Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Eddie Jane Pelkey
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Is it politically correct to lie?

Escape with Eddie


Who said, “To thine own self be true”? Seems to me it was Shakespeare. But who am I to quote such a lofty person? I grew up hearing this phrase from my mother, who believed that you should never lie to yourself, much less anyone else. Truth, as we all know, it what we should strive for in our daily lives.

Aside from that wonderful thought, what are we to do if, when asked what we think, we are bound to state the truth, or what someone wants us to say? Sometimes the truth is not palatable to the other person’s ears. I mean really, should we blurt out the honest to gosh truth when we think the other person is an absolute mass of contradictions? Or should we reply to placate the other person's feelings?

Sometimes, when I watch the news, it boggles my mind to see how diplomatic we have all become. Everything is ensconced in politically correct language. Ten people can be photographed watching a stabbing in the street. Yet, when the news breaks, the language of coverage states, “alleged attack," negating the fact that we are all seeing the photograph of the attack. Is there something wrong with the truth of eye-witness accounts that are actually photographed?

Is it politically correct to state that illegal drug use in our local cities and counties is running rampant? Law enforcement is up to its collective ears in drug deals and dealers, but yet the proper image is to be maintained that life in the countryside is pastoral. When do you call a spade a spade?

I have attended numerous classes on diversity of culture, creed, color, belief systems, etc. At every single one of them I would hear the same thing: You can think it, but you can’t say it. Well, it seems to me if you think it, it’s part of your internal language. Biblically speaking, if you think a sin, you have committed the sin. Biblically speaking, if you repent of the sin, you can be forgiven.

This thinking brings to mind situations where people admit to slurs they made in the past and now regret and apologize for their occurrence. Instead of being forgiven with the realization that all of us have baggage we carry from the past, they are ostracized from society.

Who among us hasn’t done things we regret? At what point should we all shut our mouths and remain mum, even when it demands we lie by omission? In those instances when our unvarnished truths would cause major harm, is it best to shut one’s mouth? However, if we do not speak up and it causes others harm, what are we to do? I believe that truth in our lives is essential to our integrity.

At the center of all discussion lies the premise that someone is always right and someone is always wrong. Well, it appears to me that some discussions can go both ways. Where does that leave right and wrong? Should I lose my right to my beliefs and the right to speak to those beliefs? If I disagree with your about our ethics, does it make one of us right or wrong? Do we need to find ways to accept our disagreement, or do we duel it out?

One of the finest rights in our country is the right of free speech. I am beginning to wonder if in the final analysis political correctness is going to circumvent those rights. I may end up afraid to open my mouth.


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