Labels and Speech Control

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

This article is written for biblical creationists, so it is not going to be presenting evidence refuting common-ancestor evolution and affirming creation. That will resume tomorrow. Instead, I want to try to make an impact on creationists, and help motivate you — them — us to stand for God's Word, true science, and especially biblical authority. Genesis is foundational to all major Christian doctrines, and we can't be compromising on the truth.

While some labels are useful, people are afraid of being labeled in negative ways. These are manipulative, and even ways to control speech — and, ultimately, thought.
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People are fond of labeling others. Now, I'll allow that some labels are useful so you know where a person's coming from regarding discussions and that sort of thing. I reckon that we all use them in daily speech, to express our feelings (approval, disdain, or something else), and so on. I cannot advocate that we never use labels, sometimes they are useful and even accurate. A label can be a valid conclusion based on sufficient evidence.

Unfortunately, labels are a way of misrepresenting what someone says and stands for, and are used far too often as a way of pigeonholing and dismissing a person or belief as irrelevant. They are also used as a means of emotional manipulation. Adults are fearful, just like they were back in school days, of getting a label that will ostracize them. "You're a hater! Homophobe! Science denier! Liar! Islamophobe!" Another winner is bibliolator, the accusation that someone who takes the Bible seriously has turned the Bible into an idol. Indeed, people who reject evolution are labeled as "stupid" as well as "science deniers" — I have to be blunt that is a lie.

Some folks even use YEC as if it was a dirty word, even making up the word "YECism" as a pejorative. Many labels are simply loaded words used to provoke emotional reactions in a preemptive strike, but are actually meaningless — many are simply lies, such as calling a biblical creationist a "science denier" by someone who fallaciously equivocates evolution with science. (Ironic, since many scientific facts and methods have changed over the years.) Meaningless, dishonest, but such labels have connotations that can be hard to shake.

Labeling is frequently a part of political correctness. People say they oppose "hate speech", throw out an intimidating and manipulative label as a means of controlling speech. Although the United States and other countries formerly valued freedom of speech (with logical restrictions, such as advocating violence against others), it's come to the point that if someone claims to be "offended" because he or she doesn't like what you're saying, then you have no right to say it. Listen, it's not much of a stretch to wonder if the Thought Police are coming for you, since we will have no right to believe things of which those in power disapprove. Our views are wrong to them, and must be stopped. Sure, some folks will generously allow us to have our views and express them in our homes and churches, but seriously, will such "permission" stop there? Not hardly!

It's kind of frustrating that many of us have been emphasizing critical thinking and learning how to spot common logical fallacies, but people are being deceived all over the place. Labels are chock full o' fallacies, too. You get the basic ad hominem, plus poisoning the well, the genetic fallacy, and others. What are they thinking when they call names and label us like that? To negate what we have to say, make us undesirable, even silence us. But they are not offering valid counterarguments! Mockery is a means to shut down thinking and controlling thought. Watch for repetition such as used by Nazi propagandists. Ridiculing a creationist or a Christian does not make atheism, Scientism, statism, evolution, or anything else true.

I'm going to use a label based on something that I've thought out and documented: atheo-fascist. (See "Evolution and the New Atheo-Fascism" for more information that should alarm you.) We get people like C. Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Bill Nye and others telling the world that creationists cannot teach biblical creation to our own children. No, they want us to teach atheistic scientism, materialistic views — but no God. Nye says, "I find this troubling". Sorry, Willie, but your pushing of your own anti-Christian, anti-creationist agenda on us is what's troubling. Readers may agree that my label of atheo-fascist fits people like that. Professing atheists have no consistent moral standard, and they want to be in charge of society's standards of right and wrong.

If you read your Bibles, and I hope you do, you should know that we are in the world but not of it. Bible-believing Christians are to be pleasing God, not man (1 Thess. 2:4, Acts 5:29). The enemies of God are blinded by their father down below (John 8:44, 2 Cor. 4:4). They hate the light (John 3:19-21), and they hate us because of Jesus (Luke 6:22, John 15:18). Fellow believers in other parts of the world are suffering tremendous persecution. Our persecution in the West is more subtle, but I guarantee you that this trail we're riding on will get mighty steep and rocky. Until then, we need to proclaim the truth.

Here's a podcast by Matt Walsh that deals with labels and responding to them. Although he is a Christian, the podcast is more politically involved than things I do here. Still, I hope you'll spend a half an hour on "In Defense Of Hate Speech", especially on responding to labels beginning at the 12 minute 50 second mark. It's free to listen online, and to download it, you need a free Soundcloud account. Also, if anyone's interested in making comparisons, you may want to see my October 2014 article, "Don't Fear the Labels".