The “Thou Shalt Not Judge” Mind Game

Often, the hidden messages of a phrase carry more weight than its literal interpretation. The phrase “Thou shalt not judge,” is a fine example. It’s an adaptation from a quote attributed to Jesus, “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged” (Matthew 7:1 and Luke 6:37). Although the Bible has other passages encouraging judging, the phrase in question has far more currency today, especially among liberal Christians. I believe its lasting popularity is due to a rather dark mind game that it carries with it. The mind game has several components.

First, the phrase is most often used in a context where some obvious wrong has been committed, but is being excused by the speaker. It’s one thing to acknowledge a mistake, learn from it, and make amends. It’s another thing entirely to sweep it under the rug. The hidden message is that you, too, have skeletons in your closet, so don’t draw attention to this one. Such a message is simply an abdication of responsibility.

The phrase is also often used between believers as a kind of collusion between thugs in the name of the thug boss, God. To use it is to say, “Keep your nose out of my business with the mafia boss, and I’ll stay out of your business. Otherwise, the boss will rub you out.” It is a kind of promise that if you excuse the speaker’s act of thuggery he’ll look the other way when you later commit yours. Occasionally, it’s used as a kind of religious tolerance mechanism to deal with the fact that there are thousands of sects of Christianity, each with their own unique and contradictory interpretation of the Bible. As long as the harm in question is directed against non-Christians, it should be excused in the name of ecumenicism.

At another level, using the phrase is admission that there is no solid morality on which to decide moral issues. With a lack of any sort of absolute morality from God, the speaker is left to create a smoke screen that distracts from this uncomfortable fact. The notion of an absolute morality from God is perhaps one of the most pernicious myths of the western religions.

Biblical passage is really a prohibition against being a hypocrite. That contextualized meaning has long since vanished, apparently. The hidden messages of the shorter phrase have far more utility. In the future, listen closely in the situations when “thou shalt not judge” is used. See if you can find someone avoiding responsibility for their actions or beliefs; looking to make a shady deal to downplay an act of thuggery; or hiding the fact that they don’t have a sound basis to tell right from wrong. When you catch someone using the phrase in this manner, call them on the carpet. Judge.

Stop the evil godless Congress!

On Monday, the Secular Coalition announced that Rep. Pete Stark (D. Calif.) is, according to their research, the first open nontheist in the history of Congress. This announcement came as the result of a the Secular Coalition’s “Find an Atheist, Humanist, Freethinker Elected Official” contest.

Wasting very little time, the Christian Seniors Association(a division of Traditional Values Coalition) released a statement which clearly demonstrates the anti-atheist biogtry and ignorance that made this search for nontheists both necessary and overdue.

CSA ASKS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SPEAK UP AS CALIFORNIA CONGRESSMAN STARK DENIES GOD’S EXISTENCE
A Sad First in the History of the Congress

Washington, DC – The Christian Seniors Association (CSA) today encouraged members of the Congress to speak of their belief in God on the floor of the House after a liberal California Congressman made history by denying God.

Katy, bar the door! There’s a Congressman who doesn’t believe in God, so we’re gonna have us some “chuhch”. Why would it be necessary (or appropriate) for Congress to stop doing business in order to give their personal testimonies? Did Rep. Pete Stark’s announcement tie up any Congressional time?

“It is sad but not surprising that the current Congress has produced this historic first – one of its members has denied God,” said CSA Executive Director James Lafferty.

So, this is clearly a demonstration of the evils of “the current Congress”? Nevermind the fact that Rep. Stark has been a member of Congress since 1973, we need to spin this so that the Democratic takeover looks bad. Seriously though, how bad could it really be? Isn’t he just one man that flew under the religious radar? Is this really a sign of the apocalypse?

“The liberals in Congress want to throttle any school child who bows his or her head in prayer, but they want to establish a right for liberals to bash Christians and berate God around the clock.

Oh no! They’re coming for our kids and bad mouthing our god!

Ok, enough sarcasm…now I’m pissed. I suppose I should be grateful that the CSA has clearly demonstrated the very problems we’ve been pointing out. This ignorant, misdirected bigotry is the result of a very narrow mindset that has no understanding of what true religious freedom is.

They began with “there’s an atheist in Congress”, moved to “well, that’s no surprise, I’ve read Ann Coulter’s book…this is just part of the godless liberal agenda” and then graduate to blatant lies and sensationalist attacks about how we’re coming after the children.

“It is time for religious members of Congress to push back.”

Sure it is. One of hundreds of Congressmen is a heathen, so we need everyone to organize in opposition to this travesty. Evidently Rep. Stark is a huge threat to the fabric of the delusional universe these folks call home.

“We have long recognized that all of this hot air about ‘separation of church and state’ has been a veiled effort to intimidate and silence religious voices in public policy matters.

And we, the godless, have long recognized that you have no understanding of ‘separation of church and state’ and no interest in exercising tolerance toward those who hold beliefs which differ from yours. In your ignorant little minds, religious freedom only applies to those who share your fondness for fairytales.

The First Amendment is now “hot air”. Thanks.

Please explain how Pete Stark’s beliefs “intimidate and silence religious voices”. Could someone silence those crickets, please? I’m having a hard time hearing their response.

“Congressman Stark’s statement is a very sad benchmark for America. It could be the moment which defines the decline of our country or it could be the spark which marks an important day.

It certainly could and its clear which direction you’re encouraging – decline. How quickly we forget that this nation was founded by people trying to avoid the exact mindset you’re promoting.

“This is a fight which is destined to be fought in America and we think it should begin today.”

Clearly fighting is all you understand. Rational discourse is beyond you.