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There is an epidemic of offense going around these days. Everyone, it seems, is offended by something or someone. Jesus advised his followers not to be offended by what he said, because he spoke the truth. Despite his warning, many were and still are offended.
The truth resonates in every soul, but most people have closed themselves off to it. They would rather keep believing their self-satisfying and self-protecting version of reality than accept even for an instant that maybe, just maybe, they might be wrong, or maybe they’re just taking themselves way too seriously.
Freedom of speech is a hard-won and precious right that is currently under attack in the free world. We shouldn’t throw away freedom of speech just because some people’s sensibilities are offended by insults to, say, their religion or confusion over their gender. As we see in scripture, the response of being offended arises in people who don’t want to hear the truth. They are presented with the truth, and they reject it. The offense isn’t because people are speaking the truth; the offense is because people don’t want to hear the truth.
There was a protest march yesterday in Sydney, Australia, AGAINST freedom of speech.
Let that sink in.
I’ll rephrase it, while you’re letting it sink in: Using their hard-fought and hard-won right to openly voice their opinions, a group of Australians protested against their hard-fought and hard-won right to openly voice their opinions.
You can’t make this stuff up.
The protest group was comprised of around 800 young Muslims, and the catalyst for this particular protest was the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of Mohammed. Trying their own hand at creating and promoting offensive material, some protesters displayed drawings of dogs urinating on the graves of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris.
I don’t find either the Charlie Hebdo or the anti-Charlie Hebdo drawings offensive; I just find them childish and petty. If people took themselves less seriously, then maybe they’d share my opinion, which I suggest is a healthy and sustainable one.
I prefer to take Jesus’ advice and not be offended, as there really isn’t anything to be offended about. You shouldn’t find the truth offensive, and you shouldn’t find petty insults offensive.
THANK GOD, in free countries, people are still legally entitled both to hold and express their own opinions, whether in spoken, written or graphic form, however unsavory and downright ridiculous those opinions might be to others. There should be no limits to freedom of speech. Those who want to limit the expression of your opinions really just want to control you.
Don’t let them.
The moral of the story is: Go ahead and protest against the right to protest, if that’s what you want to do, but don’t be offended if I laugh at you. You’ve earned it.