“A Few Words about Political Code Words and their Use and the Damage They Do, and A Comment on Poverty,” by Andrew J. Schatkin

I would like to speak on political code words and terminology and how they mislead and may fool some of our citizens and many young people. One of these terms is undocumented; a second is progressive; and a third is backward. These word are often tools of the left ideology. The words themselves are not bad. To be progressive is a good thing; being backward is not; and lacking proper legal documentation is not good and should be corrected.

Let me take a look at the term undocumented. The term is used to describe by some in the political spectrum persons whose status in this country is illegal. It is true their status could be described as undocumented but the reality and truth of the matter is that they are here unlawfully and in defiance or our legal and governmental system that requires our people to go through a legal mechanism in order to come here and live here. To not do so is not to be excused by this term. Those who choose to come here illegally are manipulating our system entirely and making use of our educational, medical, and employment system to obtain essentially what they are not in the first instance entitled to and then, to make matters worse, they take employment at a lower wage without benefits from the poorer Americans, blacks, and Latinos in our society.

The use of the term undocumented, which serves and seeks to cover this truth, is nothing more than an intellectual outrage which cannot and should not be allowed. The second political code word, often connected in its use by the left and its ideology, is progressive. Its use is misleading and serves to cover wrongdoing. For example, Governor Cuomo had legislation passed permitting abortions virtually at the point of birth and allowed non-doctors to perform the procedure. He used the term progressive and Mr. Liu stated the same in the Bayside Times. Moreover, the Governor had passed legislation permitting licenses to be issued to undocumented immigrants as well as granting scholarships and financial aid to the undocumented. These actions are termed progressive.

The church’s position on abortion is the most ethically and morally advanced imaginable. The church in opposing abortion places infinite and eternal value on all human life from beginning to end and takes the view that the innocent are most precious and to be preserved. This view is the zenith of what is progressive and to say that it is backward and is a gross misrepresentation of the word progressive. In the same, people use the political cover term progressive to excuse granting legal status to those who in coming here illegally have defined our laws and system. This makes not only makes fools our legal residents but makes their lot ever so more difficult without these perks and advantages.

Finally, there is the third term backward. Let me give an example of the perhaps improper use of this term. NBC News reported recently on the Tennessee Natural Marriage Defense Act. I must make clear that as a Christian I have every love and concern for all, although I am sometimes in disagreement with their policies and views. NBC takes the view in this article that Tennessee is backward in seeking to strip gay marriage rights and in seeking to bar gay marriage in the state.

I have no hostility or prejudice against the gay community and certainly do not think they should be discriminated against and I do and will obey the ruling of the Supreme Court on this issue. The position taken by this state cannot be termed backward. The Roman Catholic Church in its catechism terms homosexual activity a disorder and contrary to natural law but the catechism goes on to state that the gay community should be treated with compassion. In the Hebrew bible, there are several sections in Genesis and Leviticus that reject homosexual relations. There are similar statements in the letters of St. Paul. It is a limited vision to say what is new and current is ahead of its time and the views of a 2,000 year old church, certain elements of the Jewish religious tradition, and Islam are backward. The word backward is a simply a political cover term to hide what is for the majority of the world a pressing moral issue.

I wish to talk about one more thing: Poverty. For a Christian believer, poverty and the
Son of God’s identification with the poor and himself taking on poverty are real and significant elements of our faith. It was the poor who he chose to the his disciples and it was the poor
and sinners who were his followers. For the Christian, any form of poverty and income equality must be eliminated and there must be an equal distribution of wealth in our society and we ourselves are commanded to give and share with the poor. I add this: there is not only poverty of material goods but also spiritual and intellectual and educational poverty. Spiritual poverty is to embrace and know only materialism without Christ and his love for all humanity. Intellectual and educational poverty is the absence of knowledge and thought with the result that the person remains undeveloped and unable to discern and is the victim of the popular culture, TV, and computers. If you are focusing on fads and fashion, you may be “rich” in the material sense, but, spiritually, you live in poverty.