Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.
For with the judgment you make you will be judged,
and the measure you give will be the measure you get.
The internet has made me more aware than ever of our human tendency to judge each other, although I doubt that more judging is going on now than in the pre-cyberspace world. It is rather that no thought, holy or otherwise, seems to remain unpublished these days.
The blatant ugliness of most of the judgments serves as a caution to me when I am tempted to indulge in it myself.
Below are a few examples, most of which will remain anonymous to protect the perpetrators. But first a distinction:
It is one thing to condemn an action that is obviously harmful. This we must do when necessary.
It is another thing altogether to condemn the person who commits the action; or to claim to know that a person’s heart is evil; or to predict the final end of another; or to hold a person in scorn. All of these fall under the commandment of Jesus not to judge, that we ourselves may not be judged.
Now to the examples drawn from various websites:
An anti-Christian site informs us that it is only the immature who believe in “non-existent beings,” such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and Jesus.
You can read elsewhere that most Christians are mean-spirited; and that people who speak out for God are often lunatics.
But neither are believers always generous toward other believers (or toward God, for that matter):
Mel Gibson says, “My wife is a saint. She’s a much better person than I am…She prays, she believes in God, she knows Jesus, she believes in that stuff.”
No matter, for she’s probably going to hell, we learn. It turns out that she is Episcopalian, not Catholic. (Note that the Catholic Church would NOT take the harsh stand that Gibson takes toward his wife.)
On a blog by a young Catholic we are informed that the souls of those who voted for Barack Obama are also in danger of hell.
We find on YouTube that people who practice centering prayer are deceived by Satan, both in being seduced into adopting this form of prayer in the first place, and also because this kind of prayer makes one open to demonic suggestion.
And let’s not forget the Antichrist: the pope is probably the most popular candidate (any pope, pick one). Others who have been named are Barack Obama, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Gates, Bill Clinton, the president of the European Union – and on and on….
Even more radically vicious judgments are on the loose (if it is possible to be more vicious than calling someone the Antichrist) which I will not cite because they are not suited for a family-friendly web page. These judgments I prefer to chalk up to zealous ignorance.
So let us pause and take a deep breath of fresh air…
To continue on a happier note, here are some quotes about the true judgment:
In the evening of life, we will be judged on love.
(St. John of the Cross)
The Last Judgment will come when Christ returns in glory… Then through his Son Jesus Christ, [God] will pronounce the final word on all history. We shall know the ultimate meaning of the whole work of creation and of the entire economy of salvation and understand the marvelous ways by which his Providence led everything towards its final end. The Last Judgment will reveal that God’s justice triumphs over all the injustices committed by his creatures and that God’s love is stronger than death.
(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1040)
Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
at the presence of the Lord,
for he is coming to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.