Over the years’, God has sent a number of what I like to call the ‘peace & love’ crowd to deal with.
Usually, they initially present themselves as being incredibly tolerant, understanding and accepting of all mankind, except that they have ‘issues’ with anyone they deem to be less tolerant, understanding and accepting than themselves.
Which of course, is where the wheels come off the bus. Because everyone ‘tolerates and accepts’ what they like, and what speaks to them, and what they agree with, but very few people tolerate, accept or like what they disagree with, or dislike.
If you happen to press one of the peace & love crowd’s ‘hot buttons’ – OOOWA! Do you find out about it fast.
Suddenly, all the smiles and hugs disappear, and you normally find yourself on the end of some incredibly vitriolic ‘punishing’ behavior. They bad mouth you; they ignore you; they diss you and your ‘backwards’ ideas and they often resort to the sort of personal attacks that leave your gaping at the ferocity and meanness being displayed.
All in the name of ‘peace & love’, of course, although sometimes it comes packaged with different labels, like: ‘democracy’, or ‘unity’, or ‘unconditional acceptance’, or ‘one faith’ or some such politically-correct claptrap.
Recently, I had to deal with another member of the ‘peace & love’ crowd who was effectively trying to start their own religion (although they wouldn’t admit that in a million years…) Just orthodox Judaism was so ‘intolerant’; and ‘inflexible’; and ‘rigid’; and ‘ritualistic’, and mankind would be much better following this person’s own free-flowing ideas of unity and love.
I dared to disagree – and what do you know?
The peace and acceptance disappeared instantaneously, and I had a cold war on my hands. I could just hear the argument being made between the lines of the incredibly cold, formal email I received: People LIKE YOU are exactly the problem!! If people LIKE YOU would just disappear from the scene, life would be so much better!! People LIKE YOU are so backwards, and intolerant and unaccepting!! You make me sick!!
Ah, peace & love.
Here’s what I’ve learned from my many discussions with the peace & love politically-correct crowd:
- They only tolerate people who agree with them.
- They are probably the most genuinely intolerant people you’ll ever meet in your life (but that will only be obvious when you actually dare to cross them).
- They are a million miles away from practicing what they preach, because their ‘peace & love’ attitude only extends to people who think the same way they do, and everyone else is devalued and discounted as ‘the enemy’ and an obstacle to ‘peace & love’.
- Any honest discussion you try to have with them about how their ideas of ‘peace & love’ would actually work in practice (given that we AREN’T all the same, and we DON’T all believe or want the same things) will get closed down so fast, it’ll make your head spin.
- Discussions about what’s objectively ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ make them very uncomfortable. EVERYTHING is OK by them (except when it isn’t…)
There’s probably more to say, but that will do for now.
Let’s end with this small clarification about the nature of judgment:
It’s human nature to judge, and we all do it. God gave us the faculty to discern between good and evil, right and wrong, and He wants us to make good use of it. When we use our ability to judge to clarify when an action, belief or behavior is wrong, that’s a very good thing.
When we misuse our ability to judge by a) falsely claiming that making judgments is always bad and / or b) judging people as opposed to their actions, then that’s a very bad thing.
Our sages tell us repeatedly that only God can judge the entirety of a person. But our part, our duty, even, is to continually judge behaviours, ideas and actions¸ both our own and others, to see if they’re objectively good or not. Are they building the world, or the opposite? Are they putting more kindness and consideration in the world, or more cruelty and selfish interest?
The peace & love crowd hate this idea, I know, but we aren’t going to get anywhere near to the vision of unity and human redemption without it.