“White Washed Tombs” or “Shame and Social Pressure”

Yours truly is not one to shy away from railing on things I doesn’t like. Or people, I dislike, for that matter. Over the past few months I’ve offered the middle finger to TLC and NBC for their exploitative and repellent shows, ISPs, nationalism, the British monarchy, and one especially vile lobbyist group dubbing itself “Concerned Women for America.” In fact, that last group was so downright nasty I straight up likened them to cancer in the form of a social movement.

And you know what?

I stand by that.

While the Concerned Women for America promote a lot of twisted, misogynistic, nationalistic BS, one thing that really got me was their attempt to use the Taliban’s attempted assassination of right’s activist Malala Yousafzai as fodder for their anti-Muslim propaganda while ignoring the fact that Malala is also a Muslim!

In case anyone doesn’t know, that is literally the same thing as when Medieval Christians persecuted Jews for “Killing Christ,” while conveniently forgetting that Jesus was himself a Jew.

But this isn’t a rehash of why the CWA is demented- this is about me calling people evil.

A few weeks ago I also wrote about the former executive director of the Republican Party in South Carolina. Todd Kincannon had just issued a slew of rants at an Iraq War Veteran for daring to have differing views on the death of Hugo Chavez, and after reading such gems as “Shame you didn’t come home in a body bag” and “this superbowl sucks more dicks than adult Trayvon Martin would have for drug money,” I pointed out that “The only reason some people are alive is because is because it is illegal to kill them.”

I further just recently received a comment on my Shame Day post on the Body Positive Movement. The commenter was offended  as a result of misreading one of the things I had written, but she did finish off by saying  “And last but not least, fuck shame. period.”

I disagree.

See, we here at the CWR (to speak for Evan) are generally of the opinion that what you do, say, and think can not and should not be legislated by anyone. Tragically, many people are under the false impression that because they have the right to do anything, anything they do is right.

It is not.

Obesity is, we can all agree, bad, but so is policing restaurants and buffets. Vapid, commercial tween-pop is bad. So is censorship. Addiction is wrong, but you can’t help anyone who doesn’t want to be helped.

So where do we go?

To social pressure.

There’s no law against being nasty to a waitress, but nevertheless we do limit how often stuff like that happens through social pressure. When you harass a waitress, you get dirty looks, if not immediately confronted, by everyone else in thereWant to avoid being shunned and looked down upon? Don’t be a jerk to the wait staff! Obviously this can be misused, but again, that’s up to us to decide. We are the ones who declare what is and isn’t socially acceptable; we have to decide what that all is (hence the Shame/Fame Day posts on our blog).

So do I have be harsh?

I think I do.

Now let’s keep in mind that everything I’ve said so far isn’t really all that bad- at least, not compared with some other rants. Take this guy for example.

Now while I could talk about Jesus committing an act of premeditated violence, I’m just going to stick with some of the insults he hurled. He called the perpetrators of religious hypocrisy in his time “white washed tombs” and “broods of vipers” and “murderers” (look it up). To their faces.

Everyone seems cool with this.

Now I am not putting any of my condemnations on par with anything he said, but you do have to wonder if there’s not some real logic at play here. How evil does something or someone have to be before we can really chew ’em out for it? I can’t help but wonder if a lot of suffering and misery in our world today may have been avoided if real evil really got condemned. Heck, just imagine if we attached the same repugnance to attacks on women that we do to attacks on children.

Wouldn’t we be a more civil society?

That isn’t to say that some things are worse than others- murder, we could easily argue, is objectively worse than being rude. And this isn’t to say this all couldn’t (or hasn’t, or won’t) be abused. There is that potential.

“And what about the people? Gordon, what about loving the sinner and hating the sin?”

I get that, I really do. I’m certainly no saint or paragon of virtue or anything even close. But let’s try applying that logic to, oh I don’t know, Hitler.

Hitler was a person with fears and quirks and hopes and dreams- most of which were about an all-white world where gays, dissidents, and undesirables were routinely murdered. This is who Hitler was. His bigotry, cowardice, and greed were a part of who he was- I don’t tolerate that or think it would be reasonable to do so. You are what you do– Hitler did evil. If I were alive in the 30s and 40s, would I hope with all my heart for Hitler to see the light? Of course. Would I pray for his soul? I’d hope I’d have the strength to do that. Would I stop my river of withering condemnation of the German dictator? I would not.

I wouldn’t expect  you to either.

So how about this? I’ll stop trying to make you feel bad about the bad things you do if you stop doing them. Sound reasonable?

Now I’m aware that I’ve really only grazed the tip of the iceberg in this post, so feel free to drop off a comment below to continue the discussion.

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