We have become very thin skinned. Today’s political correctness would have us believe that American Indians are offended to have a pro-ball team named after them. Furthermore, we have recently, and evidently unsuccessfully, gone through a variety of terms to identify Americans with black skin in ways that are not offensive; we can’t say “Islamic Extremists” for fear of implicating and thereby offending more peaceful Muslims; and, in an interesting twist, just this week, Conservatives seem to be offended by President Obama’s use of the “N” word. Giving and taking offense seems to have become a national pastime. Well, I’m a white American male and like the Merchant of Venice, I too bleed.
I was recently offended by President Obama’s statement that racism is in my DNA. Am I a racist? I grew up in a small Idaho town. Of course I’m a racist but I am dealing with it and, I think, I have made great progress. Rather than being told that all is lost because I was born that way, I would appreciate some acknowledgement of the progress that I have made.
I am offended when President Obama says that I should be more understanding of ISIS because after all, we Christians were no better. My politically left leaning friends then feel free, and evidently even obligated, to refer to Christianity as violent and oppressive (just like ISIS.) They even imply that Christianity is worse. Other blatant misrepresentations have followed and such false characterizations of my core beliefs are offensive in the extreme.
I am often offended by my Conservative friends who continually flood my FB page with stupid Pinterest quips slamming liberal ideals with one line gottchas. Such quips are often ill advised and poorly thought out if any thought went into them at all. The result is that they are just plain offensive.
Likewise, I am often offended by my Neo-liberal friends who condescendingly reprove conservative principle based arguments simply because they are related to religious ideals. Because they choose to not believe, they automatically assume that such beliefs have no value and fail to see or even discuss the merits of any moral or ethical stance based on principle. Having thus been enlightened with hedonistic rationalization, these friends now consider themselves to be a better species. Such irrational condescension is also highly offensive.
Political puppets offend me. If you just want to regurgitate party line, don’t waste my time. I already know where you stand. Don’t bore me with your spewing. With a little independent thought, you could become highly interesting and your opinions delightful. Your blind ignorance however, is offensive.
Most egregious of all though, is the notion that I was born to privilege because of my race. You don’t know me nor the tears that I have shed. In the movie “Water World,” the bad guy says; “You can see by the arterial nature of the blood coming from my eye that we have all had a bad day.” All, everyone, each person, everybody, born to this world have trials and tribulations. Some deal with hunger, others oppression. Some mothers lose their sons to the streets of Detroit, others to the canyons of Afghanistan. Some suffer slavery and even death at the hands of violent and evil men. Others, like Robin Williams, suffer extreme depression and loneliness while surrounded by what most would consider luxury and privilege. Everyone born in this life is born to trials. Often we make those trials greater by our own bad choices. Some rare individuals choose service to others and restrained life styles and thus their trials seem to become less. Nevertheless, everyone has trials. To insist that your suffering is worse and that others non-culpable individuals owe you because of it, is offensive.
The greatest offense we can give any man, woman, or child on this earth, is to assume that their life is easier than ours and then to conclude that they owe society because of their ease. We all suffer, endure and struggle. Some choose to overcome, others to capitulate.
Such overboard complaining has brought Political Correctness to the point that it is no longer compassionate, it has become pure, simple whining. An exercise in self-centered pity for the offended and/or arrogant self-congratulation for those who uphold others in their path to hatred. As the saying goes: “he who takes offense when it is not intended is a fool. He who takes offense when it is intended is an even bigger fool.” Either way, taking offence is not only self-centered, it is extremely offensive in its own right.
The point in all of this is simply that in taking offense, we give offense in return.
When the disciples asked Christ about the last days he said; “…and then shall many be offended and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.” Mathew 24:10
Those who take offense, are not the “good” guys.
Samuel Waen Jensen