I have always thought it ludicrous that the modern world shuns negative language and values political correctness to the extent it does, but recently it appears to have taken yet another absurd turn. If I had been paying closer attention I might have noticed it five or ten years ago; as this new madness appears to have been proposed in 2005. Apparently, at least some of, the scientific community of Spain has adopted the term “functionally diverse” for those with handicaps. Concerning why this new language is needed Javier Romañach and Manuel Lobato write the following in their article titled Functional diversity, a new term in the struggle for dignity in the diversity of the human being. I have highlighted the most relevant passages in bold.
The limiting or derogatory terms used for describing the group of women and men with functional diversity play a fundamental role in bolstering underestimation and thus maintaining said discrimination…
…There are many words widely used in different spheres for denominating the group of women and men with functional diversity…
…the most widely‐used one in Spain is minusválido (handicapped): viz., car parking spaces reserved for the handicapped, pensions for the handicapped etc. Both on our television and on the radio, and in the streets, we form part of the menos válido (less valid) group, the people who are in other words “worth less”.
Concerning the World Health Organization’s newly proposed handicap terminology the author also writes:
We must recognise that this search for new concepts is a praise worthy attempt to shift the “problem” of functional diversity from the person to the environment. However, if we analyse the terms used, we will see that they contain the words impairment, limitation, restriction, barrier and disability.
One must be truly a fool to believe there is a side to anything that is more than “at least, neutral or positive.” But this is the way with the politically correct: even positivity is only passable. Whatever the cause, it must not only be looked upon favorably, it must be embraced wholeheartedly.
Though this is all ridiculous, I think I finally understand the thought process behind this obsession for less and less “negative” language and sensitivity concerning these subjects. I never before understood why these people believed it was necessary to talk about the properties of people positively to prevent discrimination or devaluing of human beings.
Several centuries ago our culture began to adopt Darwinist principles and reject Christian principals. The traditional Christian understanding of human value is founded in the fact that when God created us in His image He made beings which are unlike anything else; unique and of incalculable value. For what else is made in God’s image? To who else did God give dominion over the earth? It was obvious to the christian that humans were inherently valuable. That we are valuable by the “mere” fact of being human. By the removal of God from our understanding of the cosmos we also inadvertently lost any foundation for the concept of inherent human value and without the foundation the concept was lost and rejected.
Since we knew in our souls that humans did in fact have value, this shift of principles forced us to seek for a new foundation of this value. The value that inherent human value was replaced with was a value based on our abilities or qualities. We turned it all upside down on it’s head: The popular view of human value is now based on the ideal human life as defined by man rather than the ideal human life being based on human value as defined by God. This produced an issue: Value was now on a gradient scale based on how well you measured up to the ideal. Our value was now based on our personal qualities and capabilities rather than the qualities of mankind. But this also meant that those who had a lack of ability or desirable qualities were less valuable. There were now some who were more valuable than most people and others who were less valuable than most people. Depending on who was defining value there might also be people who had no value whatsoever. We began to resolve this issue in varying ways, all of which were wicked or perverse, depending on the society and topic.
The first way we resolved the issue was by eliminating or marginalizing those who were less valuable due to an lack of ability or desirable qualities. It is a solution of elimination. In this solution only the capable are fit to live. In Nazi Germany it was decided that the Jews had qualities which were a detriment to the community and therefore had to be eliminated. In the case of the United States it was decided that the unwanted baby in the womb was a detriment to the mother’s life and prevented her from contributing as much to society. In many countries the same is true for the elderly, they are no longer able to contribute to the society so they must be eliminated to avoid using more important resources. Handicapped people were eliminated because they were unable to either contribute to society or enjoy life to the “fullest” i.e. enjoy it in all the ways a non-handicapped person could.
The second way we resolved the issue was by pretending that there was no discrepancy of ability or qualities. This was done to avoid or prevent the solution of elimination from taking hold in society. We told those who were stupid they were smart rather than encouraging them to become smarter. We pretended those who were weak were as strong as the rest rather than encouraging them to become stronger. We told those who sinned that they had no sin rather than telling them to repent and pursue virtue. We told those who were proud of their sin that we all struggled rather than telling them to they should be ashamed. We had races at school where everyone won and tests where everyone “got an A”. We told the blind that there was nothing to see and the deaf there was nothing to hear; rather than telling them that someday, if they trusted in Christ, they would see with an eye and hear with an ear far greater and grander than those with physical eyes and ears could have imagined. Finally, we started the gradual process of removing any language whatsoever that could be construed to imply negative qualities or less ability. Afflicted became handicapped, which became disabled, which is now becoming functionally diverse. The insinuation of the last being that we merely have different and diverse ways of functioning in life. The same way we did in the moral sphere by saying morality was merely ethics, that is, cultural expectations. There was no right and wrong, merely different ways in which societies dealt with human interaction. With the concept of functional diversity comes the belief that it is not unfortunate or less than ideal that someone is crippled. They merely move in a different way than the rest of us, and after all, there isn’t any ideal way God designed or intended us to move. Aside from the fact that this is a lie and all lies are wrong and will corrupt both people and society, the greatest danger in this way of looking at handicaps is that it will produce a new wave of deviants who will decide they want to experience life the way cripples do. People who decide they identify as someone with a “mobility functional diversity” (This really was one of the proposed terms for someone who uses a wheelchair in the new system.) and want to cut off their limbs. Conforming reality to their “truth” as they are wont to perversely call it. As a matter of fact we have already begun to see people who are doing this.
We must re-introduce the Christian understanding of human value into our culture. We must insist that God created us with inherent value but that this also means he has a purpose, an intention, for all the facets of human existence. None of us measure up to this ideal; the ideal and end which God made us for. We lost even the capacity to live up to the ideal when we fell in the Garden. But, this does not mean we are worthless or “worth less” as the authors Javier Romañach and Manuel Lobato would have us believe. It means we have failed and must accept the truth that Christ came as our savior. Christ who, despite our failure, did not think us worthless but valuable enough to suffer and die for. Showing us our inherent value in the eyes of God. If we do not adopt a christian culture, we will inevitably realize how stupid and foolish political correctness is and will take up the only reasonable alternative, outside of the Christian solution. The solution of elimination. We will see death-camps, forced abortions, mandatory education and indoctrination, and all manner of euthanasia and tyranny if we do not return to a Christian understanding of human value, because these evils are the only reasonable alternative to the Christian worldview. Without the God of the Christians, there is no reason to not kill or enslave those who are less capable or fortunate than us. With God we know that there is a purpose we are called to and must strive for the ideals God has for us. Yet we also know that even the worst of us are as valuable as the best. We must pursue, not the world’s definition of Goodness, Truth and Beauty, rather God’s definition.