Hypocrisy and Sin

I’d rather have someone in congress who advocates the right policy and falls short of practicing it than someone who advocates the wrong policy and behaves accordingly.
by Jim Fair | Source:
The media have had a field day over the past couple weeks covering the sad case of Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho).

In case you have been on extended retreat or have the fortune to have a broken television, Craig was charged with soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in an airport men’s room. He denies that he did anything wrong, but did plead guilty to some sort of disorderly conduct charge; I expect the legal system will be sorting this out for a decade or so.

That Craig (married with children) was supposedly soliciting sex from another male has prompted nearly gleeful comments from liberal social pundits. You see, Craig has long been a supporter in the Senate of traditional family values. So, as many have pointed out, he is the ultimate hypocrite.

Perhaps. My official, online Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary gives two definitions of hypocrite: 1. a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion; 2. a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

Craig would seem eminently qualified to be a hypocrite, as would virtually all of humanity. I have a good idea that very few people live every day of their lives with perfect alignment of their beliefs and actions. If that were not the case, we wouldn’t need so many confessionals.

By this point, I expect that not only the media have labeled Craig a hypocrite – I expect he had so labeled himself. He certainly needs our prayers.

Unfortunately, the media seem to have lost their way on this whole hypocrisy thing. I get the impression that there is general agreement that, because Craig may have fallen to the temptations of the flesh, that somehow his stated beliefs are wanting.

The media logic goes something like this: Craig opposed gay marriage, so getting caught in a gay act makes him a hypocrite and shows there is no credibility in his political positions. If he had been an advocate of gay marriage, getting caught in a gay act would have shown how unfortunate it is that gays must stoop to meeting in public washrooms.

Not even my goofy college logic professor would have bought this argument. The same logic would produce this sort of thinking: The United States is opposed to killing, so it should have remained neutral in World War II. On other hand, Hitler thought killing was fine and dandy, so it was OK for him to do. Hey…at least you can’t call Hitler a hypocrite.

I’d rather have someone in congress who advocates the right policy and falls short of practicing it than someone who advocates the wrong policy and behaves accordingly.

I’ve read in several places that Pope John Paul II went to confession daily. I guess that means he somehow was falling short of his stated beliefs and moral standards. You have to wonder how much moral damage a Pope would experience in 24 hours. But if that makes him a hypocrite, I think the rest of us belong to the same club.

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