Posted on September 4, 2016


In today’s world, everyone seems to have a chip on their shoulder. People “take offense” at the drop of a hat. We have become so thin-skinned that one is almost afraid of saying or writing anything that may offend someone.

And now if you offend someone, everyone also seems to be “carrying,” the cliché for carrying a weapon, usually a pistol or revolver, but the real fanatics carry military-style weapons. Those are hard to conceal. You need to steer clear of the dude dragging his AK 15 around.

I’ve even seen people walking into Winn Dixie, with a gun on their hip. Maybe they’re determined to get the freshest sushi before other buyers.

And, if you dare get in a spitting contest with a fellow driver who may have cut you off in traffic, I wouldn’t throw the bird at him or otherwise cross them. I’m sure a lot of them would reach into their glove compartment (maybe we ought to rename it to the gun compartment), unlock their spiffy new 9 mm Glock and start banging away at you for making them mad.

What happened to the old days when gentlemen “agreed to disagree?” There I go; did it again. “Gentlepeople” sounds way too awkward; the p.c. police will no doubt be knocking on my door. I have to admit to sexism among my many peccadillos. I still open doors for girls. Sorry girls, I know you’re all women but at my age, but unless you are sixty or above, you’re all girls.

“Well,” I can imagine one of the huffy, offended women shooting right back at me (hopefully with just words, not her Glock), “what would you think if we called you a boy?”

Oh boy, I’ve been called worse.

“Well,” my response to my feminist sister might be, “I’ll run this past the boys when we get together next Thursday at the Chick Fil A where we get gather to talk men issues.”

We actually do have one girl/woman who is one of the “guys.” This of course gives us gender balance, but, basically, we like her and she does bring a different perspective. So there.

Lordy, what have we here? I can offend just about anyone when I’m teaching my history of the Christian Church. Just line up you Roman Catholics, I’ll get to you after I offend the Pentecostals, Unitarians, Presbyterians, Baptists (Southern, Northern, from all directions of the compass), and the Nondenominationals. I’ll omit the snake handlers since one of them might throw a rattlesnake at me to test my faith during our dialog.

And as for minorities, better just keep your mouth shut. Everyone is a racist. I mentioned blacks and slavery and Thomas Jefferson in the same sentence a few weeks ago and it got cut, in case someone misunderstood or was offended. Rich white people and black people living off government entitlements are all stereotyped by race, so poor white people living off the government and rich black people simply don’t exist in the minds of the easily offended.

And the truth in history gets mangled beyond belief, opening the door for the offended.

White rulers of the past are held accountable for everything bad in this country, from slavery to robber baron capitalists. The reparations crowd wants whites to pay for the suffering of black slaves, conveniently ignoring or ignorant of the fact that Africans enslaved other Africans before the European slave traders arrived in the fifteenth century. African slave traders made big bucks off the slave trade over the centuries. Go and collect reparations from their descendants. They started this train of offenses.

There, done it again, I’ve offended African Americans. Does this short truth in history lesson diminish the reality of the terrible suffering of African slaves in the Americas, from North America to Brazil, over the centuries? Of course not. But don’t get offended if someone points out the truth.

The question is: why are so many people taking offence? Is it the politically correct wave that has swept over the country emphasizing the rights of all people, individually and collectively, to be protected from abuse, persecution and simple criticism? I have had gay friends over the years, and still do. I don’t condom their lifestyle but I don’t condemn it either unless it crosses the boundaries of my Christian faith. Can I say anything about gays today without offending them? Probably not.

Is this super sensitivity brought on by a sea change in cultural values, in what we cherish or what we condemn? We believe today all people can pretty much live the way they want, from open fornication to vulgarity expressed openly everywhere, but especially in social media. If we are critical, if we want to set boundaries, if we want to enforce a morality that comes from our faith, we are offensive.

Read Judges 21:25 for a quick take from Scripture on everyone doing what they damn well please. If you don’t have your Bible handy (I don’t carry mine around either but can access it quickly on my cell phone; no excuses; free apps….), here it is: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” You can substitute law and morality for “king” and you get the meaning.

When everyone does what they want, I guarantee you will offend everyone else who wants to do their own thing also, and it may not be your thing. And truth usually goes down the tubes also. “Hands up, don’t shoot” is now chanted in demonstrations in the streets (look it up on Wikipedia if your memory is short), and it was a lie from the get go. Never happened. But those who were offended adopted it as a kind of political slogan, and those who know it’ a lie are also offended when they hear it.

So, what’s the answer to this great offensive in the land? In Crimson Tide football, defense is maybe even more important than offense, although you can’t win with one: you need both. What’s our defense against offensiveness? I think it’s a return to values—largely but not all from Scripture—that set up boundaries in our lives, moral boundaries, ethical boundaries, and truth and lie boundaries, the ones we all seem to know almost instinctively, but choose instead to do what we want.

And one last football analogy which I know will resonate with most readers in this town, although you may be more partisan to the school across the State which also starts with an “A” and plays pretty good ball.

Return to the fundamentals, blocking and tackling, attitude and work, mind and body control and training, rules and boundaries. We need to transfer those lessons to our lives, individually and collectively.

Published as “Navigating the Morass of Political Correctness” in The Tuscaloosa News, Sunday Aug. 6, 2016.






Posted in: Life in America