Lance Scranton: Afraid to offend
Christians all over the world just celebrated a miraculous event commonly referred to as Easter. Many cultures have both Good Friday and Easter Monday off but political correctness has forced most public institutions to ease off on actually identifying a particular belief system’s holidays and just call it Spring Break. Christmas has become Winter Break and Thanksgiving is even referred to as Fall Break on some calendars.
Agreed, the world is changing, but it seems like our culture has gone out of its way to not offend anyone who might have a different view about life, religion or politics. Respect for a plurality of beliefs has always been a bedrock principle in America and one of the main reasons that so many different people got along so well. It wasn’t that people didn’t have differences, it was that we went about our business and left people to decide who, or what, to worship, vote for, or celebrate.
That’s all changed and many people operate out of irrational fear instead of a solid foundation of what they think or believe. Before decisions are even considered, fear leaps into action and the most important prerogative is reserved for who might be offended or angered instead of what is actually right or wrong. It must be difficult to live with oneself not knowing what to live for and concerned only about not offending anyone.
Our culture has an identity crisis and it keeps getting worse as people live in constant fear that whatever they do will offend someone or make them mad. With social media, you don’t even have to confront the person, just post it for the world to see. It’s kind of a crazy and it seeps down into many areas of our life if we aren’t careful. I’ve even read about colleges that give students “trigger warnings” about class material that might offend them or be disturbing.
Wow! If all of us needed trigger warnings for every potential person, idea, belief or book that might be offensive or disturbing, we can kiss the good old “agree to disagree” adage goodbye. Sometimes we are offended by an idea but after consideration, we at least, understand why the person might have the idea or belief — it doesn’t mean we have to agree. We used to talk about having a “thicker skin,” now we have more ways to get under anyone’s skin we think should think the way we think… it’s a weird turn of the culture.
As the world is getting crazier, let’s not help it along too much! Remember: If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.
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There are some big things happening at the Moffat County Library this summer for the whole community.