The far left and the far right are the two heads of a hideous monster of shame. One tells you if you don’t think how it thinks, then you are a racist (among other things). The other tells you if you don’t think how it thinks, you are going to hell. They both tell you that you are doing it (whatever it is that you happen to be doing) wrong and there will be consequences. Both heads accuse each other of spreading falsehoods, and yet spread falsehoods themselves, whilst at the same time claiming to speak for the truth. Both heads are in the habit of making everything political. Both heads are part of the same monster that invites you to worship in the cult of shame, guilt and judgementalism.
If we are to believe that God embodies (for lack of a better word) the Good, the True and the Beautiful then this monster must stand in opposition to God because it is neither Good, True nor Beautiful. Nor does it embody the Fruit of the Spirit, for that matter.
It is not Good, although each head claims to be good to the exclusion of all other points of view. But conforming to a point of view out of shame is not good. It is a turning of the self against the self. It is a house divided and a house divided cannot stand. As such it cannot be good or Good.
It is not True. Nothing done motivated by shame is good. It is merely a suppressing of one’s true thoughts or desires in favor of another person’s thoughts or desires in order to no longer feel shame. But this only creates a situation of hiding and in effect a falsification of the self. This in turn breeds resentment, lashing out angrily at inopportune moments, and passive-aggressive behavior.
It is not Beautiful. In fact it is quite ugly. Shame turns people into ugly, corrupted forms of themselves. Accordingly, any belief system based in shame cannot be Beautiful.
The Fruit of the Spirit (according to St. Paul) are “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.” (KJV Gal. 5:22-23). Shame is not mentioned here as a fruit of the spirit even though many people aligned with one of the Hideous Monster’s heads would claim experiencing shame is a kind of virtue.
The truth is that shame is simply a means of control. Shame turns a person against himself so that he cannot fully believe what he believes to be true. Now you might say that what he believes to be true is not the same as objective Truth and we cannot all be deciding what is and is not true for ourselves. But the truth is, we already do that. Every individual must give his consent to believe anything. Even the truth of scripture must be agreed to by the individual before he believes it. Of course, much of the time, this agreement is perfunctory or unconscious. And even if one does believe in the truth of scripture, he is free to interpret that scripture so that it conforms to his beliefs.
Now, I have heard it said from people taking sides with one or the other head of the Hideous Beast that they do not spend any time thinking about shame. But I have at the same time noticed that even though they may not spend time (consciously) thinking about shame they seem to be very motivated to defend shame when it is called into question. This suggests to me that it is very much operating in the background.