We live in an age in which ever-expanding and ever-annoying states are seeking to regulate everything, even your thought life. Hate crimes are now all the rage, and more and more laws are being passed to protect people from being offended. Seriously.
All kinds of vilification laws are being introduced around the Western world, and the state thinks it now has the duty to protect its citizens from being offended. Of course most states are quite selective in all this. It is always open season on Christianity.
People can say any abusive, ugly, vile and nasty thing they want about Christians and Christianity, and the state takes no notice. (Maybe that is why I get so much of this hate speech and anti-Christian bigotry thrown my way on this website all the time.)
But just dare to say a word about various politically protected groups, such as the militant homosexual lobby, or the radical feminists, and all hell breaks loose. The heavy hand of the law will dump on you big time if you dare to say something which goes against the accepted ideology of the day.
Why just this morning I was reading about how when Jesus spoke, people got real uptight. Indeed, they were offended by what he had to say (Matt 13:57). We read about this happening quite often in the Gospel accounts. Jesus always seemed to be getting into trouble with someone or some group.
But this is certainly ironic to say the least. Here we have the most loving, the most gracious, and the most compassionate man ever to walk the earth, yet people still got all bent out of shape over what he did and said. Go figure!
It is a good thing all these lousy hate speech laws weren’t around back then, or Jesus would have been thrown into the slammer very early on in his public ministry. Of course at the end of the day he was crucified for his unshakable stance on truth, but that is another story.
Columnist Terry Paulson had a good piece on all this today, so he is worth quoting at length: “Five Live Oak High School students’ First Amendment rights were challenged this year when they were asked to leave school because they donned American flag T-shirts on Cinco de Mayo [a Mexican public holiday], an offense one official called ‘incendiary.’
“Other students could wear or wave the Mexican flag and any number of other potentially offensive messages, but wearing the American flag in America is just too ‘incendiary.’ To their credit, the Morgan Hill Unified School District did not concur with the suspensions, but the ‘offended’ still got their way.
“Unfortunately, in America today, being offended works! It’s become an effective strategy for oppressing the freedom of those who disagree with the offended party. An Iowa Veterans Hospital is removing crosses and Christian symbols from its chapels because ‘offended’ atheist complainers have successfully intimidated hospital administrators with threats of a lawsuit.
“On a more personal level, when a doctor informed a female patient that she was clinically obese and needed to lower her weight, she was offended. Instead of addressing her own weight issues, she attempted to get her doctor reprimanded.
“Is this still America? ‘We the people’ are supposed to be free to disagree, dislike you, and even offend you. Face the sad truth, in a free society, there will always be somebody out there who will be offended with anything, everything or at least something that you might say or do.”
He goes on to quote from the French-born American historian, Jacques Barzun, who once said, “Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred”. Exactly right. And there seems to be a whole lot of intolerance going on out there, all in the name of tolerance of course.
Paulson continues, “Political correctness is the enemy of freedom of speech. What may have began as a crusade for civility has soured into arguments over what is ‘offensive’ and, even worse, censorship. To label someone a bigot or a racist for a comment that offends minimizes true racism. If being offended is enough to squander our freedom of speech, I’m offended by those who are offended.”
Hey I like that. I am offended by you being offended. Take that, and complain to the anti-discrimination board. Paulson concludes with these words: “Thankfully, some are protesting ‘offended’ demonstrators. After ‘offended’ students from Michigan State’s Muslim Student’s Association protested the publishing of Danish cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, professor Indrek Wichman protested the protest.
“He sent an e-mail to the association: ‘I am offended not by cartoons, but by more mundane things like beheadings of civilians, cowardly attacks on public buildings, suicide murders,…the imposition of Sharia law on non-Muslims….’ In spite of an immediate uproar from the association and CAIR, the university has stood in support of Professor Wichman, saying the e-mail was private and, as a result, warranted no university condemnation.
“So, instead of using the courts or the long arm of the government to ban, threaten, or otherwise punish those who refuse to agree with your views, try exposing the supposed ‘offending’ comments. Treat what you consider ‘hate’ speech with more speech, not legal maneuvering that limits one of our most treasured freedoms. Remember, people you try to silence may not get mad; they may get even and work to censor and control you! When it comes to taking offense, don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want done to you.”
Quite right. Until the state decides to make illegal everything which may offend anyone, keep being offended. After all, there are plenty of things worth getting offended about, including a nanny state which wants to take away your freedoms in the name of “tolerance” and Political Correctness.