What does that mean?
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by Laramie Boyd
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I ran across an article on the web that talked about how interesting it was that the meanings
of words have changed lately. What some words mean today can be radically different from how they were once defined. Some of those
that immediately come to mind are "cool", "gay", even "straight", and if we think about it for a while, many more come to mind. Even
one of the all inclusive words, a word we suspect could never have a different meaning, Universe, ordinarily the scientific term for
"everything that exists", is coming under fire. In the scientific community, there is mention of "parallel" universes, or "identical"
universes where totally different laws of physics might exist, or where there might exist carbon copies of the events, places and
even of our lives. Apparently, some theorize that there might be more than one "place" where everything exists, which is hard to grasp
using the old definition.
Another area where words have been drastically re-defined is
in the political arena. There is a long list of these that make us wonder why their meanings have changed so, if not for some ulterior
political or religious or other reason that fits some personal agenda better.
For example, anything
that doesn't conform to certain agendas is called "extremism". Hoping to maintaining the traditional meaning of marriage is called
"homophobic" or "hateful". Protection of the unborn, or pro-life, is "sexist" or "anti-woman." Recognizing and wanting to keep the
existing spiritual roots of the nation is "religious intolerance."
The list grows. "Discrimination"
is not giving equally to minorities what they want while others pay for it. "Racist" is any disagreement with a particular viewpoint
towards some minority. "Rainbow" is used as a symbol for homosexuality or an agenda of "multiculturalism", or "diversity."
"Equality" has taken on a tone of giving equal value or authority to a person or group regardless of any skill, experience, or effort
to earn it. The word "tyranny" is seldom, if ever, used today, as it means oppressive power used by government. And if, as some feel,
this country was founded on the idea that government should play a minimal role in the daily lives of citizens, since the government
invades all walks of everyone's lives, the word tyranny would be treated as taboo."Liberalism" once meant a "hands -off " policy of
government, with citizens free to conduct themselves, as long as their actions did not infringe on the rights of others. That view
surely does not reflect the view of "liberals" today.
Is a "tax" money you give to
government if you don't buy health insurance? Is "poverty" the lack of an i-phone to use? Is an "evolving" viewpoint not being able
to make up one's mind? Is "fairness" only what would promote one's own plan?
used to mean free from arbitrary governmental control or oppressive restrictions. Whether America is truly a land of liberty, or not,
would depend on the definition of control and restrictions. Could anyone, even with limited vision, not see the restrictive, involved
role of government today? And as for "justice", whatever that means, does anyone really believe there is "liberty and justice for
all" provided by our government nowadays?