I didn’t understand the importance of words until I joined the Howe family. I was an English major in college yet a neophyte at real world application. I thought I was a Democrat until I met my husband. I was told many things about the Democrat party (and the Republican party – or rather, the dark side) while growing up. What I wasn’t told was the difference between literal and figurative speech.
My father-in-law, one of the smartest men I have ever known, has studied language his entire career. He studies the Bible and reads it from it’s original language of Hebrew to our present day language. The objective is to ensure that the original intent of each word has remained intact through time and language; which it has. Through my time in a family that values each word one chooses to use I have learned that language is extremely powerful.
“That’s not what I meant.” “Then what did you mean?” “You know what I meant!” “That’s not what you said.” And so the argument goes. As a recovering Democrat I struggle almost daily with actually saying what I mean to say. I was lead to believe that the actual words used were not important as long as the general message got across. What’s worse is that the people who conveyed that the overall message was of greater value than the words used to get there actually understood the value of carefully considered wording. They’ve continued to play the language game; only now they’ve said too much and, ironically, with a 2000+ page bill their lies are becoming… what’s that word? Transparent.
In 2001, then Senator Barack Obama used language to repeatedly stop efforts to protect infants being murdered after being born alive. He was the only one to refuse to pass the bill because the language wasn’t precise enough for him. He valued words over human life. His attention to language and the intentional use of it does not go unnoticed today.
The Obama administration has attempted to rename every hurdle they have come across since taking office and abortion is no exception. With such a remarkable history of protecting murder, Barack Obama knew before he even swore his oath to protect that the word “abortion” would have to go away. With the reversal of the “Mexico City Policy” shortly after he took office, Obama welcomed in the term “family planning” to confuse the issue. One would think family planning denotes planning a family, but it’s actually quite the opposite when spoken by Obama.
Today we find “family planning” again in the health care bill that we have been repeatedly assured does not cover abortion. Well, it doesn’t, it covers “family planning” that will be provided in Community Health Centers. The centers are funded within the health care bill so that “family planning” doesn’t receive federal funding previously barred from such activity. In other words, new money will go to the Community Health Centers because the U.S. has this bothersome history of not federally funding abortions.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, has said the current Senate bill that Obama and Democrats are promoting through reconciliation, “would result in direct federal funding of abortion through Community Health Centers, tax subsidies for private abortion plans that cover abortion (including some federally administered plans), and pro-abortion federal administrative mandates, among other problems.”
Luckily, it appears some Democrats may stand with pro-lifers against the language of lies. Bart Stupak (D-MI) is leading the charge that may put an end to Obamacare. Twelve Democrats in all have pledged to vote against the health care bill if it’s abortion language remains unchanged. In a twist that proves who’s really in charge, all the health care drama is playing out during the 40 Days For Life campaign; in which thousands across America are praying in front of abortion facilities. How fitting it is that the voices that never got a vote will be the ones to speak for us all.
In an administration pursuing an overseas contingency operation to ostensibly avert man-caused disasters, word replacement therapy has almost certainly just begun. In the words of the master wordsmith, Bill Clinton, ‘it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” If we didn’t learn our language lesson then, we must certainly learn it now. Otherwise, we face falling into…ahem…pragmatism.