Judged By Your Past — John Reed

Judged By Your Past
Several recent news articles have shown that no one is safe from the current political correctness. People are losing their jobs and reputations over things they wrote or said as teenagers years or even decades ago.
Think back to your own teenage years: did you ever say something, write something, or do something dumb or childish? Of course, everyone did! The very definition of adolescence is the transition from child to adult. We do childish things during those years. Judging them too harshly by adult standards is just plain stupid.
Fast on the heels of this issue is the idea of judging people for past actions by current standards. I’m not talking about crimes like murder that have eternally been no-nos. Here’s an example: I grew up in a very multi-cultural area where Cubans, Italians, Haitians, Jews, Northerners and others mixed with the local folks. Ethnic jokes were one way everyone picked on themselves and each other. My math teacher, Mr. Kowalski, knew all the best Polish jokes.
The current arbiters of good taste would be horrified by what passed for humor then…but then I guess that’s the point: they don’t have a sense of humor. Nor do they have any sense of rationality or fairness. If they did, every rapper who uses the word that cost Paula Deen and Papa John’s founder millions of dollars would be barred from producing a single CD ever again.
Taking things even further, people from the past are now being re-evaluated by today’s ethics, instead of what was acceptable then. Washington, Jefferson, and most of the crowd from 1776 were slave owners. These days, we recognize the concept of slavery as abhorrent. But it wasn’t then, and we can’t simply toss the founders of America into the dungheap with all the other trash.
A more rational approach would be to recognize that cultural norms have changed, note what historical figures did and didn’t do according to what was accepted for their time, and move on. A good teaching moment. But no! There’s going to be someone, clearly a perfect angel in their own teen years, who will look for any blemish and condemn people.
A careful study of John 8:7 should be required reading for anyone who claims to offer opinions on others in public.

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