What's the Word on Derogatory Words?

HarvHouHacker

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Okay, I've got another one, and anyone who has been following me on Discord may know why I'm bringing this up.

We live in a world where "hate speech", or language that uses certain words deemed "derogatory" or "egregious", is being rejected by various groups, even Christian groups. We can't call a dark-skinned person any of the N-words (I didn't spell it out, so as not to get in trouble, but you know which ones). We can't say a person who is transgender is living a life of sin. Yet they can say that Christianity is stupid, make frequent usage of the F- and S-bombs, and often attack anyone who thinks differently from them.

So... Are these words truly just awful, or is it not so much the words themselves? My thinking on the matter is how we perceive these words, not so much that the words are so "evil". What makes a word or phrase derogatory, anyway? I mean, I think it's more the intent behind such words than the words themselves.

Let's use something very simple and mostly benign, such as "bad apple". If I was to say "bad apple" in a phrase to someone who knows nothing about derogatory words, what would they be thinking of? Simply an apple that is bad, right? I might even be comparing a person to a bad apple, and as long as I am not saying anything hurtful to go with it, anyone who doesn't know about the words being deemed evil would either agree about or defend the person, not my word choice. I could just as easily say "bad orange" or "bad pear" to that person, and get the same results.

Now what if I was calling the person in question a bad apple? Again, they would either agree or disagree about themselves, not my word choice. Thus, I think it's not so much the words used as it is the fact that we associate words with "hate speech". Words that are frequently used to target a certain group are banned. The N-words. Words about the LGBTQ community. Words about people of different cultures - Asians and Africans, to be more specific.

I think what it boils down to is this: People get offended by words because they think that simply by using them, no matter what the actual intent is, is a crime, and thus the person using those words should be punished. Even the word "God" is becoming derogatory, nowadays! Are we so reactionary that a simple word will break up a friendship, or cause us to attack one another? This seems to be against what Jesus meant when he told us to "love one another". Using a word should not cause division - yet it is happening every day, every hour of every day.

That's my thinking on the matter. What are your thoughts on derogatory words and phrases? Do you think they are wrong or irrelevant? Let me know in the comments below!
 

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