|Ye olde homestead in Selma Oregon|
Growing up in a family of six, in a 3 bedroom house deep in the woods of Southern Oregon, getting on each other's nerves was inevitable. Regular family- mom, dad, 2 boys, 2 girls. I was second of the four kids, with it running girl, boy, girl, boy. It was three years between the oldest and me, with 2 years separating us after that.
We fought pretty regularly. When we were young kids, less than 10 years old I'd guess, arguments would often lead to some minor hitting, sometimes some significant beat-downs, but only when mom and dad were gone. Most of the time we kept the code of secrecy and the parental units were often uninformed as to our squabbles. If not, it wasn't exactly encouraged, but they'd often let us work it out ourselves. I'm not sure if it's because of me and my brother each having an older sister or not, but we were never told that hitting a girl was verboten. If we ticked them off, they were sure to put us in our place, so defending ourselves was justified. I'd thump on my younger one too, and it just rolled down hill. If our fighting did get a bit heated and out of hand, my 6'5'' 260 lb dad was sure to put us in our place with a spanking or a thump to the noggin with a flick of his finger. We seemed to just grow out of the fighting however, and the relationships never suffered from it. We were all viciously loyal to one another and protective of each other, even during those periods, and we're all fairly close to each other today. That family dynamic definitely ensured I grew up with a thick skin, and my dad was quick to tell us that "nobody said life was fair" if that defense was brought up in the course of an argument. My older sister taught me to not be oversensitive, one smackdown at a time, and I guess I did the same for my younger sister, and so on.
I think the entire population of the United States needs to be told or reminded of that gem of wisdom- Nobody said life was fair.
A corollary to that point is that no one deserves to never be offended. We live in a free country, and the diversity that we have here, the individual freedoms that we are granted in the U.S., mean that we might do, say, think, or act in a way that might not be universally accepted by everyone, but that's just the way it goes- life isn't fair. Political Correctness is the antithesis of life isn't fair. PC attempts to make it fair for everyone, but that's impossible. Although this is not a purely American problem, I think it's funny that Ricky Gervais, a non-American, said it very well-
"It may ruffle a few feathers, but some people's feathers need a little ruffling.And remember: just because someone is offended doesn't mean they're in the right.You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you. But no one has the right to never be offended."
On the flip side, PC has given a loud voice to the easily offended, and it's empowered the ultra-sensitive. I'm not sure that this offense and sensitivity is always genuine, but because of our fear of offending, people are able to achieve a level of reaction just by claiming they take offense at something said or done. I'm not saying we should be rude, but when we completely avoid discussing religion, gender, race, and so on, we stifle free thought and often avoid the truth, if not outright suppress an individual or certain segments of society.
It seems that's where we've gone at the USAF Academy (among other places). There are two major fronts at attempting to not offending anyone in the U.S. - Christianity and Islam. We don't say a negative thing about Islam because we're afraid we'll either offend them, or get our throats cut if a caliphate is ever instituted here. OMG, did I just say that? How offensive! We've suppressed the free expression of thought when it comes to Christianity because we're worried that the religion in and of itself is offensive.
The Air Force Academy admitted Wednesday that a cadet leader had to remove a Bible verse he had displayed outside his dorm room because it offended non-Christians and could "cause subordinates to doubt the leader's religious impartiality."The controversy started when a cadet leader posted a passage of scripture on his whiteboard with a quote from the New Testament book of Galatians. "I have been crucified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ lives in me," the verse from Galatians 2:20 read.
The article goes on to say that after the verse was posted, 29 Cadets and 4 faculty complained to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Mikey Weinstein, the director of the foundation then complained to the AFA Superintendent, and 2 hours later, the verse was erased. Apparently, the verse created "a hostile environment" at the school he said.
Now, I'm not sure if the Academy didn't know about the verse, and only ordered its removal after finding out about it from Weinstein, or they did know, and didn't have a problem with it until he complained. The 29 fellow students? They're either overly sensitive and easily offended, or they're cowards for not bringing it up to the student or Academy leadership. Quite possibly, they're both.
What I have the most problem with is that the post was up for months, but only after the complaint did they claim that the verse offended non-Christians and could "cause subordinates to doubt the leader's religious impartiality." If that was the case, anyone believing in anything, and living or speaking to that belief could be construed as making them unable to willfully and faithfully discharge the duties of the office for which they are being trained for in the AFA's case, or their daily duties in the case of a military person.
I blame it all on our litigious society, which I thoroughly detest. When an individual is offended, there's always the courts to which they can turn to. I blame that on the lawyers- it's their fault. No, not individually, just like the problems of this country aren't the fault of our individual congressman, it's the collective fault. I like what Shakespeare said "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers." Next thing we do, vote out all the incumbents.
Feel free to read the article here.