Tuesday, July 08, 2014

"You should never judge others, and especially not when a trial is underway. It's not our place..."

Are you ready for a quick rant?  The idea, in the context of a trial or court case, that we shouldn't judge is TOTALLY bogus.  It's asinine!

In America and other countries with juries, they have to be protected from these opinions in order to independently form their own.  And then they collectively are asked to judge and their consensus is the result.

South Africa has no jury system.  The judge needs to avoid contaminating her thoughts through media and other streams, but that's her prerogative, not the media's (well, mostly true, and true to a point).  The only area where judgement is really a vital issue is defamation.  Thus people on twitter repeatedly saying #LIAR and #GUILTY can certainly be held liable if an offender is subsequently acquitted.  And sued.  But, of course, an accused party would have to prove they are innocent of the alleged defamation too. Even so, it is wise to be slightly measured and hedge our statements and opinions with "possibly" and "I think" etc.  Speculation is allowed.  Judgement - I prefer the words analysis, discernment, reasoning - in other words an extended thought process, is both necessary and important.

The reason - mostly biblical - behind not judging is we allow people to be themselves, we don't discriminate or bear false witness.  Now, when you have mountains of information which is the whole point of a trial, to interrogate the truth...now that you should have bucket loads of information to work with....now you still don't judge?
Do you not judge the groceries you buy, carefully choosing the best produce?  Do you not carefully evaluate a potential partner.  And here, in a court scenario where this is exactly what is at state - a wrongdoing has been committed and the accused is asked to account, and then be judged.  When the public has access to these records, yes, as society they SHOULD be interested in the possible guilt or innocence.  How you express that is another matter entirely.  But this thought of NEVER judge, and don't judge a book by it's cover, is garbage.
Failure to discern is what's wrong with the world, and thinking this is one's Christian duty (not to think) is, frankly, terrifying.  Might as well start a war then, and not judge its merits...judgement is wrong, but war is right.  Please!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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