Can’t Offend Anybody?
An email “Message about Marquette University’s nickname” includes the full quote from Fr. Wild.
“While I recognize that some people are disappointed that we are not reinstating the Warriors nickname, we cannot teach one principle about respect for human dignity in our classrooms and then fail to act by that same principle when making decisions,” Father Wild said. “The Warriors nickname will always be part of our proud athletics tradition, and we will honor that tradition. But we live in a different era than when the Warriors nickname was selected in 1954. The perspective of time has shown us that our actions, intended or not, can offend others. We must not knowingly act in a way that others will believe, based on their experience, to be an attack on their dignity as fellow human beings.”As I read it, he says that Christians are morally obligated to refrain from actions, including the use of words, which are neither objectively offensive nor subjectively intended to be offensive, if any other person believes them to be so.
He obviously cannot mean that, since the MU administration has been handling this issue in way demeaning to students and alumni for over a decade, and its proposed further handlng continues this. This standard, rather, applies only to designated victim groups, and on the terms demanded by those who MU decides are such groups’ representatives.
Even the Nicene Creed could not be proclaimed under such a standard; its assertions offend some who hold other religious beliefs, or none, or the equality of all beliefs. So, as I have recounted before, it should come as no surprise that my freshman Theology prof at MU repeatedly denied the existence of the Holy Spirit. I’m tending to conclude that sometime after that, the Holy Spririt ceased believing in MU.
Indeed, some people would consider the Nicene Creed to be offensive. After all, some people consider “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to be offensive.
But we all know that some demeaning language is quite acceptable among the politically correct. Feminists are allowed to demean men, militant blacks to demean whites, gays to demean conservative Christians, and liberals to demean Republicans, people who own guns, people who drive SUVs and indeed pretty much anybody who doesn’t agree with their politics.