The Redeemed Sinners Who Have Become Judgmental Tyrants Get to Meet Themselves
We all go through tough times. Some of us bring it upon ourselves, while others are seemingly fated to suffer. But if you're fortunate to make it through, it seems one of two things can happen to you: you become a better, stronger and, most of all, more empathetic person, or you turn into a bitter, judgmental tyrant.
Take some of those purporting to be people of faith who throw hatred at scared young women finding their way into abortion clinics. How many of those devout have had abortions themselves earlier in life? This is not the time or place to debate the validity of the pro-choice or right to life movements -- only to address those people who feel that overcoming their own adversities has given them a free pass to rain abuse and judgment down upon anyone who reminds them of who they once were. For some, there is an unspoken belief that each scream of "Sinner!" pushes their own dark times and uncertainty farther away.
Or let's go another way. Many years ago, for a very short time, I worked for an incredibly (politically and religiously) conservative, straight-laced organization. I found it overwhelmingly oppressive, and hated every moment there and the games I was expected to play. But of all these uber-white, ultra conservative men, do you know who had the least sympathy for my grumblings? Who was the hardest on me? One of my gay, liberal bosses. Even though she never said a word, I knew what she was thinking: "Oh, boo-hoo, Democrat Jew boy. You think you got it bad? I'm a woman in an old boy's network. And not just a woman, but a huge lesbian! That's right, I go out and have sex with women, and I deal with these guys and their polished hair, three-piece suits and homophobia. So if you have to dress right, pretend to support beliefs you hate and suck ass all day (in a non-gay way), then do it."
That's right. I may not be as pretty as Soren, but I can read the minds of lesbians everywhere.
Or how about those people who overcome their physical addictions and spend their sobriety not counseling the afflicted or feeling their pain, but turning their noses up? "I've been there, but now I'm here. Screw those guys for not getting through what I could."
I find a special place in Hell for all these people because, quite simply, they should know better. They've actively rejected the life lessons taught to them and traded empathy in for self-satisfied arrogance. Their punishment is not to meet those they've wronged, but to spend eternity with themselves. And not just because they'll be confronted with their own hypocrisy, but because this is Hell, and judgmental tyrants are just miserable company.
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