Uber Offended

Uber has done something that has the Internet really, really mad. Mad enough that the folks at Uber came out with an apology where they called what they did, “totally inappropriate.”

So what did they do?

Well, apparently it was Wife Appreciation Day in India earlier this week. So to celebrate the occasion and perhaps make a few extra bucks in the process, the company encouraged husbands to order UrberEATS and “let your wife take a day off from the kitchen.”

I’ll give you a few minutes to go burn something down in reaction to the horror of such a suggestion.

Here’s how stories like this work.

Someone does something that our culture finds offensive, which these days is pretty much anything. Someone from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive then sends out screenshots of the tweet so that other people who like being offended all of the time can get really upset and also burn things down, either digitally, literally or both.

So you have some girl with a screen name like @progressivechick99 tweeting out, “Oh, no they didn’t.” And then there’s the gender fluid fellow with a handle like @multiplegender2000 who posts a meme of some guy from some reality show no one ever watches making a ewww face. Finally, the person from the Internet’s Office of Finding Things That Are Offensive writes a story with a headline like Twitter Slams Uber For Genocidal And Sexist Tweet, Nation Seeks Healing.

And then the offender, in this case Uber, apologizes.

As I write this, there is a hurricane aimed at the the Caribbean. A madman halfway around the world is threatening other countries with a nuclear bomb. Other madmen in D.C. are spending us into over 20 trillion dollars in debt. And the self-righteous gatekeepers on the Internet are upset because a private company encouraged husbands, not to kill their wives or run around on their wives but to take care of dinner one night for their wives.

If you’re not as culturally sensitive as these perpetually offended gatekeepers, Uber’s suggestion was supposed to make us all angry because women do so much more than cook meals in the kitchen. Also, men like to cook too. As do gender questioning non-binary girls who identify as boys on the third Tuesday of every month. I didn’t want to leave anyone out.

Have you ever watched a Netflix Original television show? These are sort of like the Wild West of television because they aren’t under the content restraints that shows on NBC or even FX are. Before I watch these shows I read up on them to see if they’re worth my time. More specifically, I read about the sexual content. I’ve noticed something in my research. A lot of the popular shows that are original to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon are filled with nudity. More specifically, female nudity. So I pass on the latest binge-worthy show and turn a game on instead.

Now, our culture doesn’t find this ever present nudity offensive because it’s done by choice. The actresses want to do this. No one is making them.

Right.

Let the female lead on one of these shows refuse to do a nude scene and sit back and watch as her career spirals into the abyss. Within weeks of her decision, she’ll be off the show and making commercials for Crazy Pete’s Title Loans.

Do you see the hypocrisy?

Treating women as sexual objects is liberating. Cooking dinner for them is boorish.

When I came home from work for lunch one day this week, my wife and kids were in the backyard. When I walked back I saw my wife sanding a table she was restoring, my son painting another table, and my other son standing on the trampoline.

My wife asked if it was okay if we waited a few minutes for lunch so that she could get to a good stopping point in her project.

I told her not to worry about it. I guess you could say that I gave her the afternoon off. We also made plans for me to grill burgers that night. Bam! She had the night off too. Double score for her.

But after reading Twitter for a few minutes, I have discovered that I made a tremendous mistake. It was a bit cavemanish of me to do such a thing. The only thing I could have done that would have been worse was call an Uber to take us to Chick-fil-a. That would have broken the Internet.

Local Cult Leader Takes Wife To Hate-Filled Restaurant, Nation Seeks To Rebuild

Luckily, I don’t answer to the Internet. I’d much rather make my wife happy. And taking over for lunch and dinner that day made her happy. And get this. She really likes to cook!

I’ll wait again while you go burn something down and call the U.S. Department of Diversity Among Different Genders Understanding Meals In Togetherness (DADGUMIT) on me.

But later that night, while the Internet was raging about something else, I enjoyed a hamburger with my family that I made because I wanted my wife to take a break from cooking.

And my kids fell asleep in the middle of binge-watching The Andy Griffith Show on Netflix.

Man, we’re weird.

But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Does Christmas Offend You?

It’s one of those stories that’s supposed to make us mad.

But instead, it should cause us to take a closer look at ourselves.

The owner of a Florida restaurant received a nasty note from a customer complaining that the Christmas music playing in the background was, “offensive.” He went on to suggest that the owner replace the religious themed music with “holiday music.” Less “O Holy Night” and more “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Wait. I almost forgot. That one offends people too. “Less O Holy Night” and more “Walking In a Winter Wonderland”, played on organically harvested, free range, gluten-free instruments. That ought to do it.

This is the part where some evangelical leader will start a social media crusade urging us to fight for the traditional Christmas. When he starts, don’t listen to him. You’d be better off listening to the offended customer at that Florida restaurant.

Don’t get me wrong. Leaving passive aggressive notes about how Christmas songs offended you is absurd. Just find another restaurant. If my favorite eating establishment decided to play Nickelback’s Greatest Christmas Hits all through December, I’d find another favorite eating establishment. No passive aggressive note needed.

But this offended customer is probably closer to the true meaning of Christmas than those wishing to guilt the barista at Starbucks into writing Merry Christmas on your cup of coffee.

Christmas is supposed to be offensive.

It’s offensive because it’s the true story of a people whose sins were so bad that it took God coming to earth in the form of a servant to live the perfect life that we could not and to die the death that we should have. In case you’re wondering, you and I are included in those people whose sins are so bad (Romans 5:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 2:1-10; Philippians 2:1-11).

Are you offended yet?

We should never be surprised when the world acts like the world. That doesn’t make what they do right, it just makes it expected. The message of the gospel is foolishness to them (1 Corinthians 1:18-23). We shouldn’t be surprised when a group of people who are blind to the truth of the gospel don’t line up to sing about how their great sins caused the eventual crucifixion of the Christ Child (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Here’s what should surprise us.

We should be surprised when people who claim to believe the traditional Christmas story do not allow the truth of that story to play out in their day to day lives, both in the month of December and certainly not on a random day in July.

Maybe that’s what’s wrong with the modern American church. We’ve stopped being offended by the gospel. We’ve watered it down so much with self-help and get rich quick schemes that we’ve missed the real power behind it. We think that our power and influence comes from having a seat at the table in Washington D.C. In reality, it’s found in an offensive story about a virgin birth.

Before we start launching our defensive weapons in the war to protect Christmas, we would be wise to take a long look at ourselves.

Sure, we sing all of the old traditional hymns, but why is it that the truth in those hymns often no longer moves us beyond anything more than sentimental memories of Christmas at grandma’s house?

Why do we live more like entitled brats than children who have been lovingly adopted into the family of God through the birth, sinless life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ?

We have traded in the truth that the gospel is God graciously moving toward his enemies to redeem them in favor of a gospel where God selected us like an NFL team makes a first round draft pick. “After all,” we seem to tell ourselves, “why wouldn’t God want such spiritual and moral standouts like us on his team?”

Secular progressives miss the true meaning of Christmas because they’re too offended to hear it.

But a lot of religious people miss the true meaning of Christmas because they’re too proud to be offended.

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17 (ESV)

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Smiling, Laughing And Enjoyment Are No Longer Allowed

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Over the weekend I saw a story online about a little boy in a karate class who defended a little girl who he thought was being beaten up by the instructor. It was one of those heartwarming stories that we all need to see in our continuous news cycle of death, mayhem and corruption. My heart was warmed.

Until I read the comments section.

Before I go any further, there are two things that you need to know about the comments section. First, never read it. Nothing good can come out of reading the comments section. It’s basically the bathroom wall of the Internet. Misguided people write whatever they want there, they have no idea what they’re saying and they would never have the guts to actually say what they are writing in public. Don’t read the comments section.

Second, if you put up a picture on the Internet of a pretty flower with a delicate butterfly fluttering around it, within about twenty minutes someone would leave a comment about how your picture shows insensitivity to the people of Peru where butterflies are endangered and flowers are the number one carrier of the deadly Vuma disease. Someone else would just go to all caps to tell you that you are, “AN IGNORANT (insert your race here) WHO IS THE REASON WHY THE WORLD IS AS BAD AS IT IS.”

The heartwarming video of the boy defending a girl was no exception. Three days later I’m still kicking myself for being stupid enough to read the comments. Why couldn’t I just watch the story and move on? Maybe one day I’ll learn.

The first few comments were what you would expect. People said that they were glad to see a boy taking up for a girl. Grandmotherly types talked wrote about how cute the boy is and how their grandson would do the same thing. And then the fools came out to play.

One woman asked why everyone was celebrating the fact that a young boy assumed that a girl could not take care of herself. Wasn’t this really just a microagression? Wasn’t he saying that the girl was weak and aren’t we all just celebrating sexism by cheering for what they young man did?

I wish I was making this up.

And then the cop haters joined in. One lamented the fact that the boy in the karate uniform would probably grow up to wear a different kind of uniform. A police uniform. And he would hide behind it to kill black people.

Again, I really wish this was all just some sort of joke. Maybe it is but we’re just not laughing because we’re afraid that we might offend someone.

We have forgotten how to have fun in this country. Everything is a political issue. Everything that you enjoy is due to the fact that your privilege allowed you to take that joy from someone else.

Do we have a national motto? I’m not sure. If we don’t and we’d like to be honest with it, we should have one that says, “America: We’re All Victims, Especially Me.” And while we’re at it, can we go ahead and change our national pastime from baseball to being offended? It’s what we do to pass the time.

And boy are we good at it.

So instead of going someplace else when some baker doesn’t want to make a cake for their gay wedding, people file a complaint with some government office none of the rest of us even knew existed and sue that couple back to the days of Fred Flintstone. That’s because just going to the next store wouldn’t make enough noise.

If we’re really honest, the perpetually offended in this country only care about making noise. Well, that and making money or, at the very least, making sure that other people don’t get to make money. And believe me, there is a lot of money to be made and taken away in the never-ending game of being offended.

Hopefully enough of us can get together and resist what has become the new cool table in our culture’s high school cafeteria – the offended table. Let’s be different. Let’s not use someone’s picture of pizza on social media as an opportunity to remind that person of how many cows were killed in the making of that cheese that he’s about to consume. And no, I’m not making that up either. If you happen to be a vegan, that’s great! Just don’t stand in the middle of the street to keep the rest of us from going to Chick-fil-a.

And let’s refuse to use a karate class for toddlers as our sounding board for all that is wrong in society. Let’s just smile and move on when we see a heart-warming video about a boy who thinks his friend is in trouble and is willing to do what he can to help her out.

Otherwise, if you’re not careful, your heart will never be warmed. No amount of cute kitten videos, funny karate mishaps or great meals with friends will ever warm your heart once that heart has become too hard.

So I guess what I’m really trying to say is this. Lighten up, America. There are a lot of offensive things in the world. But there are a lot things that really aren’t that offensive. They’re meant to be enjoyed, not exploited. Stop getting the two confused. When you do come across something offensive, just keep moving. Ignore it. Go some place else. Save your crusade for a real need, something other than broadcasting your Savior complex.

There is a lot of anger in this world. Some of that anger is legitimate. But much of that anger is simply the result of people forgetting how to enjoy life. And in the absence of that happiness, they find what they think is a suitable replacement.

Being offended.

And, not to be too offensive or anything, it’s really ruining things for the rest of us.

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