Posts Tagged ‘church’


Being Hypocritical About Hypocrisy

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Once again, the Catholic Church is in the news and, once again, it involves allegations of priests within the Church sexually abusing minors.  As would be expected, it has been a feeding frenzy for the media, with each news outlet rushing to outdo the other when it comes to breaking the big story.  There’s really nothing unusual about the media jumping all over a sensational story- we’ve come to expect that.  What I do find unusual is that they seem to get a certain pleasure out of covering any sort of scandal, particularly those that involve the Church, religious leaders, televangelists, and the like.  I suppose it is because the media and, in fact, most people in our culture today have expressed a real disgust for hypocrisy.  But while most people today feel that ‘hypocrisy’ is a term that applies only to those within the religious community who act inappropriately, the truth of the matter is that the term ‘hypocrite’ actually applies to anyone and everyone who behaves in a way that is inconsistent with their particular worldview.  As a result of this misunderstanding, what is often overlooked is the hypocrisy of those outside of the Church who are quick to condemn the hypocrisy of those within the Church.

Keep in mind that, according to recent surveys, the majority of the big players in the media proudly admit that they are humanists, atheists, or agnostics.  Given that they are looking at the world through the “lens” of atheism, etc., it logically follows that most of them would view matters of truth and morality as being “relative”.  Therein lies their hypocrisy.  For example, think for a moment how all of this relates to their reporting of the recent Church scandals.  The very same media that is so quick to tell us how wrong it is to judge others, find themselves doing exactly that-  passing judgment on the Catholic Church.  Secondly, the same media that claims that there is no such thing as absolute truth, end up contradicting themselves by accusing the Church of covering up the scandals through deception and lies.  Perhaps someone should point out to the media that a lie, by definition, is the denial of something that is absolutely true!  Lastly, the very same editors, writers, and news anchors who insist that it’s wrong to force your morality on others, find themselves in the position of forcing their morality on the Church by condemning the immorality of its sex offenders as well as condemning the Church for its hypocrisy.

I don’t want anyone to miss the main point here.  I am not, in any way, making excuses for those within the Catholic Church who have committed these terrible offenses.  It is imperative that the truth is pursued and that the offenders be brought to justice just like anyone else.  Still, there is a lesson in this for all of us.  For those within the Church, it is a painful reminder that actions really do speak louder than words.  Jesus reserved his strongest condemnation for religious leaders who acted hypocritically.  That alone should be enough to motivate any Christian to live consistently with their message.  But there is also a message in all of this for those outside of the Church- you can’t have it both ways.  If you’re going to insist that there is no truth, that it’s wrong to judge others, and that it’s wrong for someone to impose their morality on someone else, then you must remain silent on this issue, because to do otherwise would be hypocritical on your part… and I know how much you hate hypocrisy.

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  • In today's world, there is a great deal of confusion when it comes to matters of truth, meaning, morality, our origin, and our destiny. The purpose of Renewed Thoughts is to bring clarity to such issues by examining them in light of a Biblical worldview, using the tools of science, philosophy, and critical thinking.