Yeah, o.k. Judge away! I smoke, drink (rarely), rarely wear makeup (or do my hair), am overweight, live off of diet soda and coffee (plus water, now), have made horrible choices in my life (one of which ultimately scarred two people who I love dearly), and for the most part, hate people. 🙂
I do. It wasn’t this bad before the internet but wow! I have never been surrounded by so many judgemental people since I attended church! That’s probably one of the reasons this quote from the Bible popped in my head: I grew up surrounded by those who professed to follow the teachings of the Bible but few who had even read the entire book. So, I decided to look it up (once again, thank you, Google) and found a great article explaining what this passage means.
Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged by Wayne Stiles. See, I judge every single day. I also live in the downtown area of a city that has been #1 in violent crimes nationally more times than I care to count (yes, more violent crimes than Chicago for those years). If you are walking on my street and I don’t know you, I am judging you. It takes me just a few seconds to determine if you are a potential threat because that is the way it is when you are surrounded by those who would gladly beat the crap out of you so they can score some drugs.
To me, though, this type of judging is completely different from what I see online. I really do not think the majority of those spewing such vitriol would have the fortitude to do so face to face. Some of the worst cases I have ever seen were from those who talked about Mother Earth, Love and Light, and finished their posts with “Namaste.” I have seen them become unhinged by those who smoke cigarettes (because it is their duty to police what I put in my body), give birth to children (because babies are bad for the environment … seriously), eat animal products (overlooking the cost and environmental impact of the production and shipment of their tofu burger) and drive (at all, though they love to overlook the petroleum-based tires they have on their bicycles).
These are also the people I see throwing the “Judge Not” Bible verse back at those who do not support gay marriage (or abortion). Look, I get it. I, too, find it hypocritical for those who profess to follow the Bible to speak and act like they have no idea what is in it. I can’t remember who it was (might have been my grandmother because she was really good for this) but I remember hearing tirades of judgemental gossip coming out of her mouth but she would bypass the admonition by ending her statements with, “But who am I to judge.” It was as if that made all the hateful things she said alright in the eyes of God because she wasn’t REALLY judging.
The cold, hard reality is everyone judges. EVERYONE! It is how/why we judge that is important to focus on. If you relish in saying hateful things to total strangers who are different from you, that is your choice. However, if we ever want this world to change for the better, we must be willing to turn that judgement onto ourselves and become the person we want to have lunch with. Could you really handle talking to yourself for a few hours without violence ensuing?