Officials in San Diego are walking back a directive in a new “Visual and Correspondence Style Guidelines” publication that had been issued to employees to not reference the “Founding Fathers.”

The instructions, as WND reported on Tuesday, warned against the use of “a number of words and phrases widely accepted in the English language,” according to a critic.

“Many Americans, including city employees, will no doubt be surprised to learn that the city considers them biased for merely mentioning ordinary words and phrases like ‘the common man,’ ‘mankind,’ ‘manmade’ and ‘man up,’ to name a few of the manual’s parade of horribles,” Matthew McReynolds, a staff attorney for Pacific Justice Institute, told city officials in a letter asking them to reverse their course.

They did a short time later, following WND’s report on the dispute.

“Suggesting that our Founding Fathers should be referred to as ‘Founders’ is political correctness run amuck. We are proud of our nation’s history and there is nothing wrong with referring to the Founding Fathers. Once the mayor became aware of this yesterday he directed the ‘Founders’ example to be removed from the document,” Matt Awbrey, the mayor’s chief of communications, told WND in an email.

Get in touch with the real sentiments of the Founding Fathers, through “The Jefferson Lies” by author David Barton.

“The document will be reviewed for other examples that defy common sense,” he added.

The city also dispatched a response signed only by the “City of San Diego” that said the reference to the Founding Fathers, “was an example used in the correspondence manual, nothing more.”

“This example has been removed,” the city said. “Correspondence manuals have encouraged gender neutral language since at least the 1990s. The correspondence manual is largely based on the Merriam-Webster Secretarial Handbook, which has long been the standard for proper etiquette in the United States. The manual is a guidebook and nothing more. No employee has ever been disciplined for referencing our founding fathers, and no one ever will.”

The issue had come to the attention of Pacific Justice only a short time earlier. Officials there dispatched a letter to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to ask him to withdraw the guidance.

Brad Dacus, the chief of PJI, addressed the issue of political correctness, and told WND, “This brings it to a new level, without question. When you can’t utter the phrase ‘Founding Fathers’ without possibly losing your job and you work for government, that is a sad day for free speech.”

Explained McReynolds, “Even more concerning is the manual’s promotion of style over substance, to the point that employees are encouraged to omit or alter relevant research, based on subjective interpretations as to whether it includes biased or non-inclusive language.”

He continued, “Most alarming, though, is the guidelines directive, on page 76, that city employees should refrain from mentioning those to whom we owe our most fundamental freedoms, the Founding Fathers. The manual’s inane attempt to recast the fathers as simply the ‘Founders’ reaches a level of political correctness, censorship and insensitivity toward time-honored American values that is indefensible.”

He said his organization has found “no less than 1,500 separate instances in which the Supreme Court and lower courts have invoked the ‘Founding Fathers.'”

“Their contributions are undeniable, and their voice indispensable to understanding good government,” he wrote.

PJI noted in a section on “Bias-Free Language,” the city tells workers to eliminate from their vocabulary a number of words and phrases considered gender biased.

Noting that President’s Day soon is approaching, Dacus said, “At a time set aside to honor American icons to whom we owe our constitutional freedoms, it is offensive and indefensible that the city of San Diego is directing employees not to even mention the Founding Fathers.”

McReynold’s letter offered an extended list of formal references to the “Founding Fathers,” and said a “more complete list” would take hundreds of pages.

Get in touch with the real sentiments of the Founding Fathers, through “The Jefferson Lies” by author David Barton.


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