It Is Much Easier to Condemn Past Generations Than to Judge Our Own by Michael L. Brown for Ask Dr Brown
It is very easy for us to condemn the moral actions (or, inactions) of past generations. “If only we had been there,” we say to ourselves, “we would never have done what they did.” But are we sure? Will our actions (or, inactions) be judged harshly by future generations?
It is far easier to judge others than to judge ourselves. As Paul wrote, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things” (Romans 2:1).
If we had been born and raised as white Christians in the early 1800’s in Alabama, are we sure that we would have recognized the evils of slavery?
If we had been Christians living in Europe during the Holocaust, are we sure that we would not have looked the other way rather than risked our lives to save our Jewish neighbors?
And isn’t it ironic that some of the most vocal social justice warriors today are among the most militant proponents of abortion, one of the greatest moral abominations on the planet?
Commenting on this mindset, Jesus said to the hypocritical religious leaders, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!” (Matthew 23:29-32)
Not long after He spoke these words of rebuke, some of these very leaders were complicit in His death.
Thinking back to the Holocaust, a September 2013 article in the strongly left-leaning The Nation begins with these words: “In early 1943, at the height of the Holocaust, a prominent journalist denounced President Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Nazi genocide in harsh terms: “You and I and the President and the Congress and the State Department are accessories to the crime and share Hitler’s guilt,” she wrote. “If we had behaved like humane and generous people instead of complacent, cowardly ones, the two million Jews lying today in the earth of Poland and Hitler’s other crowded graveyards would be alive and safe…. We had it in our power to rescue this doomed people and we did not lift a hand to do it—or perhaps it would be fairer to say that we lifted just one cautious hand, encased in a tight-fitting glove of quotas and visas and affidavits, and a thick layer of prejudice.”
And who was it that penned this biting denunciation? It was “none other than Freda Kirchwey, staunch New Dealer, Roosevelt supporter and editor in chief of The Nation.”