Ladies and gentlemen, it certainly appears we’ve fully entered a time and age where everyone’s offended by something and simultaneously a time and age where folks are trying to strive to ensure no one is offended at all.

If someone doesn’t like something, take it away, tear it down, put it somewhere else.

Like George Washington’s pew.

Apparently, there are folks at Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., which opened in 1773, who feel “unsafe in the sanctuary” due to plaques honoring Washington and Robert E. Lee, who both attended the church. So to make sure the church is “more welcoming,” it has been decided by the church’s leadership that these memorials will be removed.

According to The Washington Times, as an original benefactor, Washington bought pew No. 5 when the church opened in 1773. He was a vestryman and contributed to the church throughout his life, according to the Washington Papers project. His family considered the church important enough to him that it donated one of his Bibles after his death.

The newspaper said Lee attended Christ Church beginning at age 3, when he moved from Stratford to Alexandria. The church was so integral to his family that Mary Custis Lee, his daughter, left the church $10,000 in her will upon her death in 1918. That money was used to begin the church’s endowment. Church leaders did not say whether they will attempt to return the $10,000 gift from Lee’s daughter.

I wasn’t a finance major, so I’ll not try to calculate how much the church would owe if you translate $10,000 in 1918 dollars to 2017 dollars, plus add in nearly 100 years of interest. If you can come up with a figure, please let me know. Of course, I’m not telling a church how to run its church, that would be offensive, but I can say the “wave of political correctness” has gotten rather ridiculous.

Where does it stop? Are they going to tear down the Washington Monument next?

The National Park Service website describes our first president as “First in War, First in Peace, First in the Hearts of his Countrymen.” Whoa! Wait a minute! Hold the phone! I thought ol’ Gee Dub-ya makes folks feel unsafe and unwelcome, even though he’s been dead since 1799. Now, I wasn’t a math major, but I can safely say George Washington has been deceased for more than two centuries.

If a man who has been dead for nearly 218 years can intimidate someone, just imagine the fear a whopping 555-foot obelisk that towers over Washington, D.C. might cause. To be safe, we might as well tear down the world’s largest stone structure – or at least move it somewhere else. To that end, I’ll take it. Just stick it in my backyard and I’ll go into business selling tickets. Please make sure you finish modernizing the monument’s elevator system first.

Speaking of Washington, D.C., I assume our nation’s capital and the state of Washington were both named for George Washington, so let’s rename those places (or at least go back to calling D.C. the District of Columbia) and blow up Mount Rushmore while we’re feeling froggy.

And since Washington is on the $1 bill and the quarter, feel free to turn over any of those you might have, and I’ll assume Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant and Ben Franklin offend you, too, so go ahead and fork over that dough as well – just to be safe, of course. I’ll take that offensive stuff off your hands for free. If history offends you, by all means, get out the eraser. If something offends you, get rid of it or move it somewhere else.

On that note, closer to home, we have the “infamous” Festival of the Bells.

Unbeknownst to most of us, the uptown Hillsboro festival is apparently offensive – at least to some. The Festival of the Bells, celebrated each Fourth of July weekend in Hillsboro, “is an outgrowth of a successful 1976 bicentennial celebration of the founding of our country.” Now, that right there should automatically make it offensive (refer back to George Washington, above), but what allegedly makes it really offensive is that an “overwhelming” number of uptown business owners oppose it being held at its current location.

As first reported by The Highland County Press on Tuesday, even though thousands and thousands and thousands attend the festival each and every year, it was announced by the festival committee that it won’t be held in uptown Hillsboro in 2018. Why? Because the city of Hillsboro denied a permit to hold the festival in its current location due in part to the aforementioned “overwhelming” number of offended uptown business owners. It was announced by Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie at the Oct. 10 council meeting that the city planned to end the festival in the uptown area. (A member of the Festival of the Bells Committee said the committee had not been contacted prior to the announcement.)

The HCP reported Tuesday that the city gave the festival committee an alternate location where the popular, longstanding tradition could be held, but it was deemed unfeasible by the committee. If you’ve lived in Highland County long enough, you’ll probably recall the years the Festival of the Bells was held at the fairgrounds – and flopped.

I fully understand the traffic issues the festival creates three days a year. I’ve covered and attended many a festival and worked uptown for more than a decade. For me, getting around the traffic was little to no problem, and being able to walk over and get some comestibles from the Highland County Pork Producers and Cattlemen’s Association was always a nice yearly treat.

Now, I’ve talked with several uptown business owners and they told me they weren’t among the “overwhelming” number cited by city leaders. However, I’m not a city leader, and while I did take theory and methods in grad school, I have not conducted a scientific survey on the matter at hand.

But who needs surveys? If you’re offended by the recent events that led to Tuesday’s festival announcement, might as well stand up and say you’re offended.

After all, that’s the trendy thing to do.

Steve Roush is a vice president of an international media company and a columnist for The Highland County Press.