Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Language Matters

March 13th, 2015, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Language makes a big difference, especially when there is an overt agenda to shape public opinion, and when the objective of the agenda runs counter to truth and morals.  Let’s revisit a few examples of hijacked language, to shed some light on the current question “What in the world is the Vatican thinking?”


least of theseThe pro-abortion lobby of 40 years ago didn’t use the term “pro-baby-murder,” and they made those who did into social outcasts. Insisting on a term like “baby murder,” would have better framed the battle, and revealed the real intent of the pro-death contingent. But, almost without consciously thinking, pro-lifers took up the words “pro-choice” to write and talk about the other side, and inevitably played into the hands of the culture of death.  After all,  isn’t having a choice a good thing?  Who can argue with having the right to pick and choose?   Aaah!  But choose what? That is where the agenda and the language run silent. Thus, the pro-death lobby was able to put the emphasis on the woman rather than on the child, and shaped the politics for 40 years and into the future, entrenching themselves on ceded ground by controlling the language and shaping the public conversation.

The rightly-named “pro-lifers” aided and abetted the pro-death lobby by using their language, by using the term “pro-choice” themselves, strengthening the culture of death, laying the groundwork for the current efforts  to characterize pro-lifers as terrorists.  Language does matter.  Now the same “right to choose” permeates the nascent wave of euthanasia. Many Catholics report that during the 42 years of shame they can count on one hand the number of sermons they heard against abortion.  Some say they never heard any such sermon.  It can pretty well be said that while language was being hijacked, “the pulpits were silent.”


A similar misuse of language permeates the same-sex unions agenda. Allowing that lobby to seize the word “marriage” distorts the entire issue,  and the irrational becomes difficult to rationally debate.  Using the word “marriage” to describe what the Judeo-Christian ethic (and others) saw as immoral and sinful for thousands of years isn’t even debated on the grounds of injury to the moral structure and/or good order of a country.  Use of the word “marriage” prepared the way for arguments not about the intrinsic identity of marriage, not about the care of children, but about perceived elements of marriage: as a good, a social institution, a legal structure, a celebratory event, a sexual relationship.   The elements, or the denial thereof, framed the argument for “same-sex marriage” even though it can never meet the test of true marriage.   Hence, it was necessary for that lobby to strike down the legitimately passed Defense Of Marriage Act, either in social practice, in the courts, or both.  The procreation of  children,  as a vital aspect of marriage, is naturally unachievable in a same-sex union, yet it has not prevented vain attempts to create trophy progeny.  And the pro-abortion lobby, by devaluing life and children, cultivated the ground for treating children as an afterthought to the argument.  

As in the case for abortion, the government’s role in driving the social engineering experiment is highly visible, from the early closing of adoption centers which refused to place children with same sex couples, to opening the military to all sorts of questionable permissiveness, to the economic pressures on African countries to force them to permit same-sex unions.  On a simple citizen impact level, when a baker is fined $100,000 for refusing to bake a wedding cake for such a union, there can be no doubt that cruel and unusual punishment is part of the strategy.  

By ceding the use of the word “marriage,” significant ground was overrun, which likely cannot be reclaimed on human effort alone, especially since people of good heart, though uncertain understanding, easily bought the civil rights argument.  And, again, “the pulpits were silent.”  Or mostly silent.  This past weekend, at the English Synod, Cardinal Burke (of recent heroic action) was quoted in LifeSiteNews as saying to “brace for martyrdom over marriage.”


It appears to me that those who most embrace the political concept of Global Warming are those with the least knowledge of science, or those who are scientists getting paid for their work in “proving” that global warming exists (or will exist).  In a prior post on Cleansing Fire I gave my reasons against buying into this tenet of the Religion of the Environment (the one global religion to unite the masses.)   Usually when the agenda-shapers launch their efforts they grab language that will become the battle cry for an extended period.  It is my perception that “global warming” is more easily debunked than “climate change” — not because either is true, but it covers both directions.  It is hardly credible to stand on top of our winter whitestuff crying “global warming,” but the agenda shapers have switched to “climate change” and mumble about something happening somewhere else causing cold spots (or hot spots.)  (I remember when it was called “weather” and some humorist quipped “Weather!  Everybody talks about it.  Nobody does anything about it.”  Now we have people in elected office who misunderstood the humor and have decided to “do something about it.”)  Aaaahh!  The Lord must laugh at their choice of a battlefield. And we should remember, in this context, that we are awaiting an encyclical from Pope Francis on global warming / climate change which has the risk of making him the modern Pope Urban VIII.  For another view, see what you think of Newsmax yesterday “There is no Global Warming.”  

So “Climate Change” is all inclusive, because whatever happens weather-wise the agenda-shapers can say “SEE! We told you.”  The variation in natural swings are over long periods of time, and now will be ignored, and every hurricane, snow-storm or flood will be attributed to “Climate Change” — something we need to be taxed to prevent.  While we can’t predict any outcomes on plain foolishness (as we can on more glaringly moral issues), we can be sure increased taxes will be one result. How can we be so sure?  Because manipulating the language is easier to understand if we follow the money.  Same-sex unions create votes which translate to power and thence to money.  And the recipients of the abortion largesse (like Planned Parenthood) are grateful too.


Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Vatican's UN Representative

Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, Vatican’s UN Representative

All of the above would simply be a tirade on the use of language for abuse and manipulation were it not needed as a reminder on the latest mixed signals coming from “The Vatican,” reported in an excellent LifeSiteNews article (3/12/15) by Steve Jalsevac entitled: “Vatican use of Population Control Word ‘sustainable’ at UN worrisome.”   I encourage you to read the entire, short article.  Here are some highlights:

“Current Vatican representatives at the UN do not appear to understand the dangers of uncritically using key, population control invented phrases in official Vatican statements to the United Nations … that … are causing the Church to give huge international reinforcement to the deceits and manipulations of de-populationist agendas. The use of the phrases “sustainable environment,” “sustainability reports” and “sustainability-related impact and performance” in a March 9 statement by Archbishop Tomasi, the Vatican’s chief representative to the UN, is the latest example of this worrisome trend.”

“… there is a international movement that has been gaining power and influence and which has the goal to drastically reduce the world’s population – by almost any means – and to institute a dangerous global governance regime over all nations. These forces also tend to be militantly secular.”

“… besides the use of the code word “sustainable”, Archbishop Tomasi makes other statements that appear to give much credibility to “the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change”.  That is terribly concerning to those who have become familiar with the generally evil purposes and promotion methods of the Climate Change movement. The main drivers of that movement have proven to generally be manipulative, anti-human environmentalist ideologues of the elite for the elite.”

“Also, in many ways that movement has revealed itself to be another religion – a pagan-like, earth-worshipping movement willing to sacrifice billions of human lives to please its Mother Earth god. I do NOT exaggerate that.”

” [the] population control code word, “sustainable” … no pro-life person or believing Christian should ever use… because each time …  it gives credibility to the propaganda intent of the current promoters of the word and the context they have embedded around it. It is anti-life, anti-family and a danger to human rights and freedoms.”

“The recent, dramatic and seemingly unprecedented change in the Vatican position under Pope Francis marks a possible major historical breakthrough for the one-world, anti-human environmental extremists. They have never had the worldwide influence of the Vatican in their corner, but they have had many Catholic “justice and peace” organizations and Catholic educators disposed towards many of their goals.” 

“[quoting Mosher] … UN-speak phrases ‘actually have quite radical and subversive meanings that are lost on the general public.’  … Properly understood” they are part of “a battle plan for a deadly assault on life and marriage.”… “would mean the end of families as we know them, and a top-to-bottom restructuring of societies and economies as a whole….  the real agenda behind the climate change/global warming movement, at least at the leadership and major funding levels. …  UN bureaucrats disguise their true goals by using code words that only they and other progressives, who are also in the know, can understand.”

“That is why Archbishop Tomasi’s recent Vatican statements can be seen to be dangerous. … “Sustainable development” is a catchphrase of the radical environmentalists who want to limit economic growth, which they see as harmful to the environment, by limiting population growth and resource use in poor countries …. The seemingly radical change in the Vatican’s approach at the UN in the past few years is seriously disconcerting. … many are uncertain what the Vatican agenda is.”

“Too much cooperation with the Obama/EU/UN/de-populationist/global warming schemes would be deadly. All of these forces have proven to be extremely manipulative and hostile to Christian civilization principles.  Together with the Vatican, the life and family organizations have been the conscience and truth disseminators to national representatives at UN conferences, especially on behalf of the poor nations which the elites have targeted the most for their destruction of life, family and unique national cultures.”

Please read the whole LifeSiteNews article.

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2 Responses to “Language Matters”

  1. pebbles says:


    Thank you for this post. Life and Marriage. The two most important permanent truths to uncompromisingly protect/defend without question for the maintenance of an ordered society, are being undermined by both the gay lobby and the “tyranny of tolerance,” or the “intolerance of tolerance.” Until the mid-’60s, regardless of political or religious affiliation, regardless of personal behaviors to the contrary, these two ideals were honored by the vast majority of citizenry and leaders. Today, lies have corrupted those ideals, even in our churches. I, too, have seen/heard very few Catholics, clergy or laity, actively standing up to defend life and marriage. I was inspired for a while by two priests who were briefly(1 year)leading my parish. They stood up for the truth, Mass attendance increased, and then they were sent elsewhere. I thought that with the “New Evangelization” we were all being called to a mission of espousing the truth, not changing the mission. It now feels as though we are going back to the “bad old days” of the late ’60s through the 70s and early ’80s during which, to paraphrase Chesterton, the church was “moving with the world, rather than moving the world.” God help us because we have been there,done that, and it doesn’t work.

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