English as the National Language

I just received an email from the American Family Association encouraging me to act quickly to make sure that Congress makes English the singular official language of the United States. The email states, “At a time when our society is becoming more fragmented, we need an official, common language. Diverse cultures, different backgrounds and varied traditions enrich our culture. But for the nation to thrive, we must have a common language.”

I’m confused by this. I’m not much into politics, but I don’t understand why this should be my concern. If the early church could thrive under dangerous conditions being composed of people of all sorts of different nations and languages, why can’t a nation? At the very least, that diversity is a reminder of the judgment which happened at Babel. (Indeed, that diversity of language is the judgment that was enacted at Babel.)

So, as a Christian (I’m presuming that somehow matters here — the American Family Association is a conservative Christian family group, after all), why should I write Congress about this matter? Why shouldn’t I? If someone could explain it to me in simple words that a political neophyte like me can understand, I’d be appreciative.

3 thoughts on “English as the National Language”

  1. I think the argument would be that a nation that lacks a common language soon lacks any commonalities at all. Then you have a situation where segments of the nation may feel like they should be their own country.

    I don’t agree with that argument.

    This is really about the large influx of spanish speaking people, both legal and illegal. There are many people who become uncomfortable with the possible loss of their culture in the face of such immigration. By mandating a common language, they hope to give their own culture a leg up.

    I see no reason for mandating a common language. We’ve been through this before, we will probably go through it again. It is my understanding that second or third generations of immigrants almost always speak english as the primary language.

  2. I think this is utterly ridiculous. Here in Canada indeed we have the french occasionally saying “give us our own country”. But as far as destroying a country, Canada constantly scores on the high end of one of the best countries in the world and we’re bilingual. Many civil wars have broken out in countries with the claim they want to be seperate, and the reasons are rarely based on things such as “you speak english and I don’t so I need my own place”

    I received the AFA email as well and immediately deleted it. They need to get serious and do something worthwhile.


  3. You, a Maple-blooded Canadian, receive American Family Association emails? Why, Glen.. I never knew. :P

    Frankly, I’m perceiving the “English must be out national language” mess as blatant intolerance. Is it not simply a way of saying that another culture — which includes language — is not good enough for our nation?

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