Even after the Lord commanded, "Do not judge"?
People need to judge, they defend it, over and over. I just saw a piece on Crisis about the 'need' to judge: Being our brother's keeper requires moral judgment. One commenter noted in self-defense:
I am often accused of violating Matthew 7. But I have a different take on it: The best person to remove the splinter from his brother's eye, is the one who has already removed the log from his own eye. For who better to recognize the difference between wood and eye?That's sweet, huh? I never read these sites as a habit, only when someone I know links to such articles. I never ever listen to talk radio, conservative or liberal, Catholic or secular. I still think talk radio and the companion sites online are the reason people are such fanatics, but I digress.
I just think it's funny how people who incessantly complain about being judged and criticized and even claim persecution, constantly insist they have a right to judge others, and even have a duty to do so. Of course we are expected to judge between right and wrong, and need to point out what is harmful to ourselves and others - common sense dictates that. Likewise, everything is based upon our responsibility in particular situations - according to our state in life. Parents, teachers, employers and so on have a duty to make judgement calls. Most adults do not need anyone to tell them that.
Many Evangelical Catholics seem to think that when the spiritual fathers, the saints, and even the Pope offer the precaution, "Do not judge" it means look the other way and ignore moral evil - the sins of others. That's missing the point. They especially misinterpret Pope Francis on the meaning of mercy. They resist him, and given the chance, they would resist him to his face.
A hermit said, "Do not judge an adulterer if you are chaste or you will break the law of God just as much as he does. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery' also said 'Do not judge'"
Most of the problems online and offline, the fights, the contentious exchanges in judgment-based gossip which circulates, along with all the condemnations, they occur because people judge one another. For example, instead of judging the recent Met Gala for what it was, the devout focused upon those in attendance - especially the Catholics there, and by extension, the Vatican authorities who cooperated in it. Actually, there was nothing wrong with the exhibit itself - in a sense it was a neutral museum exhibit focused upon the art of costume. I responded negatively at first, avoiding any criticism of persons, choosing instead to discuss the vanity of fashion. That is a discussion worthy of a good exhibit. Judging and condemning Cardinal Dolan and Fr. Martin, and guilting by association Vatican personalities such as Mons. Ganswein, is taking it a step beyond. This sort of gossip and detraction feeds the judgmental attitudes already embedded in online Catholic minds. It's indefensible.
The Lord asks us to be merciful. He asks us not to judge. Often, said Pope Francis, “It seems that we have been named judges of others: engaging in gossip, talking behind people’s backs, we judge everyone.” The Lord, however tells us not to judge, lest we be judged ourselves. “Do not condemn [others],” said Pope Francis, “and you will not be condemned.” The Lord asks us to forgive, that we might be forgiven. “We say it every day in the Our Father,” noted the Holy Father, “forgive us as we forgive others – and if I do not forgive, how can I ask the Father to forgive me?”
“This is the Christian life. ‘But Father, this is folly!’ one might say. ‘Yes’, one might answer, ‘it is’. We have heard in these days, though, St Paul, who said the same: the foolishness of the Cross of Christ, which has nothing to do with the wisdom of the world. ‘But Father, to be Christian is to become some sort of fool?’ [one might ask]. ‘Yes’, [I would say], ‘in a certain sense, yes. It means renouncing the cunning of the world in order to do everything that Jesus tells us to do and that, if we do the sums, if we balance the ledger, seems to be against us.” - Vatican Radio
"A dog is better than I am, for he has love and he does not judge." - Abba Xanthios
Catholics online search and research other Catholics online, very often to find something on them. To confirm their private judgment that something is wrong with them. They even create private groups on Facebook, attacking this or that apologist, a priest they dislike, or the pope they deem to be a heretic. They are so embroiled in self-righteous anger, they can't stop judging and condemning. They devote their websites and newspapers to the work of scandal and detraction - judging and condemning one another. They even turn on each other. It's really a sick and perverted religiosity which motivates them. Even Christ refused to be considered a judge or arbitrator in mean-worldly affairs, asking “Friend, who appointed me as your judge and arbitrator?”
What is it that religious people do not understand about the command, "Do not judge"?
Writing in 1 Corinthians, St. Paul went so far as to insist: "I do not even pass judgment upon myself; I am not conscious of anything against me, but I do not stand acquitted; the one who judges me is the Lord." [...] the Lord "will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts ..."
So how can we judge each other?
How can we best be our brother's keeper? How can we love our neighbor and avoid judging one another?
Let love be sincere;hate what is evil,hold on to what is good;love one another with mutual affection;anticipate one another in showing honor.Do not grow slack in zeal,be fervent in spirit,serve the Lord.Rejoice in hope,endure in affliction,persevere in prayer.Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,exercise hospitality.Bless those who persecute you,bless and do not curse them.Rejoice with those who rejoice,weep with those who weep.Have the same regard for one another;do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;do not be wise in your own estimation. - Romans 12: 9-16