Language changes and so should dictionaries. I am not adverse to changing dictionaries to better suit the need of both children and adults, but rather what this article about the changes in a children’s dictionary (published by Oxford University Press) indicate ever more strongly the changes in the values, beliefs and norms of our Western culture. Thank you, Sarah for pointing out this article on your blog.
According to the article here are the words that were taken out and what they were replaced with:
Words taken out: Carol, cracker, holly, ivy, mistletoe, Dwarf, elf, goblin
Abbey, aisle, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, minister, monastery, monk, nun, nunnery, parish, pew, psalm, pulpit, saint, sin, devil, vicar
Coronation, duchess, duke, emperor, empire, monarch, decade
adder, ass, beaver, boar, budgerigar, bullock, cheetah, colt, corgi, cygnet, doe, drake, ferret, gerbil, goldfish, guinea pig, hamster, heron, herring, kingfisher, lark, leopard, lobster, magpie, minnow, mussel, newt, otter, ox, oyster, panther, pelican, piglet, plaice, poodle, porcupine, porpoise, raven, spaniel, starling, stoat, stork, terrapin, thrush, weasel, wren.
Acorn, allotment, almond, apricot, ash, bacon, beech, beetroot, blackberry, blacksmith, bloom, bluebell, bramble, bran, bray, bridle, brook, buttercup, canary, canter, carnation, catkin, cauliflower, chestnut, clover, conker, county, cowslip, crocus, dandelion, diesel, fern, fungus, gooseberry, gorse, hazel, hazelnut, heather, holly, horse chestnut, ivy, lavender, leek, liquorice, manger, marzipan, melon, minnow, mint, nectar, nectarine, oats, pansy, parsnip, pasture, poppy, porridge, poultry, primrose, prune, radish, rhubarb, sheaf, spinach, sycamore, tulip, turnip, vine, violet, walnut, willow
Words put in: Blog, broadband, MP3 player, voicemail, attachment, database, export, chatroom, bullet point, cut and paste, analogue
Celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, negotiate, interdependent, creep, citizenship, childhood, conflict, common sense, debate, EU, drought, brainy, boisterous, cautionary tale, bilingual, bungee jumping, committee, compulsory, cope, democratic, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, donate, endangered, Euro
Apparatus, food chain, incisor, square number, trapezium, alliteration, colloquial, idiom, curriculum, classify, chronological, block graph
Clearly many references to Christianity were removed including sin, devil, disciple, and minister, while more modern technological terms were included. Some of the included words make sense in our modern world. Other words fascinate me, in that I would have thought they would already have been included. Does the use of such terms as celebrity, tolerant, vandalism, childhood, drought, bilingual, committee, cope, allergic, biodegradable, emotion, dyslexic, endangered, food chain, and classify give us some insight into the changes in our culture over the last couple of decades? If anyone has had a chance to see this dictionary please let me know how they define the term tolerant. For, I wonder if the now definition of the term has less to do with forbearance, and more to do with an acceptance of all views as equally valid?
There are more terms that have to do with politically correct views of human caused global warming and evolution, while at the same time a removal core terms of historic Christianity. Does this surprise anyone? The more important aspect of this is that the language we use often reflects the norms and beliefs of our culture. As Western culture continues to become more post-Christian, more of this will happen. As evangelical Christians will we have to better explain what sin is? What grace is? Who the devil is? What true tolerance looks like? What being a disciple looks like? You bet! What is so much at the heart of the problem with the evangelical church is that we have lost our passion for education, in favor of worship as good feeling/emotion time. Don’t get me wrong. I believe worship time should touch our emotions and make us feel, but that is done through the enlightening of the heart in God’s Truth. Where is our passion for truth?
President Obama has made it very clear throughout his campaign that he will put in place a pro-abortion agenda. Sadly it is turning out to be true, despite those “evangelicals” who continually said that he will do things to reduce abortion. Now that he has overturned the Mexico City policy and our taxpayer money will be funding pro-abortion causes around the world, he will be setting his sights on FOCA, which will overturn many of the advances that pro-life advocates have worked for all around the country. Please go here for more information and to join your voice with many others who are working to fight FOCA.
I wanted to be in attendance at this most recent March for Life, but I guess I will have to settle for watching this.
Watch this interview with Nancy Pelosi and you will begin to understand what the so-called stimulus package is really all about. Under the guise of helping out the U.S. economy the Democrats will be pushing the agenda that they have always desired.
Hundreds of millions of dollars will now be going into the coffers of such groups as Planned Parenthood to pick up the tab for contraceptives and other “family planning” — code word to support abortion. Our taxpayer money will be “bailing out” the abortion industry, under the rubric of “reduced cost”. Yes, my friends — population control. Was it not Scrooge that said to let them die and reduce the surplus population? This is not “bail out” or economic stimulus.
Statement of Wanda Franz, Ph.D.
National Right to Life Committee
National Press Club,
January 22, 2009
Today we note not only the 36th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s extra-constitutional Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, but—more importantly—we mourn the deaths of 50 million unborn babies that were the tragic consequence of these decisions.
In Roe v. Wade the Court’s majority claimed to find a constitutional right to an abortion in the “penumbras” of the Constitution. A “penumbra” is “the area between complete darkness (the umbra) and complete light in an eclipse.” In the case of Roe v. Wade, it is obvious that the penumbra resulted from the bright light of the Constitution being blocked out by the majority’s unwillingness to respect the same Constitution.
I don’t think that the Court’s pro-abortion majority in 1973 fully understood that its casual treatment of the Constitution would result in the deaths of 50 million innocents over the next 36 years. But so far, subsequent pro-abortion majorities on the Court have stubbornly refused to correct the Court’s horrific mistake by reversing Roe and Doe.
Unfortunately, pre-election candidate Obama promised the pro-abortion lobby and the abortion industry that he would only appoint justices and judges who favor the preservation of Roe and Doe. But, President Obama could restore the wellbeing of the constitutional order—and maybe even guarantee his re-election—by changing his mind and appointing only justices and judges who respect the Constitution and refrain from legislating from the bench. I suspect that a solid majority of voters would applaud such a policy. But the chances for that to happen are slim.
Right after the November election, a report in the Wall Street Journal told us that “President-elect Barack Obama and other Democrats have promised to work to make abortion rare, so long as it remains legal.” We, of course, have heard this before. President Obama’s fervent supporters in the pro-abortion lobby and the abortion industry have heard this before, too. And like us, they know from past experience that it is all for show.
Former President Bill Clinton made the same kind of promise and then, as expected, ignored his pledge. In fact, by overturning the pro-life executive orders of President Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, introducing the abortion pill RU 486 into this country, appointing only Supreme Court justices pledged to continue the abortion-on-demand regime of Roe and Doe, twice vetoing the Partial-Birth Abortion-Ban Act, etc., President Clinton forcefully and cynically promoted abortion.
I am afraid what we are seeing now is anything but “change we can believe in.” Instead, we are seeing a replay of Clintonian, “moderate” double talk on abortion coupled with a steely support for abortion. President Obama promised to reverse of the pro-life policies of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and his appointment of several operatives from the abortion lobby and industry make the point too well.
Election after election, Democratic presidential candidates and the pro-abortion leadership of the Democratic Party keep repeating these phony promises about making abortion “rare” while keeping it “legal” because they know that the public has severe misgivings about abortion. After all, even Kate Michelman, NARAL Pro-Choice America’s former president, admitted to the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1993 that “abortion is a bad thing.”
But anyone endowed with common sense will recognize that if any “bad thing” (e.g., embezzlement) is made legal, we can hardly expect it to become rare—especially when a whole industry exists to provide the “bad thing.” Our opponents are not stupid; so they understand that, too. But they contemptuously expect you to buy this nonsense.
In the 1973 Doe v. Bolton case, the Supreme Court decided that medical review and hospitalization requirements for an abortion were “unconstitutional”—in other words, the pro-abortion majority on the Court created the abortion clinic industry out of nothing. That industry, of course, has absolutely no incentive to make abortion “rare.”
Thus, the promise of making abortion rare while keeping it legal is both nonsensical and fraudulent. Its sole purpose is to provide cover for Democratic politicians who want the huge financial support of the abortion lobby and industry while trying to appeal to so-called “moderate” voters who remain uninformed on the full extent of the abortion disaster.
The pro-abortionists play along with this charade because they know that the much-proclaimed efforts of the Democratic Party leadership to make abortion “rare” are meant to do the opposite: After an election, the Democratic leadership invariably proposes to increase governmental subsidies for the likes of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, and to invalidate or block any pro-life law.
Fortunately, abortion has become rarer for many years now. In spite of the efforts of the pro-abortion lobby to promote abortion, there has been an attitudinal change about abortion in the pro-life direction.
A statistical measure for the “popularity” of abortion among women is the abortion rate, defined as the number of abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age (15-44 years). The abortion rate rose rapidly after the 1973 Roe and Doe decisions. It peaked in 1980-81 at 29.3 and thereafter went into a steady decline. By 2005, the abortion rate was down 33% to 19.4—the same level it had in 1974.
The decline would have been even more dramatic had it not been for a disturbing increase in repeat abortions, which amounted to nearly 47% of all abortions in 2005.
It is noteworthy that, while the number of women of child-bearing age increased by 16% from 1980 to 2005, the abortion rate decreased at twice that rate.
Because of the increase in the number of women of child-bearing age, the yearly number of abortions peaked later, at 1.6 million in 1990. Thereafter, it decreased by 25% to 1.2 million in 2005—about the same level it had in 1976.
Had the abortion rate not decreased from its peak value in 1980/81, but simply stayed the same, there would have been 50% more abortions in 2005: 1.8 million, instead of the actual 1.2 million. Thus, in 2005 alone, the attitudinal change expressed in a lower abortion rate meant that 600,000 lives were saved.
Based on the steady increase in the number of women of child-bearing age and the simultaneous decrease in the abortion rate, the number of lives saved from abortion since 1980 is about 9 million. These babies permanently escaped the grasp of the abortionists—and of the politicians who were willing to trade their lives for campaign contributions from the abortion lobby and industry.
Our pro-abortion opponents explain the lowered abortion rate by an increase in the use of contraception and a decline of the number of abortion providers. The change from steep rise to decline in the abortion rate would have required an equally sudden change in contraceptive practices—which is not likely. Moreover, an increased use of contraception is at odds with the significant rise in repeat abortions. In these cases, abortion is used as a substitute for contraception.
As to the decline in the number of abortion providers, let’s understand this was really a consolidation of the abortion industry, with Planned Parenthood emerging as the dominant industry behemoth.
No, the most likely explanation for the decline of the abortion rate lies in the work of the right-to-life movement and women’s own re-evaluation of abortion:
n The pro-life movement had organized itself and gained “critical mass” by 1980.
n Many women who had had abortions joined the right-to-life movement.
n The abortion issue became a motivating force for social conservatives in the campaign that made Ronald Reagan president. Not surprisingly, large numbers of Protestant pro-lifers joined NRLC. Since that pivotal election, the abortion issue has been a significant aspect of political campaigns.
n NRLC and its state affiliates became increasingly adept at launching educational and legislative campaigns. The very process of discussing these initiatives helped the public see through the rhetorical fog of so-called “choice” and re-focused its attention on what actually happens in an abortion, namely the death of an innocent child.
n Specifically, NRLC defeated pro-abortion legislation, such as the federal “Freedom of Choice Act,” and secured the passage of legislation promoting the right to life. Among the latter are the Hyde Amendment, preventing the spending of federal funds for abortions (thus making abortion less likely), and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The educational impact of these campaigns was enormous.
n NRLC’s efforts on the national level were enhanced on the state level. Our affiliates were able to pass, for example, 23 women’s-right-to-know laws, 28 laws requiring parental involvement in the abortion decisions of their minor daughters, and 11 laws enabling women to see ultrasound images of their child in utero.
To these factors we must add the widespread use of ultrasound imaging during pregnancy. What pregnant women nowadays see in utero is not “a cluster of cells,” or “a blob of tissue,” or “potential life,” but a baby—their baby!
If President Obama were truly determined to make abortion rarer, he would do the exact opposite of what he promised the abortion lobby before the election: He would only appoint justices and judges who respect the Constitution. He would continue the pro-life policies and executive orders of President George W. Bush. He would support the pro-life efforts and laws that brought about the decline of the abortion rate. And he definitely would not resurrect the infamous “Freedom of Choice Act.”
Dr. Paul Kengor has recently published an article that I believe everyone should read. In this article Dr. Kengor demolishes the pro-abortion mantra of “safe, legal and rare” that we heard throughout the recent election cycle. I urge anyone who became convinced by this kind of thinking to read the following article and to consider once again the meaning of life in public policy. It also should give pause to members of mainline denominations, such as the PCUSA, who give their tithes and offerings to your church. Do you know where your money is going? Do you know that a portion of your funds are going to support such groups as the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice? Read and learn:
Safe Legal and Rare?
By Dr. Paul Kengor
The common mantra of pro-choice politicians is that they do not favor abortion. Quite the contrary, they want abortion to be “safe, legal, and rare.” Pro-choicers generally hold to this position; thus, as they are quick to note, they are not “pro-abortion” but “pro-choice.”
I’ve personally tried to respect that formulation, and typically refrain from referring to pro-choicers as “pro-abortion.” That being the case, the latest actions by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice are deeply troubling, as are the promises of the incoming president, both of which go hand-in-hand. Let me explain.
RCRC is a coalition of religious groups and denominations that support legalized abortion. The group comes to this view from a range of religious backgrounds, from Christian to Jewish to Unitarian Universalist. Though the vast majority of Christian denominations firmly reject RCRC and its teachings, some mainline denominations have formally joined the coalition’s “pro-choice” gospel, including the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, Barack Obama’s United Church of Christ, and several Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) groups.
At this time of year, as millions of American Christians mark the moment that God entered the world as a baby in a manger, RCRC is pushing president-elect Barack Obama to enact the most radical abortion agenda in the history of humanity.
It began with RCRC’s elation over Obama’s election. The group immediately sent out a press release to congratulate this “pro-choice man of faith.” “[Obama’s] message that ‘America is one nation’ holds great promise for defusing the culture wars over abortion that have too often distracted us,” stated RCRC. “We urge President-elect Obama to be a Pro-Faith, Pro-Family, Pro-Choice president: to uphold Roe v. Wade and reproductive choice, [and] foster respect for diverse views about abortion.”
And how might RCRC suggest that Obama defuse the culture wars and the bitter divide over abortion? How does RCRC recommend that Obama show his “respect for diverse views about abortion?”
RCRC encourages Obama to plow full steam ahead with, in effect, unrestricted abortion-on-demand at all stages of pregnancy, aided and abetted by taxpayer funding, with abortion promotion at home and abroad, and, possibly—albeit unbelievably—with the stunning elimination of freedom-of-conscience exemptions for medical personnel who choose not to participate in abortion procedures.
Specifically, RCRC is exhorting Obama to make good on his July 17, 2007 promise to Planned Parenthood and sign the Freedom of Choice Act. FOCA, as readers of my past columns know, would nationalize abortion and overturn countless reasonable abortion restrictions agreed to by bipartisan legislatures—Democrats and Republicans working together—all over America. It would be the single most significant step in likely launching unrestricted federal funding of abortion at all stages of pregnancy. Obama told Planned Parenthood that signing FOCA would be the “first thing” he would do as president.
FOCA is disturbing in so many ways. Most shocking, however, is the fear that FOCA would eliminate conscience exemptions enabling doctors and nurses to not participate in abortion procedures. This is a classic American tradition, and it is truly breathtaking to imagine that some abortion-rights supporters are so radical and so uncharitable that they could even consider something so coercive. The Catholic bishops in particular are aghast at this prospect; they would shut down the nation’s huge number of Catholic hospitals before submitting to this madness.
Yet, RCRC wants FOCA. But it doesn’t stop there. The letter also urges Obama to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which, as LifeNews.com aptly puts it, “prohibits the direct funding of almost all abortions and is credited with stopping hundreds of thousands of abortions since the 1970s.”
If it stopped there, FOCA’s recommendations would be devastating enough, but the group wants its vision to go global. The letter presses Obama to repeal the Mexico City policy that, beginning with President Reagan, spares American taxpayers from funding groups that perform or promote abortion overseas. Similarly, RCRC wants Obama to fund the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA’s) odious population-control agenda.
If RCRC gets what it is urging from Obama—which it likely will, since Obama favors these things and campaigned on them—abortion would skyrocket. RCRC’s actions constitute abortion promotion. This goes far beyond the mantra of “safe, legal, and rare.” It goes way past the mere legalization of abortion enshrined in 1973 by Roe v. Wade. It also flies in the face of the standard pro-choice position that “I’m personally opposed to abortion, and would never support it myself, but I think it should be legal.”
That’s not what’s happening here. People who voted that way on Nov. 4, 2008 actually voted, whether they know it or not, for pro-lifers like me to begin paying for abortions through my tax dollars. Their vote was not morally neutral; in fact, their vote will help generate a boom cycle for abortion clinics.
If President Obama goes through with this unprecedented promotion of abortion, then pro-choicers will need to amend their mantra. The new slogan will need to be “safe, legal, rare—and subsidized, and promoted, and without freedom of conscience ….”
Copyright by Paul Kengor
Paul Kengor is author of The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism
(HarperPerennial, 2007) and professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His latest book is The Judge: William P. Clark, Ronald Reagan’s Top Hand (Ignatius Press, 2007).