The Sin of Omission
We live in a very confusing and dangerous time. We used to believe that freedom of speech was a paramount right. Now we believe that you can only express ideas that have been pre-approved by the thought police on the Internet. We silence certain people because they are so morally inferior, they don’t deserve to speak. This is the way the game is played now. Everyone is poised on the edge of their seats waiting to cancel the next person and then the next person, and toss them on the ash heap of humanity. People are graded on a hard-moral curve. It’s pass or fail. No redemption. And we will morally cannibalize each other until there is no one left.
The unapologetic arrogance that pervades our culture is staggering. Humility, humbleness no longer exists. People are falling all over themselves clamoring for moral superiority. We have people virtue signaling, slamming others on social media, walking around with puffed out chest of moral indignation, acting as though they are better than the rest because they say, post or hashtag the social media accepted thoughts and ideas.
In our society, the gravest sin of all is the sin of racism. Racism is one of the most prejudicial labels to pin on someone. Whether true or not, once someone can brand another as a racist, a slew of other judgements immediately follows, fair or unfair, accurate or inaccurate does not matter. No effort is required anymore to get to know or understand that person. That person is reduced to an evil caricature and summarily dismissed.
Now, there are white celebrities and athletes who are apologizing for their own racism. They are not admitting to actual acts of racism they committed, but apologizing for not doing enough to prevent other people’s racism, or not having enough empathy for black people. They are not apologizing for their own sins, or forgiving others for theirs, they are dramatically falling on the sword for other people’s racism.
The sin of omission is the easiest and most self-beneficial sin to admit to. These “admissions” did not get them cancelled like real admissions of racism would, in fact, they have elevated these celebrities in the eyes of the social media mob. By admitting to the collective white guilt, but conspicuously not admitting to personal acts of racism, they have become woker than an insomniac on Ritalin. Millions of people starve to death each year, but there is no apology for not spending their millions to prevent their starvation. Owning up to this sin of omission would cost them more to address than a mere mea culpa. This is all part of the elaborate social media driven game of chess, each move well thought out and carefully planned to better position themselves on the social justice game board.
But through all of the tweets, posts, and moral posturing, what is noticeable missing is compassion, understanding, forgiveness. The really hard human emotions. We used to say, hate the sin, love the sinner. Now, we hate the sin, and destroy the sinner as if we are spotless. It’s easy to stand up and say I am right and you are wrong. It’s easy to sit on your moral high horse and shame someone who has done or said something you know the mob will rip to shreds. It’s hard to reach out to that person in friendship with understanding and forgiveness, and give empathy as to why they are that way. Maybe they don’t deserve those things, you will say. Maybe they don’t, but does anyone? Has anyone lived such a perfect life that they do not need forgiveness, understanding, compassion? Is anyone that perfect? I know I am not.
When I face my maker, I will be relying more of his forgiveness, his compassion, his grace for my salvation, not my own virtue and righteousness. Maybe there are people who feel good about taking their chances on their own righteousness, I’m don’t. So, if we all need compassion and forgiveness in our own lives, we should be willing to give it to others, even those we don’t believe deserve it. But compassion and forgiveness are not deserved. You cannot earn them; they are always given.
In the end, it is not virtuous to look down on another as a moral superior, or to cancel someone because of their sins. That is the opposite of virtue. The most virtuous, the most righteous among us, is the one who can look at a person who has committed a grave sin, or caused injury to them, and say, “I forgive you. I love you. What can I do to help you?” It is only then when we will have a chance to heal, hopefully come together in unity.