The Hidden Cost Of Being ‘PC’

Written by Allan Erickson on July 20, 2017

Surfing LinkedIn, this article (“Millennials want everyone to know these 5 things about political correctness — which older generations don’t understand”) caught the eye. It is good reading others’ perspectives. It’s a good way to broaden one’s viewpoint, and scrutinize it for error. It is also a way to test and confirm standing opinion. In this case, on the subject of political correctness and millennials, more was confirmed than broadened.

The author makes an effort to inform older readers that PC language is not censorship, rather, it is an invitation to confront prejudice and practice good manners. He promotes “inclusive language” to advance the cause of “productive conversation” wherein no one’s “personhood” is threatened. The clear implication: those who do not buy in are exclusive, unproductive, prone to prejudice, a threat to personhood.

Take this statement for instance:

“Prejudice means possessing strong unfavorable opinions about a person based on their demographics and cultural affiliations.”

Apparently the great sin is having a strong opinion and causing offense.

In this environment, a logical, fact-based opinion is simply wrong if it causes “offense”. Hence the mass psychology of confusion throughout society today.

Being politically correct has become more important that being factually, logically coherent.

To illustrate the point, take the case of a Nazi. He tells you he hates Jews and Americans. He tells you he wants to kill Jews and Americans, especially Jewish Americans. Is one being prejudicial to “possess strong unfavorable opinions” about this Nazi “based on (his) demographic and cultural affiliations”? How about taking him at his word, as do most Christians, Buddhists, Hindus and Jews when ISIS shows up promising mayhem?

Or consider Christ, seen by many as the personification of Truth. Consider his teaching in Mark 7:11–
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Strong words, no doubt offensive to many, but true. Strong words may hurt feelings, but if hurt is required to achieve understanding, is it better to avoid hurt and remain in darkness?

Feelings are terrible guides. Feelings do not detect and confirm truth, nor do they detect and refute error. Feelings are all over the map, within an individual, and certainly within a group.

When feelings become more important that facts we become intellectually flaccid.

When we shrink from truth because it is difficult or painful to embrace, we become intellectually and morally weak, soft, pliable and therefore useless. If everyone walks around on egg shells, primarily fearful of causing offense rather than courageously seeking Truth, we become quail, flighty, fearful, frantic.

The author goes on to argue that PC thinking is about showing respect, about being mostly concerned about global citizenship, about being morally superior and ethically oriented. You see, globalists are superior because they care about all of humanity, not just the narrow and selfish interests of nationalists. (Notice another implication: patriots are inferior and immoral.)

One might turn the tables and claim to be offended by the suggestion that millennials are morally superior to the rest of us because they are globally concerned whereas mere nationalists like us are selfish and rude and trigger happy . . . but that would hurtful, prejudicial disrespectful, even if true.

See how rapidly this entire exercise becomes a farce?

The reason many people have taken to calling millennials snowflakes is because they drift in looking and sounding wonderful but soon melt under the heat of scrutiny.

The worst part: PC thinking, often imposed with threats, enforces a system of moral relativism. It demands that you accept everything and everyone–for to do otherwise is hurtful and prejudicial. Under this system you are not allowed to discriminate between good and evil because it’s supposedly all good, so long as no one experiences hurt feelings, so long as everyone feels safe.

But have you noticed, in such a system, those holding to absolute moral precepts are the people discriminated against? Jews and the Christians are condemned for holding to traditional values, yet the values of Jihadists, Nazis, Communists and Secular Humanists are embraced even when they play out in atrocities. Right becomes wrong, wrong becomes right, truth yields to emotion, and politically correct language and behavior become man-made gods.

Thus, by embracing moral relativism, emotionalism and PC thinking and language, millennials actually achieve the opposite of what they seek, becoming agents of the very disrespect they claim to oppose. Frantic to avoid offense they allow the most offensive among us to rule the day.

A sobering truth: moral relativism and man playing god drove dictators to kill one hundred million people last century.

You’d think we’d learn that good manners derive from fearing God, not feelings.

photo credit: Excerpted from: dno1967b via photopin (license)

Share if you hope this lesson will penetrate the noggins of the advocates of political correctness.

Allan Erickson
Allan Erickson---Christian, husband, father, journalist, businessman, screenwriter, and author of The Cross & the Constitution in the Age of Incoherence, Tate Publishing, 2012.