Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Give them an inch

Mark Steyn recently penned a piece about the "Right to be Offended" and how it's now far more important a right than the constitutionally protected right to free speech - political correctness gone mad, in other words. I think it's very predictable that having abandoned the education of our children to the lowest common denominator (government), and empowered same to take our money by force or threat thereof to pay for said ‘education,’ it would follow that we would all not be happy with the outcome. One might think we could learn from the example of govt monopoly on schools and figure out that we don’t want another on health care …

To the tune of $10,000/student/year, do you know anyone that is really delighted with the product that our public school system delivers? Well, it would be a lot more delightful if we just gave the schools more money - that's what the teachers' union says. As if doubling the money we spend on schools, in real dollars, since 1970, isn't enough. Of course that's the issue with a federal monopoly - there will never be enough money to make it right.

A couple of parents over-reacting to the meaningless daily recitation of the Pledge (there's a real patriotism driver, eh? Remember how blessed with liberty you felt when you were mindlessly droning the Pledge every day?) is nothing compared with the horror of the much more serious and deleterious outcomes generated by the government's monopoly on schools.

I love Steyn’s work, I totally resonate with his point regarding issue of the 'right to be offended' and the emerging govt role in punishing those who say what they mean to protect those 'victims' cannot possibly bear to have to feel what they feel upon hearing the 'offensive word' - but the school example is the least of the problem with either schools or 'free speech.'

And for the record, freedom of speech only refers to the citizen's right to freedom from govt restrictions on free speech - much of the 'right to be offended' issues have nothing to do with that, but are part of the ongoing spat between the Christians who've grown used to having their way in the public sphere in our country, and the non-Christians who for some reason feel they need to push back using whatever institutions they can use to poke the eye of their perceived Christian antagonists.

It's just another example of the predictable abuse of govt power - give them an inch, they'll take a mile and then some.