What Are Words For?

Linguistic Gymnastics!

Everyone is aware of the various issues of public morality and the lack of honest discussion due to the dominance of secularism in the public forum. As has been the case for some time, the debates are clouded by misusing certain words and phrases. Since it was first introduced to the public, the notion of “Plan B” has been rejected by the Church for many good reason, most notable the intrinsic evils of abortion and contraception. Yet this has not had any impact on Shippensburg University. It is bad enough that society has made contraception a norm that has been tied into discussion of “health”. Now they are dispensing contraceptives and abortifacients from vending machines and many think that the delivery method is the issue.

To enter this conversation, every Catholic must be clear -- Plan B is NOT only a contraceptive, even though they continue to use this terminology. Albeit reluctantly, there are medical experts who admit it also works as an abortifacient. In both cases, making such items available from an impersonal machine further deteriorates any possibility of encouraging moral behavior in young people. In the battle of words and linguistic manipulation, no one seems to be using the public forum to discuss the root causes of such illicit uses of the sexual faculty and why better catechesis is needed to form good consciences.

Ironically, most Catholics will most likely miss the depth of this issue and become mired in questioning the wisdom of dispensing such things in vending machines. Because they have not been well catechized, the discussion of sexual morality will most likely never enter the discussion. We can play with the language all we want, but in the end all linguistic gymnastics will not impress the Lord on Judgment Day.