An interesting thing happened in my family recently. A tragedy, by any measure, to be sure.
Two women in my rather small family recently wrote another member off entirely, after calling their perspective on life “evil and delusional.” Pretty harsh. Both women are in their mid-seventies and have been married several times each. I don’t know if that has anything to do with their mindset, but those are some commonalities. One is very leftist politically, and the other very conservative. (I can’t use the label “liberal” anymore because it’s been redefined to the point of being nearly undefined.) They don’t share much in common other than age and my late mother as the fulcrum that brought them together. They are from the same hometown, Albany, Georgia, but couldn’t have been any different growing up. And are still opposites except for their sanctimony. One was a mousy introvert growing up, and the other a spontaneous activist-type that believes the world should know what’s on her mind at every moment. I love them both.
The interesting part of this arrangement they’ve decided on is where they each come from and what they did to reach their judgment and pass down their similar sentence to the person who happened to, unfortunately, land in their stern, but obviously fair, sights.
One is a person who presents herself as a devout Christian. As devoted as imaginable, with a prayer room in her house replete with an entire library, and love for proselytizing and posting scripture all over Facebook and sending it out unsuspectingly via text with no explanation offered. She lives in the heart of the bible belt in Alabama.
The other woman is her sister-in-law and lives in the Gomorrah of the US: Denver, Colorado. She and I have spoken of her interest in spirituality, many years ago, and she’s given up Christianity, dabbled in Buddhism and read about a few others it sounded like, and as far as I know, has ended up agnostic. There’s no evidence to the contrary.
Which begs the question: what does an agnostic base evil upon? There must be a set of commandments, decrees, rules, or life boundaries to determine what is right and what is evil. With no moral rudder to speak of, what is “evil” based upon? That’s one point of pontification. You can’t have “good” without “bad.”
The other is that the other lady held court in absentia. Meaning, brought that person in question into her court, held court without that person able to defend themself, without charges ever being mentioned, and held them guilty, and passed down judgment and punishment all without informing the “defendant” what she was doing or why. It still hasn’t ever been told what brought on her decision. Both of them did this.
But what is interesting is that for years she has sent out scripture about how wrong it is to judge others. The Bible says it, Jesus says it, and it’s a core belief among Christians, which you’d better believe she counts herself among.
These women got together and talked about the person behind their back and concluded together that their “perspective on life is evil and distorted.” And never speak to them again or have anything to do with them again. No reason was given, just the harshest of sentences handed down, final and just, and for all eternity, with no appeal. And they’ve gone on their merry ways to judge another. My aunt in Alabama felt the decree was relevant enough to inform the person via a brief text, and the other sent out no notice whatsoever.
Evil and distorted, indeed. Do their actions constitute benevolence and straight-shooting? In their high esteem, yes, it does.