It Is Offensive that You are Offended

Taking Offense

Stop the world; I want to get off!!

I find it hard to understand how people get so easily offended nowadays. You cannot say or do anything anymore without someone pointing a crooked finger and shouting, “Oooooh, you can’t say that, do that, think that, feel that way, or express yourself in that manner.”

Why have people grown so soft to words? So much so that if they are offended because you have a certain viewpoint, then you are not allowed to express that viewpoint because of their offense. Then they try and give a backward First Amendment reason for keeping you silent.

Meanwhile, people march for rights and beliefs, toting a freedom of speech banner around heralding the very document that they stomp on when anyone speaks out in opposition. They state we do not have the right to speak out against them because they are exercising their First Amendment right. Well, my friend, what about the opposing voice? Where is their right? You speak out about a silenced voice all the while silencing a voice speaking out. It’s a double standard.

Freedom of speech is for the protection of the speaker from receiving backlash for speaking his mind publicly. It isn’t for your protection to NOT hear the voice of someone stating their opinion. Society has accepted an, “I can do what I want, and you must like it or else” mentality.

If we don’t take a stand now, then the first amendment will continue to lose its meaning.

History Will Be Forgotten

We are tearing down statues and renaming parks, schools, and sports teams, all in the name of offensive terminology. All the while, we are whitewashing the history of those who built this country. All because the people that built it have faults. Well, if we were to boycott, tear down, or erase everyone who had a fault from history, then there would be no history.

A quote by George Santayana says, “Those who cannot remember history are condemned to repeat it.” If teachers cannot teach history, then this generation and the next will not be able to learn from the mistakes we made back then. The future will suffer from a lack of knowledge of how those things that had made it bad, were eventually overcome by the things we did to make it better.

It has even gotten to the point where our nation’s flag is offensive. We have prominent figures disrespecting it openly. These men and women mold the minds of the next generation. If they see and are taught at a young age that disrespect is tolerable, then those children will teach disrespect to their children. And the downward spiral continues. Yes, I have defended their right to do what they do, but it doesn’t mean they are right and that it isn't doing damage to those malleable minds who watch them week after week.

If we don’t take a stand now, then our history will be forgotten, or worse, rewritten.

Freedoms Will be Slowly Taken Away

Back in 2012 a Christian baker, Jack Phillips, refused to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding reception. This refusal drew much backlash. It finally ended in 2018, when the Supreme Court decided in Mr. Phillips’ favor. But these men were so offended and humiliated by Mr. Phillips’ refusal that they took the full spotlight in front of America to prove a point? Also, just recently, in 2021, Masterpiece Cakeshop was again accused of not creating a cake for a patron and was fined for their violation.

A simple google search shows at least 20 bakeries in and around Lakewood, Colorado. Why this bakery? Why Mr. Phillips? Both individuals could have easily crossed the street to the bakery that was there. Were Mr. Phillips’ actions so offensive that they warranted him to have to stop making wedding cakes?

They claim that he infringed upon their rights to have the cake made for them. Well, what about Mr. Phillips’ right to his religious beliefs. If we are talking about constitutional rights, then his rights were more infringed upon than theirs were. They had an option to go to another baker who would have been more than happy to bake a cake for them. Mr. Phillips did not have that option. His freedom was being squelched by the attempt to force him to act against his beliefs.

People being forced to behave a certain way because they have to conform to another person’s way of thinking is not the American way. The American way is about everyone being able to have their opinion, right or wrong, and the freedom to express it, standing next to the person expressing their contrary point of view. When one part of that voice is silenced, then that freedom loses its meaning.

The question is, where does it end? If we don’t take a stand now, any sense of freedom you thought you had will slowly fade away.

Choices Will Be Made for You

Anyone can take offense at anything. I don’t particularly like the color orange. But to say that you cannot wear it because it offends me is ludicrous. We chose to wear the colors we enjoy wearing. Should another person’s distaste negate your clothing preference?

Like clothing, we wear who we are. Whether it be Christian, Muslim, Gay, Straight, or any of the in-betweens and extremes. It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong when it comes to the rights we have in this country. We are all entitled to the freedom of who we are, but that shouldn’t force that way of life onto others. Especially when those ways are different.

If we know our way is right, what consolation is that to the other person who is convinced in their mind and heart that they are right? Taking offense and arguing does no good. We should have respect for the other person, even if we feel they are wrong? Anyhow, why should we be offended by them if we are confident that what we believe is right? Shouldn’t we feel pity, or at least think it’s funny that the other person is delusional? Having offense lends itself to thinking that the other point of view has merit over your own opinion.

For instance, Atheists say there is no God, but they are offended when someone speaks “our Heavenly Father.” If there is no God, then why are they so upset at someone speaking about something that doesn’t exist?

It has become permissive in schools for those who pray to Allah to have a room to offer their prayers, while those who worship God are told their prayer has no place on campus. When people continue to see God as offensive, then it’s only a matter of time before He becomes outlawed just as the terms Redskins, Columbus Day, and anything with ‘man’ attached have.

The religious freedoms in this country are being taken away because of people who are offended by the name of Jesus. If we don’t take a stand now, then the choice of who we can and cannot worship will be made for us.

Final Thoughts

I grew up in an age where sticks and stones were the only things that could hurt a person. Now a simple comment can send someone into a tailspin of anger, defensiveness, and depression. It has become all too common. People now need a safe space they can crawl into, so they can get away from the offensive world we live in. It has become so that the person who is offended has more rights than the person who is accused of offending.

Unless we take a stand now, then we will continue to see the next generation grow softer to the challenges that should make us stronger. Opposition is part of life. If we fail to be challenged, we will fail to grow. If we are silenced in our attempt to grow, then there is little hope in passing on the values that matter to the next generation. If we kowtow to those who take offense because we say to-may-to, when to them it is clearly to-mah-to, then no one will have a real opinion anymore. We will walk around like mindless robots making our way with a conformed life that has no opportunity to get ahead because your success would mean another’s failure.

In this everyone gets a trophy society, there needs to be men and women who will not fear being offensive. Who are not afraid to stand up for what it true. It will be a tough road. Those who continue the battle of who should be allowed to speak seem to have the biggest voice. But if enough of us take a stand and say that we will no longer be silenced, then we can reclaim our history, redeem our freedoms, and make our own choices to better ourselves, to better our children, and to better our future.

Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

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Christian Author and Freelance Writer specializing in helping writers excel in their craft and working with parents to develop a child’s hunger for reading.

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Jeff S. Bray

Jeff S. Bray

Christian Author and Freelance Writer specializing in helping writers excel in their craft and working with parents to develop a child’s hunger for reading.

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