Saturday, September 23, 2006

No Offense (unless you're a Conservative)

Disclaimer: This post is representative of my observations of a very limited number of members of a large group, and may reflect the specific eccentricities of those individuals rather than the group at large.

It appears that social conservatism, ironically, relies on extremely liberal use of the term "offensive". Anything that doesn't fall in line with their strict moral codes is "offensive" to them. They argue that even the expression of such ideas constitute a personal affront to themselves and to anyone else who disagrees with those ideas. Even the advocation of issues that do not affect them in any way, such as the legal recognition of same-sex marriages, is a slap in the face to social conservatives. Those who are more socially progressive, on the other hand, tend to take a more "live and let live" approach.

Are these claims of deep offense in earnest? Are all social conservatives really so thin-skinned as to be genuinely offended simply by the expression of beliefs that counter their own moral dogmas, or are they abusing the term to elicit sympathy for their own unsympathetic attempts to censor other ideas? I guess when you're part of the present-day incarnation of the same movement that opposed ending slavery and extending civil rights and suffrage to women and racial minorities, you need all the sympathy you can get.

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