Language, Identity and the New Lexicon of the State

From Dystopia

Before I start this blogpost, I would just like to take this opportunity to tell you that I am a very important person. Does that sound a little haughty, a little un-English, a little immodest, a tad arrogant?

Well, it is none of those things to say that I am a very important person. In fact, every Catholic should acknowledge just what a terribly important person I am.

Why? Certainly not because of any merit of my own and most certainly not because I can sing and play the guitar at the same time (I didn't say well). No. In fact I am largely unemployed and prone to a degree of depression. But I am a very important person and I should like others to acknowledge it only because God clearly thought that I was such an important person that for me He became incarnate of the Virgin Mary and was made Man. For this reason, I know I am an important person and I should like even the State to acknowledge it.

You see. For me, did God assume flesh and blood. For me did the infinite and eternal God dwell on Earth for 33 years in an existence like ours for He was like us in all things save for sin. For me did He undergo a cruel and terrible rejection. For me did He carry the heavy Cross to Golgotha and for me did He die. For me did he destroy the power of Hell and open up the gates to Heaven. For me He rose on the third day and for me did He ascend to Heaven in His Risen and Glorious Body, so that I may follow after death to where He is now, with the Blessed Mother of God and all the Saints in the Blessed joy of Heaven. If, after God has done all that for me, you do not think I am a very important person, then I would say you are not a Catholic.

And if fame were to be something to be greatly desired then all the Faithful should rejoice sincerely for our names are not written across newspapers and magazines, but instead they are, we are told, 'written in Heaven' like the jet stream from red arrows flying across a hopefully blue London sky. Yes, the reality is that, to God, I am a very important person. Obviously, I'm not more important than anyone else, because all people are very important people in God's sight - Catholics and non-Catholics of every race, age, sexual orientation, ability and gender. In fact, not only are you and I so important that Jesus Christ should cross the threshold from Heaven to Earth and from Earth to Heaven, but you and I are so important that we are offered nothing less than union with God Himself, through Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. We are so important to God that He desires that even should we fall away from the love which unites we and He, then He Himself will forgive and renew us through Confession and make us worthy of Him. We are so important that God desires and wills to unite Himself to us and us to Himself. So important to Him are we that the same Jesus gives us His own Body and Blood so that we are given the power and the grace not to live as strangers or enemies of God, but as friends and disciples and lovers of God - not orphans as we perhaps once were - but adopted sons and daughters of the Triune God.

So, why would I say all this: for surely I am preaching to the converted? Surely every Catholic knows this and any potential atheist reader has stopped reading and gone elsewhere? Well, I say this because there is, as we know, a battle going on. It is not just a battle for our souls and the souls of our brothers and sisters inside the Church and outside of Her that we are used to. It is a battle for our very identity and it is becoming now a battle between the State and its allies on one side and, on the other, the Catholic Church and those with a measure of goodwill towards Her teaching in some matters, if not all - yes, even Protestants and, yes, even atheists. What is more, it is a battle which has been brewing for quite some time. So why is there a battle for our identity? Why should human identity be so important? Why should it become a battle ground or even a war?

Well, how we define ourselves, or how we allow others to define our selves pretty much defines and shapes how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us. In fact, it pretty much defines everything, even the laws that shape how we are governed. How we define ourselves and allow ourselves to be defined too defines whether we are free human beings or whether we will find that Orwell's vision of a society in which 'slavery is freedom' can morph into a terrifying reality. Orwell's dystopic vision is not of a society in which people are literally in chains working in gulags 24 hours a day while worshipping the State. The point is that the majority of people get and the State get along just fine. The State and most people are, in fact, in perfect harmony. The State, in fact, is more or less God to the people.

In every dystopic vison novel, the State plays a key role in ensuring that most people are contented for as long as people are necessary or productive. Of course, people needed persuading. People had to be convinced of the State's 'truths' in order to renounce their own liberty and give themselves to its service and for this Orwell cites the near constant stream of propaganda that the organs of the State spew forth onto its general populace - a populace which is near, if not totally, global. The message is that you are either in 'the Party' or you are not. If you are not, because you and the 'Party' are in disagreement, then for you, poor dear, the party is over. To enforce conventional State wisdom, Thought Police are required to counter subversive insurgency or bids for freedom of speech, thought and conscience. Entire 'Ministries' are established to oversee the dystopia with comic, if tragic, names, policies and outcomes and a key element in the victory of the State's propaganda machine is the new lexicon, which Orwell calls 'Newspeak'.

The overwhelming majority of the citizens presumably accept this new lexicon - this altering of words and changing of the meaning of words because they are repeated so often that even lies are accepted. Can we see this happening today? The answer is, as Obama fans often used to chant, 'Yes, we can!' Words and definitions are important since they are the method of delivery by which we understand concepts and ideas and the past 50 years has seen a staggeringly high number of alterations and redefinitions of words. And how very interesting it is that so many of the words and definitions which we used to use, over a period of time, came to either be changed or to mean something else or be reconstructed in ways which touch upon the definition, classification and reassignment of us - human beings.

Few plants, animals or invertebrae have been redefined, but we human beings and those issues that touch upon our very humanity and our perception of our humanity most definitely have. So just off the top of my head, here are a few examples: Unborn babies become fetuses. 'Gay' meant happy, joyful radiant, but now means homosexual. Illicit lovers or those living in sin were 'fornicators' but now they're 'partners'. Sodomy is 'gay love'. Drug addiction is 'substance misuse'. Abortion or 'termination' was once deemed to be child destruction in those less 'enlightened' times and both abortion and contraception are now aspects of 'family planning', 'reproductive freedom' or 'reproductive health', 'termination' and abortion after conception has failed can even become 'emergency contraception'. Even war and invasion is, with the UN, becoming a 'peace-keeping mission'. When the State invades a household and steals the children on grounds that can objectively be called dubious it is called 'removing children and placing them into "Care". Always, of course, it is 'in the best interest of the child'. I wonder, was 'sex education' ever called something else, like marriage preparation? A man who believes he is or wants to be a woman is 'trangender'. Who on earth first came up with the phrase 'mercy killing'? What is 'assisted dying' if it is not killing someone if with their consent? How could 'dignity' become associated with the very same idea?

In so many ways, I am sure you can think of more, words and definitions have been changed and, whether they sprang from any grassroots democratic movement originally, or not, the State has most certainly adopted all of these words and definitions that make up a new lexicon of human ideas because obviously it sees some great merit on advancing ideas about human beings and humanity which distort or cover up the previously, long-held  and established truth that they conveyed. I'm yet to be persuaded by any argument that posits that abortion is not murder, yet we are constantly bombarded by the idea that it is not because, fundamentally, the State and its allies simply refuse to recognise that a new human being in the womb could be attributed humanity. I'm yet to be persuaded by any argument that such a thing as 'gay or same sex marriage' could even exist because the word 'marriage' means the union of a man and a woman, members of the human race who are different, not the same. In order to argue for it, you have to change the meaning of the word itself which, personally, I think should not be allowed. I'd call the crime 'word destruction' but I'm not in any position of power. What the State says, apparently, is the way ahead - the great leap forward, indeed, and who am I, a backward simpleton who is yet to emerge from the 'dark ages' to understand the State's divine mandate to alter the meaning of words and cast their previous meanings into oblivion?

Except..except, I am a citizen, supposedly of the United Kingdom. I am a human being. First, before anything else I am a human being. I was a human being from the first moment of my conception in my mothers womb. I am just at a different stage of my 'being' than I was when I was 'being' in the womb. One day, by God's grace, I hope to be 'being' in Heaven united to God in the company of all the Holy Angels, the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints because I am also a Catholic. My second 'birth' was at my Baptism at which I was born into a new relationship with God. I hope and pray to God that after my death, I do not suffer the 'second death'. It is possible, though, because despite the fact that I am a very important person to God, I can refuse His love and friendship by turning away from Him through sin. That is because I am a sinner, one who has refused His love in the past and who still falls into sin, on occasion mortal, more often venial, but there by the Grace of God go I, or indeed, not. It just so happens that I have a condition which is now known as 'same-sex attraction'. I freely admit that I am sometimes attracted to members of the same sex as myself. I do not claim to know why this is so. What I have, I freely profess, is an inclination which constitutes an objective moral disorder because I am drawn to be attracted to members of the same sex, in a sexual way, which the law of nature near universally entirely contradicts. Is this my fault? No. It is a fallen World and I accept that because it is a fallen World, I am wounded by Original Sin. Does such a condition mean I could never be a Saint? No, it does not, for the Church proclaims that I am called to embrace the Cross and be close to Jesus and Mary.

So, why am I saying all this? Why am I preaching to the converted? I say this because I recognise that the language used in the above passage is offensive to many in the United Kingdom. It is offensive to the irreligious. It is offensive to the 'gay community' (as if all 'gays' are in the same 'community' - if only they were then the Churches would truly be full of redeemed and truly gay Catholics of Brighton, Manchester and Soho). It is offensive to those who believe that in order to be a true participant and citizen in the United Kingdom, one must abide by certain rules of language. However, I am a citizen of the United Kingdom and until it is declared otherwise or I am silenced, I am free to use this language, whether people are offended or not. I have a right to express my opinion. It just so happens that my opinion is in line with Catholic teaching. That is freedom of speech. I am also exercising freedom of religion. My freedom of conscience urges me on. My freedom of thought gives me inspiration. I also say these things because under the sight of Heaven above, I am allowed to identify myself in accordance with my beliefs, even were my beliefs not to be religiously motivated. I do not begrudge anyone who chooses to identify themselves as 'gay' or 'lesbian'. I have, in my past, idenfitied myself as such. What I do begrudge is growing trend for the language which I have used to be deemed either 'intolerable' or 'intolerant' by the State and its allies.

My point is this: Who gave the State the power to define which of its citizens uses the 'correct' language in the new lexicon and which of its citizens uses the 'incorrect' language? The Church's language is 'intolerant'. The State's language is 'tolerant', aside from the fact that its language and its actions are intolerant of those with beliefs that contradict its new and mighty authority. The authority which is granted to the State is given to it by God. The Church has authority from Almighty God to teach. The State has authority to govern, not to 'reeducate' people and stamp out their 'outdated' beliefs. Only totalitarian regimes do that. Why, I ask you, does the State have the authority suddenly to redefine words, meanings of words, human institutions that pre-date it and call any opposition to its agenda 'bigoted' and 'intolerant', but as soon as any dissent is raised to its style of governance, those people's rights to freedom of expression are questioned and they are painted as gross malefactors? What makes the State's view of 'truth' more valid or credible than the Truth proclaimed by the Holy Church of God? The State's message is not more credible or valid, it is simply different to that of the Church and apparently more popular than that of the Church.  It has been made popular by years and years of media-channelled secular-atheist-liberal propaganda aimed at the lowest and basest aspects of our human nature. Yet, the power of that propaganda means that in just half a century we have experiened:

The redefinition of human persons - who is and who is not, the redefinition of marriage, the redefinition of child murder, the redefinition of war, the redefinition of the destruction of family life, the redefinition of human identity along purely sexual lines, the redefinition of unnatural sexual relations, even unions, the redefinition of sex outside of marriage, the redefinition of 'equality', of 'fairness' of 'tolerance', the redefinition of the killing of the vulnerable, weak and sick, the redefinition of even 'welfare', of 'planning to have a family/family planning' and, with the advent of IVF, the redefinition of human reproduction itself. Truly, this is a veritable brave new world and these redefinitions have altered, in the popular imagination, society's view of so much that touches on our humanity.

That nearly all of this is readily sanctioned and endorsed by the State is terrifying, not because the State has merely abandoned the God of Christianity, but because the only State that does all these things in the name of a new 'progressive' vision of mankind brought under its unyielding power is the State that believes that, far from being some kind of 'shadow' of God on Earth, it is, indeed God! A god that demands loyalty, obedience, fear and while it cannot yet elicit love, unquestioning approval and nearly totally passive, indifferent electorate. Now that so few men actually believe, 'being God is a dirty job, but hey, someone's got to do it'. Best leave it to the State, eh? Because with CCTV and modern technology, its becoming 'omnipresent' and fast. But first, all the opposition must be crushed since two infallible, mutually contradictory versions of the truth can never happily co-exist.

The Almighty God, because of all that He has done for me, gives me an identity which makes the State's and its notorious allies' 'official version' look cheap, vulgar, insulting, patronising, dehumanising, demeaning, undignified and crass. I may be a man with same-sex attraction. I am certainly gay. I may be a sinner. But, I'm Laurence England and as things stand I am a free man. I am a child of God. I am raised to a dignity which no man can ever take away from me and who knows, maybe one day, I and others like me, we, yes we may be Saints, because those who stand against the tyranny of relativism and the creed of liberalism and the State that extols the virtues of both, may yet be honoured with a new and glorious title: the enemies of the State. Oh, what a wonderful time it is to be a Catholic in the United Kingdom, but, that said, it looks like Protestants and even some atheists should prepare for Room 101 as well. That should make for an interesting prison chat!

And why would we be there? Because we hold that we are very important people - as important as those meeting in Chantilly, Virginia, making 'global governance' decisions which will affect us. We would be in a cell for holding the view that we are very important people, that the elderly are very important people, that the unborn children are very important people, that the mentally ill, the poor, the crippled, the lame are very important people, that Tony Nicklinson is a very important person, that our freedom and liberty of speech, conscience and thought is important, the Ls, the Gs, the Bs and the Ts too because we are very important to God since His Death and Resurrection was for all mankind even if only 'the many' would apply its merits to themselves!

By the way,  as a footnote, I see that the BBC report on Turkey and the Prime Minister's attack on abortion failed to mention his personal assessment of the practice as a tool of population control. The BBC report only mentions that he worries that the population is declining. Funny that. I wonder: Why would the BBC not report what he actually said? After all, the UN has never had any problem with encouraging 'population control' while simultaeneously advocating 'reproductive healthcare' for countries across the globe. Why are the BBC so coy about it?

Comments

umblepie said…
Another excellent post.
Your thinking is Catholic, clear,and honest, and your writing emulates this in a most humble way.Thank you.
Amfortas said…
I've been critical of some of your posts and I cannot claim to be a fan of your music (love the words but not the combination of the words and music!). And I think some of your posts are just too long to get a clear point across. But I want to take my hat off to you for this post. It is brave, moving, authentic and speaks the truth. Good on you! And thank you!