Judgment and Character 1/18/20

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

Have you ever put your name into a search engine to see the results? Back in the late eighties or early nineties, I searched for “Bleil”. The internet was still new enough, and my name rare enough, to have yielded some interesting results.

Most entries related to Bleil were quite impressive. Maybe it’s because of how new the internet was, but aside from myself (and posts about my research publications), there was a judge and a lawyer (that I suspect were the same person), a football player and a coach (again, probably the same person evolving in their career), an artist that worked in beads, a geophysicist, and one website by a Bleil entitled “Why I like big t…” well, let’s just say it was derogatory.

It was curious to see this single crass and tasteless entry among so many accomplished members of the Bleil clan. The character just seemed out of place. Character is a funny thing, though. It’s the side that we show the world. I can’t say that the more accomplished Bleils among us don’t have that side of our personality, but it’s quite a different story to flaunt it.

I suppose an argument could be made to say that it displays honesty. We all have that “dark side” that we try to hide away, but the reason that we try to hide it is because we know that it is socially unacceptable, and it is socially unacceptable because it is demeaning and harmful to others. Saying this about women objectifies them, minimizing their deeper contributions and value to society.

It’s intriguing to me how people who are most vocal about lack of character in themselves display the very behavior that they most complain about. It’s really a form of denial. We see it frequently in people who are arguably “homophobic”. How often do we see somebody who is vocal and frequently speaks out against homosexuality as “sinful” or the root cause of decline in our society brought down because of a homosexual affair, or paying for homosexual activities? It seems like politicians who are most vocal about the sanctity of marriage are the same ones who have been divorced multiple times because of extramarital affairs.

I became involved in an online discussion with a man who was arguing that women who have premarital success are somehow shameful and less worthy than virgins. I’ve never understood this argument, so I asked if he was, in fact, a virgin when he married. Of course, he didn’t want to answer, but I had great fun shaming him. This is the type of judgment that drives me crazy. If a man honestly believes that women should not engage in premarital sex, then frankly, that man shouldn’t contribute to what they perceive to be a problem with lack of morals.

He was a contributor to the problem of overly judgmental people in our society. Frankly, if somebody’s lifestyle, decisions, and manner in which they live their lives have no impact on another, then there are no grounds on which they should be judged. Let them live their lives. If you think they’re living in sin, then God will judge (personally I don’t subscribe to this if they’re not hurting anybody). But when somebody is judgmental but participate in the same activity then that individual also lacks character. And, yes, I will speak out against these individuals and pass personal judgment on them because they are harming others.

This might seem counter-intuitive. If I am speaking out to protect people who, for example, are homosexual because their lifestyle effects nobody but themselves, then it might seem strange that I would speak out against homophobic individuals who practice homosexuality. But, see, it’s their judgmental rants against homosexuals that are harming others. They are so intent on hiding their own nature that they are trying to turn opinion against other homosexuals. It’s their judgmental nature that is harming others, and I have a problem with that.

Currently, it seems like so many politicians are railing against women’s rights. Yet these same politicians are so frequently caught having extra-marital affairs. The president himself speaks out about the sanctity of marriage, and yet there is strong evidence that he paid money to an adult entertainer to keep quiet about the affair that he had with her while he was married to the woman who would become our current first lady. That he had relations with an adult entertainer is his business. I wouldn’t pay for sex myself, but if he had to then that’s his decision and it doesn’t affect me. The fact that he was married at the time is not something that I judge him for either. To me, this is a private matter between him and his wife. But to criticize others for doing the same thing shows a distinct lack of character, and I think he should be ashamed for that.

In my humble opinion.

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