Before Judging Others
The Right Time And Wrong Time To Evaluate Others
On my self-introduction, I address the concept that people can agree and disagree on many societal issues without exhibiting animalistic behaviors or actions toward opposing perspectives. I remember one incident that comes to my mind. I could not understand the nature of human beings. In 2007 there was the Miss USA Pageant in Las Vegas. All the contestants were given questions to answer. Miss California Carrie Prejean was asked about her view or perspective on marriage. I would like to quote her words accurately and I will be writing in present tense form.
. " 'We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage,' " Prejean said. " 'And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised.' "
I want to address each sentence and analyze it. Ms. Prejean acknowledges one of the privileges in living in the United States of America. The First Amendment of U.S constitution addresses an important right under the Law. This right includes freedom of speech. Under the rights of freedom of speech, Ms. Prejean exercises her freedom without being disrespectful, rude, intolerant, hateful, etc. Ms. Prejean is beautiful and stunning. She clearly informs America that she is exercising her right as tax paying and noble citizen. That is, people in U.S have the rights to decide to either affirm same-sex marriage or reject same-sex marriage. Sometimes, I do not understand how people who claim to adhere to the constitution behave. Ms. Prejean is one of the citizens of U.S and she deserves the same respect like anyone else to exercise basic constitutional rights. The media and people jumped on her like neighborhood gangsters jumping an innocent person. As society, we seek to end gang activities,but we adopt the behaviors of gangsters and thus this makes us inconsistent. Many media sources treated this comments as a way to promote and perpetuate only liberal agendas. I am not saying that conservatives are better. As society, we should have approached the subject in question as teachable moment to address that all citizens have the same rights. Students and children are taught to be open-minded, but society is not authentic about what it means. To be open-minded means we should be able to listen and evaluate and make decision based on freedom of expression. Many people are convinced that open-minded means that people must always agree on every social issue and this is impossible.
Secondly, Ms. Prejean conveys that her position on marriage is based on her country and family. She makes two important distinctions: the country represents all potential exterior influences and all potential influence in her family. Let us address her country. As young beautiful woman, she is aware of her external world(media, internet, radio, television, religion, etc.,) positions regarding marriage. Society is divided into many groups or parts and Ms. Prejean affirms those knowledge that were consistent to her understanding. This is normal. Accusers derive their same-sex knowledge from particular groups or parts of external world. Yet, they engage in double standard. Then, she points to internal family influence. Again, this is normal. Every family in United States does not have same beliefs, attitudes, understanding of social issues, political and religious background. Ms Prejean exercise her freedom of speech by embracing her family values, attitudes, and understanding.
As society we make politically correct statements, but deep inside we are not authentic and real about such statements. For example, people condemn Ms. Prejean without her breaking the law that protects her constitutional rights. In order words, we judge her wrongfully. It is okay to judge, but such judgments must be valid and not merely emotional reactions. Many people used biblical scripture found in (Matthew 7:1-6) in which Jesus Christ explains when we should judge and when it is wrong to judge.
1 “Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way as you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. 3Why, then, do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? 4How dare you say to your brother, ‘Please, let me take that speck out of your eye,’ when you have a log in your own eye? 5You hypocrite! First take the log out of your own eye, and then you will be able to see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs — they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs — they will only trample them underfoot (Good News Bible).
Some people quote the first part of the first sentence. Let me outline the bad judgment and good judgment.
1) Jesus Christ does not want us to judge or condemn anyone when we are engaging the same behaviors, practices, or actions as the person.
2) According to Jesus Christ, before judging we must first make sure the person in question will not be able to accuse us of the same behavior,,practices or actions.
3) Therefore, According to Jesus Christ, when we fail to adhere to these two principles, He emphatically addresses us as hypocritical people.
4) Lastly, Jesus Christ wants us to exercise judgment because He does not want us to give that which is "holy" to dogs and He does not want us to give "pearls" to pigs. In order to accomplish these tasks, we must be able to exercise correct and adequate judgments.
The question becomes did Ms. Prejean exercise good judgment according Jesus Christ? Ms California fulfills the FIRST PRINCIPLE. That is, Ms. Prejean has the right to exercise respectful judgment because she does not engage in same-sex relationship. If she is involved in same-sex marriage and gives those statements in her response, then Jesus Christ is able to advise her not to judge unrighteously, but this is not the case. In addition, Ms. California fulfills the SECOND PRINCIPLE. Though she disagrees with same-sex marriage, people in same-sex relationships cannot accuse her because she is heterosexual woman. Let us say if she is in same-sex relationship and makes those statements, then Jesus Christ is able to advise her to avoid such comments. Further, Ms. Prejean does not fulfill the THIRD PRINCIPLE. This third principle would apply to her if she fails to accomplish first two principles. If Miss California fails to accomplish first two principles, then Jesus Christ is going to address her as hypocritical woman, but we cannot equate the hypocrite with Ms. Prejean because she is far from the term. Moreover, Ms. California fulfills the FOURTH PRINCIPLE. In the Greek text of the word, JUDGE can mean to distinguish. Dictionary.com lists two synonyms such as DIFFERENTIATE OR DISCRIMINATE. The last principle deals with giving holy things to dog or pearls to pigs, respectively. In order to accomplish the tasks of making sure that we do not give holy things to dogs or pearls to pigs, we must differentiate and contrast in order to give proper things to dogs or pigs.
My purpose of writing and arguing in this essay is emphasize the importance agreeing and disagreeing. We judge all the time, moment to moment, scenes to scenes, seconds to seconds, minute to minutes, hour to hours, day to days, month to months, year to years. The point is we cannot deny the fact that we judge all the time. Jesus Christ judge people and his judgments were righteous, just, and perfect because He possesses the same attributes as heavenly Father. Sometimes, we make mistakes in judging because we are not perfect and we must confess and acknowledge to Jesus Christ to forgive our wicked hearts and minds.
When Not To Distinguish
As society, community, and family, we need and must distinguish between A-Z, 1 to infinite, women from men, children from adults. Why do we have different ethnicities? Because anthropologists and other scientists found it necessary to signify anatomical differences among human beings. Maybe we should have just notice the differences and not magnify those differences.
© 2014 Michael Obeng