Of course, we religious liberals tend to love that particular biblical verse and delightfully fling it at the narrow minded on the religious right.
In fact, though, I think Jesus meant exactly what
It's also of a piece with the First Principle of Unitarian Universalism: Recognizing the Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person. As I had occasion to be reminded yesterday in my own church, this is a far more demanding and even potentially confrontational principle than it would seem at first.
Now I do understand where PB is coming from on this. Judgment from time to time seems essential to a well-ordered community. Taken at face value, "Judge not" could be seen as a prescription for passivity. But Jesus clearly was not passive, and the example he sets in the Gospels is, I think, only superficially one of passivity. I don't think "judge not" is the same as "don't hold another accountable." (Indeed, I think accountability is part of respecting the other's inherent worth and dignity.)
I also understand (as Brock and Parker argue, in Saving Paradise and elsewhere) that such verses can be misused to condone collaboration in one's own oppression -- and that they should not be.
Yet, if we really do believe in Universal Salvation as our Universalist forebears did, then we, too -- and, we evidently believe, Jesus -- are essentially saying that salvation ultimately transcends judgment.
"Judge not..." is in fact a far more demanding prescription than it seems at first blush -- and I think that's exactly what it is supposed to be. What I glean from "Judge not..." and from the other verses I've cited above, as well as from a radical respect for the First Principle, is the importance of humility, refraining from presumption about others' motives or attitudes, and, most of all, that it is as important to listen to those with whom we disagree as it is to stand up and insist on what we know is right. And this is part of what I believe is the Real Kingdom of God.
For instance, as practiced by groups like this one.
I'm indebted to ogre's comment that puts the original "Judge not..." command more completely in its original context.
Separately, PB is now suggesting her original comment was meant in irony or sarcasm. I'm afraid I don't really follow that, but ...
Well, not PB but a commenter offers an explanation of the "irony" element, which is along the same lines as ogre's well-taken comment here.