13. With the sentence: "He that is without sin amongst you, let him cast the first stone," Jesus makes indulgence the first duty towards others because there is no one who does not need it for themself. He also teaches that we must never judge others with more severity than we would wish to be judged, nor condemn in others that which we condone in ourselves. Before chastising someone for a fault, first let us see if that same censure could be applied to ourself.
Reproach may be launched against a person for two reasons: to suppress evil or to discredit the person whose acts are criticised. In this last intention there is absolutely no excuse, because here exists only malice and slander. The first may be laudable and even becomes a duty in certain cases as good may come of it, and without it the evil in society would never be restrained. Furthermore, is it not the duty of all mankind to help every fellow creature towards progress? Therefore it is important that the principle 'Do not judge others if you have no wish to be judged,' should not be taken literally as this could be destructive, whereas the spirit of these words gives life to the concept.
It is not possible that Jesus could have prohibited the overthrowing of evil, seeing that He gives examples of having done just that Himself, in no uncertain terms. What He wished to say was that the right to censure is to be found in the moral authority of he who censures. To become guilty of that which one is condemning in another person is to renounce this authority, so depriving oneself of the right to restrain.
Furthermore, our inner conscience denies respect and voluntary submission to any person who, having been invested with some kind of authority, violates the laws and principles of which they were put in charge. There is no legitimate authority in the eyes of God but that which is based on the examples of goodness it offers. Likewise, this is what is emphasized by the words of Jesus.