Rev. Koole is pastor of Faith Protestant Reformed Church in Jenison, Michigan.

The Art (or Code) of Deception

Duplicity, disguise, deception, and finally manipulation of the masses itself—all part of the power of words. Mankind has always known it, but of late it is becoming apparent that our society (and its ministers of propaganda) are perfecting such deception to an art. We are becoming a nation of “spin-doctors.” As the ‘handlers’ of our ex-president of the recent administration proved, if you play enough with words, you can make even the most immoral and dishonest activities sound innocent and justifiable. Evidently you can fool most of the people most of the time, especially if they really want to be deceived and spared the unvarnished truth. Hitler and his ministers of propaganda knew this well. What they were able to sell to the masses by means of word manipulation has not been lost on twenty-first century society, that is for sure.

What follows is a list Time magazine (Sept. 17) called “euphemisms being use by companies to describe [substantial] layoffs,” or, ways to say “you are fired” without having to say it quite that way.

Teleglobe: “Today announced plans to revector portions of its business.” (Translation: 450 jobs lost.) (Ironically, my word-processor’s spell check refused even to accept “revector” as a legitimate word—KK.)

Cisco: “The reduction in work-force will include … involuntary attrition and the consolidation of some positions.” (Translation: 3,000 to 5,000 jobs lost.)

Schwab: “Announced today that … it plans to implement further restructuring to reduce operating expenses.” (Translation: 2,000 to 2,400 jobs lost.)

Lucent: “Expects to reduce its net headcount … through a combination of force management actions and attrition.” (Translation: 10,000 jobs lost.)

The contortions companies go through to avoid saying they have to make sizable layoffs (and having to admit to the stockholders that their company is losing business and not doing as well as it was a short time ago)! Somewhat humorous, to say the least. But such word manipulation loses its humor in other contexts, and in fact is taking on chilling overtones. John Leo (of Newsweek magazine) points this out in an article entitled “Cracking the U.N. Code” (Sept. 17, 2001). Planners of an international conference dealing with children’s rights were highly critical of President Bush’s intention to boycott the planned September 19 conference in New York due to the phrase “reproductive health services” in the document to be adopted.

It is the announced belief of the U.N. personnel, endlessly repeated, that this phrase [reproductive health services—KK] has nothing to do with guaranteeing access to abortion for children.

This is odd. At the United Nations, “reproductive health services” have long been understood to include abortion. At a late-night session in June, a weary Canadian delegate lapsed into candor and said, “Of course it includes, and I hate to say the word, but it includes abortion.” Many at the session gasped at this revelation, or non-revelation….

The U.N. often cloaks controversial proposals in innocuous or broad language, luring delegations into voting for ideas they don’t approve or even understand. Code words covering abortion include “sexual rights” and “forced childbearing.” Seemingly harmless U.N. language on “children’s rights” undermines parental authority. Since “physical or mental violence” is forbidden, it may be an international offense to spank and perhaps even to criticize one’s children. “Gender mainstreaming” refers to the idea that gender is a “social construct,” meaning there are no important sexual differences between males and females. U.N.-speak is also strong on fill-in-the-blank language, such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s call for the U.N. to remove “obstacles that make young people uncomfortable about themselves.” Who knows what that will turn out to mean in 10 to 20 years?

What is going on, of course, is sheer dishonesty. “Children’s rights,” my foot! When what’s being promoted is the murder of children through abortion? Abortion is in the interest of a child’s rights? Do not even try to follow the line of reasoning. Evil has the power in the end to make the mind morally insane (Matt. 6:23). It is not a matter of children’s rights these people are interested in, it is their ‘right’ to take your children from your home when they decide they do not like what you are teaching them. Their agenda is their ‘rights’ as a self-appointed ‘taliban’ to claim our children as their own, the state’s right over children superseding those of mere parents. Sheer deviltry is afoot. The Dragon still wants to destroy the seed of the woman. His spokesmen (persons?) assure society they have nothing but the well-being of society and your freedom of choice in mind. And they do! As long as your choice submits to their tyranny of thought. Huxley’s Brave New World is less and less fiction all the time. As John Leo concludes in his article,

Most Americans pay little attention to the U.N. and assume that nothing serious ever happens there. They are wrong.

North of the Border (for some of us)

What is taking place in Canada these days (other than the onslaught of cold weather)? Worrisome things, to say the least. In an insightful article in the October 8 issue of the Christian Renewal, Hermina Dykxhoorn underscores where liberal socialism and its anti-Christian mentality has taken Canada.

Anyone with doubts about the moral and spiritual bankruptcy of Canada’s ruling elite needs look no further than the response by the Canadian Government to the terrorist attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11….

Dykxhoorn points out that, although the American service in the National Cathedral left much to be desired, still there were Christian symbols, clergymen, hymns (including Luther’s “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”), and references to God and Christ Jesus present.

In contrast, the Canadian “service” was held on Parliament Hill with no participation by clergy of any faith. There was no mention of God, no hymns, no Scripture and no prayers. 80,000 Canadians crowded Parliament Hill hoping to find some comfort, some hope after such an unexpected and devastating blow. Most of the participants had expected a religious service. What they got was an empty, meaningless event. There was only the Governor General and the Prime Minister, who pontificated, “At a time like this, the only saving grace is our common humanity and decency.” We are a nation to be pitied if this is our “only saving grace.”

The very event the crowd was mourning was a flaring illustration of man’s inhumanity and indecency. Chretien met the diabolical evil of a murderous cult that executed over 6,000 innocent people with tepid, meaningless, generic platitudes. He has obviously not come to terms with the problem of real, purposeful evil. Like the good liberal he is, Chretien, in all likelihood, believes that if the murderous cult had just had the benefit of a Canadian multi-cultural education, of Canada’s generous social safety net or perhaps even just one more chorus of “Give Peace a Chance” the tragedy could have been averted.

After a storm of protest from dissatisfied Canadians, a so-called “religious service” was planned for the following week. This service was worse. It was actually blasphemous. Every “religion” from “A” to “Z,” literally, from aboriginal to Wicca (witchcraft) to Zoroastrian, participated. I do not exaggerate. The place was filled with white turbans, saffron robes and presumably broomsticks…. It has come to this in our country. No real comfort or hope.

This is the anti-Christian spirit coming to full bloom. It reflects where all of Europe already is and has been for about 30 years and where the U.S. is headed as well. What the liberals want is no public reference to God, Scripture, or the Christian faith, but if pushed to show a religious face, then any religion will do, no matter how inane, as long as it does not smell of Christianity.

The question arises — Why is it that these men can stomach nearly any religion, no matter how inane, but any whiff of Christianity fills them with undisguised hostility? The only answer that can be given is that unbelieving man senses with his bare feet that the Christian faith is different, namely, it is “truth,” truth that places man before the living and true God, and it is to this God, the God of Christ Jesus of the Scriptures, that they will have to give answer in the day of days. It is this truth that searches them and turns them inside out. Of this truth proud, rebellious man wants no reminder. “Let us silence it every way we can.”

It is this same Canada that has laws on the books making spanking of one’s children a crime (violation of a child’s rights), giving the state the right to take your children from your home. And so an ‘enlightened’ state takes to herself more and more power over every facet of life. Basic freedoms are being abrogated. The same spirit prevails among the intellectuals in the States. How long society will permit us to ‘brainwash’ our children remains to be seen.

Singing a Different Saska(toon):

Not to pick on Canada, but the above title of a little article in World magazine, July 2, 2001 demonstrates the direction not only Canada is going, but the democracies of the West, when it comes to freedom of speech and the right to call sin sin.

Say the wrong thing in Canada—even from the Bible—and get raked over the coals for “hate speech.” Hugh Owen bought an ad in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix that carried Bible verses condemning homosexuality. It featured an icon of two stick figures holding hands with a circle and slash through it.

As a result, the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission ordered that he and the paper pay $1,500 each to three homosexuals who complained about the ad, according to The Ottawa Citizen. The ruling complained that the biblical references, such as the one from Leviticus, “suggested more dire consequences and there can be no question that the advertisement can objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to hatred or ridicule.”

StarPhoenix editor told the paper the ad was a freedom-of-speech issue, but he doesn’t plan to appeal: “I wouldn’t do it again, that’s for sure.”

University of Western Ontario law professor Ian Hunter complained to the Calgary Herald of the severity of censoring Mr. Owen’s ad. “If Mr. Owen cannot express his opinions through a paid ad in the StarPhoenix, can he express them from a street corner soapbox?” he wondered. “From the pulpit of a church? Should he get himself elected in the House of Commons? Do we have the right to express anti-consensus views anywhere in Canada?”

The ‘thought police’ slowly close the circle. Freedom of speech belongs to those who say things offensive to and about God, not to those who may say things that offend the feelings of poor sinful man. One wonders, indeed, how long the pulpit will be free.