Saturday, March 24, 2012

but let us judge not

"but let us Judge not, that we be not judged" - Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln said these words as part of his second inaugural address. He was paraphrasing Jesus of course. I've always taken his words to mean do not judge everyone by the actions of a single actor. Others, mainly Christians, insist that it means I must suspend all judgement. I don't buy it. We are called to judge others. It is a moral obligation. We must judge others, but we must be careful to judge what people do, not what we think they might do. We must also be careful not to judge a group by the actions of an individual. It's hard though, right?

I struggle with pastors. If not for the good people I know who are pastors, I might develop an irrational prejudice, like the prejudice I suspect George Zimmerman had towards Trayvor Martin. Prejudices can kill. What was it that caused Zimmerman to kill Martin if not prejudice? Well ok… Zimmerman could have also deliberately created the opportunity in order to kill Martin.

Pastors are not my biggest problem though. I am constantly fighting the urge to lump all politicians into the same nasty bucket of fish guts. I loath politicians. Every one I've met eventually caused me to think our great democracy is broken. We elect those who are drawn to power for powers sake, for personal enrichment, or because of a moral agenda at odds with the foundation of our democracy.

I started my political life as a Republican. I moved toward the fringes of the political process by becoming a Libertarian shortly after George H. Bush took the reins of power back in the 90s. Since then, the Republican party has become a morally corrupt theocratic party while the Libertarians have morphed into an irrelevant crazy sideshow. Don't get me started on Democrats. They have just as many issues. In fact, their collect failure to press their political advantage during the early days of the Obama administration left me speechless. The Democratic party is a herd of cats.

Political corruption is rampant… this leads me back to my main point. Do we judge all politicians by the actions of a few corrupts actors? Take Republican member of the National Labor Relations Board Terrence Flynn. His alleged crime is one that speaks to his character. I read cases like his every week. Are all politicians corrupt? No. Are politicians to be trusted?  I think the answer here is no too. Trust no politician. Judge actions. Judge results. Distrust promises. Distrust religious agendas and agendas that seek to undermine our democracy. Simple. Right?

Speaking of which. if we judge the actions of Rick Santorum, he fails. …just saying.