Is politically correctness on the way out? Have its proponents finally out-done themselves? These were two questions posed to delegates at the traditional banquet concluding the annual pro-life conference, Lifesavers ’94, sponsored by Campaign Life Coalition and Alliance for Life.
Well known columnist, editor and publisher, Link Byfield took his audience, step by step, through the political correctness movement, from its beginning with the fall of man, its strong resurgence in the enlightenment of the eighteenth century, right up to the present time with its fanatical promotion by the radical feminist and homosexual movements.
Mr. Byfield’s traditional values have been well aired in his weekly contributions to the Alberta, B.C. and Western Reports. What was not universally expected from one who has been described as a prophet on political correctness, was the perfectly balanced humour which accompanied his earnestness and pure logic.
Speaking of his first awakening at the age of twelve, he repeated a line from a television favourite of the late fifties and early sixties – Bonanza. The line which struck the young Byfield as being particularly empty and foolish was “A man can never be wrong when he believes that he’s doing right.”
Later he heard the same message in the Debbie Boone hit “You light up my life” which taught us that “it can’t be wrong if it feels so right.” With force, he said, “Well, it can be wrong.”
Addressing the basic flaw of political correctness, he described its three primary objectives. Firstly to oppose objective reality by the introduction of subjective moral relativism, to replace thinking with feeling and to put emotional positives in place of any emotional negatives. When this cannot be done, simply suppress discussion.
Denouncing political correctness Mr. Byfield said it goes to the very roots of the way we think, causing mental paralysis. He went on to say that its promoters want this paralysis.
Birth, love and death are the central mysteries of life. All three involve submission which is the root of virtue. When we submit to that which is right, we begin to grow. The promoters of political correctness, which he sees as totally illogical and, in the long run, undemocratic, refuse to accept submission.
He accused the Liberal Party of bending over backwards to keep pro-life candidates out of the Party on the grounds that it needed more feminists. “The Liberal Party would rather run a horse than a pro-lifer,” he said, before warning his audience that the Reform Party will be just as ugly, should it get into power.
“The reality,” he said, “is that pro-lifers are being shut out. Just ask anyone who tries to become involved in a Catholic hospital board, a political party or the media. Pro-lifers are shut out with ruthless efficiency.”
While we understand reality, those who agitate for political correctness, deny it. “Is there virtue but no sin? Is there pleasure but no pain?” he asked. Continuing he said that, in the midst of denial, there is no escape for them, only pretence.
He concluded his dynamic presentation with two profound and ever widening rays of hope. In their bullying tactics, the political correctness enthusiasts are, in increasing numbers, being perceived by a more thinking public, as oppressors and not liberators. Their message is falling, more and more on deaf ears. This is evident in the declining divorce rate and in the growing number of mothers who are staying at home with their children. Is this the end for those who have denied such natural virtues as courage, justice and prudence?
Pro-lifers, Mr. Byfield sees as sane, happy and stubborn people who emerge from harsh darkness surrounded by a halo which can only come from God. Faith, hope and charity drive the pro-life movement.
“We will win,” he said, “not because of clever argument but because we will continue to speak simply and say ‘it is wrong to kill babies.’”