Do words- or anything else- really mean things anymore?
One of the terminal stages in my long disillusionment with the religious organization which for some reason calls itself the "Evangelical Lutheran Church in America" was a meeting called by our bishop at which all but two of the attending pastors identified themselves as either Modernists (i.e., people who believe that truth is unknowable), or as Post-Modernists (people who believe that there is no such thing as truth). How people who believed in either of these things could at the same time consider themselves followers of the Man Who claimed to be the Truth, or for that matter adherents of any theological or philosophical system whatsoever, eluded me. It still does.
A colleague of mine has pointed out for a long time that for Nietzsche, "truth" was nothing more or less than the will to power- and that this view of truth served as whatever justification the Nazis felt necessary to carry out their agenda. Truth, for the Post-Modernist, doesn't exist. If the word is used at all, it's used to mean "whatever advances The Agenda." It is in that guise that "truth" plays its greatest role in the ideology of the contemporary American Left, and especially in what folks in the ***A refer to as "theology."
Post-Modernism is very much the spirit of the age. The one thing nobody dares to do is to suggest that he or she is right, and that somebody else is wrong. All opinions are equally valid, just because people hold them. If there is no such thing as truth, how could it be otherwise?
Of course, there are exceptions wherever the Post-Modernist wants to make them; the concept wouldn't be Post-Modern if it had any internal consistency. The Agenda is, for the Left, in one sense an unfailing standard for judging the Truth which doesn't exist. The illogic and outright deceit which has characterized everything from the acceptance of abortion as a means of birth control (abhorrent to the overwhelming majority of Americans, according to the polls, but political gold nonetheless under the rubric of "choice" in a society in which birth control is the reason for which, in the overwhelming majority of cases, that particular "choice" gets made) to the presentation of the overwhelming and well-documented dysfunction of most homosexual relationships as not only qualitatively equivalent to but, as in the case of that article in The Atlantic a few months ago, even superior to heterosexual ones, the generally accepted "truth" in our political discourse has largely become precisely whatever advances the Left's agenda.
It's well-established that kids have the best chance of growing up normal and healthy in a home in which there are both male and female role-models. Yet because studies have shown that no particular deficit occurs when parents are specifically gay or lesbian, somehow that fact gets ignored in the debate (such as it is) over same-sex "marriage." The disadvantage close to 40% of the kids who are born out of wedlock these days even to relatively affluent, white women is, once again, a matter of established, quantified, and accepted reality. Yet we're somehow led to believe that there are only healthy consequences to a modern norm of sexual behavior which would have been considered outright promiscuity in any other age, and women who voluntarily choose to so handicap the children they bring into the world blissfully decline to acknowledge the selfishness of that choice.
In many ways, that sign-language interpreter who signed gibberish during the Nelson Mandela funeral is as good a symbol of the intellectual and moral incoherence of Post- Modernism- and of the age in which we live- as we're apt to come across.
Some thoughts on that theme here.