Nothing seems to me to be rarer today then genuine hypocrisy. I greatly suspect that this plant finds the mild atmosphere of our culture unendurable. Hypocrisy has its place in the ages of strong belief: in which even when one is compelled to exhibit a different belief one does not abandon the belief one already has.
It is neither just the religious, the spiritual, the power-hungry, the evil, the ignorant, the corrupt, the Christian, the Muslim, the Hindu, the Buddhist, the Jew, nor the atheist that makes a hypocrite, but being a human being. Any man who thinks himself to be free of hypocrisy while committed to cherry-picking others for such, I am confident, the Almighty can prove to him a great deal of his own hypocrisy even beyond his earthly comprehension.
The logical upshot of liberalism's hatred of hypocrisy is that it is better for the liar to champion lying, the glutton to advocate gluttony, the adulterer to celebrate adultery, than for someone to preach the right thing if he himself occasionally does the wrong thing. Better to let your failings define you and be happy about it, than to let your ideals define you but then fall short of them, for that opens you up to the charge of hypocrisy.
The web of hypocrisy of today hangs on the frontiers of two domains, between which our time swings back and forth, attaching its fine threads of deception and self-deception. No longer vigorous enough to serve morality without doubt or weakening, not yet reckless enough to live wholly to egoism, it trembles now toward the one and now toward the other in the spider-web of hypocrisy, and, crippled by the curse of halfness, catches only miserable, stupid flies.
But it's a pretense, it's artificial, ' Adelia protested. 'Love, honor, respect. When are they ever extended to everyday women? I doubt if that boy actually practices what he's singing. It's... it's a pleasant hypocrisy.' 'Oh, I have a high regard for hypocrisy, ' the little nun said. 'It pays lip service to an ideal which must, therefore, exist. It recognizes that there is a Good. In its own way, it is a token of civilization. You don't find hypocrisy among the beasts of the field.' 'What good does the Good do if it is not adhered to?' 'That is what I have been wondering, ' Mother Edyve said calmly. 'And I have come to the conclusion that perhaps the early Christians wondered it, too, and perhaps that Eleanor, in her fashion, has made a start by setting a brick in a foundation on which, with God's help, our daughters' daughters can begin to build a new and better Jerusalem.' 'Not in time for Emma, ' Adelia said. 'No.' Perhaps, Adelia thought drearily, it was only a very old woman who could look hopefully on a single brick laid in a wasteland.
The fierce words of Jesus addressed to the Pharisees of His day stretch across the bands of time. Today they are directed not only to fallen televangelists but to each of us. We miss Jesus' point entirely when we use His words as weapons against others. They are to be taken personally by each of us. This is the form and shape of Christian Pharisaism in our time. Hypocrisy is not hte prerogative of people in high places. The most impoverished among us is capable of it. Hypocrisy is the natural expression of what is meanest in us all.
They attack the victim, and then the criminal who attacked the victim accuses the victim of attacking him. This is American justice. This is American democracy and those of you who are familiar with it know that in America democracy is hypocrisy. Now, if I'm wrong, put me in jail; but if you can't prove that democracy is not hypocrisy, then don't put your hands on me.
The reason any conservative's failing is always major news is that it allows liberals to engage in their very favorite taunt: Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy is the only sin that really inflames them. Inasmuch as liberals have no morals, they can sit back and criticize other people for failing to meet the standards that liberals simply renounce. It's an intriguing strategy. By openly admitting to being philanderers, draft dodgers, liars, weasels and cowards, liberals avoid ever being hypocrites.
In the modern Christian attempt to take a stand as Christ did, and maybe for others, win the approval of the world, the Christian will often think that it consists of targeting and demoralizing fellow Christians and only fellow Christians. It is one thing to stand against religious hypocrisy when one sees it, but it is another to go on snorting at anything or anyone who might seem 'too Christian' to us. The irony is that by doing this we are further advocating hypocrisy and 'half-hearted Christians'.