Crazy For Phobias
By Jack Kinsella
According to ‘The American Heritage Dictionary’, if you have ”a persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it,” then you have a phobia.
There are some 593 identified phobias, according to one source that publishes what it claims to be ‘the definitive list’. Here are a few examples of recognized phobias;
Agateophobia- Fear of insanity; Alliumphobia- Fear of garlic; Aphenphosmphobia- Fear of being touched ; Chronophobia- Fear of time; Decidophobia- Fear of making decisions; (and my personal favorite); Gerascophobia- Fear of growing old.
Phobias are a mental disorder, defined as being both abnormal and irrational. To sufferers of a phobia, it can be debilitating. But to those unaffected by that particular fear, they can be a lot of fun to watch.
Consider sufferers of hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, or, the fear of long words. (Tell me the guy who coined THAT one isn’t still laughing)
Among this comprehensive (and sometimes funny) list of phobias was one we hear often; ‘homophobia.’ There really IS a recognized ‘homophobia.’ It is the ‘fear of sameness, monotony’.
The charge of ‘homophobia’ thrown about by gay rights activists to stifle critics (and in ‘advanced’ cultures like Canada’s, have them arrested) means the ‘fear of sameness or monotony’.
I doubt that any of those labeled ‘homophobic’s by the gay rights crowd ‘fear’ that gay marriage will result in more monotonous sameness. But phobia MEANS fear. Calling someone a ‘homophobic’ elicits some ingrained playground response to being called ‘chicken’.
(“Oh, yeah? Well, er, ummm, some of my best friends are homosexual!”)
Basically, that is what the entire ‘political correctness’ trend is based in. Playground responses to subliminal playground tactics.
I would venture to guess that the most ardent advocates of the PC movement were playground bullies now seeking absolution for their juvenile ‘crimes’.
But human nature being what it is, they simply switched tactics, becoming verbal bullies whose ‘absolution’ requires to force everyone to repent with them.
‘Islamophobia’ is another example of how the politically correct call each other ‘chicken’. In the comprehensive list of phobias, Islamophobia is nowhere to be found.
Even guys who can come up with hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia to describe a fear of long words can’t find a way to view the fear of Islam as either ‘irrational’ or ‘abnormal’.
‘Islamophobia’ is what is called a ‘neologism’ or a word invented or reinvented to reflect a shift in a cultural worldview. The United Nations has held conferences dedicated to the discussion of ‘Islamophobia’, which Secretary General Kofi Annan called it a form of ‘bigotry’.
But because ‘Islamophobia’ is neologism, or a word that means whatever its user wants it to mean, it has no defined boundaries.
What, therefore, constitutes a case of ‘Islamophobia’? Is it the fear of Islamic inspired terrorists? Or of the stated Koranic aim of spreading Islam to the Dar al Harb [Zone of War] until the return of the Mahdi?
The definition of ‘phobia’ excludes these fears from consideration, since they are neither irrational or abnormal.
Is Islamophobia a form of bigotry? A ‘bigot’ is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from his or her own.
‘Bigot’ is a pejorative term against a person who is obstinately devoted to his or her prejudices even when these views are challenged or proven to be false.
If fear of being forced to convert or submit to Islam, against the backdrop of a global war on Islamic-inspired terror and the images of the Twin Towers extinguishing three thousand innocent Americans can be twisted to mean ‘intolerant’ it STILL doesn’t mean ‘irrational’ or ‘abnormal’.
Insofar as those views being challenged or proved false, any rational, normal person can go into a bookstore, buy a copy of the Koran, and look it up for himself.
(Of course, doing so, by definition, will make you both ‘irrational’ and ‘abnormal’ – so caution is advised. There is a saying, “Ignorance is bliss.”)
We’ve discussed the use of words as weapons in previous Omega Letters.
In a war of words (propaganda war) politically correctness is the equivalent to taking off one’s Kevlar vest before wading into a gunfight.
“The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.” (Psalms 52:2)
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” (Proverbs 18:21)
“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. . . But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:5-6,8)
I am neither homophobic nor Islamophobic. I am, however, developing a phobia of my own, phobophobia.
It means, ‘fear of phobias’ — but alas, as applied in this case, it is a really just a neologism — since being afraid of some phobias is neither irrational nor abnormal.
Originally Published: June 17, 2006.