I’m offended!

Frankly Foreign FridayWhat does it take to get you offended? What about deeply offended?

In the United States, there has been a growing number of billboards going up in various cities over the past year or so. They feature a blue sky with clouds in the background, and the words, “Are you good without God? Millions are.” Typically there is also a URL for the sponsoring group, which usually has a name like {City or State name} Coalition of Reason or {City or State name} Atheists.

Inevitably, the billboard goes up, and then the local news station does a story about the new controversial billboard. They interview concerned citizens who say they are offended at the existence of this billboard.

I just. Don’t. Get it.

At all.

One man even said it was a slur to Christians. Funny how Christians aren’t even mentioned on the billboard. All it says is that some people exist who are good people and also happen not to believe in God. Perhaps you disagree with that statement. Perhaps your definition of “good” requires a God belief. I still don’t see how it’s offensive.

This is something that has puzzled me for a while now, and I often thought to myself that there are so many billboards, signs, buildings, etc. that effectively say “Christians exist” and “Muslims exist” and “Jews exist” and I don’t find that offensive at all. I also thought to myself that if there were a billboard with the Bible verse about how the fool says in his heart there is no God, and someone said they were offended, I bet Christians would come out of the woodwork to cry intolerance. Probably the same ones who are offended by the atheist billboard.

Anyway, yesterday, I’m sad to say, I came across another stupid “I’m offended” comment, this time from an atheist who is effectively offended by the fact that Christians dare to say aloud that they exist. There was a discussion about how the box the Bumbo seat comes in has a “Jesus fish” on it, and, at least in more recent productions of it, the Bumbo itself has one on the bottom as well. (For my non-spawning audience, the Bumbo is a stupid foam chair you can put infants into to force them to sit up before they can physically do so on their own. For some reason, it’s popular.) Several people expressed surprise at the overt religious symbols, and some said they wouldn’t buy one, or wished they hadn’t bought one, because of it. I guess that’s your prerogative. If you don’t want to buy products from people who are open about their religion, no one’s going to force you to. Personally, if I wanted a Bumbo, I’d still buy one regardless of the fish on the box. I don’t want one, because I think they are stupid, but I thought they were stupid long before I knew about their packaging. (Others find them stupid too, by the way.)

Then yesterday, someone posted that they were deeply offended about the Bumbo packaging. Really? Why?

I just. Don’t. Get it.

Chic-fil-A is another company that is open about their Christian ties. They’re closed on Sundays, and don’t make any bones about WHY they’re closed on Sundays. It’s a slight bummer if you’re craving a chicken biscuit early on Sunday morning, but otherwise I can’t find it in myself to give a rip. I like the food, and I’ll eat there. If I didn’t like the food, I wouldn’t, even if I were Christian. Their business is selling food, so that’s what I base my decision on. I don’t understand why someone would be offended that the owner of a fast food chain fails to kowtow to “the norm” in favor of standing up for his own beliefs. He thinks they should be closed on Sundays, so he decided to make it so. Good for him. Why would I be offended? And why is that different that putting a fish on a box? Who cares?

3 thoughts on “I’m offended!

  1. I totally agree with you. I always think of Sunday closures as a good thing for the retail workers of the world. Regardless of their religious beliefs, they deserve a day every weekend.

  2. Interesting question. I still don’t care that they are closed on Sundays and I don’t find that offensive at all. I also don’t care if they put Bible verses on their packages, play Christian music in their restaurants, or give out plastic Moses figures with their kids’ meals. (I don’t live within a few thousand miles of a Chic-fil-A so I don’t really know if they do any of these things, but if they do/did, I don’t/wouldn’t care.) I did hear a bit about the kerfuffle regarding their opposition to same-sex marriage, and I don’t care what their opinion of politics is either. BUT I do care how they spend their profits, and I’m likely to decide to not contribute to said profits if they use them in a way I don’t agree with.

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