I saw the A.P. Stylebook has now suggested that the word “riot” no longer be used in reporting and that in its place the word “unrest” be substituted. We have used this blog site to talk about the magical use of language before, and how those who are supposed to report the news have changed into organizations that seek to form the news and shape society. We have not wandered far from our mission to talk about mercy, and how Mercy exhibits itself in the church of Christ and how Christ himself is the embodiment of mercy. When secular organizations take over the word mercy it magically changes into a political construct and a waxen nose thet can be twisted to look like anything. A subtle shift happened in service organizations over the years in which mercy, has turned into “justice”.
There are those who say that arguments over semantics are meaningless, but we need to understand that arguments about semantics are over meaning. Do words mean things or not? Can I use words any way I want to and expect you to understand my meaning, or can I use words any way I want to in order for you to change your perception of the meaning? If one person is killed and 27 police officers are injured in a few hours of “unrest”, how many need to die and be injured before we can use the word “riot”?
The Scriptures are replete with words, conversations about words, and the use of words. There are entire sections devoted to the way we talk and the way we interpret what we hear. The. There is the great insight that Christ is “the Word”. A healthy respect for words and the way we use them seems to be prudent and a necessary part of the stewardship of life.