But why should humanitarians like Jon Gruber shut up when they are doing God's work? Rather, it is in the nature of the Good that it wishes to radiate, to communicate, to share its goodness. This is why he is not only unashamed, but visibly giddy in the videos we have seen.
Now come to find out that his grubby co-conspirators not only want to gag him, but would be pleased to see him tossed into a shallow grave, maybe next to the guy who made the Mohammed video. What kind of strange goodness is this?
Above all else, human beings are wordlings. Language is what defines us, but what defines language? For the postmodernist, nothing defines language. Rather, each word refers to another, in an endless deferral of meaning. But they can't really say that meaning is deferred when they really mean it is strictly impossible.
Why then do we have the word? Apparently, if the postmodernists are correct, meaning is simply the word we use to refer to an arbitrary closure of its infinite deferral. It is precisely analogous to declaring an arbitrary end to pi, which otherwise goes on forever.
Let's try looking at this through the other end of the telos-scope: "It is not so much that the way language works helps us to understand the theology of the Incarnation, but rather that the theology of the Incarnation helps us profoundly to understand the way in which language works" (Jeffrey, in Green).
It seems that the way language works is that there is something about the world that enables it "to come to speech" (Gunton, ibid.). In other words, when we speak, it is as if speech is the "last word" of a spiroid process that must begin in God, or the Word. I would say that we can only pull words from reality because the Word is already there to be pulled.
In short, "To justify any sort of affirmation of the meaningfulness of language, we need to affirm that we really do live in God's created world" (Green): no creation, no meaning. And meaning deferred is meaning denied!
Think of how this works in practice, bearing in mind the principle that we are in the image of the creator. We begin with a silent thought, an invisible idea, which is then "uttered outwardly."
Isn't this a little like creation itself? Augustine observes that "our word becomes a bodily sound by assuming that in which it is manifested to the senses of men.... And just as our word becomes sound without being changed into sound, so the Word of God" becomes flesh without being reduced to flesh.
Even so, one never knows what will happen to an idea once it is let loose in the world (just ask God!). To speak the word is to incarnate the word, but it then must be re-incarnated in the listener, and, as in natural selection, there are mimetic errors along the way. This would imply that liberalism is analogous to an epistemological birth defect, a copying error -- assuming that somewhere in its genealogy there was an original truth, now turned monstrous.
But the issue is not just what *lies* behind speech, but what is up ahead. For example, "The notion of an ultimate telos to all language is what, of course, is missing in the deconstructionist universe..." This means that there are two ways for language that has gone off course to self-correct. The first way is to see to it that language refers to reality, i.e., to reaffirm the covenant between words and things.
But this is no assurance of ultimate truth, so we must also check our formulations against the telos of language, which can only be God: "God himself is the goal of all language," so to the extent that our ideas and theories don't point in his direction, you can be sure we have been derailed somewhere along the line.
Which is why language can be used to reach such a fallen person and lift him back up toward the Great Attractor. This itself implies that words must be accompanied by, or infused with, a kind of "generic" grace, which makes abundant sense if language indeed comes from (and returns to) God.
So, "words are instrumental in reaching out to the fallen man." They are "not an end in themselves," but "play a crucial role in leading people to" God, the "transcendental signified" (Green).
Which reminds me of something I heard yesterday on the radio. A caller mentioned how liberal elites regard voters as stupid, but the host cautioned him that conservatives do the same thing, what with our reference to "low information voters."
However, there is literally an infinite difference between the two attitudes. In the case of the left, they need to lie to us because we are stupid. Conversely, we believe that voters are only low on information, for which reason we desperately wish to communicate the truth and thereby remedy the deficit. Under no circumstances do we wish to deceive them, let alone coerce and control them. God forbid!
If words do not replace anything, only they complete everything. --Dávila