Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cowgirl V: So is it Okay to be Judgmental Sometimes?


Pot calling the kettle black


Nobody wants to be called judgmental!  Nobody!  So, I’ve been wondering just what does it really mean to be judgmental?  We’ve all heard the scriptural teaching that it is wrong to point out the speck in your brother’s eye, when you have a log in your own.  Jesus rebukes the accuser saying in Matt.7:5 “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”    So it seems that hypocrisy in judging others is the point of this rebuke. 


speck and boulder  


Since I’m sticking my toe  into the waters of theological territory here, I’d like to point out the distinction between correction and judgment as I see it .  I’m no expert, so it’s just my opinion— for whatever that’s worth!  Speaking out against wrong doesn’t seem to be the problem here.  After all Jesus and the Apostles were bold and rebuked sin and condemned evil where they saw it.  No lukewarm, wishy washy approach, thank heavens!  So, correction is NOT judgment. I’m wondering,  do you agree?

So, why am I writing about this?  Friends in the blogging community recently brought to my attention that Nike has re-signed Michael Vick, football quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, after his felony conviction for illegal dog fighting.  Many people who love animals are protesting this for good reason.  So I posted to my personal Facebook page that I did not support Nike re-signing Vick.  Just a simple statement.  The next morning I discovered that a FB friend who lives in Philadelphia said that “people are far better than the worst thing they ever did in their lives.”  There is truth in that statement, but I interpreted that as a rebuke for being ---yeah—judgmental.

michael vick & dogs

I found some really horrific photos you would be glad I did not put here!

In all fairness, I thought perhaps I had been a little hasty in judging Vick.   So I decided to do a little research on Michael Vick.  I knew that dog fighting was inhumane, but I was shocked to learn that the crimes involved drowning, hanging, electrocution, using a dog as a jump rope and smashing it’s head into the pavement until it was dead. Some dogs who survived hanging, were then drowned in 5 gallon buckets.  Cruel torture of under performing dogs.  I couldn’t bear to read anymore of the gruesome details, but did note that Vick has a history of drug use, fraudulent misappropriation of funds, and other bad behavior. After the first raid by investigators, Vick wasn’t too concerned about it.  “I’m thinking, I can get myself out of this situation.  Money will get me out of this situation”.  Sorry, but I have no problem labeling him as a thug and all round bad guy.  How many times have we all heard that the most  dangerous people in our society are those who mistreat and torture animals.  My greatest hope would be that he would be genuinely sorry, but have to admit that I am skeptical.  Am I judging him wrongly? 

“C” and I discussed this last week. She asked, “So did it make you feel bad to be criticized?”  “Yeah, it did sting a bit,” I confessed. “ But I do think I was right.” Pressing on I asked, “So, what do you think about Vick—do you think  Nike was in the right in re-signing him?” “Well, there are some things in life that just disqualify you”, she replied. 





“By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?”  Matthew: 7:16


by their fruits you will know them.

What do YOU think?  Vick lost huge financially, but now after paying his debt to society with a prison sentence, he will be paid  millions to represent Nike to a public of young people looking for a hero.  Has Michael Vick disqualified himself as a hero? 


Vickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vickie said...

woopsy too many typos..hmmm..makes me question do 2 wrongs make a right??????Keep thinking if he was my childs "hero"{what would I say to my child}?????????? I feel I'd have too point out the wrongs he has done,doe's he deserve to be a promo status symbol..ermm I can't get my head around it..I'm not deleting again this time I will publish(some typing sounded pompous so not me at all)...interesting read V thanks for making me think ,cheers Vickie

Tammy Burks said...

I don't know about "judging" others, but I do know that I can choose to spend my money where I want. I don't want to spend it with a company who would choose someone like Vick to endorse them. I think where I DON'T spend my money speaks as loudly as where I DO spend it!
I'm okay with saying....I don't agree with what this person has done....I don't care if people criticize me over that.

ain't for city gals said...

Just because Nike signs him back doesn't make him a hero again but it does make nike look dumb. I think all this sports hero worship is wrong to begin with...look at how many have fallen from their pedestals. I can take judgmental more than I can handle self-rightouness(sp?..lol) ....the kind that says I am better than you.
A good book is A New Earth by Echert Tolle (again sp?)....shows us that most of what we say is our ego talking...we want to be smarter...sound more intelligent than the next guy..most people are not even listening to what we say anyway...they are thinking what they are going to say next. hmmmm...I kind of got on the soapbox...lol...anyway,,, to answer your question..I think both of you were just expressing an opinion..take care..

Suzanne said...

Yes, he's disqualified.

Vivianne said...

Yes, he's disqualified. Shame on Nike for rehiring him too: just because he says he's sorry, is that enough ? Does he mean it ? Has he truly paid enough ?
I guess it's where people draw the line of what is acceptable, and also, what is suitable penance/punishment.
I'd be interested in what C. thinks of Tiger Woods retaining his endorsement deals ....

Cathy said...

I think the only thing Vick is sorry about is that he got caught.
I have a real problem with cruelty to animals.
I am planning on getting a new pair of sneakers for exercising but they sure won't be Nikes.

Sara said...

Yes. He is most definitely disqualified.

Here's what gets me: We do not "forgive and forget" Hitler, Dahmer, Ted Bundy. I know, they never said they were sorry, but some murderers do and we still don't forgive them. What Vick did to those dogs is the same thing that serial killers do to their victims. And the dogs SUFFERED as much as a human and felt the same fear, pain and distress as a human. I feel like some people dismiss his crimes because they were perpetrated against animals. We are still talking about a living creature!

I'm beginning to ramble.

Saying you disagree with Nike's decision is not judgmental. I second everything that's been said here. I will never buy Nike again...even if tomorrow they revoke Vick's deal. They have already shown me what kind of company they are.

Karen said...

Absolutely. I am so disappointed in Nike, have decided not to buy their products, which I always loved. I hope they change their minds.

Kathleen From Eggs In My Pocket said...

I try not to judge, but in this conflicting world, it gets harder each day not to do so. I just stick to "not following the world". I have tried to teach that to my children as well.

A bird in the hand said...

I think people confuse "judgmental" with having an opinion.

And in this Vick story, I find Nike to be the real bad guy in rehiring him. That's my opinion.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

It seems to me Vick is being rewarded for being a horrible person and a person who hurts others, no matter how many or how few legs they have, is a horrible person.
We all vote with our money and our feet; I'll never buy another else with the Nike logo.

KathyB. said...

I am willing to forgive someone who is sorry for his / her transgressions and who shows true repentance , especially when they ACT on this repentance.I also acknowledge their true state of faith and mind is in the hands of God. However, I have come to the realization am easily fooled, so again I say, it is in the hands of God. No one can escape His judgment...as scripture says, " it is an awesome thing to fall into the hands of God." I hope Vick is sincere.

Alison Cross said...

Dog fighting is indefensible - as a sport or as way of making money.

In Scotland there was, recently, a professional footballer convicted of indecency towards minors (he had exposed himself, via a webcam to girls who were under the age of consent). Unbelievably, his club was not going to dump him.....until people started making their values known - by withdrawing their advertising budget, schools withholding children from the club's junior training scheme etc.
He's now sacked.

And I'm really glad about that.

The man you are talking about has served his debt to society, that's for sure. But the sort of MAN he is is evidenced by his crime - is that what his club wants to represent them?

I don't think so.

Vickie said...

YOu're darn tootin' he's lost his right to be a hero in my book. We've had alot of "heros" and public figures fall off the hero wagon its seems like here lately. I'm for forgiveness, certainly, but a person with integrity would step down, or decline the Nike support, or something! I personally wouldn't feel right about something like sponsorship if I'd done something that just flies in the face of being a good example to people, especially kids.
Shame on Vick and Shame on Nike. It's all about the money. Always is. Integrity and character fly out the window when there's money involved - at least most of the time!

Anonymous said...

Like Jesus talking to the woman found in adultery. He did not judge her but instead rebuked (in a way by writing in the sand) the men who accused her. He forgave her and told her to sin no more. He forgives us and wants us to sin no more, but being human we sin again...and again...I think we miss the lesson of forgiveness. Did Vick do wrong? Yes. If he asked God for forgiveness, then I must forgive him, too. Will he do wrong again. Probably. Sounds like me. I like the part about fruit inspection. "By their fruits, you shall know them." We can understand people and their behaviors by their fruits.

KathyB. said...

My granddaughters & I were just discussing trees and fruit in comparison to people and what "fruit" they bear. I say the evidence and fruit of a life says more than any court judgment.M.V.'s fruit will show him for what he is now, maybe he has been pruned and treated to bear good fruit...we will see.Life experience tells me he has not changed, but then again, God does change people, education does too.Let's hope so. Meanwhile, Nike is not my "go to" for endorsements or emulation of any kind.

lifeinredshoes said...

My tree needs a good pruning :(

jastembo said...

while i have and continue to make mistakes/errors in judgement i do feel that some "mistakes" are too big for someone to then be considered a "hero". especially when he already thought he could get out of it the 1st and not doing anything to indicate that the individual has recognize the "mistake" and changed. plus we are talking about someone who is a "hero" for children - no he doesn't qualify as one to me.

and i do so agree there there is a difference btwn correction and judgement.

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