By Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr., D.Min.
I can still remember my mother’s frequent exhortation to my siblings and me growing up in the 1950s, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” A very direct command from the lips of Jesus Christ became a moral centerpiece in the home in which I was raised. Mom could be tolerant to a fault, but she was simply a generous soul who knew the world could be ugly and full of hypocrisy.
Well, well, I wonder what dear old mom, God rest her soul, would say about today’s so-called “Cancel Culture.” Let’s see, Seuss is out, Lincoln is out, Washington is out – gosh, who’s left? Oh, that’s right! Only the sorry folks who wish to hold others to strict account for their human weaknesses, but brazenly exempt themselves from the exercise.
Jesus utilized many striking rhetorical devices in proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven. His teaching on judging others – the first century version of “cancelling” – is almost funny if it wasn’t so dead serious. “Why worry about a speck in someone else’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye’, when you can’t see past the log in your own?”
Whaaat! You do want to chuckle at the illustration, but you quickly get the point that God is not going to give us a pass on the Day of Judgement for our own sins and blind spots if we don’t cut others some slack. The sheer arrogance of the Cancel Culture fairly makes one sick to the core, and it is impossible to long continue in any kind of civil manner in a society that plays this perverse game.
Near the end of the third part of the trilogy, Lord of the Rings, Frodo says to Samwise, “Sam, it’s the end of all things.” Yup, I’ll echo that observation, and leave you, dear reader, with a prayer that we all just wise up and do the basic calculus. Or even think about common sayings from another era, things pertaining to glass houses and stones, and spitting up in the air as gravity inevitably does its work.
Here’s hoping we don’t end up as April Fools. – Fr. Nick