Rod Dreher of the American Conservative has a video up of a fight at Wal-Mart between two women (white trash) over shampoo. While amusing in the absurd Jerry Springer kind of way, it’s disheartening for many reasons, and any one of those could be fodder for further inquiry. However, I’m going to focus on the reaction of those watching the fight – everyone stood there and watched and a few even enjoyed the “spectacle”. No one tried to restore order by breaking up the fight or even stop the little boy from hitting the woman in the head. A woman was being punched and choked, and no one did anything about it. Why the inaction? I think it has something to do with our culture of non-judgmentalism (a manifestation of the Enlightenment) in which we’ve come to embrace the notion that there should be no boundaries to a person’s behavior. We’ve developed a laissez-faire attitude towards EVERYTHING – sexual ethics, drug/alcohol abuse, violence, etc. It’s hard to see this as anything other than a result of exercising freedom as the ultimate – perhaps the ONLY – virtue. This is what we get, a freakshow, when there are no chains to bind us. What about the four Cardinal Virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance? St. Thomas Aquinas once said prudence was the primary cardinal virtue because it was concerned with the intellect. Prudence is knowing the ability to distinguish what is good or bad and taking the appropriate action. Justice demands we give everyone exactly what is due to them. Fortitude is the courage to overcome our fears and push forward. Lastly, temperance pertains to restraint and moderation in our desires for pleasure (food, drink, sex, etc.). A prudent minded person who saw this fight would have stopped the child from hitting the woman and then break up the fight. For a smaller woman to do that, perhaps that would require some fortitude, since these women were fat (as are most white trash women). That didn’t happen; the bystanders didn’t want to “judge” the women or even the boy. To the bystanders, the women were exercising their freedom by fighting. This non-judgmentalism is terrible for our culture. We need to judge; it’s our Christian duty to judge. I’m not talking eternal judgment – only God can do that. I’m talking moral judgment. It’s maddening to see Christians refuse to pass moral judgments on people they know they should make. Damn it! Don’t damn them, but judge them, and then react accordingly.