- n. Conformity to fact or actuality.
In light of recent events I have grown increasingly sensitive to people creating new meaning for words. That people can listen to an explanation that does not conform to fact or actuality and be okay with it boggles my mind. Redifining the meaning of not raining (reality), or changing the definition of numbers (reality); words ought to matter, but (with some exceptions) sometimes it feels like people don’t seem to care when they don’t.
I’m no stranger to this mental discontinuity. Most of my life I was brought up in a culture that fosters belief in the unreal while encouraging people to actively ignore the cognative dissonence that comes from just turning it off.
Here’s a short list of words from my past that I believe have very precise meanings that often get ignored or twisted:
I am continually learning of new forms of LDS racism; just this weekend I learned about this Boyd Packer quote directed at BYU students:
Plan, young people, to marry into your own race. This counsel is good, and I hope our branch presidents are listening and paying attention. The counsel is good.
Of course, more cannonically the Book of Mormon comes up:
and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and a delightsome people.
Related: mormonthink has a fairly comprehensive list of racist comments made by LDS leadeship through time and throughout eternity.
I have a hard time pinpointing why the reaction gets under my skin as much as it does. By my reading the LDS church (by implication God) has an active history of being racist. My favorite CES-program certified responses have been:
- Remember Peter? He couldn’t teach gentiles! Racism okay!
- we never belived these things.
- it’s racist (now)
- Speaking like a man, not a prophet
Scouts vs. Activity Days
I came across my discomfort with the redefinition of the word “translation” in the LDS church’s official statement regarding the innacuracies in its history surrounding the Book of Abraham translation:
This view assumes a broader definition of the words translator and translation
source (emphasis theirs)
Until I read this article I was completely unfamiliar with alternate definitions for the words “translator and translation”; I generally stuck to the nominal ones (from the google search results:
- express the sense of (words or text) in another language.
- be expressed or be capable of being expressed in another language.
- convert or be converted into (another form or medium).
Tangentially this book is the source of yet another verse used to justify keeping priesthood blessings from people of color:
Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood