Uncharitable

Written by Anthony Douglas on 18 August 2018.

TV Guide“Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.”

“A federal agent in Chicago hampers the work of an enterprising American job creator.”

Rick Polito has won his fifteen minutes of fame by crafting somewhat sardonic synopses of movies for newspaper TV guides. Sure, it is strictly accurate to acknowledge the above as descriptions of The Wizard of Oz and The Untouchables, but somehow it doesn’t seem quite fair. Funny, perhaps, but not fair.

Polito was doing it for humour, but we all tend to do it out of anger. People have this way of painting our opponents in the worst possible light, assuming the least flattering interpretation of their words and actions. It’s sad, because it doesn’t achieve anything - nobody is going to be persuaded to adopt your point of view if they feel they’ve been misunderstood and not heard properly.

And it has a terrible pedigree. After all, when Jesus turned up in first century Palestine, he forced people to a choice: would they believe he was the messiah God had promised, or would they condemn him as a blasphemer? The least charitable interpretation was the one that they went with in the end, and that ought to give us pause.

Thank God that things didn’t go according to our plan. Instead, born into a confused land, a young man died and rose again as the first person in a new humanity, and then teamed up with dozens of people to save more still!

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