Who could be offended by this?
I realize it is not Festivus just yet, but some things just need to be said.
In the past few months, we Americans – specifically American Christians – have been treated to one grievance airing after another of minorities or people claiming a special privilege being offended over one thing or another. The American flag, crosses, “assault weapons”, alcohol, dogs…bacon.
As an American, or more specifically an Irish-Spanish-French-Catholic-of-the-Latin-Rite-all-American-mutt, there are some things that offend me. Here’s a list:
1. I am offended that nineteen men of middle eastern dissent came to this country, learned to fly airplanes via our generosity and used that knowledge against us by commandeering control of four passenger jets and flying them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and inspiring the people on the fourth plane to crash it before it could be used to destroy something else on September 11, 2001.
2. I am offended that people from other countries and cultures come here – or any other country, for that matter – and then claim to be offended by the flag of the nation in which they stand. When in Rome, does not one expect to see an Italian flag (and the Vatican flag and the ancient flag of Rome)? The American flag is a symbol of who we are. If you don’t like it, you are free to leave.
3. I am offended that women of a certain “religious” culture venture forth from their houses wearing a veil/mask not just on their heads, but over their faces and when I am talking to them I cannot see their mouths move and their facial expression which is all a part of human communication of which I am a student. Since this facial covering is supposedly a woman’s choice and an expression of modesty, what sort of social system makes a woman so self-conscious about her appearance, that she feels she needs to hide it? That offends me.
4. I am offended that as of yesterday, ISIS in Syria is not allowing math to be taught in school. There’s a lot of things that a superfluous in school, but math is not one of them and is one of the great gifts of the Arab world – pre-Islam – to the rest of us. Plus, it’s math. There’s nothing subjective about it other than Common Core word problems.
5. I am offended that in the United States, a country cobbled together in the beginning by colonies of religious dissidents, there is any tolerance for complaints against religious symbols of any sort. The most complained about symbol is the Christian cross. We could go back to the original Christian symbol and wear fish, but some pescetarian is bound to have a problem with that, too.
6. I am offended that there are complaints about church bells from neighbors who moved in long after a church building existed. Some churches don’t ring bells, but in the Catholic Church, bells are rung on the hour, to call the people to Mass, for funerals, three times during the day for the Angelus and in jubilation at Easter. Just like high school football fields and airport noise – didn’t you see the church when you moved in?
7. I am offended that feminists have declared home cooked meals to be a burden on women, or working moms or something. Knowing how to cook from scratch is a life skill moms should be teaching their kids. (Give kids a stake in the outcome by having them help cook and they might be more appreciative of the food in front of them.) Instead, these chickies who probably go overboard when they do cook and actually consider it work. More than likely, they really just don’t like to do the dishes and as a result insulted the rest of us who have learned to do the basics in the kitchen and prefer it to eating out.
8. I am offended that bacon has become a focal point for people looking to complain about what offends them. Bacon is a gateway meat and very tasty. It improves salads, potatoes and just about everything else without any effort. People of one religion who do not partake for religious reasons have lived among us for quite a long time with no problems, and suddenly, religious people of the other faith which does not enjoy bacon walk into someone else’s house or private property and complain about bacon being served? Does one walk into someone else’s abode and voice their opinion of how it is decorated or the rules imposed by the owner? In the United States that’s called bad manners and if one has a problem with the way an establishment is run, one does not patronize the establishment. That’s the way we do things.
9. I am offended that arm-chair police captains have decided to dictate to our first responders about what equipment they need to do their jobs and how to go about doing it without ever having so much as ridden along in a squad car. No one who is not in that position day in and day out can judge how a cop should do his or her job. Not being in that place, no civilian knows the threats or risks they take. Or the abuse.
10. I am also offended that women of color have decided that the color “nude” is racist. Nude doesn’t match anyone’s skin tone. Certainly not the pale ivory cream that the descendants of the Celts (my people) deal with on a daily basis. But, the very neutral nude does blend well under clothes.
And this is just the stuff that’s come up of late. Somebody somewhere is going to be offended and we the people in the majority – for now – are just supposed to take it and change our ways.
Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. We are Americans. Our freedoms include those of speech, expression, religion, association and the trust that those in authority have reasons for doing things the way they do. Bowing to pressure from those who do not like the way we live life is cowardly. And COEXIST only works if everyone is willing to live with the others peacefully and accept the diversity. The “C” in COEXIST is proving that they are going to bully and complain until this country looks the way they want it to. Well, I say we Americans eat bacon, leave our hair loose (unless one is a nun), wave the flag and not apologize for being who we are to anyone who is here illegally or thanks to our largesse. They can always go home.
Being Catholic, there’s some things we, specifically, are not allowed to be offended by, mostly regarding the Faith and ignorance of it and history. But that’s a story for another time.