Watch Your Mouth

Paul Waldman has a great piece in The Gadflyer’s Fly Trap about the use of language when discussing issues such as religion. The whole thing, including the transcript of a short December 7 ABC News report about the celebration of Christmas, is worth your time to read, but of pertinent consideration is this:
[C]onservatives want people to hear "public" as "open" and "private" as "secret" when we're discussing this issue. But many people, particularly the lawyers who are sometimes called to discuss it, talk about "public" as "related to government" and "private" as "not related to government."

Banish this from your vocabulary. Don't discuss "posting the Ten Commandments in public buildings," talk about "taxpayers paying to put up religious texts in government buildings." Don't say "religion should be private," say "we shouldn't get government in the religion business." Because that's what it's really about.

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