CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

A Generation of Offended Snowflakes

Jan 10, 2017

While most secular lefties today would want nothing to do with such (in their view) outdated notions as the Ten Commandments, they in fact still cling to a few moral absolutes which they insist must remain inviolate. One of them especially stands out like a sore thumb: “Thou shalt not offend anyone”.

This is the one commandment these folks demand above all else. They think they have some sort of universal and absolute right never to be offended, and woe to those who dare to offend. These folks insist that they must be protected from any form of offence, and want swift punishment on anyone who is deemed to be offensive.

offended-7This of course is all part of rampant political correctness and the war on truth. The only thing that matters for these delicate little petals is that their feelings are not hurt. But the trouble is, they take offence at anything and everything. It is a Brave New World of thought crimes, hate speech, and thought police.

Everyone must be super careful about what they think or say, lest the Offence Police go after them. It is getting to the point where we dare not say anything about anything, for fear of upsetting and offending someone. No wonder so many folks never open their mouths any more – they fear the consequences for merely expressing a point of view.

Free speech and free thought is now verboten in our Big Brother world of “acceptable” thought and speech. Dare to resist the official PC orthodoxy and you will be punished. Examples of this are now legion, and I have featured plenty of them on my site. Consider two more recent cases of this insanity in action – once again found on our college campuses.

The first story, from the UK, is a real shocker, with the headline alone enough to make you question the mental state of those in charge there: “Bible students are warned…you may find the crucifixion too upsetting!” Here is how this story begins:

Theology students are being warned in advance that they may see distressing images while studying the crucifixion of Jesus, giving them a chance to leave if they fear being upset. It is part of a trend at a number of universities for ‘trigger warnings’ issued by tutors to let students know about course content that might prove disturbing. Advocates say it helps to protect the mental health of vulnerable students. But critics say it is creating a generation of ‘snowflake’ students unable to cope with the harsh realities of the world.
The University of Glasgow, part of the elite Russell Group, confirmed that trigger warnings are issued to theology students studying ‘Creation to Apocalypse: Introduction to the Bible (Level 1)’. According to university documents, a lecture on Jesus and cinema sometimes ‘contains graphic scenes of the crucifixion, and this is flagged up to students beforehand’….
Students are told ‘you can, of course, leave a class at any time should you need to, but please check in… later that day to let us know how you are’.

The article offers other examples at the university where trigger warnings are provided. Thankfully not everyone was impressed with all this. Liz Smith, a Scottish Tory education spokesman put it this way: “Universities are meant to be a place of learning where concepts are challenged and tricky subjects debated. That will become increasingly difficult if they go too far out their way to ensure everything survives the politically correct test. Some of the examples set out here are patently ridiculous.”

They certainly are. But it seems Western universities are now specialising in such ridiculous and moronic PC foolishness. Consider another UK school where the stranglehold of political correctness is destroying higher education and turning students into perpetually offended cry-babies:

They are titans of philosophy, without whose work an understanding of the subject is all but inconceivable. But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.
These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy ‘the majority of philosophers on our courses’ should be from Africa and Asia. The students say it is in order to ‘decolonise’ the ‘white institution’ that is their college.

Good grief. Um, isn’t that a form of racism? Oh yeah, I forgot: only whites are guilty of racism it seems. Thankfully there were a few level-headed voices to be heard in protest. British philosopher Roger Scruton for example said this:

This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can’t rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven’t investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.

And Sir Anthony Seldon, the vice-chancellor of Buckingham University said this: “There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.”

The university used to be a place of learning, of gaining knowledge, of being exposed to differing ideas and perspectives, but today it is largely about enforcing a radical secular left agenda and forcing students into a diabolical groupthink, with no deviation allowed from the accepted ideology.

As Thomas Sowell once put it, “Education is not merely neglected in many of our schools today, but is replaced to a great extent by ideological indoctrination.” Or as Scruton put it elsewhere: “Tenured professors enjoy all the privileges of the academy in return for relentless debunking of the civilization that made this possible.”

In a 2000 essay on “The origins of political correctness” William S. Lind said this: “The totalitarian nature of Political Correctness is revealed nowhere more clearly than on college campuses, many of which at this point are small ivy-covered North Koreas…”

All this spells not only the death of higher education, but the death of the West. As Malcolm Muggeridge put it, “Whereas other civilisations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense.”

It is getting to the place where concerned parents who want their children to be able to think and reason, and not emote and always feel offended, had best keep them out of most Western universities. Scary times indeed.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4089302/Bible-students-warned-crucifixion-upsetting-Critics-say-trigger-warnings-distressing-content-creating-generation-snowflake-students.html
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4098332/They-Kant-PC-students-demand-white-philosophers-including-Plato-Descartes-dropped-university-syllabus.html

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12 Responses to A Generation of Offended Snowflakes

  • So it seems we are becoming more like Islam every day – rewriting history and reinforcing the radical secular agenda rather than accepting reality for what it is. By compromising truth with ideological indoctrination we are ensuring western society becomes saturated with political correctness. At this rate it won’t be long before western nations are indistinguishable from Islam.

    As for being so easily offended, the Bible tells us that Christ crucified, the core tenet of the Gospel, is “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.” In other words, an offence to all who are perishing.

  • Why do they pick on Bertrand Russell? He at least was a good, solid atheist. Surely that should give him an even chance of staying “in”. After all, his skin colour was only an accident of birth. Or maybe they think it was part of a sinister plot. But then again I think he said somewhere that he respected Christians who genuinely and objectively believed in God. So that would probably put him “out” again.

    Clearly I am not lucid enough to see the irrefutable logic of the anti-white philosophers.

  • I think the secular left has three basic ‘commandments’. 1.) Do whatever pleases you, as long as 2.) you don’t hurt anyone else in any way, but 3.) the definitions of ‘hurt’ and ‘anyone else’ are subjective and may be influenced by various race, social class, religion, not being born yet, or caprice.

    One wonders who came up with this set of guidelines!

    Academic standards do seem to be dropping, or as one of our graduates might say today, standard’s. Good post, and good on your for this blog, Bill.

  • Maybe people might get offended by certain historical events, particularly Biblical ones, but I’m sure these snowflakes would argue that watching horror movies is a healthy exercise for the mind.

    David Clay
    Parkes, NSW

  • Yes quite right David.

  • This is so depressing! Western society was built on strength, truth and robust thoughts and ideas. We’ll be sitting ducks for takeover if this continues…

  • Talking of philosophy, John Locke (1632-1704) was attacked by none other than the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Locke!

    Locke’s “work in this area [theology] is not very original, a lot of it is more apologetical than philosophical, and after a few decades, even Christian theologians stopped being very interested in it.” Vere Chappell, The Cambridge Companion to Locke, 1994, p. 3.

    The absurd pomposity of this remark seeks to place Locke firmly within its author’s own personal conception of what a philosopher should be, and of the type of writings he should produce. Vere Chappell presents Locke’s later theological writings as an unfortunate footnote to the rest of his output, ignoring the fact that Locke’s greatest ‘secular’ work, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, contains much theology and Scripture quotations.

  • You’re right on the mark, Bill. And offended Snowflakes now have all their legal costs covered pursuing the “offending” individual or business, etc.

    Re Plato, Descartes, Kant or Russell. Bet you if they were “gay”, “tranny”, Muslim, Socialist or similar, there would be outrage to even think of removing their works.

    And on another note: My daughter completed several 1st Year English subjects at uni last year (2016). Quite revealing. (Truthfully, more nauseating.) Eg. Australian children’s classic novels, such as Seven Little Australians to you name it, are being dissected and derided as never before, due to their Eurocentric and heterocentric worldview. Nothing is open for debate anymore at the new cathedrals of atheism.

  • Thank goodness, my teenage children can talk, question, debate & argue the hind legs off a donkey due to their amazing, academic Dad & a wonderful private Co-Ed Catholic College called St. Ignatius, in Geelong Victoria.
    Some of their reading material throughout their Secondary School Education continues to astound us…….the breadth, width, amount & type.
    Maus – A Survivors Tale – Graphic Novel form comes to mind.

    Timely article yet again, Bill.
    I have been invited to a 2 day Conference in May (Melbourne) to The Radical Centre in Australian Politics with Noel Pearson, Evan Thornley, Shireen Morris.

    Description for your Readers is below.
    This agenda is Radical because it seeks the public interest ahead of vested interests in government, corporate and service delivery sectors. It originates with people who are largely excluded from positions of power, and aims to empower those who are hidden and forgotten. It seeks new partnerships and new institutions to break disadvantage and powerlessness.

    It is Centrist because it rejects the narrow ideologies of Left and Right and the adversarialism that is generated by their exclusionary focus on the state and the market. It emphasizes social relationships, trust, participation and self-help which traditional politics on both Left and Right have tended to ignore.

    Will you be speaking there?
    Or is it something I should not waste my valuable time at?

    Blessings, Melinda

  • Thanks Melinda. No I am not speaking there and not going. Noel has been a voice of sanity for the most part over the years on Indigenous issues. See here eg.:

    billmuehlenberg.com/2007/07/23/leftist-ideology-is-not-helping-aboriginals/

    However one is a bit concerned about who he refers to as radical centrists in a recent speech: Tim Costello and Natasha Stott Despoja. They are actually lefties who I am not very thrilled with. See his speech here:

    www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/radical-centre-can-create-highest-compromise-on-recognition/news-story/6714b7e6d6db9fb2ee23014976ddc9a0?nk=3d6ae0820b2bd9c052f72e470f544127-1484094901

    So we will see if his initiative gets anywhere. Lefties don’t like it, but conservatives such as myself are cautious about it as well.

  • Yes you can kick Christians out of their jobs and businesses and out of the education system etc. etc. but whatever you do don’t upset the snowflakes. The complete double standards are mind-blowingly irrational but the reality is that Jesus and many Christians were and are still being martyred.

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