Well, offence seems to be a combination of two things: 1) the eye of the beholder and 2) the intention with which something is done or said. Sleepie Rosie acknowledges she was trying to be offensive to make a point, fair enough, I understand the point she's making. And it's had the added benefit of warning me off gnosticism for life (which I once dabbled in). So, no real harm done.
And, erm, surely you can see the logical inconsistency in saying that something can't be offensive to someone else just because it is a central tenet of gnostic belief? Haven't people on this thread been arguing that they find both Christianity (or some of its central tenets) offensive to their way of thinking?
I mentioned my work place as an example of where I most definitely keep my beliefs to myself - it is a most hostile environment in that sense, so I keep things on a purely mundane level. Most of my colleagues would have a major problem with me were I to even be seen praying to myself at work, or if they saw a rosary, or I were to state my point of view on something from any hint of religious basis.
For my part I accept we don't see eye-to-eye and don't bring it up unless asked directly - and then often reluctantly. The net is a it more distant and anonymous so I dare dip my toe in the water more often.
On the other hand, for their part, my colleagues are often very outspoken in their criticism of religion, which more often than not borders on mockery whether they are aware of it or not. While I hear them saying 'religion is grand in private in your home' they don't see any logical inconsistency or injustice in mocking religion quite publicly in the workplace. Their mockery is of course based on their beliefs and views - which, were they to practice what they preach, they would keep to themselves.
I suspect part of the reason is that a 'culture' has emerged in our workplace where most people sense it is alright to mock religion, that it won't be socially unacceptable, whether or not they hold such strong views in private. So there is a tendency to go along with the herd on that one. I don't want to create a ruckus at work, so I generally keep quiet and hope people can guess my feelings from the fact I don't participate in such discussions or leave the room when they start. Hopefully they'll be able to associate the two events and guess something from it without having to have it spelled out.
Here, on the net I hope I can be a little bit more frank. Maybe?