24 February 2012

end "its" life

One of my pet peeves is so-called "inclusive language." It's not inclusive but exclusive. God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, and even God the Son before the Incarnation, are neither male or female (of course, God the Son is a male now that he took on flesh), but we say "Him" and "His" because in English, like many other languages, the masculine form does double duty and can refer to one or more males, or, to a mixed group or an individual of unknown sex. This is called Standard English.

So-called "inclusive language" came about because some people wanted to push a political agenda that says men and women were the same. Note, I did not say, "equal dignity," but "the same." Of course men and women have equal dignity, but they most definitely are not the same. For instance, men can have all the immoral sex they want without the risk of getting pregnant. The people that pushed so-called "inclusive language" wanted women to have the same immoral sexual freedom, so they legalized contraception and abortion. That's right! The same political agenda that gave us legal contraception and abortion also gave us so-called "inclusive language."

For the most part, so-called "inclusive language" seems pretty harmless and maybe even good if you ignore its insidious roots. However, the inroads it's made into the Church have caused some major problems. Ever notice that some of the songs you know by heart now have different "inclusive" words? Ever wonder why all the new translations of the Bible have not been approved for liturgical use? Ever wonder why you couldn't buy a Catholic Bible that matched the Readings at Mass until a few years ago? Well today I notice how the political agenda of so-called "inclusive language" had a major victory against the pro-life movement.

It was a victory hidden to most. Probably most pro-lifers missed it, and likely most anti-lifers missed it as well. I noticed it, but then, I make a big deal about the correct meaning and usage of words. It was in the article If Ultrasound is Rape, Arrest Planned Parenthood Staffers on lifenews.com. In this article was the sentence, "Requiring an ultrasound to take place before an abortion is performed makes sense since it ensures that the mother is actually pregnant, determines the age and size of the baby, and aids in determining the location of the unborn child for either the vacuum machine or a needle used to end its life, if in fact a surgical abortion is decided upon."

Did you see it? It referred to the baby as "it." Major victory against pro-life.
When a baby is born, "it's" a "he" or a "her." Until that time, "it's" an "it." That is, "it's" not a person. "It's" a thing.

God the Holy Spirit is never an "It." He's a person. He's always a "He" even though He is neither male or female. The word He here is doing double duty and not being used in the masculine, but in the neutered. Likewise, a baby is never an "it." He's a person; even if he hasn't been born yet. Even before we know his gender, a baby is a "he" in the sense that the word he is doing double duty and not being used in the masculine, but in the neutered because he is of an unknown sex.

The sentence in the lifenews.com article should have ran, "end his life." Of course this may feel a bit odd because we've had so-called "inclusive language" shoved down our throats for more than half a century, so I'll concede to, "end his or her life." Actually, I'll even go so far to concede to, "end her life." However, I will never concede to, "end its life." A person is a person from conception until eternity; unless, of course, He's a Divinity, in which case He's a person from eternity until eternity. But then, I make a big deal about the correct meaning and usage of words.