Now the cheapening of language for political ends has great potential in the hands of a true artist and wordsmith like the Rev. Al Sharpton. Someone with Sharpton's skills rightly has ambition beyond simply changing the meaning of marriage. Sharpton takes on Christianity itself.
So, in recent days Sharpton has been critical of black pastors for "narrowly" focusing on such marginal issues as abortion and gay marriage and ignoring such pillars of the Christian faith as affirmative action (I've been searching for the chapter and verse on this in my Bible) and "ending" poverty (my scripture says that "destitute people will not cease to exist within the land" and explains that this is the very reason for the personal obligation to give charity).
"Right" Christians, according to Sharpton, would not seek to deny a woman's right to destroy the child within her (in this sense, black women, who account for 40 percent of the nation's abortions, must be a truly blessed community) or a "gay couple's right to marry."
Yes, if the black church had its act together, according to Sharpton, it wouldn't be so obsessed with the half million aborted black babies each year, the 70 percent of black babies born to unwed mothers, the 65 percent of black households headed by single parents and the rampant incidence of AIDS, and would instead focus more on the Voting Rights Act.
Can the Lord, as Christians understand Him, really be more concerned with majority minority voting districts than black children wandering the streets with no values, guidance or purpose in life?
I think Confucius had a point. If words have no meaning, if they can be manipulated and used as political tools, if indeed there is no sense of any truth rooted in tradition and experience, there will be no freedom.
Fortunately, a note of sanity was struck in New York and Georgia. But the war goes on.