Is it a sin to share your negative opinion of somebody?

For Fapstronauts of the Catholic Christian Faith

  1. jarvyjarvison

    jarvyjarvison Fapstronaut

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    So, I've been reading this book called The Art of Living: The Cardinal Virtues and the Freedom to Love and in it the author talks about gossip, slander, calumny, and backbiting. The one that's got me most confused is probably backbiting, wherein one diminishes a person in their absence to tarnish their good name. What if I think somebody's a jerk? Is it backbiting to say "I think so-and-so is a jerk?" What if it's somebody on tv? What if I said "I think this person's haircut makes them look like a lesbian?" Is that a sin? What if I just want to share my opinion and not necessarily tarnish that person's good name? I'm confused.
     
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  2. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

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    Oh man, you really caused me to think! I have had the elements of this matter in my head for a few weeks but you brought them together with your question. So, what I have written below, I recognize I need to put into practice. Thank you for rocking me back on my heels. I needed it.

    Mother Theresa was often asked how she managed to keep her joy when caring for so many unseemly people and how she could treat the corrupt politicians she regularly encountered with such humility and kindness. She said words to the effect that such people are "Jesus in His most difficult disguise". She was conflating the difficulty of dealing with certain people with Jesus's words in Matthew 25: 35 - 40. "Believe me, when you did it to one of the least of my brethren here, you did it to me."

    Mother Theresa also said,
    People are often unreasonable, irrational and self-centered. Love them anyway.... In the final analysis it is between you and God. It was never between you and them, anyway."

    I can see in my own behavior that when I criticize people (in my case it is frequently prominent politicians and celebrities) how can I then muster the kindness to love them as Jesus teaches? I have been blind in this matter and your question has opened my eyes to my foolish behavior. Thank you!
     
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  3. jarvyjarvison

    jarvyjarvison Fapstronaut

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    You're welcome. I sent my question to Ask-a-Priest. Here's the response I got back.

    It just sucks that here is yet another totally normal thing that normal people do that us Catholics can't do. I can't call someone a jerk. I can't even say I don't like someone. I just have to speak glowingly about everyone, no matter how little I like them. Some of these stupid rules drive me crazy!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
  4. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

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    I think you have conflated a few thoughts that don't belong together. Whereas we are told not to judge others and not to denigrate them, we are not called to "speak glowingly about everyone". It is best not to say anything at all if there is nothing positive to say. To praise someone falsely is to lie.

    Following Christ's teachings can definitely be a difficult task but then difficult tasks, done for the right reasons, always bring the greatest benefit. I am not sure who you put into the category "Normal" but Catholics aren't given any more strict guidance in this matter than any other Christian. This is the basis of Christianity - Love God with all of your heart and love your neighbor as yourself (BTW, the term "neighbor" includes enemies).

    PS. I like your icon jarvyvision

    Personally, I think the really challenging part is to change my heart. We aren't called to merely BEHAVE with kindness, we are called to harbor love and kindness in our heart for all others. That is a big challenge!

    Matthew 5:22
    But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

    PS Jarvyjarvison - I like your icon. The blue angels are so cool!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  5. jarvyjarvison

    jarvyjarvison Fapstronaut

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    Ugh, I know I'm whining. I'm just frustrated from holding all these thoughts in. I feel like I'm gonna have a confrontation with someone. I know we're supposed to I know I'm supposed to "be transformed by the renewal of [my] mind," but it's just difficult sometimes. I know what Jesus said about things coming out of the heart. I've asked and continue to ask God to soften my heart but I guess it just takes time. Maybe I shouldn't be having these thoughts but I do and they want to come out.

    PS: The blue angels rock! I wanted to be one when I was a kid (who didn't?). Also, giving myself a big pat on the back for reaching 60 days!
     
  6. CPilot

    CPilot Fapstronaut

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    I know how you feel. I once had a couple of bosses who seemed determined to make me so miserable that I would quit. The two of them hounded me both day and night with phone calls, rants and recriminations. They were really getting to me but I had a family to feed and I didn't have an alternative, so I plodded on. These two were filling my life with stress and feelings of hatred were boiling inside of me. I was miserable. Ultimately, I decided to pray for them daily, asking God to give them extra graces, even though I didn't feel inclined to give them anything but what they were giving me. After a few months, one of them elected for early retirement and he was replaced by a great guy. The new guy led the other troublemaker to retirement also. In time, I was promoted and my career took off in that company. The Lord works in mysterious ways but He is always in charge.
     
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