If one’s words need assistance to stand, perhaps, one needs to re-evaluate what one is saying. That is to say words should be able to stand on their own and without a machine, filter, or human be able to be understood generally speaking. (Of course there are times where one might wish to go deeper)
Most certainly those with an agenda, or with the intent to do malice will do so, and there is absolutely no way to stop them from doing so. But there is a way to limit the damage done by these people...speaking unambiguously...and cutting those who wish to do harm off at the pass before their message gets out....let me give a few examples:
- acceleration of a body is directly proportional to the sum of external forces and inversely proportional to its mass. (Newton’s 2nd Law)
- hope and change
c. Insert Pope Francis statement here
In the first statement, there is a clear understanding of the effect, cause, and the opposition to motion...Acceleration is the effect, the sum of external forces is the cause, and mass is the resistance to motion....This statement can be taken to it’s logical conclusion that a smaller mass has a larger acceleration, and a larger mass has a smaller acceleration. The reason the law is stated this way often times is because this statement is less ambiguous than the other (and incorrect) form of the statement “Force equals mass time acceleration.” You don’t need to be a physics major to see the logic behind statement a. Your intuition can see this logic, you can’t make an F-150 accelerate as fast as one of those smart cars.
In the second statement we have zero’s slogan for his 08 campaign. What is clear about this statement? Hope in what? What is he trying to change? Now of course this hope and change was often accompanied by a picture of himself looking up. The idea being to conjure up emotion, to get people to vote for him based upon these ambiguous words. These words by themselves need explanation because they are not attached to anything specific, people can run with these words anywhere they want, and THAT is a problem. As a person trying to communicate, one wants to be in control of the message that is being received. It should be important to be clearly understood regardless of who is playing the message through. Only later did we come to find out what these words mean, the transformation of America into something different than it was, and hope in a person who our hope should not be in.
Pope Francis, mind you, I love him, but as I’ve stated before he gives me headaches because he’s not clear with what he’s saying. It’s often times not the fact that he’s said something (He’s usually for the most part on the ball)...it’s the ambiguous way in which it was said that gives me headaches. The fact that people manipulate his words to their own ends (people would do that anyway)...frustrates me...even more frustrating is the fact that I’m sure he knows this and doesn’t try to get the clearest message out for people to understand him. I’ve seen various blogs try to explain away his actions or his words. Just stop, let his words and actions on their own merits. The Holy Father should keep off the cuff remarks to a minimum and STICK TO THE TEXT....in general....I most certainly hope that he’s learning that he can’t do off the cuff things anymore (or to a lesser extent) than what he’s used to. As the Pope the target and the microscope are zoomed in at their maximum levels. He must recognize this, and learn to speak clearly. Does it mean that he’s never allowed to screw up? Absolutely not, no one’s perfect, even Pope Benedict XVI made a few mistakes along the way (condom incident anyone?...I don’t consider Ragensburg a mistake))...I hope the one lesson that comes out of this is clarity and precision is needed. As any scientist will tell you, if you are not clear and precise in your research, everything falls)...but I guess this means that we all need to pray for him that much more.
Perhaps one can say that ambiguity is the perfect way to manipulate people towards an end whatever direction one wishes to take it. Outside of the situations where ambiguity is necessary, I for one am absolutely sick of it, in particular from those where ambiguity should not be necessary.
In particular coming from leaders in the Church, I (nor anyone else) shouldn’t have to go through filters to find the “true meaning” of words that were said. That is to say one should be clearly understood the first time one says something (whenever it’s possible, obviously there are exceptions)
Whether it’s “Immigration reform” what exactly are you trying to reform? why are you trying to reform it? To what end are you seeking this? Why is it necessary to change the system? One can’t get support (at least from a half-way intelligent person) without being clear and concise with one is trying to do.
Or it’s comments on the situation in the Church, be clear with what needs to be said, say it, let us digest the words, then only if necessary add clarifications....Let me give an example of how things SHOULD be said...
USCCB: We need you to stand up for Immigration Reform
What the USCCB should say (if they actually want to be listened to):
- This is a matter where 2 people can disagree, it is not necessary to agree with us on this particular issue.
- We will not support anyone breaking the present immigration laws. Anyone seeking to enter the country, must follow the laws that are on the books at present.
- The complexity of each situation for the various families are to be respected.
- Those that are at present breaking the law are obliged to follow the law and make reparations for breaking the laws.
- This nation has a right to enforce its own laws, but they should enforce those laws in charity and with respect to the dignity of the human person and must not go on witch-hunts.
- The process for legal immigration should be streamlined so that it does not take decades to attain citizenship.
- Those that are here illegally do not have a right to citizenship, but do have a right to their dignity as human persons.
Or whether it’s the situation with the gay lobby, or homosexuality in general
Pope Francis (insert off the cuff un-prepared remarks)
What Pope Francis should have said:
- Those homosexuals that are living chaste lives have the opportunity by the grace of God to get to heaven.
- Homosexual behaviour is absolutely unacceptable and cannot be supported in any fashion.
- Homosexual persons should not be discriminated and maltreated.
- Homosexual actions are a block to the priesthood in the Church.
Now, could the above still be manipulated? Absolutely, but one can’t say that these statements above weren’t clear in their intention and understanding.
Anyone should be able to read Pope Francis (or anyone else) on their own merits, and not have a situation where they constantly need to be re-fashioned to fit a narrative (right or left)....That is to say people should be able to “Read Francis through Francis” and not someone else’s lens.
Quite frankly I’m sick of the ambiguity, stand up, confront, and be not afraid. Be clearly understood in your fights,....And if you happen to be the Bishop of Rome, please, more preparation, less off the cuff and un-prepared remarks....