I despise the word “offended.” It is not a word I use to describe myself except in the ironic sense – i.e. That completely offends my sensibilities. <wink wink nudge nudge> – because I abhor its underlying implication.
It is designed to shut down dialog, to shut down communication, and that is never good. Never.
Today’s political climate is consumed with shutting down dialog. We are inundated on a nearly daily basis with stories of some segment of the population that has been offended by the actions or views by some other segment of the population. At the core, these claims are designed to terminate the actions or speech of the “offending” group. It is almost always bogus indignation, and even if it is legitimate, what difference does it make? The last I checked, the Constitution was still the law of our land, and every individual has the right to hold views and make statements that may offend others.
Get used to it.
I had a conversation with a friend about this very issue recently, in a much more personal context. It doesn’t change one iota of what I have said. The intention is exactly the same…you have offended me with your <insert issue here>, and I want you to stop doing it. There is no opening for dialog or discussion. There is no opening for a mutually respectful conversation. There is only an opening for listening to the reasons why you offended, and the reason why you should stop saying or doing that which offended.
It can be (and often is) enough simply that you offended. Why is immaterial, you offended and you must stop offending. Even if the relationship is over and there is no avenue for reconciliation, the burden of responsibility is still on the offender to fix him/herself.
This is stupid, and useless, because it accomplishes nothing.
I want to accomplish something in my life, and I don’t want to…I will not…do it by silencing opposing views. Say what you will, it does not offend me.
Shock me? Maybe.
Annoy me? Possibly.
Anger me? Probably more than once.
Embitter me? On occasion.
Offend me? Never.
Eventually I will develop a thick enough skin that even the most infuriating things will roll off. Eventually I will overcome the bitterness and cynicism that roots in. What I will not do is be victimized by someone else’s words. And I will not attempt to silence them. I may despise what you say, but I will defend your right to say it. That’s the bottom line.
There is a lesson that can be gleaned from Voltaire in this regard:
The men who had hated [the book], and had not particularly loved Helvétius, flocked round him now. Voltaire forgave him all injuries, intentional or unintentional. ‘What a fuss about an omelette!’ he had exclaimed when he heard of the burning. How abominably unjust to persecute a man for such an airy trifle as that! ‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,’ was his attitude now. –S. G. Tallentyre, referring to Voltaire. Often attributed to Voltaire.
Voltaire really had it right. We should do no less.
Psalm 25:1-7 ESV
 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
 O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
 Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
 Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
 Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
 Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
You are my hiding place
You always fill my heart
With songs of deliverance
Whenever I am afraid
I will trust in You
 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today,
that I have set before you life and death,
blessing and curse.
Therefore choose life,
that you and your offspring may live,
 loving the LORD your God,
obeying his voice and holding fast to him,
for he is your life and length of days,
that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers,
to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
What if I told you that I believe it’s OK to physically abuse your household pets?
Hold on. Don’t jump on my case about it. I’m saying it’s acceptable to torture and torment pets — but only pets. And only your own pets. You certainly can’t go around drop kicking, headbutting, or pile-driving your neighbor’s dog, but your dog is a different story.
And you can only punch, pistol whip, and karate chop your gerbils, cats, puppies, parrots, etc, up until a certain age. And only in the most humane way possible.
That’s all. I’m not some kind of psycho animal hater — I’ve never even assaulted my own cat, and I don’t think I ever will — I just happen to think you should have that right, should the need or desire ever arise.
But, beyond this one admittedly unique viewpoint, my overall ideology is pretty mainstream. I mean, I think it’s important to recycle and eat healthy and be nice to people and all that stuff.
Now, what if I told you that I also consider myself an animal rights activist?
Do you think the other animal rights activists will embrace me as their own? Will they allow the title “animal rights activist” to be bent and broadened to the extent that it also includes maniacs who think we ought to vociferously defend a person’s right to smack their pets around?
Alright, maybe this is a bad example. PETA kills thousands of animals every year, yet they seem to be celebrated in the animal rights community.
Still, you get my point. And in case you don’t, I’ll spell it out:
Our beliefs are not packaged, sealed, and sold separately. We don’t formulate our personal philosophy in a vacuum. Your views on one subject will be colored, or clarified, by your views on everything else.
If you think you live in a world where it is morally acceptable to do X, then your opinion on Y must be understood in the context of a world where X is considered righteous.
So this is why you can’t, for instance, advocate for slavery while also being a proponent of civil rights. Either you’re lying about your civil rights stance, or else you have an understanding of ‘civil rights’ which does not include a right to be free from enslavement. If that’s the case, then you are not a believer in civil rights at all, no matter how loudly you insist otherwise.
For very similar reasons, you simply cannot be Christian and pro-abortion.
In order to be both, you’d have to change Christianity into a religion that does not and would not condemn the murder of human children. You’d have to turn Christ into a Savior who embraces infanticide, and God into a Father who creates children but does not necessarily expect us or command us to refrain from violently destroying them.
What you are left with is something that bears no resemblance to Christianity. In fact, you’re left with something that is, in every way, exactly the opposite.
You are the pro-animal abuse animal rights activist, the pro-slavery civil rights proponent, the circular square, the north south. You are attempting to be two diametrically opposed things simultaneously. You’re trying to do something that is not only theologically impossible, but scientifically impossible as well.
If churches in America had any guts, this message would be proclaimed from the pulpit at least once a month. Especially this week, after that revolting story about a ‘Christian’ abortionist.
This man — a mercenary killer of infants — insists that his faith ‘calls’ him to decapitate babies. ‘Dr.’ Willie Parker says that abortion “became this conviction of compassion in a spiritual sense of the deepest level of love that you can have for another person, that you can have compassion for their suffering and you can act to relieve it.”He’s right when he says that Christianity is a religion of love and compassion. But he understands (or claims to understand) love and compassion to include the extermination of 50 million children worldwide each year. His version of love leaves the ground scattered with the corpses of slaughtered babies. Christ’s love called us all to protect and love children, and warned us that we’d be better off with a stone around our neck, drowning in the sea, than defying that commandment. (emphasis added by me)
Continue reading via There is no such thing as a ‘pro-choice’ Christian | The Matt Walsh Blog.
14 Like a swallow or a crane I chirp;
I moan like a dove.
My eyes are weary with looking upward.
O Lord, I am oppressed; be my pledge of safety!
15 What shall I say? For he has spoken to me,
and he himself has done it.
I walk slowly all my years
because of the bitterness of my soul.
16 O Lord, by these things men live,
and in all these is the life of my spirit.
Oh restore me to health and make me live!