The Wasatch Behind: Changing the name to change the meaning
I was very much impressed by an e-mail message that was being sent around the country last month. It allegedly stems from an incident at the Kansas state legislature and was featured on Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" program.
It seems that Minister Joe Wright of the Central Christian Church was asked to open a new session of the Kansas State Legislature with prayer. As the assembly gathered, they expected the usual platitudes and generalities, and they were shocked by his invocation. Here is what he said.
"Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know your word says, 'Wo unto those who call evil good.'
But that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed out values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it free expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, God, and know our hearts today. Cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen.
The prayer did not go over well in the hallowed halls of government. It is said that several members of the Kansas State Legislature walked out in protest.
In my humble opinion, Reverend Wright hit a home run with the things he said. We often disguise the true meaning of things by using another term. The following are a few more examples.
We have accepted evil and called it tolerance.
We have accepted sin and called it being non-judgmental.
We have accepted perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.
We have accepted immorality and called it sexual liberation.
We have shunned responsibility and called it freedom.
We have allowed child predators a second chance and called it rehabilitation.
We have desecrated the symbols of Christianity and called it art.
We have promoted the ethnic fracturing of our society and called it diversity.
We have embraced diversity and called it strength.
We have taken land from citizens and given it to developers and called it eminent domain.
We have taxed our citizens grievously and then given free services and benefits to illegal aliens and called it being charitable.
We have forsaken marriage vows and called it domestic partnerships.
We have allowed children to live in untenable home situations and called it non-traditional families.
We have created a culture dependent on welfare and called it a war on poverty.
We have lowered standards in our schools and called it academic equality.
We have abandoned equal justice under the law and called it hate crimes legislation.
We have allowed television to nurture our children and called it entertainment.
We have become a bilingual nation and called it accommodation.
We have promoted abortion and called it family planning.
We have worshiped dirt and called it environmentalism.
We have forsaken Sunday worship for the worship of Sunday.
We have worshiped the God of self and called it being successful.
We need more people like Reverend Wright who have the courage to tell the truth and call things by their real names. If something needs to be "sanitized" by giving it a new and creative title, chances are good that it is very dirty.