New Word Files: Courageism

February 15, 2006 — 5 Comments

Well, I’ve received quite a few emails asking me about “courageism.” I know, you’re probably shaking your head and trying to sound it out. I really can’t help you with that since there isn’t a dictionary entry on it—yet. In fact, we may be looking at the “word of the year” for 2006 or 2007.

HSLDA attorney Scott Somerville has asked me to join in on the discussion of this interesting word which he defines as “the only real alternative to ‘terrorism’.” I’ll be interviewing him this week, so you’ll have a chance to learn more about what he thinks about the topic.

Anway, I’ve wanted to chime in on the whole “cartoon war” blog burst, and here is my excuse.

The discussion began with the infamous Muhammad cartoon riots that have spread across the globe. For me, this has shown that we aren’t looking at a “religion of peace” as is preached by many, but rather an Islam fascism that is worse than Hitler’s Germany. It is a radicalism that is sweeping our globe faster than communism. It is the evil of our time, my time, and possibly my children’s time. It is something that I and my fellow American’s must be left to fight with. It will never be totally wiped out. It can be held back, but never completely annihilated. And as a nation we must not falter in our stand against it.

I respect the newspapers who have taken a stand now for freedom of the press—freedom to make fun of anything, even me, my God, and my homeland. Certainly I can get mad, angry, or whatever else, but they have the absolute right to make fun of me in a cartoon. But for me to respond to a cartoon by calling for the heads of the cartoonists is absurd. To call for a change in the laws so that there is no long freedom of the press is absurd. These newspapers have shown courageism. Courage to stand against terrorism. This courage is defined as “knowingly and intentionally putting one’s life at risk.” Putting one’s life at risk, I might add, for freedom.

As I said, we’re facing the great evil of our time—larger than Germany, larger than Russia, and larger than Japan. And the difference between us and them is one thing: courageism. We believe in freedom, which takes true courage. The man who blows himself up does not show courage. What he shows is that he has been fooled—conned—into believing, yes, a lie. Islam is about spreading the religion at all costs. Now, of course, this does not mean that every Muslim is going to want to blow himself up, but the Koran clearly teaches that those who do not convert to Islam must be killed. In my book, that’s just like saying if you’re not German, you should be killed. If you’re not Japanese, you should be killed. If you’re not white, you should be killed.

But back to courageism. What exactly is it? How can we define it?

Well, after some thought, here’s my definition:

Courageism: Cur uge is um. Courageism is the opposite of terrorism. It is the exertion of courage in the face of great obstacles, particularly death. It has been shown by many great leaders who chose not to use violence in overcoming obstacles placed in their paths. Example: Martin Luther King Jr. showed courageism in his speech “I have a dream.”

Now, for me, courageism was at first an unneeded word. It was something that was just a replacement for courage. But now I think I see a need to make a word that is the obvious word for anti-terrorism. Of course, we now need to debate and discuss who shows courageism, whether it be Martin Luther King, Jr. or the newspapers in Europe and some here in the states. I think we need to turn this discussion to “who shows courageism” and “how is it defined.” So, let’s work this out and start defining our terms…are you ready?

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Tim Sweetman

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Tim Sweetman is a young writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

5 responses to New Word Files: Courageism

  1. Tim, one question that has popped up is this: is “courageism” limited to those who face physical danger, or is it “courageism” to speak out in a college class where you know it will hurt your grades, or print something in a paper that may result in vandalism or boycotts?

    I think the answer should be symmetrical to our use of “terrorism.” If a person would call it “terrorism” to spray graffiti on a synagogue or mosque, then they might use the word “courageist” for someone who knowingly takes the risk of a similar retaliation. But if you define “terrorism” more narrowly, you should narrow the definition of “courageism,” too.

  2. good post, Tim! this is neat stuff here….i may get involved too. :-)

  3. I suppose it depends on how you define terrorism, what the oppisite would be. I would define terrorism as “the creation and use of terror to further an agenda.”
    Thus, couragism would be like “the creation and use of compasion/kindliness to further an agenda”

    I’m still missing why we need this word. I think the term Freedom Fighter, or Patriot, or hero is good.

  4. Funny you should mention the fact that you don’t know why we need this word. I’m almost done interviewing Scott Somerville, the creator of the word, and will have that interview up this week. He does a great job of answering that question.

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