Political Correctness vs Truth
The following post is adapted from my personal academic coursework.
Christianity is often juxtaposed against political correctness in the corporate sphere. Arnestad states that: “Political correctness typically means avoiding forms of expression or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against. This form of expressive restraint is often considered an implicit social convention within a given community.” Arnestad’s statement portrays political correctness as a helpful and seemingly innocuous practice. However true that may have been at one point in time, I think that the average American’s honeymoon with political correctness is very much over.
Due in large part to my age and the circumstances of my life, I have successfully avoided having to deal much with political correctness. From my perspective, the shift toward everything being politically correct began in my adolescence. At first, it was an entertaining activity where one would use the term “challenged” to describe people’s shortcomings. For instance. someone with bad breath might earn the moniker “fresh challenged.” Obviously, it was not something we took very seriously. When I graduated from high school, I enlisted and served seven years in the United States Marine Corps, an organization which at the time was not overly concerned with this civilian fad. By the time I returned to the civilian world, I was beyond the point in my life where I cared much about what others thought of my opinions. Consequently, I have developed what I affectionately refer to as “a bad habit of saying what I mean.”
However, as I have watched political correctness grow as a movement, it has become obvious to me that it is not helpful, innocuous, humorous, or a fad. Political correctness is part of an orchestrated attempt to transfer power from traditional institutions to progressive ones. This intentional weakening of all things traditional is most evident in the attempted silencing of churches proclaiming biblical viewpoints that do not adhere to politically correct expectations. Political correctness attempts to promote lies (i.e. statements contrary to biblical truth) that feel good while silencing truths that some may find offensive. In doing so, it aims—perhaps unintentionally—to become a substitute for the comfort, love, and peace of God.
While we may not know the full impact of political correctness for another half-century or so, the short-term effects have been disastrous. We now live in a society largely devoid of truth and honesty. The lack of communication has led to bitterness, division, and frustration from all sides. Furthermore, it has led to the widely-held corporate expectation that everything said must be politically correct, regardless of one’s personal principles.
To that end, I think that believers should begin to move away from political correctness, increase their “hunger and thirst for righteousness” (Matthew 5:6), and grow in their desire to share God’s unadulterated truth with others. While I fully support the equity and inclusion which Arnestad espouses, I believe the means to achieve these outcomes is through Jesus and His Church, not the “golden calf” of political correctness. Scripture offers a better alternative to political correctness in Proverbs 8:6-9: “Listen, for I will speak of excellent things, and from the opening of my lips will come right things, for my mouth will speak truth. Wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are with righteousness; nothing crooked or perverse is in them. They are all plain to him who understands and right to those who find knowledge.”
Arnestad, M. N. (2019). Politically incorrect statements do not make leaders seem more trustworthy: Randomized experiments exploring the perceptual consequences of political incorrectness. Management Communication Quarterly, 33(3) 363-387. https://doi.org/10.1177/0893318919839787
Holy Bible, New King James Version. (2020). Thomas Nelson (Original work published 1982).