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The Banned CDC List Is Religious Right Terrorism


Phoenix

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The Banned CDC List is Religious Right Terrorism

DECEMBER 16, 2017 / JOHN PAVLOVITZ

Donald Trump has reportedly banned the CDC from using the following words in their policies, budgets, and communications:

Evidence-based
Science-based
Fetuses
Transgender
Vulnerable
Entitlement
Diversity

This is not exactly true.

This is not Donald Trump’s handiwork.
He is not the author of this list.
He isn’t smart enough to come up with a combination of words so perfectly synchronized to hurt and silence marginalized people.
Only Evangelicals can do that.

As a Christian and twenty-year pastor, one who’s served for much of that time in the American Bible Belt—the list is eerily familiar.

It’s the extreme Evangelical Christian Right’s signature mix tape, the careful curated playlist they’ve had on heavy rotation in their indie gatherings for the past 60 years—only now it’s getting wide release, thanks to the monster they’ve aligned with; one who’s perfectly happy to disseminate it to keep their union intact.

Every sick, perverse Right Wing religious line of attack is there within those words:

A disregarding of scientific fact in favor of necessary religious mythology.
The unrelenting demonizing of the LGBTQ community.
The hyperbolic vilifying of those defending a woman’s right to choose.
The neglect of the poor and marginalizing and coddling of the wealthy.
Open contempt for people of brown skin, foreigners, immigrants.
Historic misogyny and raging white supremacy.

The list is a bulleted seven-point Sunday sermon outline, the kind that’s been given every weekend in pulpit pounding churches by spitting, sweating, furiously angry white men—who tell people the sky is falling and assure them only a vengeful white God can hold it up. They’re a list perfectly designed to leverage the fear Bible Belt Evangelicals work specifically and almost solely in.

These seven words are not the work of Donald Trump. He can barely craft a coherent Tweet, let alone compose a brilliant bit of subtle violence like this. This list is a wicked witch’s brew, crafted by the preachers and pastors and religious universities who’ve sold their souls to this President in order to get the market share that their extremism wouldn’t allow naturally. These words are written in the unmistakable hateful hand of the Pences, the Falwells, the Dobsons, the Grahams, the Southern Baptists, pro-lifers, and Family Values crusaders—and they’re tailor-made to legislate the Evangelical’s elevation of cisgender, white, wealthy Americans. It is mass murder without truck bombs and AK-47s. It’s domestic terrorism, just with less obvious weapons.

And it’s the kind of thing that would make Jesus turn over damn every table in sight, were he able to stop vomiting long enough to do so.

America is not a theocracy but it soon will be, unless people of faith and those who hold no spiritual tradition who recognize and abhor such religious extremism—oppose it loudly and continually. That this kind of forced compliance is the antithesis of the life and teachings of Jesus, as well as the Constitution. Both argue loudly against what’s happening here.  

We cannot allow faith-based bigotry to become the law of the land here or we no longer need claim this nation a place where Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness matter. We can give up that whole Land of the Free, Home of the Brave garbage. 

This CDC list is not random, it’s not impulsive, and it’s not the work of a bumbling, unintelligent, fraud like Donald Trump.

It is a deliberate, careful-crafted, dangerously precise work of white Evangelicals who aren’t going to watch their faith tradition die without taking out a whole lot of innocent people as it does.

This is what terrorists do.

And it’s what good people need to stop them from doing.

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I was going to post something about this very thing.  This edict doesn't effect just the CDC, though, but other agencies as well.  Finally, Newspeak has come to the US.  

Orwell didn't write 1984 as a policy manual, but as a warning.

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@Phoenix, do you have a link to this article? If you can post a link, it would make it easier for me to share with non-FJ friends. ﹰPlease and thank you!:)

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"Trump administration targets certain words, and the bureaucracy pushes back"

Spoiler

The Trump administration is waging a linguistic battle across official Washington, seeking to shift public perception of key policies by changing the way the federal government talks about climate change, scientific evidence and disadvantaged communities.

The push drew fresh attention after employees at the Department of Health and Human Services were told to avoid certain words — including “vulnerable” “entitlement” and “diversity” — when preparing requests for next year’s budget. But the effort to disappear certain language and replace it with other terms is much broader, sparking resistance from career officials in multiple federal agencies, outside experts and congressional Democrats.

Climate change, for example, has for months presented a linguistic minefield; multiple references to it have been purged repeatedly at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department. In late summer, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention issued a document to employees and contractors bearing a column of words and phrases to be avoided, alongside a column of acceptable alternatives.

The one-page “language guidance” document recommends using “all youth” instead of “underserved youth,” referring to crime as a “public issue/public concern” rather than a “public health issue/public health concern” and describing young people who commit crimes as “offenders” rather than “system-involved or justice-involved youths,” according to a copy of the document obtained by The Washington Post.

The document also says to avoid “substance abuse disorder” in favor of “substance abuse issue.” That runs counter to attempts by experts to raise awareness that substance abuse is a disease.

... < document in question >

On Wednesday, a Justice Department official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said that “the recommended terminology is intended to be more accurate and better reflect Justice Department priorities.”

The desire to literally change the conversation in Washington is nothing new. For decades, incoming administrations have sought to advance their political agendas by rebranding existing initiatives and lifting new words to prominence in White House news releases.

After winning the election on a vow to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, President Barack Obama dropped George W. Bush-era references to the “global war on terror,” creating a new budget category labeled “overseas contingency operations.” Meanwhile, Obama appointees at HHS abandoned the term “unaccompanied alien children,” replacing it with “unaccompanied minors.” (The current administration has reverted to “alien children,” which is statutory language.)

But even in the context of this historical tug-of-war, the chasm between President Trump’s top deputies and the federal workers charged with carrying out government policies appears particularly wide.

“The administration correctly understands that they are battling a hostile bureaucracy,” said Barry Bennett, a GOP consultant who advised the president during last year’s general election. “The left likes to think that words are very important, particularly if it’s words they don’t like. Well, the right thinks that, too.”

The debate erupted last week after HHS officials instructed employees to avoid certain words when drafting the department’s fiscal 2019 budget request. A budget request describes an agency’s work and mission, establishes priorities and sends a broad message about the direction of federal policy under an administration.

The instructions were part of a one-page “style guide,” obtained by The Washington Post, that was included in a much longer budget guidance document. The style guide lists “vulnerable,” “diversity” and “entitlement” as “words to avoid” when drafting the agency’s fiscal 2019 budget request — except “when the terms are referenced within a legal citation or part of a title.”

HHS spokesman Matt Lloyd confirmed that agency officials created the document but said they did not ban any words outright. The document was distributed to budget offices in the department’s operating divisions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, an HHS official said.

At a budget meeting last week at the CDC in Atlanta, employees were also told to avoid four additional words and phrases: “fetus,” “transgender,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” The origin and intention of that verbal direction remains somewhat murky.

In an email, Lloyd said that “HHS and its agencies have not banned, prohibited or forbidden employees from using certain words.” Instead, Lloyd said, employees have “misconstrued guidelines provided during routine discussions on the annual budget process. It was clearly stated to those involved in the discussions that the science should always drive the narrative.”

But an official at another HHS agency who was briefed last week on use of “vulnerable,” “diversity” and “entitlement” said the message was clear.

“It was interpreted as ‘you are not to use these words in the budget narrative,’ ” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal agency communications.

Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the HHS budget, interpreted the agency’s guidance as “more silly than sinister,” saying it shows the “bureaucracy trying to react to what they think the new administration wants to hear.”

Agency officials are writing budgets “to make the case” for their priorities with both the Trump White House and the GOP-controlled Congress, Cole said, meaning they have to write in a way their audience “might actually read.”

Cole noted that Obama administration officials referred constantly to climate change, assuming that would “unlock the door” to congressional funding. Now, Cole said, the term has essentially vanished from budget discussions across departments. A top EPA appointee has instructed officials to eliminate it in grant solicitations and has zeroed out funding for several initiatives that mention the term. And some career officials have cut it from public communications material for fear of angering Trump appointees.

Colorado College environmental science professor Miroslav Kummel, for example, had agreed to teach an “Introduction to Global Climate Change” class at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument this summer. But then a volunteer with the monument’s Friends Group informed him that he would have to revise his syllabus.

“Unfortunately, I had to send your write-up to the National Park Service Climate Change office in Fort Collins for review,” the volunteer wrote in an email. “The NPS has been told that Climate Change must not be part of the message. All references to it in future documents, orientation talks, etc. will not be allowed.”

Kummel declared the instruction “not acceptable” and threatened to pull out. The group ultimately relented, and he went on with the class.

Park Service spokesman Jeremy K. Barnum said in an email that friends groups “are independent organizations” separate from the agency and officials were not aware of any effort by headquarters “to prevent the professor from delivering his presentation as planned.”

The Justice Department’s move to censor the discussion about juvenile justice has alarmed longtime advocates. Marcy Mistrett, chief executive of the Campaign for Youth Justice, who has seen the document, said referring to youths who have committed crimes only as “offenders” defines them too narrowly. “They are still children.”

She added: “It’s just very unusual to go that far into the weeds and actually handpick out words that are common words in a field.”

Advocates said the difference in emphasis is already having an impact. A 2016 solicitation for proposals to provide mentoring to child victims of sex trafficking specifically cited LGBTQ youth, who make up a significant portion of the trafficked population, Mistrett said. This year, a similar solicitation for proposals contained no such mention.

Allies of the administration, while maintaining that no words have been banned outright under Trump, said word choices have also affected policies important to conservatives. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the antiabortion political action committee Susan B. Anthony List, argued that getting rid of the term “fetus,” for example, would be a welcome change.

“The language we use to describe unborn human beings doesn’t just follow cultural attitudes, it actually has shaped them and made unthinkable atrocities sound palatable,” Dannenfelser said. “We are glad to see the administration working to humanize widely used terms that will shape the next generation’s attitudes toward life.”

If Marjorie Dannenfelser thinks you're doing something right, you are definitely on the wrong track.

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