--- Clive wrote:
> I ... am quite surprised that anyone takes offense ... especially
> when one is taking offense on behalf of others who have yet to
> articulate their own "being offended."
In my case, Clive, I was not taking offense on behalf of others,
altho I assume that if I felt offense, others may have also. There
are two things involved here: one is the arrogance of a religious
majority throwing its views in the faces of a minority (including
myself), the other is the usage of a sig-line to constantly repeat
arguable material. Two examples may suffice:
I was at a public park one day several years ago. Some kind of
secular function was going on, I don't recall what. All of a sudden,
a minister appeared up front and asked everyone to stand up while
he offered a prayer. I was about the only one who refused to stand.
It struck me: the absolute arrogance (or blindness?) of the majority
to assume that everyone goes along with their religious views, so
that they dare to do this in a public setting! (You must understand
also that if one perceives oneself as being TOO different, there's a
sort of unconscious animal-like fear of being done away with by the
With respect to the second aspect: Some time back, a fellow was
using his sig-line to quote some controversial thing by N.T.Wright.
The Wright passage was discussed, and objections offered to it. Yet
the fellow continued to include it in his sig-line, thus, to my
mind, implicitly arguing by repetition that Wright was right (g),
objections to the contrary notwithstanding. This is absolutely
infuriating to those who offered cogent reasons against the passage
in the first place. You argue your case in the body of your note,
not in your sig-line.
If I might add a third, related item: if we expect or hope for the
participation of Jewish or Muslim folks on this list, for example,
we ought to be aware of little things that we ourselves find merely
amusing, but which might well give the impression to others that
they're in a foreign land where they aren't welcome.