Not long ago, on my food blog, I wrote about the misuse of food terms, and explained why things such as "eggless mayo" and "beefless burgers" are logical impossibilities. Not long after I wrote about the misuse of food terms, I was reminded of our rampant misuse of ideological terms.
I was at a dinner party when the conversation became about an individual who doesn't approve of same sex marriage. One guest said, "Well, she's a Christian," and everybody nodded in understanding. They were using "Christian" as a synonym for "intolerant."
Surely, there's precedent for such an equivalence. Jews were tortured by the church during the inquisition, the Confederacy sited scripture to justify slavery, and Governor Wallace tried to use the Bible to justify Jim Crow laws.
All that being true, there are plenty of Christians who are not intolerant of minorities. I'M ONE OF THEM! My Bible study is full of them. Christ himself was tolerant of others; John 4 verses 7 thru 10 says, "7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, 'Will you give me a drink?' 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, 'You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink? (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'" He accepted and respected everyody.
Now before I get too uppity, I have to confess to using the word "Republican" to mean "bigot." That's not fair either. Yes, there is the extreme fringe of the Republican party who wants to outlaw same sex marriage, undo the Voter Right Act, and build a wall across the southern border of Texas.
Yet, there are many republicans who; believe in smaller government, believe in zero tolerance for crime and drug abuse, believe in a strong national security, and believe in putting people to work instead of giving them government handouts; who don't believe in making America into a heterosexual white men's club.
Of course, these days if you really want to slur someone you simply have to call them a "Muslim." People will argue over whether Obama is a Muslim. Rather than proving he's not a Muslim, which is easy to prove by the way, educated people should be pointing out that being a Muslim isn't a bad thing.
The five pillars of Islam are the declaration of faith, prayer, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage. Our enemies, Al-Qaeda and ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) have as much to do with the legitimate Islamic Faith as members of the KKK have to do with Christianity.
Finally, we come to my favorite. There are individuals who will earnestly rail against "those Communist Nazis." Communists are an extreme liberal faction who believe people should be 100% equal, even if it means outlawing religion to create an artificially level playing field. Nazis are an extreme conservative faction who believe in the absolute superiority of a single race, based on a twisted view of religion.
In the U.S.A. we're allowed to say anything we want, but wouldn't it be nice if we used the correct terms when we do?