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Do not judge, or you too will be judged-Letter to the editor

I’ve been letter writer for many years. I even received awards for two of my letters published in The Tennessean when I lived in Nashville. I have always tried to discuss facts and ideas that would stimulate debate and have had many a healthy debate throughout the years. What I have not experienced before is ad hominem attacks.

There was plenty of reason to have a healthy discussion about what I wrote. But there was absolutely no call to despoil my life’s work or my standing before God, as if the writer knows God’s will.

In one brief letter, the writer (whom I will not name personally as she did me), who does not know me or anything about me, managed to defame and demean my entire professional nursing career and life’s mission of service to others and then, by selectively quoting scripture, damned me before my Maker.

Quite an accomplishment. And all over a letter. I had to re-read my letter to see if I had mistakenly incited to violence or murder – such was the venom spewed at me.

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” It is obvious what this writer chose to discuss. You see, the other national deficit we suffer under is critical thinking.

I will not use this letter to reframe what I wrote. Ironically, the main point of my letter was that we shouldn’t be judging peoples’ behavior under the current circumstances since there might be many reasons for their beliefs and actions that lead them to not wear a mask. (As an aside, the WHO reported this week that it is very rare for Covid-19 to be transmitted by people without symptoms.) But this writer chose to be my judge, jury and executioner.

In my faith tradition, we have The Ethics of The Fathers where they wrote,“ Slander kills three people, the one who speaks it, the one who listens to it and the one about whom it is spoken.”

And since the writer used Scripture to condemn me, I thought I’d return the favor with a quote:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1)

To the writer, I will freely admit my sins before God. Will you do the same?

 

Stuart R. Goldstein

Green Creek