Against contempt. [And lawyers]
I have heard this passage used to say that we cannot be angry at all, and I think that is wrong. We are angry . We should be angry with injustice. We should have zeal for the works of God.
But when one looks further, if moves from anger, to being insulting, calling people a fool, and in general holding people in contempt. Telling them that their opinions do not matter because you are an expert, or that they should “check their privilege”.
Whatever the last phrase means apart from “shut up”.
21“You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire. 23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court with him, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26Truly I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
Jesus is doing some exegesis here. He is showing what the full law is like: it is not a matter of mere external actions, but what we think, how we act. Our conscience should be pricked as much by our anger and our tendency to treat others with contempt as if we assault them or kill them. And, since we treat all others as we would ourselves, there should be no lawsuits, because we reconcile ourselves with one another.
And here I for one run into difficulties. I have spent, and spend too much time with lawyers: dealing with their requests for reports, investigating detectives, and for some years with the denizens of the family court. I have lost count on how much I spend on lawyers — and how much I have spent on professional practice insurance (which is compulsory for all medicos in my country).
And I don’t like it. I don’t like going over what has happened (and it is almost never when things have gone well that there is an issue to address). I don’t like writing my notes on the assumption that they will be read out in court. But this world is fallen, and that can happen.
Now, one of Christ’s points is that we are all guilty.
However, we need to get out of some of our habits. Not all women are solipsistic narcissists: not all leftists have been trained into stupidity: not all right wingers are greedy exploiters. And not all Islamists do evil or destroy societies. However, as a group. all of the above may be true.
The total GDP of the entire musloid world, excluding petroleum, from Morocco to Bangladesh (excluding Indonesia) is LESS than the GDP of the American state of Georgia. What this means is that the islamic political system, like its younger sibling Marxism, causes people to sit around and do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
And in a related vein, there are more books translated each year into Modern Greek, which is spoken ONLY in Greece and Cyprus (combined population of just over 12 million people) than there are books published, both translations and original works, in Arabic, which is spoken in 26 nations with at least 420 million mother-tongue speakers, and is the official language of the musloid political system, which has under its jackboot some 1.2 billion souls.
What we have lost is the ability to discuss traits that occur within a group without someone saying “Check your privilege” or “you are racist/sexist/lookist &c”. We need to be able to discuss these things.
Take the example from Ann Barhardt I’ve just quoted. There are many young men and young women in the Islamic world who could be great engineers, musicians, artists, poets, physicians — and farmers, mothers, and blacksmiths. All are needed. Some of these young people get out of the Islamic house and into the west where they get pretty much the same education as the locals and generally do about as well.
For even if there is an IQ spread between races we are talking about populations where there is a variation: there will be a large number of people with an IQ of 160 in that part of the world regardless of if it is four or five standard deviations from the mean because there is a large number of people in that part of the world, just as there will be some men who are seven feet tall.
One then has to consider what is different about the West. And I think Christianity, with its emphasis on individual salvation, and the value of all human life, is one part of this. Another part is a consequence of Christian ethics, that scholarship is encouraged in all its forms (The scientific method was formulated by More, a Catholic) and a consequence of the 16th century is that one has freedom of conscience and speech.
And that freedom allows ideas or memes to compete. Mimetic competition matters, because the ideas which are more consonant with reality have (in general) more functional use. Societies that deny this — due to political correctness, a wish to return to socialist equality or to 7th century Medina or some other imagined past — handicap themselves.
And if we cannot learn from other cultures, we will fall into the error of those who do not read history. We will repeat their mistakes.