"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves." -Carl Jung.
We get offended. Or at least that is how the offended phrases it. To ‘get’ offended, is to remove the responsibility from the person being offended.
No, we take offense. We believe that we, semipermeable membranous sacs of fluids and bones, are justified in our anger at another’s opinion, and we go so far as to claim they caused our displeasurable feelings.
You chose to be offended. But take a second and think about what it means to be offended. The implicit position of the person being offended is that they are entitled to be a judge. This is harmless because, well, we must be judges of reality in order to function.
"Knowing a great deal is not the same as being smart; intelligence is not information alone but also judgment, the manner in which information is collected and used" -Carl Sagen
The issue arises when we start believing we, as judges, have power, sway, influence, or entialitment. Many things can lead to the fleshy sacs, also known as humans, acquiring this view of themselves. Maybe blame can given to family or friends or peers or teachers or institutions. However, the most powerful factor towards the fleshy sac’s entitlement is religion.
I need not elaborate on the example offered by the followers of Islam this past week.
They were offended.
But they are not alone, the christian God, in the first chapter of the Bible is offended that his children ate of the tree of knowledge, so he condemned women to painful childbearing and men to toil the earth. The same God, as Jesus (confused?), who said:
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." -Luke 6:37
Thankfully, God didn't take offense to man's sin and drown everybody on the planet but a drunkard and his family...
Taking offense is a silly. No good comes of it, and at its worse it destroys; both lives and ideas. It suppresses the free exchange of ideas (The Inquisition, as one example) that we desperately need in order to tackle the immense problems facing the planet and it's inhabitants.
Chill the fuck out.