It seems to me that there are certain moments in life when a person needs to ask, “If my worldview is turning me into this kind of person, maybe I need to step back and rethink things?” Whether we’re talking about issues political, cultural, or religious, the fact remains that many people need to take their metaphorical temperature much more often than they do.
I do a radio show on Thursdays, and yesterday my co-host and I were discussing the recent statement put out by four Catholic publications — publications that are diametrically opposed to one another politically — that called for the abolishment of the death penalty. Unsurprisingly, the reaction on the part of the readers of the more conservative papers was one of alarm and dismay: “How can we get rid of the death penalty? It’s so awesome!” (One reader, I kid you not, attempted to justify capital punishment on the basis of Jesus having gone through it himself.) When our vision of how prisoners should be treated is more aligned with Yemen and North Korea than with any other western nation, something’s perhaps off.
Similarly, if one’s worldview causes him to desire military intervention in as many countries as possible (as John McCain’s seems to), or if the de-funding of virtually all government programs for the poor sounds like a dream come true, or if it seems like a good idea to publicly mock Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s (as Rush Limbaugh did), then I dunno, maybe it’s gut-check time?
In a word, it doesn’t really matter so much how great your worldview looks on paper, because when you display bloodlust, mockery, or lack of compassion in your daily life, well, maybe your worldview is turning you into kind of a douche?