Accusations of being judgmental are regularly thrown around, mostly as a way to silence people when they say ‘this is wrong’.
I’ve often wondered when we stopped being allowed to judge. I know, from my younger days when I attended church, that there may be some religious aspect to the notion that we can’t judge. I’m pretty sure though that that had more to do with not being permitted to judge someone’s eternal salvation, and far less to do with a blanket statement about not judging anything ever at all.
We are allowed to judge.
We are allowed to judge when a parent kills their child. We’re allowed to say ‘that is wrong’. We do not have to walk in anyone’s shoes to know that that is the wrong thing to do. We do not have to be empathetic to a person who was done that abhorrent thing. In that situation, the only person who deserves any empathy is the victim. The perpetrator gets none. By saying ‘that is wrong’, we’re not passing judgement on anyone’s eternal salvation, we’re simply saying that they did the wrong thing by human standards. I’m not religious so I cannot comment on anyone’s salvation because it’s not my place, but I am a human and I can say that what another human has done is wrong.
When we’ve experienced harm ourselves from another source, we are allowed to judge. We are allowed to say that these things happened to us, and they were bad, and we do not like the source of the bad things. When we say that, when we express that we don’t like the source of the bad thing, we’re not judging particular individuals, we’re judging a larger mindset. When we say that, we know that not all individuals who are associated with the source of bad things will be a bad individual. We know #notall; we know!
Please don’t tell people to stop being judgmental. Being able to judge whether something is good or bad, based on our own standards and our own experience, is part of being human. It has little to do with any religious notions, and it has nothing to do with any individual’s eternal salvation. Please don’t silence us when we say ‘this is wrong.’