Political correctness is like the story of the pompous Emperor who was more concerned with fashion trends than with governing. Two fraudsters approached him claiming to possess a rare and beautiful thread. They said only those who were unfit for office or unusually stupid could not see the magical fabric when woven. The Emperor, being obsessed with fashion, thought this would be an excellent investment as it would also help him know who was wise, foolish or unfit for office in his kingdom. He commissioned the masterpiece and the fraudsters got to work pretending to weave with their invisible thread.
The Emperor asked his senior official to check on the progress of his clothes. When he arrived he saw the weavers hard at work but he couldn’t see a single thread. The fraudsters said to him, 'isn’t it amazing'? Though the official couldn't see anything he did not want to be thought of as unfit for office or stupid and pretended to see the amazing tapestry. He reported the progress praising the patterns and bold colours to the Emperor. The Emperor, now, eager to behold his new attire went with his officials to see for himself. On entry he was presented with the 'amazing' garment made of magical fabric. All the officials praised the wonderful tapestry, commenting on different qualities. The Emperor blushed knowing he couldn’t see anything, but he also did not want to be thought of as unfit for office and praised the work of the weavers giving them even more gold.
At the royal procession the King wore his much talked about magical robe. He proudly strut in front of the parade, and the crowd whispered praise of his amazing garment, each one not wanting to be thought of as stupid. It was at this point an innocent wide eyed boy pointed at the King and shouted 'THE EMPEROR IS NAKED!' There was an awkward silence in the crowd for a moment then the crowd broke into an uproar of laughter. There was the Emperor, with a bright red face standing before everyone naked.
Political correctness can work its way through society in a similar fashion. It acts as a suppressive force to our thoughts and creates an unwritten rule of what can and cannot be said. When it builds momentum it becomes a thought police masquerading as conscience propped up by peer pressure and group think. It takes a bold individual, or someone not caught up in the trappings of unreality to raise the truth and disturb the status quo.
We all desire to touch the authentic. Modern disillusionment with the political elite often stems from feeling we are not engaging with the real but with well-groomed personas who will say whatever we want to hear. Politicians have become famous for skilful avoidance of questions, responding to statistics and playing the game. A factory of spin doctors and PR men ensure the winning formula is maintained and all wrinkles are air brushed. Could it be that the recent surge in UKIPs popularity was not so much a vote for policy but rather a vote for authenticity? Was it an acceptance of UKIP or a rejection of over polished politicians? Nigel Farage claims to be saying publicly what the public is saying in their living rooms. In other words he claims to be breaking the political correct ice that hinders meaningful debate in public. And indeed many feel they are at least hearing a man who has real convictions and stands by them.
Unfortunately, the spirit of the age seems to have seized many Kingdom citizens. We have absorbed it so much so that even our private corners suffocate from the external eggshells of political correctness. 'Thus saith the Lord' has been replaced with 'thus saith society'. This unhealthy desire to 'be relevant' and mirror the mind of the world around us is exemplified by the Church of England, it’s an organization so obsessed with public acceptance it lacks authenticity and is tossed by every wind of doctrine, whilst losing its flock. We must ask, at what point does PC become DC (denial of Christ)? The moment the Kings will becomes taboo amongst us we are on the slippery slope to sitting in the council of the ungodly and standing in the way of sinners. In other words we reject our own authority and become unable to stand with Him as his elect parliament. Paul says it best when he says (Galatians 1:10) 'For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.' We must seek to embrace His philosophy on all matters whole heartedly, because one cannot serve God on one hand whilst fearing the status quo. Scripture also admonishes us to speak truth one to another (Eph 4:25), but when political correctness permeates our discourse we don’t speak truth to one another and we fail to seek what our authority has to say on the matter.
A NOTE OF CAUTION
Advocates for the abolishing of the shackles of political correctness often seek an excuse for untamed expression. Untamed and authentic are quite different. Yes some would like to throw off the shackles of political correctness to express vulgarities, rudeness or indecency. This is not what I am advocating. It is worth noting that it is not politically correct to hinder or discourage such conversation as aforementioned as we are encouraged to avoid un-wholesome talk which hinders each other and grieves the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:29). I am advocating the expression of loving yet uncompromising truth.
Thank God for truth which strikes with eternal power and shatters the philosophy of this age. A lie may travel many years, but its journey is thwarted the day it meets truth. Even a child, unshackled by political correctness, can make an Emperor blush.