When virtue turns toxic: The modern Pharisee.

Jesus Christ is the model of human kindness and virtue, but He wasn’t kind to everyone. In Luke 18 He tells a parable to illustrate what manner of person He had the most contempt for:  He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  If that is not clear enough, He used the word “hypocrites” liberally,  Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.  You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.  So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” 

What makes one a modern Pharisee, ripe for Jesus’ condemnation? The phrase is “virtue signaling”–I want everyone to know how virtuous I am that I can spew poison words and no one will challenge my righteousness. HERE IS A MAJOR CASE STUDY: On October 4, 2017, a gunman shooting from a high floor of the Mandalay Bay casino/hotel in Las Vegas killed 58 and wounded almost 500 concertgoers at an outdoor Country Music festival. These are the facts; notice I have not ascribed motives or any other judgments to the massacre. Then comes the virtue signaling:

From the U.K. Daily Mail, October 4, 2017. Hayley Geftman-Gold has been fired from CBS for writing on Facebook that she has no sympathy for Vegas victims. After a gunman opened fire at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas on Sunday and killed at least 59 people and sent more than 500 to the hospital she went on Facebook to say she didn’t feel bad for the victims.  ‘If they wouldn’t do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs (sic) will ever do the right thing,’ she wrote in a post that was captured by the Daily Caller but has now been deleted. ‘I’m actually not even sympathetic bc (sic) country music fans often are Republican gun toters (sic).’

Then there is Cass on Twitter @xsadcassie, after a gunman shot Rep. Steve Scalise at a baseball game:no i don’t feel bad republicans were shot at don’t @ me i don’t feel bad for people that think i should die.” More tweets about the same subject: “Republicans created this hate-filled rhetoric & now bitching about one of their own getting shot. Oh PLEASE!” @HallieJackson. “It’s a shame more Republicans weren’t shot— what to heck ????” (@itsrealH). Of course, the virtuous have to raise the issue of race. @ShaunKing “Only in America can whiteness prevent the man who conducted the deadliest mass shooting in American history from being called a terrorist.”

“Hate-filled rhetoric, did I just read? Created by whom? Jesus called them blind–blind to their own hatred and filth, blind to their love of violence and slogans rather than dialogue and solutions. Toxic virtue. Then there is Taylor Winston, Jen Lewis and Phelps Amelsberg–heroes. heroes In the aftermath of every disaster there are the toxic talkers, and the action heroes. Which will you be?


Author: iamcurmudgeon

When I began this blog, I was a 70 year old man, with a young mind and a body trying to recover from a stroke, and my purpose for this whole blog thing is to provoke thinking, to ridicule reflex reaction, and provide a legacy to my children.

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