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OPINION

We Need to Be More Judgmental

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Carolyn Kaster

One of the more comical moments early in the tenure of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was in 2019 when she triumphantly raised both fists over her head a la Rocky Balboa upon executing five push-ups. She later Tweeted, “Don’t judge me, I def fell off the workout wagon.”

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This is lighthearted behavior but it illustrates how Leftists routinely implore people not to be judgmental. In truth, people make judgments all the time. Whether you’re deciding if you should run a yellow light or hit the brakes, deciding what clothes to buy, or whether to associate with someone or politely avoid them, we all make judgments. It’s how we survive. 

After many years in the private, government, political and non-profit sectors, I have noticed a well established pattern. When somebody tells me to not judge, they are usually trying to get away with something or simply disagreeing with my judgment.

Judgment can be tricky. If it is made absent inquiry, it’s usually unwise. That’s why most people ask questions before arriving at a conclusion. It’s what people do when trying to make judgments about politics or public policy. But some questions are deemed good while others not so much, particularly when they involve the most pressing issues of our time.

If you ask questions in pursuit of judgment on climate or COVID policy, you’re liable to be branded a denier. If you ask questions about sexuality, you’re a homophobe. If you ask about critical race theory, you’re a racist. 

This is how the Left betrays the vapidity of its positions. On one hand, if you ask the questions necessary to arrive at a responsible judgment, Leftists hurl slander and threats. On the other hand, you’re castigated about how you shouldn’t be judgmental if the Left disagrees with you. 

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Because the policies of the American Left are so poorly constructed, they cannot survive even the simplest inquiry: Is segregating people by race right? Do human chromosomes matter? What made the climate change 500 years ago? Simple questions like these tend to unravel whatever narrative Leftists are agitating for, so they are not to be asked. 

When we’re pilloried for asking questions and excoriated for wrongthink, the people scolding us for being judgmental leave us with one remaining option; to agree with them - or else. This is a time tested strategy of totalitarians; people who disagreed with Soviet Communism were systematically imprisoned in psychiatric gulags

The Left does not want us to make judgments. They simply demand we buy whatever they’re selling, no questions asked. The authoritarian mindset is one that seeks to abolish discernment and critical thinking, supplant them with complacent acquiescence, and cow us into submission.

Occasionally, Leftists will invoke the Bible in their attempt to silence judgments with which they disagree. Many of us have heard people yelling, “Jesus said don’t judge!” But invariably, such critics twist Scripture to align with their ignorance.  

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ expounded at length on how to live our lives, including whether and how to judge others. Matthew’s Gospel records Christ saying “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.” 

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Jesus was not telling us not to judge. He said be prepared to be judged on our conclusions. Further, the Bible tells us to use discernment in arriving at judgments. Christ made this point later in his Sermon, saying we can recognize and judge right and wrong things, “by their fruits.”

The concept of discerning judgment courses throughout Scripture. The First Epistle of John tells us to, “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits.” Paul’s letter to the Corinthians counsels, “The spiritual person judges all things.” John’s Gospel relates an episode in which Jesus visits a temple in Galilee and says to those assembled, “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” The Old Testament book of Judges documents the results of wise and unwise judgments by 12 Israelite leaders, providing many examples of how judgment without discernment hurts entire populations. 

The American Left hates it when we make judgments about their policies because they are bad policies. Most people don’t like them and they know this. Even our attempts to learn about these policies by asking fundamental questions is attacked. Rather, we’re told to sit down, shut up and obey. 

We need to be more judgmental. Discerning judgment is indispensable to a well run civil society, and it is incumbent upon us to ask the questions necessary to judge policies and account for our judgments. In evaluating the ideology of the totalitarian Left, people quickly learn that it seeks to prohibit the discerning kind of judgment Christ taught us. That’s a leading indicator of the fruits of Leftism right there. 

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