I find that being offended is very offensive, so with this column, I choose to take an offensive vs. defensive approach. When you read this and don't agree, please don't be offended or get too defensive.
Hopefully by the time you read this, we will know the outcome of the vote for our new school referendum. It is my school of thought and hope that the referendum has passed and we will begin the move forward to some very long needed upgrades and quality of life enhancements. Others of you may have the opposite school of thought, which is your right. Just don't be offended. The discourse seems always more amped up lately when it comes to big issues and votes. Tolerance on any issue seems only to apply to the silent majority anymore.
Many of you have the school of thought that the majority, whether silent or vocal, is constantly being forced to comply or accept those beliefs of the few and if you don't, you are chastised for your beliefs.
Does freedom of speech not extend to all? Let me explain an example.
This example relates to sports, which you may have noticed is the majority of what this column pertains to.
Do you remember when our West Fargo soccer team was scheduled to play Fargo Shanley on a day when many of our team members were observing a religious holiday? Fargo Shanley appeared to show great tolerance and understanding and was willing to reschedule the match because of our players choosing to not play because of conflict with religion.
Let us fast-forward to more recent events, where that same school (Fargo Shanley) also has religious rituals that include praying over the loudspeaker system at their games. This was banned under North Dakota high school rules during playoffs, which is different than regular season. Could this controversy also be shown some tolerance as well, much like they showed tolerance to our soccer players? Another school of thought regarding this, is if the beliefs are so strong by administrations and players then maybe forfeit those games or have other players fill in for missing players. This seems as a pretty easy solution to this simple man.
In the case of the Shanley situation, it appeared that a loud few spoke out to have the prayer stopped.
Whether it is tolerance or lack thereof or people being offended or manufacturing something to be offended by, it must be remembered that these are games that were designed to provide opportunities for kids and old kids to have fun, engage in extracurricular activities outside of school and generally enhance the quality of life. All of the other distractions and outside influences and offended people should maybe show some tolerance as well and drink a big old glass of shut up juice. Sorry, that last comment might be a bit offensive.
Sahli is a long-time West Fargo resident, parent, coach, outdoor enthusiast, and former columnist for NDSU Bison athletics in varying publications. He can be reached at email@example.com for comments and ideas.