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Not Listening, Spouting Off, Looking Foolish

listenAs I read through the news and commentary these days, I find a Scripture verse that keeps coming to mind that is rather pointedly appropriate: Proverbs 18:13: “He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him” (New American Standard Bible) or “To answer before listening, that is folly and shame” (NIV). Really, it doesn’t matter what I’ve been reading, whether a “report” on the Zimmerman verdict, a Facebook post about what someone thinks a politician said, or a Tweet about abortion or how one denomination of Christianity is more right than another. I find again and again that people keep proving themselves fools by speaking before actually “hearing” what is being discussed.

The Zimmerman verdict is rife with this. The facts are in, folks, and 1) race wasn’t part of it, per an FBI investigation prior to the trial; and 2) Zimmerman acted in self-defense. Anyone who can look at the evidence that was presented, hear about what was not allowed to be presented (any of Trayvon’s current photos, social media posts or anything that was recovered from his phone which shows criminal activity, drug use, etc.) and a simple following of the facts could see that the Jury could come to no other verdict.

It was tragic. Zimmerman should have stayed in his truck. Trayvon should have just continued home instead of circling back. There were errors in judgment on both sides. The fact really remains that race- baiters and those looking to profit from the death of someone’s child, including in this instance, those selfsame parents. They are the ones fanning the “racism” flames. In fact, if you listened to what was said at the trial and by whom, Zimmerman and his defense weren’t the ones spouting off racist things, the prosecution and its “star” witness were. But they got a pass. So, instead of listening, many people are reacting and being a fool.

Another example that made me shake my head and “walk” away from a Twitter discussion was about how one Christian denomination was more right than another. I commented that when we, as Christians, let evil divide us by fighting about which church is a “true church” then we all lose and evil gains more of a foothold in the world. I made the comment in response to yet another Catholic basher.

Instead of considering what I said, several other people started in with “false doctrine” and the ills of the Church. In other words, they foolishly proved my point.

I didn’t say their church was wrong, I said that fighting each other was wrong and when we do, we are taking energy from fighting what God wants us to fight, evil. I can honestly say I’ve never bashed someone for the choice of where they decide to worship. I really don’t care if you’re Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Baptist, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Methodist, Pentecostal or no denomination, if you believe that Christ is God’s Son, who was born, crucified and resurrected for our sins, then you’re ok with me. That is the basis of being a follower of Christ. How you choose to worship and share the Gospel is up to you.

Bring up abortion and see how fast no one listens. I have listened, but now I just make my stand. The knee jerk reaction from the pro-aborts astounds me. They don’t want to hear the evidence that life starts at conception, that a baby looks like a baby (versus being just a “clump of cells”) quite early on, or the fallacy of how often the “rape and incest” exception is actually in play (2% at most).

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Suzanne Olden

Suzanne Reisig Olden is a Catholic Christian, Conservative, married mother of two, who loves God, family and country in that order. She lives northwest of Baltimore, in Carroll County, Maryland. She graduated from Villa Julie College/Stevenson University with a BS in Paralegal Studies and works as a paralegal for a franchise company, specializing in franchise law and intellectual property. Originally from Baltimore, and after many moves, she came home to raise her son and daughter, now high school and college aged, in her home state. Suzanne also writes for The Firebreathing Conservative website ( and hopes you'll come visit there as well for even more discussion of conservative issues.