This is an Olympic year and, if Jumping to Conclusions or Assuming Hostile Intentions were a new event, the USA would have a lock on the Gold; that is, if our crack team of social justice warriors could resist holding a violent protest over the micro-aggression of an obviously xenophobic crowd waving American flags.
I remember once, back in the day when civil liberties were actually civil, when I complained to my father about something my older sister said or did to hurt my tender feelings. He sat me down and advised me to give her the benefit of the doubt, saying I should assume someone has only the best of intentions, as long as there is no firm evidence to the contrary. The concept is similar to one we enjoyed in this country before the advent of trial-by-social-media, when someone was innocent until proven guilty. My father assured me my world would be a happier place if I would choose to assume the best of others and give them the benefit of a doubt. This is a piece of sage advice which has fallen out of favor.
Our young people seem to be majoring in subjects such as Perceiving and Punishing Micro-aggressions, The Art of Unforgiveness and Bullying Everyone Who Disagrees 101. They, and we, would be better off studying Christ’s advice in the Gospels:
Luke 6:29 – If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.
Matthew 5:39-40 – If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.
Since the 1960’s or earlier, progressive liberal secularism in the Western world has been actively scrubbing out Judeo-Christian ethics from all public, governmental and educational life. The fruits of their efforts can be seen on our college and university campuses today. For too long they have been given the benefit of a doubt when going about their insidious work, but we now have concrete evidence of their motives and intentions. Christ’s words, and my father’s advice, refer to personal slights, but when the attack is against God and His laws, we have an obligation to defend the faith. No doubt about it.
Thanks for your insights. I’m trying to have a conversation with a very angry person right now and it’s been difficult.
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We Christians are supposed to give up our “right” to feel offended, but that’s a hard one, sometimes. The conversation is even harder with a non-believer. I’ve prayed for you in this.