Rehab – What Better Reason Could There Be To Mock Someone?

I’m tired of the sacred hands-off approach to drunks and other addicts who go into rehab and start twelve-stepping.

What better reason is there to make fun of someone than that they can’t control themselves? If someone spent hours a day on a computer masturbating to porn, wouldn’t it be right to make fun of them? Isn’t “wanker” or “fag” a frequent put down because people realize there is good reason to stigmatize masturbation and buggery? If someone masturbates in public, shouldn’t they be mocked? If a guy such as myself keeps hitting on girls half his age, isn’t that worthy of mockery?

Yes, making fun of people is not nice, but if you are going to mock someone, it is better to do it for their moral failings than for things they can’t help (such as their looks or intelligence).

I don’t believe that people are biologically compelled to hurt others needlessly, to drink to excess, to take drugs, and to have gay sex. I believe we have free will and we are responsible for our choices.

I’m sick of hearing that people are born gay. Yes, it may be true, but then every man is born a sexual predator, a rapist and an adulterer. It is not natural to men to restrict their sexual expression to their spouse just as it is not natural for some men to restrict their sexual expression to the opposite sex.

So big deal. I no more feel sorry for the homo who can’t screw around with the lads than I do for the 50-year old married man who’s sad he can’t bang high school girls.

I’m sad when I can’t bang some delicious 16-year old girl but I don’t whinge about society repressing me.

I’m not claiming I am better than a drunk or a druggie or a poofter. I overflow with disgusting urges. I yearn for attention (though I’d prefer to call it ‘recognition’). I am lazy. I am callous. I am selfish. I allow my sexual urges to overcome my good sense.

In high school, I developed a gambling addiction.

But in the end, it is up to me to do the right thing.

While all of us have genetic predispositions towards destruction, in the final analysis, it is up to our free will.

There is a Judge and there will be Judgment.

Aside from the minority of people who are just born happy, I don’t understand how people can be happy without organized religion.

I don’t know much about drunks and druggies because I never had any as friends until 2005. But being with someone then who’d never been inside a church or synagogue, I realized the things that religion gives that I had taken for granted:

* It instills discipline because you have to constantly deny yourself for God/community/etc.

* It provides you with community to monitor your behavior. It is a lot easier to convince yourself that what you are doing is OK than to convince your religious community (Dennis Prager).

* It provides the accumulated wisdom of thousands of years of a tradition. There have been a lot of smart rabbis who know more about life than I do. I learn from them.

* It provides structure. Religion dictates that you must set aside time for fun, for study, for family, for community, for work (not only do the Ten Commandments say you must rest one day a week, they command that we work six days a week).

* It provides rituals which give life rhthym and depth. A week without a Sabbath is like music without climax and poetry without meter.

* It gives you purpose. It gives you tons of things to do when you get up in the morning. (One reason that evangelical Christians devote so much time to proselytizing is that their religion lacks rituals and thus they have nothing better to do with themselves than bother people.)

I hear you shouldn’t hit your kid when you’re angry. What’s a better time to belt your kid? When they say their prayers? (I stole that from some comic.)

Yori Yanover emails:

The sages have coined the truism: He who finds fault in others can only do so regarding those faults which he, too, possesses.

In other words, we are psychologically incapable of becoming enraged (and mockery is usually the more civilized face of rage) by shortcomings which we do not share.

When I think of the heavenly court on Yom Kippur I imagine that it would be so frightening because, as I approach, I will recognize the judge: It’s me. And his caseload would be comprised of all the judgments I’ve passed on others, all the many different ways in which I condemned them, because each time I described their faults, I actually described my own.

Whenever I feel strongly about people, I try to discover what is it in their behavior that reminds me of my own. I even have this child’s hope that if I go easy on others who hurt me, God in the end will go easy on me. I can’t guarantee this last one, I’m just sharing how I would like spiritual reality to be…

As to organized religion — that ain’t the secret. I attend minyan six mornings out of seven any given week, and I know why people join and stay and what they get out of it. It has precious little to do with God, wisdom, discipline — that’s all simply not the case. Folks show up because it’s their group, their squad, their bunk. It’s only about comradery. It can be
a minyan or a boys’ club in a tree top. We, boys, need to belong to a small group that will accept us not because of any of our attributes, but because we go there every day, because we belong.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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