A disturbing trend in the news and on social media is to crucify someone for their long-ago misdeeds, especially if those deeds were in the bullseye of whatever is trendy to take offense about.
The message is clear: you have never been allowed to make mistakes, you are not allowed to grow and mature, and “Now I’ve got you, you son a bitch.”
How dare you have been imperfect 30 years ago. How dare you be young and foolish. How dare you fit in. How. Dare. You.
Of course, there will always be some know-it-all in the comments who will explain how wrong it was, so wrong that there can be no redemption, and their friends will rally around them.
This is all part of a bigger constellation of taking offense to everything, all the time. It comes from an angry, empty, spiritually bankrupt society. It reflects a culture of moral supremacy populated by the immoral. It is entirely one-dimensional on all fronts: you’re a sexist! You’re a racist! You’re a liberal! You’re a bully! You’re a label!
There is no redemption or forgiveness. There is only punishment.
Choke on this all of you, from the social justice warrior to the most strident Reaganist: I am all those things. I have done all those things. I made all those mistakes. I blundered through my youth, my young adulthood, my middle age, making and repeating mistakes, saying things that were cruel and petty and selfish.
“He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone.”
Go ahead. Cast it. Where? There is a mirror in the next room.
That bible comes in handy every now and again, doesn’t it?
Seriously though, this is a pain point for me too. I made horrible mistakes, said terrible things, am haunted by some of my past actions. Having sincerely repented and asked for God’s forgiveness, I’m at peace, but I’d hate to be judged based on Past Me now.
It’s the unrepentant people who trouble the masses.
I sure have done and said a lot that I wouldn’t wish to be judged by today.
That said, if you are a Trumper, how. Dare. You.
There seems to be a drastically uneven application of this phenomenon, and I’m having a difficult time categorizing (in my mind) the various factors that play into it.
On one hand, I’ve seen (we’ve all seen) the scenario in which, say, an effective white ally to the racial justice movement is disparaged because he naively told an offensive joke 23 years ago and his apologies are ignored despite evidence he’s changed since then.
But on the other hand, we see others, *currently* unapologetic, currently acting in bad faith, being rewarded with positions of power, fame, and vast sums of wealth.
Despite my struggle to understand these inconsistencies, I remain committed to self-improvement. I want to be better. I *am* better than I was, but not yet as good as I want to be. I wish well anyone else who shares this goal, and for those who don’t, well, maybe they will come around some day.