Tuesday, December 05, 2006

On judging, and on not judging

Okay, so when I was home over the Thanksgiving holiday, my (liberal, Catholic, entirely awesome) mother and I were discussing the so-called War on Christmas (and look here for more on that, incidentally) and the way that some uberconservative Christians are really trying to spoil it for the rest of us. During the course of that conversation, I raised the point that Mary was, in fact, an unmarried pregnant teenager, that Joseph himself only went through with the marriage because an angel came to him in a dream, and that today, the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world would probably be calling her a slut and a whore and kicking her out of their churches.

Funny, then, that I should look at Feministe today and find this:

Um, holla. And I think that last line - "think before you judge this Christmas" - is an important one. Even outside of issues like reproductive rights and birth control and sex education, we, all of us, spend so damn much time judging other people without knowing their situations. That pregnant teenager has got to be a slut; she did it to herself. That homeless guy has to be an alcoholic; he did it to himself. Even something as small as watching someone get on the elevator on the second floor and getting off on the first; I'll admit to having uncharitable thoughts in those circumstances myself, and then feeling really, really awful when the person pulls out a cane or walks off of the elevator with an obvious limp. And the holiday season, when we tend to be donating to Toys for Tots and dropping change in the Salvation Army bucket and being generally good for Santa anyway, is a great time to rethink our own tendency to judge and to hold ourselves above other people.

Who could benefit from that lesson? How 'bout the Vatican? From that thread at Feministe we have a story about the movie The Nativity Story, which has the distinction of being the first film ever to premiere at the Vatican. Who wasn't on the invitation list? The film's star, Keisha Castle-Hughes, who, it has been recently revealed, is 16, unmarried, and pregnant.

But we don't judge.

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