There’s a quirk in creationist talk that has long been a tell. The say “evidences” instead of “evidence”, despite the fact that “evidence” is already plural. It’s not a big deal — Doug Theobald documented cases where serious scholars also used “evidences” — it’s just an odd affectation, maybe a holdover from theological writings, but it’s useful when you hear it because it’s a quick clue that you’re dealing with someone with an unusual background. Eugenie Scott even claimed “The only people who use ‘evidences’ (plural) are creationists or people who have spent far too much time reading their literature! ‘Evidences’ is a term from Christian apologetics …”, which isn’t quite true, but it’s a fine approximation.
So I was curious when Michael Harriot brought up another unusual plural used by a specific subset of people: “freedoms“.
Whenever unshowered Americans are confronted with something they don’t want to do, they immediately begin blabbering about their “freedoms.” It’s like the “race card” for white people. While you and I know that the word “freedom” only makes one appearance in the Constitution, apparently there’s a second Caucasian Constitution that I haven’t seen that clarifies this murky terrain.
Obviously in cognitive decline, Trump says tonight at the NC GOP Convention that “we have to defund our freedoms.” pic.twitter.com/Pqhp83hwGU
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) June 6, 2021
As you can see, it doesn’t even have to make sense. More importantly, they will never say exactly which specific freedom they are talking about. They won’t cite a specific law or clause in the Constitution that supports their position. That’s because there isn’t one.
Inserting “freedoms” into a random sentence makes one seem more patriotic, like randomly mentioning “the troops.” Basically, “freedoms” is a conservative dog whistle used to justify police brutality, pro-gun legislation and even blackballing Colin Kaepernick.
— John doe (@juhhhjgghk) August 28, 2016
Weird. Now I’m suddenly seeing it everywhere, used almost exclusively by conservatives to, in some way, amplify the size of the affront to their privilege, and also to put themselves on a safely vague footing. They can’t say their “freedom” is being taken away, since they aren’t going to jail and don’t even seem to suffer any consequences, but putting that “s” on the end somehow implies a numerous and unspecified set of privileges are being taken from them. It’s a useful rhetorical trick, I guess.
And that’s exactly what creationists want to do, too — wave vaguely at some mysterious set of facts that they don’t have to detail.
I guess they possess great wisdoms and cunnings.