It is the unspoken religious show-stopper. More evil than all evils is this act. What you might ask? A definition is in order:
to judge (verb): to make people feel squirmy; to disagree; short for Catholicism. Example: Sam was upset because Julie judged him and said his sweater didn’t match his shoes.
Well, of course that is not the definition, but the way the phrase “don’t judge me” is bandied about, it might as well be. The problem with this cult of good-feeling can be demonstrated in my picture show at the top of this post. How? In a world where we forgot there is evil, staring evil in the eye has a way of bringing us back down to earth. Ironically, the phrase “don’t judge” attempts to do just that–to ground our instinct to be all Zeus-like. Yet it is in the face of evil that we learn that we do not have wings to fly away from being human.
Yes, being human = Using your grey matter.
And when we do not use that grey matter, we subjugate the intellect to the passions. The result? Besides the end of western civilization, we confuse right and wrong with sentiment. Pride and Prejudice meets Maury Povich in a redux gone mad. If we think that something feels right, it is right. = Ice-cream is good for bathtubs and cross-stitch. If something feels wrong, well maybe. Of course, if you say it is wrong (the thing you feel is wrong), you are judging…naughty boy. Shame on you. My friend Patrick Vandapool gave me the litmus test for all of this nonsense. Next time someone agrees with you, tell them, “Don’t judge me”. Then watch them look at you like you are Darth Vader.
You see, once someone realizes that he only objects to “judging” when someone disagrees with him then he will realize that the phrase is just a front-man or a giant clown-suit. A scary, dirty, creepy clown that goes around giving lolly pops to children in random neighborhoods.
“Lock the doors people!”
Tough to do when doors have already been swung off the hinges. For example, in the new Pride and Prejudice movie, the script writer decided to put the scary clown suit where in the original book there was none to be found.
Charlotte Lucas: Mr. Collins and I are engaged.
Elizabeth Bennet: Engaged?
Charlotte Lucas: Yes.
Elizabeth Bennet: To be married?
Charlotte Lucas: Yes, Lizzie, what other kind of engaged is there? Oh, for heaven’s sake, Lizzie, don’t look at me like that. There is no earthly reason why I shouldn’t be as happy with him as any other.
Elizabeth Bennet: But he’s ridiculous.
Charlotte Lucas: Oh hush Lizzie. I’ve been offered a comfortable home and protection. There’s alot to be thankful for. So don’t judge me Lizzie; don’t you dare judge me!
Pack up your bags and go home. Once someone whips out the “don’t judge me” card, there is no good response in our age where feeling trumps everything, especially clear-headed thinking. Elizabeth, Elizabeth, you silly fool. How could you imagine, for even a moment, the merits of a decision? You assume to step into your pulpit and bully Charlotte around with your thinking. Thinking! What were you thinking? Stop it, I tell you, stop it. (btw: all of those sentences were not “judging”)
Crazy isn’t it? The script writer added this line because she knew we were push-overs and that the doors to the no-thinking barn had been flung wide open. What the heck are these crazy things running around everywhere? “I dunno?”. You wonder why we reduced funding for mental wards. Its what happens when irrationality is sanctioned at the level of societal norms. I mean, come on, how else do you win an argument today besides throwing out the “don’t judge me card”?
“Dad, I decided to cut my arm off. Don’t judge me.”
“Honey, I’m leaving your dad for a forrest goat. Don’t judge me.”
“Kids, I’ve decided to become a camel. Don’t judge me.”
These kind of ridiculous examples somewhat miss the mark of the every day occurrence, but my picture show does not. We assume that evil is just scary–all the time scary. We believe things like that Ted Bundy could never get along, that Saddam couldn’t enjoy a good port or that Hitler was not a good bridge partner. Why? Because we have to to convince ourselves that evil always feels wrong.
Because we have this mis-thought in our mind, we have no problem judging them. Our “don’t judge me card” gets temporarily suspended, we take our grey matter out of sabbatical and we judge. We judge like it is going out of style. Or rather, we do what most humans have done for most of human history (especially Christians)–we discern the intrinsic goodness of an act in relationship to human flourishing, informed by religious sentiment, and we make a judgment. Big whoop.
Brent, I really like what you had to say.
Don’t judge me.
“But strong meat is for the perfect; for them who by custom have their senses exercised to the discerning of good and evil.” -Hebrews 5:14
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Brent-A.-Stubbs-e1313148902233.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Brent A. Stubbs is a father of four (+ 1 in heaven and 1 in the oven), husband of one, convert, and a generally interested person. He has a BA in Theology, studied graduate philosophy, has an MBA, is a writer (or so he tells himself) and prefers his coffee black. His website is Almost Not Catholic.[/author_info] [/author]