The “Too Easily Offended” Culture

I sometimes get frustrated with how easily people get offended today – particularly when it comes to religious topics.  I’ve been in a couple of situations lately when the issue of Christianity came up and one person in the group nearly became apoplectic.  They became so offended we had to change the subject.  The thought occurred to me that over my career, I’ve filmed in more than 40 countries, and seen many religious rites and services of all kinds.  I’ve seen voodoo and Santeria ceremonies in
the Caribbean and South America, animism in Africa, and strange, hybrid Catholic-folk religion services near the headwaters of the Amazon.  But in all those experiences, I can’t ever remember once being “offended.”

What is it about our culture when we’ve become so easily offended?  I have to admit that I don’t see it when a Buddhist shares his faith.  And we live in a time when it’s political incorrect to have any issues with Islam (in some European countries it’s illegal to criticize Islam.)  So why is Christianity such a lightening rod?  And why is it when you bring up the subject people get so bent out of shape?

It’s an important question because the issue is a major obstacle to the continuing dialogue between people of differing faiths…

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • breaklight

    Unfortunately even amongst Christians within the Church world there are many who have fallen to offense (and are deeply offended as witnessed by many even on this blog) especially from leadership to members (and vice versa) of the church for one reason or the other. There are many many Christians who are just as offended as there are offended non-Christians about matters regarding the Church but I think some of it has been attributed to the abuse of power which the Church has exhibited in regards to our leadership structure both in the Church and outside of it – especially the last ten years. We have to certain extent missed what makes us Christians in the first place – our relationship, friendship and life in Christ Jesus and somehow traded it for power (unfortunately political for all the wrong reasons) and worldly authority – and I somehow I don’t think that is what the Lord primarily wanted us to do while here on earth. As soon as we begin to lord it over ourselves in the Body of Christ it has very adverse effects amongst Christians and then to the rest of the world. But I’m speaking mainly in regards to issues of offense within the Church world – that of those outside of the Body of Christ is a whole different matter which I will look into.

  • Peter Brewer

    I've found that if the name of Jesus is mentioned in a group, you can hear a pin drop. The name of Jesus has a power that makes people feel uncomfortable. Even the demons fear that name.

  • Totally agree with you that we tend to get offended too easy. Peter Brewer makes a good point that Jesus does cause offense.