No offense

If everything offends you, you might as well just stay at home so the rest of us can get things done.
Image found on someecards.

There is much in this world with which someone could take offense, such as sexual assault and abuse, war crimes, political officials abusing trust, and many other horrible things. But what do we do? We have hissy fits over kneeling for the national anthem. That’s hardly world-shattering as either a protest (which is how it’s intended) or insult, but because it distracts from other issues, political partisans keep pushing it.

Still, that’s far from the most inane thing someone has been offended by. Here are just a few that have tickled and annoyed me.

🎄 The War on Christmas—If it’s not Starbucks’ cups not being “Christmasy” enough (or slashing polar bear throats on their cookies—those aren’t scarves, dadgummit!), then it’s someone not saying “Merry Christmas.”

Those evil, evil baristas! And if they’d just outlined those scarves, people might not have been so offended.
Cups image found on Mashable; cookie image found on New York Daily News.

Just as we Americans have the tendency to forget that there are other nations and cultures in the world, it seems we also can’t get it through our thick skulls that not everyone is Christian, and not everyone celebrates Christmas. And most importantly, there is no War on Christmas except in the minds of overheated pundits and their followers. Christmas is not being outlawed in this country, so just calm down … at least calmer than I am seeing that stores already have gone full yuletide and it’s not even Halloween yet. If there’s a war, Christmas is winning. The Puritans who started this country, and who banned Christmas celebrations, would be beside themselves. Especially if they had to listen to “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” on a loop.

If only people could let things like holiday greetings go …
Bizarro by Dan Piraro.

When I was growing up, I was taught that you should never assume what belief system someone holds. I learned a lot about what others had to do for years to accommodate Christian beliefs as I had a close friend who had to be out of school whenever holiday celebrations were planned, so the thought of accommodating other religious beliefs doesn’t bother me at all. To be polite—not politically correct—one might say “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings” to a stranger unless that person’s beliefs are apparent, while using the appropriate greeting (“Merry Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah,” for example) for someone you know. Or you could just remain oblivious that others may not believe what you believe.

Then again, some people seem to revel in taking and giving offense. They’re getting coal for Christmas (gotta give some busy work to coal miners displaced by progress, doncha know).

👩‍👩‍👦‍👦 Nontraditional families in advertising—Cheerios and other brands have taken a lot of flak for ads featuring nontraditional households, like interracial families, unmarried cohabitants or same-sex couples.

This cute pregnancy announcement from married lesbians probably ticked off a few people.
Image found on Parents.

However, those ads reflect our reality. According to Pew Research, in 2014, only 46 percent of American children were from traditional families, meaning two married heterosexual parents. That’s fewer than half; in 1980 it was 61 percent, and 73 percent in 1960. Very few people nowadays don’t have someone in their families who doesn’t fit the traditional mold in their home life. It’s not like dysfunction only exists in nontraditional families … it’s pretty much universal. As long as they’re happy and not hurting anyone, is it really any of our business?

Silly question, I know. What other people do that has no effect on us is most certainly our business, dang it! We might have to see them, and that’s just icky. How dare they shove their lifestyles in our faces by simply existing! Don’t these people know that they’re violating our right to not be offended?

Oh, that doesn’t exist? Never mind.

🚽Bathrooms—Yes, please, let’s legislate more solutions to problems that don’t exist.

We’re gonna need more rednecks for intermission …
Editorial cartoon by Don Lee, DSL art and photos/Flickr.

You’ve probably peed next to someone who is transgender at some point, and you never knew it. Boycotts of businesses that allow people to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, and laws that demand people use the bathroom corresponding to their birth gender (what happens with hermaphrodites?), are little more than theater … and the ushers won’t let us leave. Boycotts generally aren’t all that successful, especially of large businesses, and those laws are unenforceable unless you plan to station monitors at every public bathroom to check gender (I’m sure Harvey Weinstein would volunteer).

For people who want the government out of their personal business, these people sure seem to want government in others’ business. Next thing you know they’ll be telling women what they can do with their own bod— … well, crap.

You’re making it really hard for me not to hit you.
GIF found on PopKey.

🙉 Being exposed to other perspectives—Sure, staying in the comfort of an echo chamber can be soothing, but in the real world, people have a lot of different opinions (oooh, and it’s not just stark left-right, Christian-non-Christian division!). That means that unless you live in an underground bunker or some cloistered society cut off from the outside world, you will have to deal with people who might not have the same perspective on matters of import (or even those of little import—for example, I prefer putting the toilet paper roll on the spindle so you reach under for it, while others prefer over so their critters can more easily destroy the roll … barbarians … the people, not the critters).

Luke never took an interest in shredding toilet paper (newspaper, yes), which is a good thing when you suffer from IBS.
GIF found on gifrific.

What mature, thoughtful people do when confronted with other opinions is listen politely and calmly give their perspective. What they don’t do is yell, throw punches and call the other people every name in the book because they don’t agree. Wait … did I just describe a family reunion?


It doesn’t take much to wind some people up these days, especially with a certain somebody in the Oval Office. But it’s not just politics that can cause extreme reactions; religion, especially where it intersects with politics (which it seems it does a lot now), can spur even the most rational to spittle-spraying rages.

Religion and politics are probably the most debated topics, so why, as suggested by some letter-writers and a subscriber at a recent newspaper forum, would we keep religion off the Voices page? Well, we wouldn’t.

While there are some limitations (no full-citation Bible verses, keep it clean and civil, no libel or threats, etc.), topics for the page are pretty wide open. If we started forbidding religion letters, we wouldn’t be fair to those people who primarily write about religious topics, and we might then start refusing letters about the Razorbacks … I mean, it is almost like a religion for some. And what about when someone writes about something like the Johnson Amendment? Since it involves churches, I guess we’d have to pitch it too. Pretty soon there’d be nothing on the page.

The religious and irreligious have just as much right to be printed as anyone else, and when so many letters we get are about religion, there’s really no question that at least some of them will make it onto the Voices page.

I know, not the answer some were praying for, but …

Her aim is terrible, by the way; check out the chair!
Non Sequitur by Wiley Miller.

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24 thoughts on “No offense

  1. You neglected the War on White Christian Men. But if we stand up for their equal rights, one day they will be allowed in the board rooms of the nation’s largest corporations and even, dare we imagine it, a White Christian Man could be elected president of the USA.

    As to bathroom choice, I still think Bill Maher had the perfect solution: (1) if you look like a man, use the Men’s Room, (2) if you look like a woman, use the Women’s Room, and (3) if you are a bearded dude in a dress, hold it until you get home.

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    • As part of my war against white Christian men, I refuse to acknowledge there is any such thing. It just enables them. 😜
      Bill Maher can be a jackass at times, but he can also be very wise. And sometimes he’s a wiseass. 😆

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  2. Love the ecard. It should be my motto … or something. As for the toilet paper, every cat owner knows how that works. I learned my lesson when I found an entire roll in a heap on the floor. GIFkitty seems to have learned how to shred it in place. A real master at work there.

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    • I think it is my motto. Growing up with three older brothers made my skin pretty thick.
      There’s a video of a kitteh who unspools the paper without damaging it and ends up rolling it back on the longer he messes with the roll. That’s talent. 😸

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  3. The “War on Christmas” is my pet peeve. One day I’m going to snap and post “There is no war on Christmas” in all caps on Facebook and watch my friend count drop. Or maybe I’ll be passive aggressive and have my cover photo say “Happy Holidays.” One year I mailed out holiday postcards with photos of my pets, and it said “Meowy Christmas and Happy Howlidays.”

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    • I’m kinda the passive-aggressive type when it comes to that imaginary war. People who insist they’re persecuted when someone says “happy holidays” make me want to high-five their faces. ✋

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  4. When I had a cat as a pet, I would jokingly tell people that my cat wished them “Meowy Chrismouse and Happy Mew Year”. There were very few people who didn’t like that joke. “Meowy Chrismas and Happy Howlidays”? I like that idea Sarah and I would vote for it if I was allowed to do so.

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  5. My former sister-in-law is one of these people who becomes Offended if you wish her “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” but she likes to talk frequently and loudly (she is partially deaf) about what a Good Christian she is. In addition to being partially deaf and refusing to wear hearing aids, I suspect that she has a combination of some type of autism and Asperger’s. She refuses to admit that anything is wrong and get help and treatment for her problems. She believes that God will cure her instead of a human physician.

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    • Reminds me of a friend from college. We’d have study sessions, but she didn’t pay that much attention because she was relying on God to give her the answers. She wasn’t amused when I told her God gave her a brain and expected her to use it. 😇

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      • LOL–about your friend. My former sister-in-law seems to have a brain but I am not completely sure about that. If she actually does have a brain, she needs instructions on how to use it instead of misusing it and abusing it.

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  6. Speaking of being offended, have any of you ever heard the joke about the woman who is being tried for killing her husband because he was a musician and he seemed to love his guitars more than he loved her? The judge asks the woman, “First offender?” And the woman replies, No sir Your Honor. First it was a Taylor and then an Ovation and then a Martin. Since that didn’t kill him, then I hit him with the Fender.”

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  7. As for the people who are protesting our national anthem by kneeling while it is being played at public sporting events, what I think is important is that they are protesting peacefully and are not hurting anyone or trying to kill anybody. These protesters are not trying to destroy anything such as throwing rocks or something else through the window of a store or a house. I disapprove of the protests but I do completely support their right to make a public protest at a public event such as this.

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  8. Then there is the redneck version of Grandma’s favorite Christmas song: “Grandma Got Run Over By A Trucker”. My ex-wife had a Redneck Christmas CD with this song and several others on it. She took it with her (with my blessing) when we got divorced.

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      • I was eager to get rid of her and I did want out of the marriage. Letting her take whatever she wanted with her was part of the price I had to pay but I still think it was worth it. The whole experience has left me with what people call a “bad taste in my mouth”. I am in no hurry to try marriage again or to even start dating again either. The divorce was more the fault of the former sister-in-law who does not know when to shut up and mind her own business than it was the fault of my ex-wife.

        Like

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