Monday, June 8, 2015

Judgy pants

Kyle Smith highlights the zeitgeist in the New York Post:

Americans are simply, broadly, more tolerant of others who are unlike them. As a general trend, that’s heartening. On the other hand, what comes along with this mass departure of moral judgment from public life?

Let’s say we grant that it’s morally acceptable to smoke weed. Is it morally acceptable, then, to spark up a joint every day at lunch? Sure, as long as you’re not endangering others. It’s still not terribly wise, though.

If your unemployed roommate drifts through life perpetually stoned, you may resist telling him what he’s doing is morally wrong, but it is, in some sense, not OK. Does being a good and tolerant citizen mean you should shrug when a person chooses to spend his life wasted?

Increasingly, we don’t want to judge others for anything, even if what they’re doing is destructive. But is being non-judgmental the same as granting tacit approval, even support?

A priest of the new civic religion—Andrew Sullivan, say—is going to have to explain the difference between what most people contemptuously call “judging” and moral correction. Because as it stands I see no difference between them.

It’s Christian doctrine to not judge others, that is, to not hold yourself righteous before others because you’re less a sinner than they are (Romans 2:1). It’s also Christian doctrine to be sober, avoid licentiousness, and love your neighbors. Reminding people of God’s plan for them isn’t judging. Sometimes it hurts, but always it helps. If it didn’t hurt, it wouldn’t be working like it’s supposed to. There are harsh consequences for turning from God towards the barbed embrace of “what I want.”

As for the revolution’s “silence,” it was plenty loud enough. The only silence was from those who didn’t fight it.

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