Tag Archives: communication

We Know Better, Part 5: Clarity in our Communication

In this era of inversion and perversion of knowledge and morality, we are watching the triumph of solipsism (I invent my own world) and subjectivism (everything is relative – except my right to feel good) over empirical observation and rational reflection. One moment we are told to “follow the science” and the next we are informed that the science is flawed (when it digresses from our chosen narrative or opinion).  Whether it is COVID policies, gender anarchy, political ideology, or moral reflection, we have chaos in the public square and cancellation of women and men deviating from particular elites’ norms.

A key reason for this confusion is alteration of the meaning of particular words and concepts. What was “understood” just a decade or two ago is now, “triggering” to some newly identified oppressed group.

The meaning of particular terms can change over time and common understandings do evolve. For example, “liberal(ism)” in the 18th and 19th centuries meant little government interference and affirmation of free markets. By the mod-20th century, new meanings were attached to this idea, with more government intervention a hallmark of this term. I am not being negative about this term, just making a point that words can change. Another example today is “democracy.” America is a constitutional republic with representative governance and democratic elements. We are not a pure democracy where a current 51% can run roughshod over the minority. Local and state governments still matter. Saying that the latest SCOTUS decision sending abortion back to the states is a, “threat to democracy” is a deceptive and ignorant word salad of monumental proportions. What happened was a decentralizing of authority and pro-choice adherents must now make their arguments in many locales. We actually have more democracy, not less here.

In today’s public square we now have insane new phrases such as “pregnant people” and “birthing people” in an attempt to normalize biological females that want to identify as men and still birth a child. Any disagreement with these manufactured terms is “violence” against the ½ of 1% trans community. Friends, the science is clear: with rare exceptions, all humans are born with XX or XY chromosomes…and no hormones or surgeries will change this. We should help everyone become whole and comfortable in their given bodies, not encourage confusion and mutilation.

Racial tensions are real and we still have work to do so all have access and opportunity to flourish. Progress is hindered by elites depriving underserved families of school choice and economic opportunities. Proponents of charter schools and vouchers, and entrepreneurial efforts are labeled racist even thought their work serves the neediest communities. There are a million African American families waiting for charter school opportunities. This perversion of language is also seen when Black conservatives are declared, “the Black face(s) of White Supremacy.” Such labeling prevents serious debates over principles and policies that actually lift people out of poverty and lead to racial reconciliation. “You ain’t Black” if you do not vote for one party is a perfect example of nonsense overcoming critical reflection. This convoluted thinking is now ruining education as words like, “objective truth” and “agency” and even answers in mathematics are labeled racist!

Climate change policies are destroying our economy and oppressing the poor and working classes – by design. The global elites are using a false apocalypse to gain more power and wealth and control everyday life. As mentioned in an essay above, we can continue improving our ecology without impoverishing hard working people. These policies also accelerate inflation and restrict real scientific creativity. Notice that “global warming” (which has been cooling off and on for two decades) is now “climate change” and the data is tightly controlled. Why? Because there is no imminent threat to our planet, and, without the cooperation of China, India and Russia, no progress is possible. American emissions are down considerably and our oil refining is 46% cleaner than anything from Russia. The cries for electric cars are hypocritical due to the lack of infrastructure, high price, use of slave labor in procuring rare earth minerals, and disdain for the working class.

Abortion in rare circumstances can be healthcare when a mother’s life in danger. Apart from this unusual moment, abortion is killing a human person and the vocabulary anarchy here is stunning. When asked about any limits to abortion (gestational age), pro-choice advocates revert to the doctor-patient relationship, even though Roe v. Wade was rooted in viability. These confused folks are advocating that crisis pregnancy centers be shuttered in the name of “real” healthcare. The inversion here is horrendous – there is much better healthcare offered by these centers than the abortion mills of Planned Parenthood that keep preventing any legislation demanding serious medical accountability. “Access” for pro-choice means abortions all the way to birth and allowing a live baby who survives this horror to die if not wanted.

Words matter. Humans are male or female. Democracy is good – and representative governance that is local is better that the Washington, D.C. Leviathan. “Birthing persons and “pregnant people” are adult biological females. “Cisgendered” means a normal man or woman. “Green” policies are an excuse for bureaucrats accumulating power. It is time for clarity and ending the intentional confusion of Orwellian elites. “African American” and “Hispanic-Latino” identities are not confined to one political ideology.

Let’s restore sanity and true debate.

Wise Communication for the Workplace: When to Listen and When to Speak

Every day in our workplaces we are surrounded by dissonant conversations, from practical scheduling to salacious gossip, from helpful inquiries to overt subversion of authority by ambitious colleagues. As followers of Jesus, we are probably familiar with biblical passages calling for respect to our employers (“masters” in Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3), and warnings about gossip and unwholesome communication (Ephesians 4). Challenges arise when we are faced with ethical dilemmas concerning our speech, particularly when it concerns our bosses and fellow employees. Leaving aside obvious insults and overt rebellion, friendly joking and celebrations, how do we discern when to be silent and when to speak? Here are eight insights that help us wisely listen and speak in our places of work.

  1. For all our communication: are we unreflectively reacting or wisely responding? Put simply, when we restrain our tongues and pause to consider the situation, our words will be more carefully chosen (Proverbs 10:10; James 3).
  2. Before saying anything critical about a fellow-worker or a boss, have we spoken to them? Jesus’ admonitions in Matthew 5 and 18 help us here: every attempt should be made to make peace before something blows up in public (Proverbs 10:19).
  3. Critical thinking about issues is different than being judgmental toward a person. For example, “I think there may be a better way to craft the budget” is quite distinct from, “Accounting is full of fools with no vision.” The former allows debate toward wisdom; the latter alienates departments and persons (Proverbs 10:32).
  4. Ambition directed toward kingdom ends is healthy. Desiring promotion for fruitful work is not sinful. But political maneuvering at the expense of another’s character or reputation is a serious transgression. “I really want the Director’s chair. I have some ideas that will move us forward and I think I am ready” is acceptable confidence. “We all know he is only a candidate because his friend is the CEO. He is an empty suit.” Even if the latter has some truth, speaking these words poisons the community and cheapens godly aspirations (Proverbs 11:3, 27).
  5. Friendly banter must be distinguished from ungodly gossip. “What a colorful outfit!” must not give way to, “What a peacock!” Again, motive, selection of words, and the tone all contribute to joy or sarcasm (Proverbs 12:14).
  6. When differing with our bosses on matters of importance, the shared mission must be the focus of our critiques. Finding the common starting point places the conversation away from opinions and toward solutions for the good of the organization. Keeping insight #2 in mind, we should make several attempts to convey concerns or divergent thinking privately before bringing our petition to higher authority. Good records of conversations will be essential if we must go over their heads (Proverbs 12:22; 13:15).
  7. Instead of gossiping with peers, we should bring concerns to higher authority only after other avenues have been exhausted. The time frame could be days or months, depending on the issues at hand. Again, our motives must be unselfish and the mission in focus (Proverbs 14:30).
  8. If we have been unfairly targeted by peers, subordinates, or authority figures, staying with the facts, non-judgmental words, and excellent documentation will all help us fight for justice. When we defend ourselves well, we are also advocating for others that could be subject to the same unethical treatment (Daniel 1-6).

As we navigate our workplaces, the Holy Spirit will help us pause and pray, reflect and respond, instead of reacting and regretting our words. We may not win every battle, but we can grow in holy love and inner peace.