Re: offensive language in the game
From: Elizabeth Magill (
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2021 13:27:02 -0800 (PST)
I have (appropriately) been called out for this email. I apologize, I
think it is correct that I was taking out my frustration on this list.

I  am going to try to say what I mean differently.
Here is my second attempt.

I think this is a discussion about whether it is okay to use the term
"personality disorder" to describe another person. What I am hearing
is some people who are saying, yes, please try not to use language
that affiliates inappropriate behaviors.
Other people are saying, yes, try not to do that, but can't we cut
people some slack?

There is also a side conversation about whether we should try to
resolve things, or find agreement, but I'm trying to just stick to the
question of whether it is okay to use labels of people that they don't
like, and whether it is okay to ask people to stop using those labels.

My take on this is that it is always better to describe behaviors than
to create labels of the type of people who have those behaviors.

I am frustrated when others then say "but you know I didn't mean
harm". The fact is that I trust that 99% of the time people do not
mean harm.

I also believe that one of the ways to show that my intent was good is
to apologize for the harm caused, and then to try not to use that
language again.

Good intent is not enough. We must also pay attention to the impact
our language has on others. Yes, the language of what is harmful
changes over time. And yes, even if it hasn't changed, I will continue
to intend good but produce harm.

In this case of this thread, a person used language (that they copied
from someone else), had someone ask them to change their language,
sent a note to this list that someone asked them not to use it. The
original poster than listened to the dialogue, and then, hearing the
explanation, said, "I heard you and now I'm going to change where I
used the language."

The original poster intended good, listened to the impact, and now,
intending good, changed their language.

That, for me, is what diversity is about.
It's not about not making mistakes, but rather is about being willing
to hear that what I said hurt someone and then try again to do it
What I get *better* at over time is the ability to listen when corrected.

Mosaic Commons Cohousing, Berlin, MA

On Tue, Mar 9, 2021 at 11:03 AM Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 
> Hmm. I think this is discussion about name calling?
> Should we engage in name calling or not?
> And, if it turns out a thing we are calling someone is something that
> they hear as name calling, should we stop?
> Or I suppose, we could say to them "cut me some slack, I like name calling"?
> Or perhaps what we are doing is saying "lets cut some slack for the
> people who do name calling since they didn't intend harm?"
> It is good to have good intentions but you can still cause harm. Good
> intent doesn't prevent causing harm. A way to show good intent is to
> try to avoid causing harm, and thus to avoid name calling.
> It doesn't feel like a big ask to ask people to apologize for creating
> harm by calling names and to try not to do it again.
> "It is hard to keep up with the language changes." Well, yes, yes it
> is, and it means sometimes I say the wrong thing. But because I care
> about people, I go ahead and make the effort.
> Liz
> Mosaic Commons in Berlin, MA
(The Rev. Dr.) Elizabeth Mae Magill
Pastor, Ashburnham Community Church
Minister to the Affiliates, Ecclesia Ministries

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