May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
Sept. 1, 2009
/ 12 Elul 5769
Judgment vs. Judgmentalism
Opinion columnists, like the rest of humanity, walk a fine line between judgment (holding people accountable to a standard we did not create) and judgmentalness (thinking ourselves morally superior because we haven't committed the acts of others).
Since writing of my friendship with the late Senator Edward Kennedy, I have been flooded with responses. Some have been kind, but many perhaps a majority have heaped on me the revulsion these writers also heaped on him. Perhaps the unkindest cut of all was the writer who accused me of "going wobbly."
That many on the Left continue to dance on the grave of Richard Nixon and revile George W. Bush does not give the Right permission to engage in eye for an eye behavior. Many on the Right invoke the name of Jesus on Sunday and tear down a politician whose policies they don't like the rest of the week. Tearing down policy is fine, but diminishing the value of a fellow human simply because you don't like his politics (or his personal behavior) is not a good strategy for persuading him to change either. It also raises the level of invective, which is injurious not only to our politics but to the one contributing the invective.
What am I trying to accomplish when I engage in criticism? Do I want to present superior arguments I hope my political opponent will at least consider, if not adopt, or is my objective simply to make me feel better by engaging in moral superiority? If it's the latter, I am committing the sin of pride, which goes before all the others.
|FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER|
Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
Senator Kennedy's list of sins are well known, from sexual promiscuity, to offering help to Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov in exchange for his assistance in defeating Ronald Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. The latter act is properly criticized, even denounced. The former can easily fall into the judgmental category.
Public exposure of private sins reminds us of our own cover-ups. Each of us is capable of doing what Senator Kennedy did, given the right circumstances and opportunity. This doesn't excuse them. It does explain them.
This was the great offense laid on Jesus of Nazareth, whose name was invoked on several occasions at the Kennedy funeral and burial. Those who hated and rejected Jesus did so because He exposed what was in them and no one likes his dark soul exposed to the light. It is one reason some of us wear makeup and nice clothes, blow-dry our hair and why others consider plastic surgery as they age. If we seek to cover external flaws in these ways, how much more would we undertake to hide the internal ones? Vanity, vanity; all is vanity.
This is not to absolve Senator Kennedy of his sins, only to say that we are neither the judge, nor the one who can absolve. We can't forgive ourselves, or as I put it to a TV interviewer who asked me "bottom line: Senator Kennedy, a good man?"
"Only G0d is good," I responded. "The rest of us are sinners."
It is not hypocritical to care for someone who behaves badly. In fact, it is the height of love to do so because you want him to have a changed life and attitude that will help him behave better for his own sake and that of his family. Denouncing that person and condemning him to Hell is not likely to make him more open to things that will lead him in the other direction. Who among us has lived a perfect life that would be acceptable to G0d?
Twila Paris wrote a song that might speak even to hard hearts when they think of the One who forgave their own sins and who was never accused of going wobbly: "How beautiful the tender eyes that choose to forgive and never despise."
I strongly opposed much of what Senator Kennedy proposed, but I cared for him as a person. Those without sin, send your condemnation stones to this newspaper, or to the other address provided.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
|BUY THE BOOK|
| Click HERE to purchase it at a discount. (Sales help fund JWR.).|
Cal Thomas Archives
JWR contributor Cal Thomas is co-author with Bob Beckel, a liberal Democratic Party strategist, of "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America". Comment by clicking here.
© 2006, Tribune Media Services, Inc.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Cokie & Steve Roberts
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
Ask Doctor K