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Isaiah 5:20–21 ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…’ (v20)

Political correctness presents a challenge to freedom of expression, for opinions can be taken as perceived as criticism of someone. For mediators, the most intransigent cases are always values based, because human identity is intricately woven into our internal belief system of the world. Often such values are defined, then expressed, by what they oppose. Negatively stated they are named ‘hate speech’ and the public square of conversation is reduced to a battlefield. 

Healthy conversation is lost in attempts to slaughter alternative proposals. Whilst we might disagree where the government spends our taxes, the disagreement doesn’t in itself demonise government, or the democratic principle it’s built on. Any speech presenting a perspective aimed at inciting rejection of another is wrong, since it fails to respect the integrity difference. 

As disciples we recognise everyone bears God’s image, placing a high value on humanity. The gospel also demands that we protect humanity’s best interests and represent them honestly. When I speak of God as, ‘first cause and final end’, it’s implicit that God sits atop a hierarchy.

Does this by itself denigrate other views of god? Or, am I making a constructive contribution to the ongoing religious conversation? The objective in any conversation is not to win the argument.

Many have won an argument short term only to lose the debate later. Too often arguments are presented as sterile conversations built around a polarisation of ideas that offer only one legitime preference. Healthy social interaction is too frequently sacrificed on the altar of manufactured political correctness.


Gen. 21:8–21; Prov. 6:16–19; Luke 10:25–37; Gal. 4:8–20


Reflecting on your beliefs will help clarify them and enable you
to express them more clearly and effectively. Remember, you express them
as a witness to the way you live, not to win an argument.


‘Lord, help me to listen as willingly as I talk and to refuse to
polarise conversation with the intention of winning an argument. Amen.’

Photo by nappy

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.