Archive for the ‘human-rights’ Tag

A Culture of Offense   1 comment

No, this has nothing to do with football or any other sport for that matter. These thoughts came to me as I read an article about cinema’s (movie theatres) in England banning a commercial, prepared by the Church of England. In the short clip a number of different people participate in a recitation of the Lord’s prayer. The commercial, which was scheduled to have played before the new Star wars movie, received the approval of every regulatory body during its production. Nevertheless, I learned from an article in Britain’s Daily Mail that, at the last minute, the permission was withdrawn on the basis that ” it might offend some people.”  The ban has prompted a cacophony of protest from every quarter, including from none other than Richard Dawkins, declaring the action to be ridiculous. But their actions are perfectly consistent with, what seems to be, our rampant culture of offense. One state university has proposed a resolution the every student has the right not to be offended. But where does all this end? It matters very little whether it is a cup in Starbucks or a cross on Mount Davidson some believe they have the right to declare offense and as a consequence have the offending item removed. Often the christian community are active participants as we wave banners and shout our protest at some movie or other media pontification.   But isn’t a significant amount of what we now define as “offense”  what we used to call disagreement or even dislike?  Has anyone ever suggested that it was even desirable to “like” or “agree” with everyone and everything?  I am not for one moment suggesting that there are not situations when it is right to express offense and ask or even demand change. But shouldn’t this be limited to occasions when an individual, their faith, race or culture is insulted or in some way denigrated?  We cannot permit each other to take offense at a persons right to be who they are,  have their beliefs and express them.  If we continue to permit people to suggest they have a right protest offense at anything that they see or hear that reflects a belief other than their own I suggest we are on the way to a society that will eventually be entirely devoid of meaning. Perhaps it is that very trend in our culture that we should take every opportunity, not to be offended by, but to resist in every way we can.

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No its not an attack of wishful thinking or a correction of my recent birthday; I am getting used to writing “60” when asked for my age. The number is a reference to Isaiah 58. Some time ago I wrote about the challenge of global poverty and shared a video that introduced an upcoming project by this name. Recently I received a second email detailing another stage in the project’s development and sharing some more initiatives.

In Isaiah 58 the prophet challenges us to examine the practice and motivation of our fasting. So for those who are part of New Life Christian Fellowship it occurred to me that our 21day fast is a wonderful opportunity to, once again, think about the hungry, those whose circumstances dictate that their life is a long enforced fast!.

Scripture makes it clear that Jesus had some priorities in His ministry, that I believe He expects His church to reflect. The poor, lonely, disenfranchised, and hungry, along with the lost are those to whom He came to bring “good news” (Luke 4:18-19).  So take some time to explore the resources and information this project offers. Then let’s ask ourselves how our priorities line up with those that Jesus set.  Is there any corrective action we should take?

Posted January 24, 2012 by jolm15 in Uncategorized

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