Dehumanizing Language

December 17, 2007

Bene Diction Blogs On offers some excellent thoughts about the news that a member of New Life Church in Colorado Springs who was wounded in last week's shooting was escorted from the church by police yesterday. The pastor said, "We felt he was a bit volatile this morning, and we did not want any disruption to our service." He added that they hoped to contact the man this week to reach an "amicable" resolution. BDBO critiques the language that New Life's pastor used to describe the controversy, as well as the fact that they escorted the man out of church instead of providing him and other victims with counseling. Here is a highlight:

Police use dehumanizing, desensitizing para-military language to distance themselves and get their job done.

When Christians start mimicking the language, there is a major problem. That is not the language of God. That is not giving honour, worth and dignity to people created in the image and likeness of God. It is not an attitude or language a follower of Jesus Christ needs to embrace. When we do, we take our orders from state employees, we perceive people in lesser ways than we are called to in the Kingdom of God. If the church's members are willing to accept worship on police terms, perhaps looking for a new church might be in the best interests of their spiritual health and growth.
Amen! We as Christians must make sure that our language clearly communicates our love for people. We must avoid any language that dehumanizes others. This sad case adds to the tragedies that New Life has gone through, but hopefully they will better reach out in word and deed to the wounded man and others.