2:20 pm

    I completely agree with that God wants us to treat people with kindness and to always avoid hurt whenever possible.

    But I also think God has an incredible sense of humor. I dont think He is the kind of God who wants us to spend our life worrying what someone always thinks about what we say.

    Frankly, that would be hard considering we are people who spend our lives basically preaching something that we get made fun of for on a daily basis.

    As for the words and their meanings…many words used today have several meanings.

    I dont know anyone on the planet who when describing someone as Molado..thought…”donkey”. I also dont believe that you really think people saying “is he Molado” are actually saying “is he a donkey?”.

    The English language has several definitions to many, many words.
    Take something like the word “Steal”.

    Stealing is a sin and yet we use the word to describe someone who just went to 2nd base while the pitcher was throwing a pitch. Are we insulting the base runner?
    “He stole the show”…am I saying someone actually physically stole something or did he just garner all the attention?

    How do we know what someone really means? We know, because we know situations and we know stealing a base is just baseball. But its still a very negative word that we use on a daily basis in something as simple as baseball.

    Is it wrong? No…because we all know what the person means.

    Just like when I say “the Presidents Economic plan is retarded.”
    Not one person who is being honest thinks for one minute that I was actually implying the President is retarded or that anyone is for that matter.
    Not one person being honest can say that I meant anything other then:
    “The Presidents economic plan is not good”

    So your response might be…”well, then you should say it just like that”
    To which I say…”why?”
    No one was being aimed at for hurt.
    Why does everyone have to speak in a term/manor that other people like?

    Like I said…what if I found the word “Big” offensive?
    Does that give me a right to start a massive campaign to get the whole world to spread the word to avoid the word?

    Also, you say you are staying out of it if its about free speech..thats odd. Because without free speech you wouldnt be able to even worship our Lord and Savior without persecution. Free Speech is a very big deal and SHOULD come into play in this discussion.

    I leave you with this thought…if you are so worried about everytime someone gets offended…then you probably shouldnt ever talk about heaven or hell again. As non Christians dont exactly take it smiling when you tell them that without accepting Jesus as their Savior they are going to hell.

  13. Scott permalink
    April 1, 2009 2:32 pm

    I am thankful for free speech, yet free speech is also the thing that many Christians enjoy until they are offended by something someone says. Then, Christians get mad too. It works both ways often.

    The gospel is definitely offensive to some, and the gospel is the thing worth dying for.

    My point about free speech is that many places in Scripture talk about putting off the type of speech that has bitterness, malice, etc. There is also a verse in Galatians or Ephesians that talks about language that most interpret as coarse joking that shouldn’t be talked about. So, what I am trying to say is that free speech at all costs is not Biblical when we are told that there are things we shouldn’t talk about.

  14. BCP permalink
    April 1, 2009 2:49 pm

    Ahhh, I see what you are saying…but where does one draw the line at what causes bitterness or malice?

    Also, telling people they will go to hell will make them biiter and full of malice.

    Are you saying the only speech that causes bitterness that is allowed is “you are going to hell without Christ”???

    Also, I have always interpretted those verses you mentioned as “speech that is meant to be bitter”

    In other words…if I said…”Scott, you are retarded” and I was looking at you with an angry face and I was serious..that would be a big “no, no”

    But if I said it while laughing because I just stole the ball from you on a video game and dunked it with Lebron James it would be “ok”.

    Like I said. I dont think God is without humor and I dont think he would look at scenario 2 and think anything was wrong with it other then “maybe we shouldnt be wasting our time playing video games”.

  15. April 1, 2009 6:30 pm

    This is from Scott,

    I don’t know where one draws the line. It’s where we use discernment in certain situations. I am not saying that the only speech that causes bitterness that is allowed is what you wrote. My hope is that nothing I would say would cause bitterness. However, the reality is that it will. What I am saying is the gospel is worth dying for and take that as you may.

    To your scenario about using the word “retarded”, I just think neither should be used. I do think God has a sense of humor, but I don’t think this is one of those things that he laughs about. You may disagree, but that’s just the way I feel.

    Although I brought up the bitterness and malice verse; the verse I’m referring to actually has to do with coarse language and joking around. I just can’t remember what it is.

    I think this is my last word on the subject. Sometimes it’s hard to write exactly what I want to say, but I hope it comes across as helpful.

    Again,

    from Scott

  16. Tony Probasco permalink
    April 2, 2009 9:31 am

    Hi, I am a friend of Scott and Amanda’s and I work for a company called Kaposia. Our whole company exists to advicate for and assist individuals with disabilities in working and participation in their communities. Now you may notice the way that I refered to our clients as “individuals with disabilites”, not “retarted people,” not “disabled peopled,” or even “the challenged.” It is what my company refers to as people first language. Simply meaning that we show value for a person as a person before any lable.
    The word retard or retarted is a word that was created by those without a mental disability to lable those with, and has since digressed into a common day insult that implies someones whose abilities are so far bellow your own that it is comical or repulsive. Now if you are a person with a disability and you find no personal offence in being socially labled as such, then that is your perogative. But as I mentioned, I work every day with people who do have a disability and who have voiced many many times that this word is offensive and that they resent being called it or hearing others mocked with a labled that refers back at them (whether it is intended or not).
    The historical social, emotional, and physical degradation that has been tied to the R-word is what has given it shuch negative power. And why this campaign of social awareness has arrisen. It is about respecting the voice of the less powerful, and that voice is clearly to please wake up and acknowledge the pain that that word brings; whether it is used to degrade, humiliate, tease, joke, or in just plain ignorence. So please respect their voice in trying to stop the use of this word. Thanks

  17. BCP permalink
    April 2, 2009 10:24 am

    I fully respect what you do and I commend you for donating your time and energy to help them with their disabilities.

    But we all know I am not talking about people who use the word anywhere in the vicinity of them…we also know I am not talking about people who are actually thinking anything like a disability when they use it.

    Like I said, I agree that no such language should be used around anyone with a disability…and I agree that no such langauge should be used with people who dont want to hear it. Which is why if someone says to me “Please dont say that word to me”…I would stop…but I might also get up right there and get in my car and drive away.

    If I am with my friends, I want to be able to be myself…if I cant…then I probably shouldnt hang with that friend.

    True friends know a persons heart and they know what manor the person meant the word.

    But I personally think its rather arrogant to expect everyone to talk and speak the way you want them too.

    People need to learn to trust people to be smart enough to know when its appropriate and when its not.

    Just because one group of people is saying they want it to stop doesnt mean it should have to be stopped. If that were true..then there is alot of slippery slopes I could bring up (that I wouldnt on this blog) that would be very opposite what the Bible tells us.

    One small example I will go into is:
    Much like I said earlier…whether you or Scott would ever admit it or not is besides the point…people are indeed born dumb, unathletic, stupid, tiny, slow, simple or just plain odd.

    If you want to outlaw the word retarded, then every other word should be outlawed.

    The English langauge is considered the hardest language to learn not because its hard to say or use…its the hardest because it has the most words with multiple definitions. “Retarded” is another way of saying “thats stupid” in the realm I am in.

    Since you bring up realms we come from…I coach basketball…which is a term that is used by every player I have ever coached for the last 9 years…its just common slang…no harm meant by it…and its definition is not what you imply.

    In this country…what gives one group of individuals the right to decide what words are acceptable and what words are deemed hurtful?

    I can pretty much guarantee you that several words you might use I would find offensive. But I wont/wouldnt point it out that I find it offensive.

    You want another example?

    This “going green” movement that ALOT of Americans are on…I hate it and I think its ridiculous…much like Global Warming.
    But I dont say anything because its a personal view someone else has.and thats fine…and I know they dont intend to annoy me with it.

    Much like anyone who knows me…knows I mean nothing personal when I say “that was retarded”

    I know myself, I will continue to use the word…because I know what I mean when I say it…God knows my heart.

    FYI…I am offended by the word caucasian…but you would never know that unless I screamed from the mountain tops about it.

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