To Our Sensitive Society (and Churches): Feelings Are Not Justified Simply Because You Have Them

When I’ve been in discussions and debates with people in the past, a frequent “argument” people use when they are backed into a corner is this apparently unassailable standard of truth:  “That’s just the way I feel!”  Um… thanks for that.  That may be fine when we’re discussing our favorite color or flavor of ice cream, but when the discussion is about moral principles, right behavior, or biblical interpretation, you will forgive me if I don’t find your feelings to be above criticism.  Yet, when people have their very emotions criticized, they bristle as if this is somehow off-base or enormously insensitive.

Am I some sort of Vulcan who thinks emotions are only for the weak and who advocates that we should transform our society into a collection of logical robots?  I admit I’ve joked along these lines before, but no, I of course believe that emotions are an important part of the human experience.  Still, I want to ask this:  Since when are emotions infallible?  Most reasonable people believe that we can critique people’s logic (on second thought, most people don’t even handle that well) because we will all admit that nobody is perfect in their reasoning.  However, whens somebody gets their feelings hurt, the trend these days is to immediately come to their defense.  It’s hurtful.  They are offended.  Due to this, whatever was said to cause this hurt is immediately judged wrong or, at the least, too insensitive or careless.

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My Youth Camp Experience

This year, I decided at the last minute to go to DCCYC (Dallas Chinese Christian Youth Camp) to be a counselor for youth students.  Ironically, last year I wanted to go but ended up in the hospital, but this year I wasn’t planning on going.  However, I realized I was being selfish with my time and energy, so I turned in my application, got assigned to rising 12th graders, and went to Lone Star, TX to be a Korean counselor at a Chinese youth camp.  I had to miss Game 7 of the NBA Finals, but as much as I love basketball, I knew I had a good reason to miss.

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