Are We Still the Home of the Brave?

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Last week, the National Football League called off an NFL game because it was going to snow in Philadelphia. This has not happened before. American football is played under all weather conditions. That is part of its appeal. Snow, rain, freezing temperatures — nothing stops an NFL game.

But last Sunday, the NFL and Philadelphia city officials called off the Eagles-Vikings game because of an imminent snowstorm — in order to protect fans from having to drive at that time.

Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, wrote a scathing column for the Washington Times, indicting those who called off the game. He described it as an example of the “wussification” of America.

He was right.

Sadly, this risk-averse/avoid-pain mindset is overtaking America. Anything that entails risk is to be avoided and, when possible, banned. The breast cancer drug Avastin has just been banned by the FDA because of side effect risk to some patients. Yet terminally ill breast cancer patients who understand the risks have begged to be allowed to take the drug (even Europe allows it). Peanuts and peanut butter, particularly good sources of protein for kids (because kids actually like and therefore eat peanuts and peanut butter), are banned in more and more schools because of the risk (which is far less than being killed by lightning) that peanut-allergic students may die in schools that do not ban peanuts. Desperately needed nuclear power plants are shelved because of the infinitesimally small risk of nuclear waste radiation leakage. And now an NFL game is canceled because of the risk that some fans might get into auto accidents in a snowstorm.

Americans are becoming increasingly risk-averse.

Though Rendell is a Democrat, this risk aversion comes from the left, which has made it its mission to protect people from risk. Risk may lead to pain, and the Left dreams of a pain-free life.

The most left-wing institutions in America, our universities, are therefore the most pain- and risk-averse. That is the reason for speech codes on campuses: No student should have his or her feelings hurt or ever feel “offended.” Likewise, no Christmas trees are allowed, lest a non-Christian student feel not included.

That is why Yale University Press last year decided at the last minute to cancel inclusion of the Danish cartoons of Muhammad in the very book it was about to publish about the Danish Muhammad cartoons! Too risky.

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  • Chezwick_Mac

    Just like every other commentator I've read or heard denouncing the cancellation of the NFL game (including Philly's mayor), Dennis Prager failes to mention the 800-pound gorilla in the room: LITIGATION. This is why the game was canceled, this is why the play-grounds have been sanitized beyond recognition, this is why America has become so risk-averse. Litigation is sucking the life out of this country….and in case anyone wasn't aware, the 'Trial Lawyers of America' are the single largest donors to the Democratic Party…(which explains clearly why tort reform was out of the question as part of Obama's Healthcare "reform").

  • waterwillows

    When I was an 11 year old honor student, the school did something I was in abject disagreement to. One of the boys had broken into the school and either did some damage or stole something, I really don't remember the cause.
    At any rate the school decided that the boy and his innocent sister were to be punished. No one was allowed to speak or play with either one of them. I saw her in the playground standing there alone and looking quite diminished. I felt pity for her unjust punishment, so I went over and struck up a conversation. It was welcomed by her, though I was a nobody in the status of things.
    Well, all hell broke loose. Lectures, meetings, intimidating threats, frantic calls to my parents etc……. so I became as off-limits as herself.
    I never gave in and I never backed down. It cost me everything that a child could lose. But I have no regrets. Let us all live with no regrets and do what is right in the sight of the Lord. Because that is the only real victory.