N. T. Wright on marriage: "chang[ing] an ideology within a culture by changing the language"

N. T. Wright on marriage “When anybody—pressure groups, governments, civilizations—suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out. If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying ‘N.S.,’ meaning National Socialist or Nazi. The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. In post-1917 Russia,


there were whole categories of people who were called “former persons,” because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant for the state, and once you call them former persons it was extremely easy to ship them off somewhere and have them killed. In the same way, there was a letter in the Times Literary Supplement just a few weeks ago saying that when we’re talking about assisted suicide, we shouldn’t actually use words like ‘suicide,’ ‘killing,’ and those sort of words because those imply that you shouldn’t do it. Whereas now our civilization is saying that maybe there are reasons for that. I find that sort of stuff chilling, the attempt to change an ideology within a culture by changing the language.”

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