By Carol Rushton
Some Americans are offended by a lot of things these days. They are offended by someone’s words, actions, feelings, beliefs. They are offended when Christians refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding. They are offended when a sports figure stands up for the Star Spangled Banner at a game or supports the Second Amendment on their social media accounts. They are offended if an illegal alien is caught committing a crime. They are offended at the term “illegal alien”!
They are offended by President Trump just because he’s president, no matter what he says or does. They are especially offended if he’s successful at something, whether it is negotiations with North Korea, a new trade agreement with Mexico, or turning the economy around. This may sound strange, but I honestly think they are offended at being offended.
Leftists are quick to take offense when a picture making fun of Mohammed appears on the Internet because Muslims will be offended but no one says a word about pictures of a cross with ants crawling all over it or a cross in a jar of urine. It seems as if the unspoken law is that we don’t dare offend Muslims but Christians are fair game to be treated anyway anyone wants.
Well, I am offended at things happening in our country every day. No one seems to care that I’m offended or why.
I am offended when Christianity is mocked and degraded while atheism and evolutionary pantheism is presented as fact, above criticism. I am offended when Satanists demand a monument honoring their god be placed next to a monument of the Ten Commandments. I am offended when individuals swear and curse, using four letter words in regular conversation that would make a sailor blush. I am offended when I can’t go on a news website without being embarrassed at some of the pictures.
I’m offended by an ongoing Russia collusion investigation that after almost two years has not turned up any crime or wrong doing by our president, which the investigators ignore, but plenty of crimes or collusion committed by the opposition, which is also ignored by the investigators.
I am offended by anti-Semites who attack and smear Israel, both literally and figuratively. I am offended at anti-Semitic statements and those who make them.
If you dare to question the right of a person to use whatever school bathroom they want based on the gender they decide they are that particular day, you are blasted as one of those “fundamentalist Christians.” No one is allowed to mention the problems this will cause in a school or in society in general just using common sense.
I have noticed that Christians don’t protest loudly when we are offended. We tend to take it on the chin and go on. Those on the left don’t hesitate to challenge something when they think their values – or lack of them – are being criticized.
When our Declaration of Independence (1776) and Constitution (1897) were written, none of the participants were concerned about protecting citizens of the new nation from being offended. They were more anxious to protect Americans from a powerful central government that would control every facet of a person’s life. They wanted a government that would protect an American’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The details of how a person wanted to live his or her life was up to them.
Our founders recognized that if a government can protect you from being offended then it is more powerful than you would ever want. That kind of government will not protect anyone’s right to free speech.
Think about how powerful a government would have to be in order to protect someone from being offended. It would be impossible. The closest the world has come to that kind of government is called a dictatorship. A dictatorship is based on the whims of the dictator in power. One example is China. In the 1980s and 1990s, the Chinese government relaxed restrictions on Christians and allowed them more religious freedom. Since around 2013, China under the current dictator, President Xi Jinping, has begun restricting Christians’ religious freedom again, removing crosses from churches and private homes, actually tearing down some churches when they get too big, and arresting Christians for the most ridiculous reasons.
We live in an imperfect world filled with imperfect people. Not everyone is going to agree with you 100% of the time. Someone will, at some point in your life, offend you. You can’t escape it. The only thing you can control is your response.
Our founders were very wise. They knew that speech could not and should not be controlled unless you want a despotic government. So they gave us freedom. That includes the freedom to be offended.