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By Jane Stannus, Crisis Magazine, Aug. 19, 2021
Jane Stannus is a journalist and translator. Her writing has also appeared in the Catholic Herald of London, The Spectator USA, and the National Catholic Reporter.
George Orwell once said, “If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” His point has been proven for him a hundred times over, not least in the past few weeks, as Dr. Joseph Meaney shows his July 30 article “The Rhetoric of ‘Vaccine Hesitancy.’“ Dr. Meaney, who serves as president of the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC), explains how the ideologically charged language already being used against ordinary people who haven’t accepted a COVID-19 vaccine. Such language serves as a means to corrupt public feeling towards these persons, with a view to segregating and dehumanizing them.
By now we’ve all heard the phrases “vaccine hesitancy” and “vaccine hesitant” a hundred times. The notion of hesitancy, Meaney says, indicates that the unvaccinated are undecided as to their course of action, and are “in need of persuasion or even coercion from authorities who know better.” ..
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