How the Most Misquoted Verse in the Bible Is Destroying <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />America By Brannon S. Howse<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Tolerance mongers seem to have found the one absolute truth they are willing to live by. How many times have you heard someone say, "Judge not lest you be judged"? The statement has become the great American open-mindedness mantra when anyone has the courage to declare that someone else's belief, actions or lifestyle is morally amiss.
Another form of the same non-judgmental judgment is "that may be true for you, but it's not true for me." The logic behind the statement goes something like this: "Your truth is your truth and my truth is my truth. We are both right, and I hold to my opinion of truth." The last time I checked, it was impossible for two chairs to occupy the same space around my dining room table, but evidently such rules of time, space and logic don't apply to tolerance philosophy.
Postmodernism's live-and-let-live concept of truth argues that even two opposite and wholly contradictory claims can both be true. This is as stupid as saying that black and white are the same color. Yet, it clarifies the absurdity of the postmodernism we are all supposed to blithely accept as the fundamental principle by which we respond to each other's ideas-the "please and thank-you" of philosophical respect.
So beware. If you dare claim that another person's truth is not, in fact, truth but is, in fact, wrong, you are not only being intolerant but you are also being-Mantra forbid!-judgmental.
In his book, True for You, But Not for Me, Paul Copan describes the fallacy in this all too common thinking:
It has been said that the most frequently quoted Bible verse is no longer John 3:16 but Matthew 7:1: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged." We cannot glibly quote this, though, without understanding what Jesus meant. When Jesus condemned judging, he wasn't at all implying we should never make judgments about anyone. After all, a few verses later, Jesus himself calls certain people "pigs" and "dogs" (Matt 7:6) and "wolves in sheep's clothing" (7:15). What Jesus condemns is a critical and judgmental spirit, an unholy sense of superiority. Jesus commanded us to examine ourselves first for the problems we so easily see in others. Only then can we help remove the speck in another's eye-which, incidentally, assumes that a problem exists and must be confronted.
Those that tell you not to judge, quoting Matthew 7:1 grossly out of context, are often some of the most mean-spirited, judgmental souls you could ever meet. It's not, of course, that they don't want anyone to judge anything because they want very much to judge and condemn your commitment to lovingly speak and practice your Christian worldview. You see how these tolerance rules work? We must tolerate them, but they don't have to tolerate us. The logic is consistent, anyway.
Today's postmodern culture of adults and students is so consumed by non-judgmentalism that there are some who say we should not even call wrong or evil the terrorists that attacked America on September 11, 2001. In a Time magazine essay entitled "God Is Not on My Side. Or Yours," Roger Rosenblatt offers the philosophical underpinnings of the live-and-let-live rule for global terrorism:
One would like to think that God is on our side against the terrorists, because the terrorists are wrong and we are in the right, and any deity worth his salt would be able to discern that objective truth. But this is simply good-hearted arrogance cloaked in morality-the same kind of thinking that makes people decide that God created humans in his own image. The God worth worshipping is the one who pays us the compliment of self-regulation, and we might return it by minding our own business.
At least the "arrogance" of recognizing the difference between right and wrong is "good-hearted," even if the reactions to it aren't. Alison Hornstein, for instance, is a student at Yale University who observed the disconnect between tolerance and reality. Writing on "The Question That We Should Be Asking-Is Terrorism Wrong?" in the December 17, 2001 issue of Newsweek, Alison noted, "My generation may be culturally sensitive, but we hesitate to make moral judgments." While that might be putting it mildly, she goes on to say:
Student reactions expressed in the daily newspaper and in class pointed to the differences between our life circumstances and those of the [9/11] perpetrators, suggesting that these differences had caused the previous day's events. Noticeably absent was a general outcry of indignation at what had been the most successful terrorist attack of our lifetime. These reactions and similar ones on other campuses have made it apparent that my generation is uncomfortable assessing, or even asking whether a moral wrong has taken place.
Hornstein further describes how on September 12th-one day after Islamic extremists murdered more than 3,000 people on American soil-one of her professors:
did not see much difference between Hamas suicide bombers and American soldiers who died fighting in World War II. When I saw one or two students nodding in agreement, I raised my hand. . American soldiers, in uniform, did not have a policy of specifically targeting civilians; suicide bombers, who wear plainclothes, do. The professor didn't call on me. The people who did get a chance to speak cited various provocations for terrorism; not one of them questioned its morality.
If Americans don't start to judge and punish evil instead of accepting all ideas and beliefs as equal, we will become a nation that welcomes same-sex marriage, polygamy, pedophilia, incest, euthanasia, and likely a host of moral aberrations so bizarre they're still hidden in the darkest reaches of the Internet.
I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say, "you know we are not to judge people; even the Bible says 'judge not lest you be judged'." Americans had better start getting comfortable with politically in-correct, non-humanistic forms of making intelligent judgments on moral issues because even if we don't make them, I'm concerned there is Someone very willing to hold our nation accountable for what we allow. And He doesn't respond well to intimidation, name-calling, flawed logic, or being quoted out of context.
 Roger Rosenblat, "Essay: God is not on My side. Or Yours" Time Dec. 17, 2001. p. 92.
 Alison Hornstein "The Question That We Should Be Asking" Newsweek, December 17, 2001, p. 14
 Ibid; p. 14.
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