Talk:Secularized Language

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I'd like to organize these into categories - not divided up, maybe - with secularized expressions at the top (e.g., Thank God => thank goodness). Terms indicating a total shift of concept like Bible Study => fundamentalism might come later. Everyone okay with this? --Ed Poor Talk 08:43, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Sounds good to me! How about giving it a try and let's see how it looks.--Andy Schlafly 09:32, 22 February 2011 (EST)
To be fair, many more conservative Christians (my mother, for example), use some of the so-called "secular expressions" because they take a strict line on taking the Lord's name in vain. She would, for example, rather not say "Thank God" unless she was quite literally thanking the deity. Indeed, I believe that is how the "thank goodness" construction originally evolved. --Jdixon 12:57, 22 February 2011 (EST)
That might well be, Jdixon--certainly, it's laudable to take seriously the commandment not to take the Lord's name in vain--but I don't think very many Christians would see a heartfelt "Thank God!" as inappropriate in many circumstances. Thus, while your mother's conscientiousness is admirable, I don't think such conscientiousness is a sufficient explanation for the systematic removal of religious language from the public square. Certainly, I think that some people choose "Thank goodness" out of a concern for propriety, but I think many more choose it out of a desire to avoid giving offense, or simply because it's what they're most used to hearing. Perhaps a section on differing reasons for using these terms could be included in the article; after all, this is supposed to be an examination of the issue. --Benp 13:34, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Washington's Birthday/President's Day

While this is a case of P.C., it's not a case of secularized language. Last I checked, George Washington was not a sacred personage. Martyp 13:47, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Washington was a prominent Christian whose habit of praying and appealing to God for assistance is well-known. He was a kind of saint, and the downplaying of his (indisputable) significance is due to his Christianity. If he had been an atheist then you'd see the opposite effect.--Andy Schlafly 14:20, 22 February 2011 (EST)
What kind of a saint was George Washington? --JohannesZ 15:52, 22 February 2011 (EST)
The kind that wins wars. There have been other examples. Have you ever heard of Joan of Arc?--Andy Schlafly 16:02, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Canonized in 1920, right? When did the Church recognize Washington as a saint? Martyp 16:17, 22 February 2011 (EST)
@Andy: Aye. She still needed miracles credited to her. [1] --JohannesZ 16:20, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I don't think all Christian churches have the same rules.--Andy Schlafly 16:23, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Undoubtedly. So which churches DO recognize Washington as a saint or other type of sacred being? Martyp 16:26, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Perhaps the church of Satan does, or perhaps atheists simply dislike Washington. Wouldn't that be enough to explain the misnaming of the holiday as described in the entry?--Andy Schlafly 16:31, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I'm pretty sure that The Church of Satan does not acknowledge George Washington as divine. If there's any evidence -- a tract from an angry atheist decrying a celebration of the Christian Washington and demanding a holiday that accommodates the Presidents that were not Christians, I've yet to find one. Martyp 16:37, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Marty, bias doesn't work that way. You're not likely to find such an angry tract about any of the items on the list.
Atheistic bias, like other forms of bias, seeks to downplay and minimize Christianity. Washington was a leading, accomplished Christian. Lincoln far less so, other presidents even lesser still, and the office of president not Christian at all. An atheistic bias pushes language from the Christian recognition to the more atheistic substitute.--Andy Schlafly 18:15, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I agree with Andy here; the greater the Christianity of an historical figure, the more the atheistic revisionists will try to downplay his significance. PeterUker 18:24, 22 February 2011 (EST)
How can President's Day even be considered remotely secularized as it was never a religiously themed event to begin with? The reason we have President's Day is due to the hesitation and the unwillingness of conservatives in the southeast to celebrate Lincoln's birthday as vilified he was as in infringing on "state's rights," and removing their "Peculiar institution." This contrasts to other locations in the country who celebrated both Washington's birthday and Lincoln's birthday in two different events. Furthermore, the Federal Government was disinterested in granting two Monday's off for federal employees, so came the compromise of celebrating a day between Lincoln's and Washington's birthday.JustinU 21:46, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Lincoln never had a stature comparable to Washington, and it's not merely because southerners disliked Lincoln. The attempt to equate Lincoln to Washington as a joint federal holiday was a farce and never got off the ground.
But atheists downplay Washington just as they downplay other accomplished Christians. It's irrelevant whether the holiday was ever "religiously themed." A day honoring a prominent Christian has been diluted and even misnamed. It's the same secularization seen in replacing "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays."--Andy Schlafly 22:27, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Mr. Aschlafly, I am unsure if you are purposefully misapplying my point so that your argument appears to be stronger, but I feel that your point is less than successively argued. In fact, the reason that Lincoln is trumpeted as being one of the greatest Presidents to have ever had the honor of holding the office is because, pointedly, history holds him comparable to George Washington in regards to leadership and vision for the country. I am also at ends with your rather presuming statement of Washington's Christianity, considering the well documented Enlightenment-era beliefs he held associated with his principles as a Freemason, a largely deist organization.JustinU 00:44, 23 February 2011 (EST)
JustinU, it is well documented in Washington's own writings as well as the writings of those who knew him that he was a committed Christian within the Episcopalian Church. The "deist" allegation is from the late-20th century only. Karajou 00:57, 23 February 2011 (EST)
Maybe we should have a annual parade for St. George Washington like we do for St. Patrick. :)
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia correctly declares and supports the doctrine that every true Christian believer is a saint.[2] The Apostle Paul wrote: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." (Ephesians 1: 1-6) Washington appears to have been a true Christian.[3] Therefore, George Washington was a saint. Maybe we should have a annual parade for St. George Washington like we do for St. Patrick. :) conservative 04:33, 23 February 2011 (EST)

A few questions

A few of the words here don't really seem to fit in the list. For example:

  • Resurrection Sunday -> Easter
"Easter" does have pagan origins, but the Pope says "Easter Sunday", not "Resurrection Sunday" - see[4] and [5]. In fact, a Google search of the Vatican website doesn't find "Resurrection Sunday" at all, except a few times with commas in between.
  • Washington's Birthday -> President's Day
It's not secularization as far as I can tell. And President's Day honors Lincoln as well. Silly political correctness, maybe. Secularization, no.
  • Pagan -> Secular
Pagan usually refers to belief in multiple gods, while secular refers to something separate from religion (e.g. the Turkish government is secular because there is no state religion).
  • God bless you -> Gesundheit
Gesundheit is what Germans have always said after a sneeze. Many European countries have the same kind of response. Nobody ever says "God bless you" in German. "Gesundheit" is as old as "God bless you", and the people who say it got the idea from German-Americans.

DouglasL 14:18, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Pagan definition: one who has little or no religion. Secular definition: not overtly or specifically religious. --Jpatt 14:31, 22 February 2011 (EST)
Merriam-Webster Online: Pagan Secular
The first definition for "pagan" is a follower of a polytheistic religion - notice "polytheistic religion". Secular is not overtly or specifically religious. There's a difference, and in order to claim that "secular" is a redefinition of "pagan" you have to completely ignore the first definition of "pagan". There's probably another word that could be used as the precursor of "secular" (Atheist?), but it's not "pagan". DouglasL 12:58, 23 February 2011 (EST)
To clarify: I do think that the word "secular" and maybe "pagan" belong on this list, but not together. Maybe "atheist" -> "secular" and "pagan" -> "Wiccan" or such? DouglasL 18:28, 23 February 2011 (EST)

The Saint's Days

  • Valentine's Day is no longer officially the feast day for St. Valentine, which definitely explains on some level why the "St" has been dropped from the name. February 14th is now the feast day for Cyril and Methodius, this changed in 1969 under Pope Paul the V, I think.
  • Paddy for St. Patrick's Day makes logical sense in that Paddy is a celtic diminutive for Padrig, which is Anglicized to Patrick. I've never actually heard it as Paddy's Day, I've always heard it as "St. Paddy's Day"
  • Resurrection Sunday has been called Easter since at the very least the AD 600s. St. Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People written in the early 700s refers to it as Easter, although he does admit it is tied to the Pagan festival of Eostre he still uses the term Easter. I don't think it is logical to use Easter as an example of modern society trying to erase Christian influence from daily life, I think it is simply a continuation of a name that is well over 1,000 years old.

just my thoughts, good luck.--IScott 19:13, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Interesting comments, but they don't contradict the observation of bias. Practicing Catholics are a small minority in the United States and Western Europe, so the relevance of the Church's changing of the feast day for St. Valentine hardly seems dispositive. As to your second point, the "logical sense" is very strained in denying credit where it is due. As to your third point, Christians refer to Easter as Resurrection Sunday to this day, just fewer of them. And there was bias in 600 A.D. too.--Andy Schlafly 21:13, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I too have never heard paddy's day, it is always proceeded by the "St.". While catholics may be a minority in the west one exception to that is Ireland (the only country in the EU with out abortion) and I think the secular consciousness still associates Ireland with Catholicism. --AlaskanEconomy 21:50, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I agree that the actual Saint's days have been marginalized, and that the meaning of the holidays hold almost no religious meaning anymore. Irish-Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day not as a saint's feast but as a day to meaninglessly celebrate their Irish-ness and dye rivers green and over-indulge in drinking alcohol, and Valentine's Day is a day to celebrate love and has very little to do with the old saint's feast.
However, I stand firm on my third point, I find it highly unlikely that Saint Bede, venerated in both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, who is also considered a Doctor of the Church to be biased towards an unchristian term. In the 700s Bede refers to it as Easter and it has been called Easter by the English people and English speakers since at least then. For well over 1,000 years the majority of devout English Christians have called it Easter, and thus its use cannot be a modern attempt to try to obscure Christian origins.--IScott 23:22, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I agree that the use of Easter is not a modern secularization, but I still wonder whether its use was influenced by pagan tendencies in the first millennium. I have no quarrel with Saint Bede but am not sure he named it. He may well have been an expert about God but that does not make one an expert about bias. Quite the contrary: Jesus said the people of faith do not quickly recognize the tricks of the worldly.--Andy Schlafly 23:45, 22 February 2011 (EST)

Perversion diversity

As I understand it this is a list of words that are backward compatible to former religious meanings. We could stop saying Happy Holidays as a society and say Merry Christmas. I'd hate to think of what bigots we would appear to be if we started calling diversity perversion. "Have a lot of people off all different races, creeds, and colors working at your company, you are perverted!" or "A black man marrying a white woman, that's a perverted couple!" Since I doubt that anyone here thinks that way (and if they do maybe they should find somewhere else to be) then I think that should be pulled from the list for now. --AlaskanEconomy 20:01, 22 February 2011 (EST)

'Diversity' is a word used often by liberals and others who push the homosexual agenda, claiming that ongoing homosexualization is in the name of diversity. As a conservative and one who reads the Bible daily, I find same-sex marriage perverse, yet liberals such as yourself would refer to such things as diverse. Hence, your non-sequiturs aside, I feel the entry should remain. PeterUker 20:10, 22 February 2011 (EST)
A) You didn't address my point
B) Perversion isn't a religious word any more than right and wrong. Are math teachers helping to keep Christianity vibrant and alive by assigning problems which are later graded as right and wrong?
C) How ever often you claim to read the bible doesn't really matter here. This is the internet, anyone can claim to read the bible. however much they want. --AlaskanEconomy 20:32, 22 February 2011 (EST)
I'd have to weigh in with AE on this. Although, specifically, "diversity" is becoming a by-word, diversity is an old word and refers to more than just homosexualization, by keeping it as is gives those advocates legitimacy and (in the end) we end up losing a serviceable word. DevonJ 21:06, 22 February 2011 (EST)
We could make several categories of terms which have normal vs. liberal counterparts. Not all such pairs are examples of secularization. Some merely reflect the liberal worldview. --Ed Poor Talk 22:57, 22 February 2011 (EST)


I'm not quite sure this fits. While "passed" or "passed on" is certainly a euphemism for "dead," surely it carries with it the connotation of passing on to God's judgment? It seems to me like, if anything, "dead" is the more atheist-friendly term, since they're fond of claiming that once you're dead, you're dead. --Benp 22:52, 22 February 2011 (EST)

You seem to be correct, perish->dead maybe? Do what you feel is right.--Jpatt 22:57, 22 February 2011 (EST)