Just because I say nothing…

Just because I say nothing, does not mean I have nothing to say.

Just because I don’t say anything bad about a person or a group, does not mean I have no criticism of the person or the group.

Do not assume my silence equals assent. It may, but then again, it may not. Don’t assume that my compliment about someone means I approve of what they believe. As Archbishop Fulton Sheen said in A Plea for Intolerance:

Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience towards evil, and a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. But what is more important than the definition is the field of its application. The important point here is this: Tolerance applies only to persons, but never to truth. Intolerance applies only to truth, but never to persons. Tolerance applies to the erring; intolerance to the error.

I try very hard to distinguish between the person (who was made in the image of God) and what they believe (which may be erroneous or not). They might believe something erroneous, but it is not necessarily my job to point that out to their face. If their erroneous belief causes them to act in a way that is harmful, then I can point out how the action is harmful, and how it may be evidence of an erroneous belief.

But in regards to the person, apart from their behavior, I might be wrong about their error, because there might be important facts of which I am unaware, or, I might be the one who is in error.

I tread carefully, slowly, patiently.

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