Politically Super Offensive Post I am Offended About
I’m going to be honest. I don’t care about the Superbowl. There, I said it.
I have a friend who all through growing up hated tomatoes. She used to say, “I see people eating tomatoes on their burgers and in their salads and they look like they taste so good. I try to like them, and I keep trying them, but every time....nope. I still can’t stand them.”
That’s how I feel about the Superbowl. It looks like so much fun. I see everyone getting into the game and all the pre-game hubbub and it looks so exciting. I try to get hyped up. Then it’s always the same thing. I’m still staring at the TV bored out of my mind.
But I was in the room during half-time. I like Chris Martin. Coldplay has gotten me through many a long run. I liked the colors. I like the flashing lights and the giant spinning flower umbrellas. I like Bruno Mars. I did not care for Beyonce’s performance. That being said, I don’t not like Beyonce. It just lacked wardrobe for my preference and the over-sexualized thrusting seemed inappropriate for family viewing. But I’m not anti-Beyonce. The whole show seemed pretty standard. It was as expected. At worst, I still felt bored, at best, I felt amused and entertained.
But the next day, I realized I was dead wrong about everything. There was so much to be offended about that I completely missed! For one, the Doritos commercial! Apparently it went viral for being anti-abortion and offended loads of people who support pro-choice. And Coldplay’s little stunt there, with the colors?! What the heck were they trying to pull there anyway? People of the right be offended! And Queen B, with the dancers taking the X formation and the Black Lives Matter campaign mid-dance. How dare she disrespect law enforcement! Police supporters everywhere are so offended.
But alas, it was reported she left the event with a Police escort, so then the anti-law enforcement folks got their knickers in a twist. In short, no matter what side you fall on about any matter, ever, you were offended by something. (Or if you weren’t, you should have been. Don’t you care about any cause at all, you anti-humanitarian.)
What the what?!
As an evangelical Christian I did not get offended by Coldplay’s colorful performance. I enjoyed the colors, the loudness, and his bizarre dancing. As a cop’s wife, I’m also not offended if Beyonce was promoting a Black Lives Matter campaign. Sure they do! From both sides of the coin, I’ve yet to meet one single person who doesn't think all lives matter. (I know they exist, but this post is not about that percentage.) Can we move on to the real problem now?
This wedge that pins humans against humans. It’s called offense. Once a bad word, it now has seemingly become glorified. One looks for ways to be offended. To be offended means you are championing for a cause. You are hailed as a hero.
I would say....let’s be very careful here.
Let me get something uncomfortable out of the way right now. Life is not fair.
I know. I'm bummed too. But we do not need to be offended about everything. You guys, guess what ruled the media and news outlets the day after the Superbowl? A Doritos commercial.
A Dortitos Commercial. Let's all take a moment of silence for the stupidity that is being offended by a crunchy orange tortilla snack ad.
People were absolutely outraged by the silent, only-seen-if-carefully-examined-underlying-promotional meaning of that commercial. I don’t know the commercial makers directly, but I’m pretty sure I know what they were promoting. Doritos.
But these carefully trained in micro-aggressions, progressive-thinking offended people were hailed as champions... for being offended. What a worthy cause! What a good humanitarian being offended by life’s unfairness like that! Way to raise awareness that life is not fair! (Please read italics here in thick sarcastic tones.)
Again, What the what?! Here’s my thing. I am so offended you are so offended right now. Not just because trying not to offend people in itself is exhausting, I am used to hard work, so that part is annoying, but I can deal with it.
The real problem is that I am trying to raise three little boys to be resilient in the face of adversity. I cannot eliminate adversity from the Earth. If I could, I would just do that. But what I can do, is try my best to shape these little lives who were entrusted to me, to be resilient, just and strong.
You do not get that way by whining loudly and crying foul. Let me tell you what offense does. It creates just the opposite of resilience, justice and strength. I have yet to see offense bridge the gaps of human difference, promote understanding and spread kindness.
Life is not fair. I would not be the person I am today without facing adversity and unfairness. Am I saying I want my kids to be bullied and picked on? Of course not!
Well, maybe a little. Because I’m watching to see how they deal. I can't see what kind of people I am raising without some level of adversity being applied. Without adversity, how would they ever have the opportunity to extend kindness, or patience or offer grace?
It’s so easy to offer kindness to kind people, or be patient to someone who loves them. True character is shaped and revealed in unfairness.
A few weeks ago, my oldest son was in the lunch line at school. A kid asked him for his spot so he could get in line with his other friend. My son told him he couldn't have his spot, he was already in line. After a few mean-spirited taunts, the kid then pushed my son out of the lunch line and onto the floor and said, “Now it’s my spot.”
My son told me this story later on that evening. He told me he didn't think it was fair that he got shoved down. (Obviously, it wasn’t.) I asked him what he wanted me to do. Is this a bullying problem? Do I need to call the school? Does another action need to be taken?
My son responded with resilience. He said, “No mom. He’s usually nice to me, I think he was just showing off for his friend.”
I can’t write a sentence explaining the pride I felt for my son in that moment.
He faced adversity. He got to react & respond when life wasn’t being fair, to be resilient, to be shaped by his decision to choose kindness.
Life is not fair. You and your cause are not always going to be treated fairly. Some performer is going to get on a stage somewhere and promote a cause you don’t agree with it. You feel righteous indignation and moral obligation to stand up for yourself and your cause.
For an inexplicable reason, we are awarded in this culture for whining loudly. For some reason we promote being offended. We renown these offended people for campaigning for a worthy cause. We give accolades to people who make a giant stink and throw a tantrum that life isn't fair! Make it fair!
But I would argue offense is an ugly, disgusting, unattractive habit. I would say, you are not healing the injustice on the earth by your tantrums. I would suggest, you are driving a wedge between our own humanity, pinning humans against humans. We will never agree on every issue, our differences make us unique. By villainizing those opposed to our view, well, I can’t think of a more disgusting crime or unworthy cause.
I refuse to be offended by a Doritos commercial or a dance routine. I do not want to teach my kids to demand treatment of a victim. Just because life is not fair does not mean you are a victim. It just means you are alive. I want to raise kids who are not going to collapse at the first sign of mistreatment. Wether it’s a group of activists or a bully at school.
Ever since the lunch line incident at school, I’ve been thinking about this backward faith I have. We are told in the Bible that the last shall be first and the first shall be last. That to be the greatest, become the least, to desire persecution. And no, I do not mean, persecution in the form of a Doritos commercial.
Why should we desire these things? I’m guessing one of the reasons has to do with character building. Our world awards the loud cries, the Bible teaches the most important person is the silent sufferer. We are backwards. We absorb unfairness and offer forgiveness instead. If someone doesn’t agree with our stance, we do not villainize them. If someone treats us unfairly, we offer grace.... in heapfuls and in absurd amounts.
I want to raise my kids this way. I hate that they have to see grown adults behaving as if offense is celebrated. But I will not celebrate it. Offense broadens the gap. We are called to bridge the gap. We have the answers, our acceptable behavior is in the scripture. It’s just not fun. And certainly not celebrated.
Be last, be quiet, be forgiving, be understanding. Guard against offense. Guys, the loudest and most offended is not the winner winner chicken dinner in God’s kingdom. I fear that somewhere we forgot to be backwards and opposite.
The squeaky wheel gets the attention. Often the media and our screens screech the loudest, and we begin looking for applause as the world offers it, and when we give that our attention, we forget that the right thing to do is often times the opposite of what the world is doing. Scriptures seem to applaud the quiet sufferer, the one indulgent in kindness and forgiveness. If through all the screeching, this is the only scripture that will reach you today, please let me send you this reminder.
1 Thessalonians 4:11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, you should mind your own business and work with your hands just as we told you”
Ephesians 4:32 “Instead be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another.”
Proverbs 19:11 "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is to his glory to overlook an offense."
Romans 5:4 “....We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character; and character, hope.”