The Cult of the Offended
March 22, 2006

I'm not sure when, but at some time during the last 50 or so years, Americans decided (either by the collective, or by acquiescence) that one of their rights under God was the right to live life without the presence of offense. Not a day passes by without some adult requesting special treatment as a result of their "offense." The accompanying ritual to this sad, pathetic waste of everyone's good time is a society that is usually willing to bend over backwards to accommodate the offended and will often do everything in its power to ensure that offense never takes place.

What's most interesting to me is how the complaints about "offense" are usually coming from the same types of people. These are the people that crave ambiguity and find fault in simple things like textbook definitions of male and female. Heaven forbid if anything is that simple. But no, the inference that a man who dresses up as a woman is confused is somehow viewed as offensive or my personal favorite cop-out, "hate speech." These are often the same people who don't like words like, "God" (with a big G), "Jesus," "Christ," or "obey the law."

A hilarious display of blatant one-sided offense took place earlier this week, when quickly rushed to correct an error that could have led customers to believe they were *gasp* a company that's doesn't support abortion. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports: Inc. said Monday it had modified the way its search engine handles queries for the term "abortion" after receiving an e-mail complaint that the results appeared biased.

Until the recent change, a user who visited the Seattle Internet retailer and typed in the word "abortion" received a prompt asking, "Did you mean adoption?" followed by search results for "abortion."

Spokeswoman Patty Smith said the automated prompt was purely based on technology, and that no human had made the decision to show the question.

"Adoption and abortion are the same except for two keystrokes," Smith said. "They also, in this case, happen to be somewhat related terms."

Still, Smith said she and other company officials decided to remove the question after receiving an e-mail complaint and deciding that it raised a valid concern.

The concern being what? That people might get the silly little idea that adoption is an alternative to abortion? Or that might lose credibility were customers to think they were anything but abortion supporting progressives?

Either way, the woman's complaint is a waste of time that could be better spent working on tools that can help them get my books to me more quickly, thank you very much.

Earlier this year, my high school alma mater, Lakeside School--a school that just so happens to be heavily funded by alumnae Bill Gates and Paul Allen (a fact that will become more pertinent in the coming sentences)--made headlines when they rescinded their offer to have controversial author Dinesh D'Souza speak during the school's yearly distinguished lecture series. The decision came as a result of pressure from some students, parents and faculty who felt offended by D'Souza's potential presence on campus. Although he was originally slated to discuss the Iraq War, it was D'Souza's opinions on race that put him in the "unacceptable" category.

[If you've seen it, insert funny reference to Tom Hanks' character in the film, "The Terminal." Otherwise, just keep reading.]

I agree with columnist Robert Jameison, who in his analysis of Lakeside's decision writes:

The problem was not so much that D'Souza is conservative. It was that he's the wrong kind of conservative -- a race-baiting conservative.
I'm not a fan of D'Souza by any stretch of my fecund imagination. I am however, a fan of calling to the carpet liberal schools masquerading as open-minded institutions of higher learning. It is hogwash. Unfortunately, I am not yet one of the multi-millionaire boosters who rule private schools so my dear alma mater doesn't really care what I think of their lack of bravery.

Don't worry. One day they will. Until then, I will battle with my blog, dangit.

Do a quick Google News search with the word "offended" and you will find articles across the nation of every day Americans who raised a ruckus, simply because they were offended. Offense is a form of currency in America. It can be used to manipulate people in all sorts of ways. It can also be used to control the way people think.

In his column this week, Doug Patton writes that Christians actually need to be more offended. To some extent, I agree. I'm no fan of whiny "make accommodations for me" behavior. I am in favor of open-marketplace freedom which is usually lopsided when it comes to what's an acceptable offense. To use an example, take Halloween. I personally don't celebrate it because what it represents counters my own personal belief system. In essence, the holiday is offensive to me. However, you will rarely hear employees complaining that the witch hanging from the ceiling is offensive. You will however, be subject to a plethora of ambiguous religiously neutral terms and holidays around Christmas time. Open marketplace would be, "You celebrate your solstice and pagan worship; I'll put up my Christmas tree."

All that said, I still live by my crazy Uncle Phil's motto, "Every day somebody cries. Don't let it be you."

Posted by Ambra at March 22, 2006 7:32 PM in Abortion ,Culture
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Wow - I'm really offended by this post.

(tee hee)

We're glad to have you back!

maybe next year's survivor show should have an "offended" island instead of an exile

Hey waitaminnit! I'm offended by that!

(Hey...what's going on? I'm actually still alive! I've still got a job and the dog
is still chasing grandma! I guess being offended won't kill me after all.)

That's a great story, but the "getting-offended" story of the year has to be Isaac Hayes quitting a show (South Park) whose entire concept is to offend various groups of people---because the show dared to offend a group he was a part of! In a way I'm impressed he had the gall to committ such a blatant act of hipocracy in the public eye.

I apologize for the untimely obit. However, even though we are your loyal readers, i hope you don't just feel obligated to right for us. if it's not fun for you anymore, don't torture yourself w/ it. then again, if you managed to find a way to continue to make it fun, everybody wins :-D

Hilarious. and we can't subtly remind anyone that abortion is hideous and that adoption might be a better alternative. Nooooo. That's 'offensive'. Decency has become offensive. Whoa is this society of 'offendeds', for they are deceived BIG time!

Perfect is the enemy of Good.

What someone is saying when they claim offense is that their right to not be exposed to an idea they're uncomfortable with supersedes your right to put forth that idea. In fact, we Americans have contracted with one another under the Constitution to allow our neighbors rights and privileges we might never personally choose to exercise.

It seems to be a lack of critical thinking skills on the part of the terminally offended to advocate you abrogate your rights to free speech so they can exercise their imagined right to a life free of cognitive dissonance.

Aw man, you missed your chance!
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