Right to Not Be Offended

A major settlement of $80,000 was just granted to a local student who sued the college right up the road from where we live. Three fellow students saught out her social media presense and found posts they disagreed with about abortion, police, and more and filed no-contact orders through the school because they felt “harassed” and “discriminated against.” The school granted them without giving the accused graduate student a chance to defend herself. Now three professors will be taking mandatory free speech training and the school handbook will be updated to “ensure students with varying political, religious and ideological views are welcome in the art therapy program.”

As always, I’m glad to see courts uphold the constitutional rights of Conservatives, even if their beliefs are counter-cultural.

Seeking a no-contact order because you are offended is an abuse of no-contact orders. Seeking out the offensive material makes it even more so. Let’s just say I have some experience here. You are not required to read someone else’s social media posts, their personal blog, or anything else they do online. You can block and unfollow them.

Let me put it this way: you do not have a right to not be offended. That isn’t a right recognized by law or the constitution of the United States. However, others have a right to free speech. People are allowed to say things you disagree with. Folks are allowed to say things I disagree with. Their freedom and mine are intertwined. I cannot block their freedom without blocking my own. I can disagree with what they post and even respond publically to it, but I cannot run to the courts and remove their rights to post it.

Let us instead engage in debate and dialogue. If you are incapable of that— trust me, many are— you can go the other way. Don’t engage. There are plenty of topics that I have opinions on but am not capable of engaging in debate on. I don’t know enough or it actually isn’t worth the debate. It has taken me a very long time to get to this point, to know that not every hill is made for dying. To avoid appearing pugnacious, quarrelsome.

My rule typically is if an argument is not going to move a discussion forward or better our understanding of each other, it likely isn’t worth it. And that is okay. Disagreement and leaving disagreement alone is fine and healthy. Not all disagreement needs to fuel endless, fruitless debate.

However, the phrase has taken on a different sentiment as it is often worn by anti-Muslim protesters as a badge of honor during rallies and is seen by some as a provocation.


Only Liberals could hail as art and brave a “painting” of Mary made of cow dung and pornagraphic images in one breath and scold those taunting jihadists— that are throwing gays off rooftops and selling young girls as sex slaves in ISIS— for being provocative in the next.

The reality is that this is no more provocative than the Coptics in Egypt tattooing crosses on their wrists or any Christian wearing a cross around their neck. It is a statement to the world that we are not afraid of death because Christ defeated it.

Those that love free speech stand by free speech. Those that you claim this hat tries to provoke are tired of a group of people using death threats— and killings, rapes, and more— to shut up the opposition. They are bravely facing down an enemy that is fearlessly tearing through the Middle East and you pansies are too afraid of offending anyone to speak the truth. It’s why I love George Orwell more and more.

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Thomas Jefferson

I have a guity pleasure for the writings of Douglas Wilson. The wit and the bite of his words are something to admire. Many Christian writers are too nice, avoiding harsh, direct words even when they are necessary. Douglas doesn’t mince words.

In his latest piece, he addresses the lack of support for Kim Davis, the county clerk that has taken a stand against the new cultural edict of gay marriage.

[T]here is a difference between contempt of court and seeing that the courts have become contemptible.

This woman needs our prayers as much as the Duggars do. As she is brought before the court of the land, she will need the boldness to stand for godliness against a godless rule. This is no easy task. Fact is, she was elected to uphold the law and the rights of the citizens. These rights and these laws were not to be established by men, but by God. “Endowed by our Creator,” to quote our founding documents. But now, activist lawyers have taken it upon themselves to read additional rights into amendments that simply don’t give those rights.

So let us pray for Kim’s boldness, her faith, and her resolve. They can either fire or impeach her, or realize that when a right infringes on the rights of others, it isn’t a right. Forcing Christians to participate in sinful behavior has never been legal, so let’s pray that we can get some balance back for religious freedom.

Now this takes me to my citation of Jefferson above. Some might say that it is a shame that I, a staunch Calvinist, have taken to quoting a Deist on the relationship of righteousness to government. And I say that it is a shame that a 18th century Deist has a better grasp of the relationship of righteousness to government than do two and a half busloads of 21st century Reformed seminary professors. The striking inconsistency might have two possible causes, in other words.

Douglas Wilson

When armed terrorists attacked Charlie Hebdo headquarters over Muhammad cartoons on January 7, unarmed police officers were forced to flee for their lives. When armed men attacked people gathered in Garland, Texas, on May 3 over Prophet Muhammad cartoons, armed police cut them down — and the Daily Mail reported that the body of one was left lying the street while police searched for explosives.

The difference between Garland and Paris can be summed up in one word: guns.


Many— of those that knew this event was going to be held— saw this coming. An art context for illustrations of Muhammad. They were wise to have plenty of security on site. I don’t think I support the event. I’m conflicted. Directly mocking something someone holds sacred is a difficult thing. Shining light on the atrocities committed by and in the name of the figurehead of a major religion? I’m not sure. But I do support their right to do this. And I would gladly stand to protect that right.

America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business. 1

I must ask, Mr. Cook, does Apple discriminate in any way? Or have you narrowed your definition of discrimination to fit the needs of your view? Last I checked, Apple Stores have an age limit of 18 to hiring employees.2 Apple doesn’t allow certain common practices in their Asian factories3, such as hiring young people and working long hours. Apple, at the launch of many products, restricts the number of purchases per person and sometimes has avoided sales to obvious foreigners because of the resale markets.

There are many forms of discrimination. Mr. Cook is right on this. But not all forms are bad. In fact, many forms are really good and help grow business. While not hiring 16 year olds prevents many from getting a job at an excellent employer, it also allows Apple to start their wage rates at a much higher number, far above minimum wage. While not allowing foreigners to buy their products in bulk might rub some wrong, it allows for those that want to buy their product from the business the chance to do so.

Businesses discriminate in many ways and must to survive.

That said, there are some forms of discrimination that are clearly wrong. Not hiring someone because of the color of their skin: wrong. Not serving someone because they are gay: wrong. But that isn’t what these religious freedom laws are seeking to allow. The law passed in Indiana is to allow religious conviction to play a role in providing services. Could it be used in a malicious way? Maybe, as many laws could. But the problem is the many bakeries and photographers that have been sued out of business because of refusing to provide certain services, namely gay weddings.

This is what seems to be difficult for many to understand. As a web developer, I cannot in good faith take a lot of different jobs. I left my last job because of the sexual harassment of a female coworker and the lack of response of my managers to it. I almost left the job before that because my boss was considering taking on a website for a strip club. Would I take on a project from a gay client? That isn’t the question to ask for me. It depends on the type of project more than the orientation of the client.

Anyone in the creative business has faced these issues. If you haven’t yet, you will. We must choose what clients we wish to take on.

But the media is saying that this could be used by a Christian restaurant owner to deny service to a gay person. Could it? I doubt it. The law states that action “may not substantially burden a person’s right to the exercise of religion.”4 A restaurant providing food for a gay person does not “burden” a Christian. In fact, it’s what Jesus would have done.5 Does making a cake “burden” a Christian baker? Yes, because they are participating in something they consider wrong. 6

There are many things that Apple considers wrong that they discriminate against. Look at how selective they are on their factories and the restrictions they put on their business decisions. The things that Apple opposes in these factories are standard practice in these cultures. Most other tech companies don’t require the same rules be met.

For the Christian, it is the same. Many of the lawsuits coming against bakers are coming from customers that have been coming to the bakery for years, if not decades. These bakers haven’t discriminated against their clients unilaterally. They have time and again served these homosexuals without issue. But the bakers say they don’t make cakes for this one event and then they get sued. They are not discriminating against the homosexual, but the event. Just like many bakeries do not do weddings, these bakeries do not do this type of event.

Ultimately, it is a business choice. As Mr. Cook says, “America’s business community recognized a long time ago that discrimination, in all its forms, is bad for business.” If it is bad for business, those businesses wouldn’t get clientele. They would be shunned by the community. But instead of that being good enough, some homosexuals have taken it upon themselves to sue them for tens of thousands of dollars. Because they won’t make a cake. Where I grew up, that was called a tantrum. And just like the lady that sued McDonald’s for serving hot coffee, the courts are giving them what they want. So now the pendulum is swinging the other direction and protection is being added to prevent this from happening to more businesses. If you don’t like how I run my business, take your business elsewhere.