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Judgment is not Blind, But Insane

I find myself judging everyone. It’s an epidemic. It’s insane. See what I mean in this week’s edition of Isn’t That Ironic?”.

I am currently reading Tara Westover’s bestselling memoir, Educated. She describes growing up with a father fearful of both God and Man. At one point, he misread the Book of Isaiah and decided that milk was evil. A judgment of Man, not of God. An insane judgment. It turns out—all judgment is insane.

We humans think our own judgments are right, good, just, correct, lofty, praiseworthy—add whatever value-laden words you like. Sometimes, years later, we might realize that our earlier judgments were mistaken. Sometimes not. But I am constantly amazed at the ability of us humans to pass judgment on each other so quickly and easily, and to impute such high and noble motives and wisdom to ourselves. We imagine that our pure motives and our perfect understanding raise us above the judgment of others, and above the need for such pedestrian qualities as patience, civility, and respect.

Today a watched a short cellphone video of lawless rioters in Portland attacking police and driving them out of the neighborhood, all because the police had the gall to enforce the laws of the state, in this case, an eviction notice from a house used for illegal activities. Are these 200 or more people mindless idiots hell-bent on destroying Western Civilization? I don’t think so. I think they imagine themselves to be high-minded and morally justified by their intention to bring about a better society filled with peace and love and justice. Therefore, their lawless, violent actions and obvious hatred are above reproach. Does this make sense?

No. It’s insane. You cannot bring peace with violence. You cannot bring love with hatred. You cannot bring justice with lawlessness. That should be obvious. But it’s not. It should be obvious that you cannot bring tolerance with judgment. But it’s not. Herein lies the insanity of judgment.

Everywhere I look in our society today, I see more judgment, less tolerance; more hatred, less love; more constraint, less freedom. I have not seen this level of social strain since the 1960s.

The Master Teacher said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” We usually see this as a cause and effect relationship, as a case of “what goes around, comes around”. But if we can grasp our essential oneness, then we can understand it more directly. “As you do it to your brother, you do it to me”, becomes, “As you do it to your brother, you do it to yourself,” because you ARE your brother. You are ONE. When you strike your brother, you strike yourself. When you judge your brother, you judge yourself. When you judge others, you cannot escape judgment because you have just done it to yourself.

I know an elderly Dutch lady who was a child in the Netherlands during WWII. She said, “Life now feels like life under the Nazi occupation.” I’ve heard people who have lived in Eastern Europe under communism say the same thing. We judge our neighbors. We don’t talk to them. It’s forbidden. We don’t trust them. You never know whose “side” they’re on. Civil society is breaking down. Communities and even families are breaking down. We are suspicious of everyone. It’s becoming ever more difficult to see “our neighbor as ourself”.

The only way we can bring love and peace into the world is to love everyone—to be peaceful all time. We must love and accept our brother whether he wears a mask or doesn’t wear a mask; whether he votes Democrat or Republican; whether he is sane or insane; whether he is peaceful or violent; whether he is loving or hating; whether he is socialist or libertarian.

It’s getting harder to avoid judgment. The task of love, tolerance, and forgiveness is becoming more difficult in our fractured world. We’ll just have to try harder. I will. Will you?

God Bless You!

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