It is a common practice today among different levels of society to treat words as mere sounds we utter with our throats and mouth-parts to articulate our own subjective thoughts and desires. Words indeed do this, but the point I would like to make is that they do not only do this. Words have a higher calling and nobler purpose than the mere articulation of our own wills. Words also articulate our intellects. At the heart of the spoken word is a piece of the world separated and colored by countless generations of people speaking their world in words. At once, destroy the link between words and the world, and language quickly devolves into shackles and chains of the body and mind.
Man (or woman, of course) is also made up of words: the words he uses, and the words used to describe him, the words he knows, and, more oftentimes, the words he doesn’t know. Modern materialistic man of the atheistic ilk would have us believe that man is only matter, made up of bone, flesh and blood, and the subatomic stuff that composes those. But this is false on even a materialistic model of existence.
Man is first and foremost a political animal, as Aristotle says, not because he can yelp like an animal in pain, but because man, among all the animals, has speech. “But speech,” Aristotle says, “is designed to indicate the advantageous and the harmful, and therefore also the right and the wrong; for it is the special property of man in distinction from the other animals that he alone has perception of good and bad and right and wrong and the other moral qualities, and it is partnership in these things that makes a household and a city-state.”
It is easy to see, then, that if the language of a “city-state” or nation, like America, for instance, losses its sense of right and wrong, the cause must be traced back to a loss of meaning in words, for speech is what denotes right and wrong according to how things are.
Call a black man something other than a man, and he is treated like something other than a man. Call a baby in the womb something other than a baby, and he is treated like something other than a baby. Call a man a woman, or woman a man, and the meaning of right and wrong about these word entities and the class of people they represent will be corrupted and eventually destroyed beyond recognition.
We look around us and are appalled by the moral outrage that goes on in this country and in our communities, but without the use of a language which represents reality, which calls to mind the rightness and wrongness of acts, we are imprisoned in our own collapsing language.
We can’t say, “Man” if our neighbor insists upon calling himself “Woman,” because we and our neighbor inhabit two different worlds. Our language no longer represents the same reality. We can’t say “Baby” while our neighbor says “Clump of Cells,” because a baby is more than a clump of cells, just as a Black man is more than the mere pigment of his skin.
Of course the social evils extend far beyond the abortion or transgender or racist questions. These are always ready at hand for the journalist. I could also speak to the word “Marriage” meaning an indissoluble bond between a man and a woman, but that fight was lost decades ago in the arena of language, just as so many before it have been, and so many will to come.
Come to think of it, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” but in the end, there will be no word, because the word will not be with God, and the word will not be of God, because the word will not represent the world.