conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated
First Known Use: 1934
“Politically Correct.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2018.
Well that’s a dictionary definition, which is a good start. But I think the term “politically correct” demands a little amplification.
From my perspective, “politically correct” describes a belief that the majority (or a highly visible group) at a given moment in history see as true or, if not ultimately true, acceptable or appropriate.
When a politically correct idea takes hold, many follow suit and boldly proclaim with an almost religious zealousness a belief or agenda that, in reality, could be an ephemeral, ideological trend.
Along these lines, the classical French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) argued that democracy’s emphasis on equality could possibly squelch individuality, leading to a suffocating majority rule marked by total conformity.
In the New Testament narrative, Pontius Pilate voices the philosophical essence of political correctness when he says to Jesus Christ:
What is Truth! ~ John, 18:38 NASB
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar has Pilate sarcastically ask
But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law? We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?
The following New Testament passage gives a scathing account of worldly wisdom, which could be seen as a type of political correctness:
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is THE ONE WHO CATCHES THE WISE IN THEIR CRAFTINESS”; and again, “THE LORD KNOWS THE REASONINGS of the wise, THAT THEY ARE USELESS” ~ I Corinthians 3:18-20 NASB
Okay, so there is a lot of b.s. in the world. I think we all get that. But that doesn’t mean all politically correct ideas are bad or untrue. Many seem to contain virtue.
The key is to avoid blindly accepting majority opinion – and the political correctness that often goes with that – without first researching and thinking for oneself.
Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’ (bostonherald.com)
Breaking: Mormon Church President Monson dies at 90 (vanguardngr.com)