HYPOCRICY–Do you know what a hypocrite is? In short, it’s a person who says one thing, or pretends to be doing one thing, while doing the exact opposite. I have known many hypocrites in my eighty seven years—likely, you have also. Most of them have been in the field of politics, but not all. Political hypocrisy is so commonplace as to, almost, be expected. We see it play out on the national scene daily—-people in power making rules ‘for everyone’ except themselves.
The most recent case came to light just today—the governor of California attended a lavish birthday dinner party involving many people, in spite of his order for his constituents to avoid such events. I must refer again to George Orwell’s famous book about communism, ‘Animal Farm’ in which, in describing the status of equality in communism, he notes that ‘all animals (people) are equal; it’s just that some are more equal than others’ (paraphrased).
For me, the most disturbing place of all for hypocrisy is in the realm of so-called Christian (?) religion. I say ‘so-called’ because in my lifetime, I have not seen a single cleric of any religion do as Jesus commanded—‘go into the world and preach the good news that I have come to die for you, and that God loves you; take no provisions, not even a second cloak; live off what you are offered; if you are not accepted, shake the dust off your sandals and move on (paraphrased)’. What I have observed is a hypocritical, self-serving hierarchy, and televangelists who have made a ‘mockery’ of Jesus’ commands.
Do you remember James and Tammy Faye Baker?—I do. Do you remember Jimmy Swaggart—I do. Do you remember Oral Roberts?—I do. In fact, I not only remember him, Mary Lou and I attended his TV production at the ‘City Of Faith’ in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not only that, I played Golf with him at the Sothern Hills Country Club after the US Open was over in 1977—I was an invited guest of his ‘right hand man’. Oral was a good golfer—5 handicap. Both of them were members of Southern Hill Golf Club which, at the time, was rated the 12th. best course in the United States.
Each of those three televangelists fell like ‘shooting stars’ because of their ‘infidelity’ to Jesus teaching—they all proved to be hypocrites of the highest degree—they preached one thing and did another—their words were for everyone except themselves. There’s an old, oh so true, saying—‘pride comes before the fall’.
Now let’s look at the scandal that’s rocking and wrecking the Catholic Church even as I write. I’m speaking of the ‘cover-up’ of the Cardinal McCarrick homosexual sex scandal. It seems clear that high ranking prelates, from Pope John Paul 2 on, ignored his escapades. In fact, it seems so bad that there have been a calls for John Paul to be de-sainted—that in itself may be a cover-up—who knows?—somebody (s) does/do. The pressure on Pope Francis got so bad that he, finally, had to address the scandal. He did so in a weakly-worded four hundred page report in which he failed miserably on two fronts—seemingly, he did not ‘finger’ other living prelates, although he did accept the resignation of one other—more importantly, he did not address the rampant degree of homosexuality and homosexual practices among the clergy.
All of those activities are hypocritical attempts at holding together a Church torn from corner to corner by one scandal after another. Neither has it ever been different in the history of the Church. There have been many ‘bad popes’ in the Church’s history. Benedict 1X was pope three times—some historians say he was first made pope at age eleven. Others dispute that, and say he became pope first at age nineteen. There is, however, no dispute that he sold the papacy. There were many ‘bad popes’ because the papacy seldom seemed be about spirituality—it always was about ‘power, money, control’. If you care, just go on-line and read the history of the ‘bad popes’.
Could we have expected anything different?— unless we are dunces, I think not. Was not the Church which Constantine commissioned patterned exactly after Judaism, where those in control ‘had it all’ and the peasants had nothing but guilt and shame—they were obliged (forced) to make expensive ‘perfect offerings’ to God for their sins. Of course that perfect offering could only be provided by and offered by the High Priest at an extortionate expense to the penitent.
The hypocrites who led Christianity have always been about power, control and money. They have built monstrous edifices as their ‘home churches’ (cathedrals; basilicas—status symbols), and hob-knobbed with the ‘rich and famous’ while, hypocritically, preaching humility and charity to their subjects. Their sexual escapades, literally from day one, are well documented—yet, hypocritically, they have universally given their subjects the ‘piss ant’ treatment over their sexuality—they certainly knew how to control people—just tell them, authoritatively, they are going straight to hell for being normal human beings.
As the result of such attituded toward sex, Gordon Rattray Taylor, in his astute book, ‘Sex in History’, described Medieval Europe as ‘A cesspool of psychosis’. Of course, the Inquisitions were going on at the time—who wouldn’t ‘go crazy’ worrying about being burned to death for bring normal.
In my opinion, one of the biggest hypocrisies involves the Church’s refusal, to-date, to address the issue of homosexuality, in general, and among the clergy, specifically. Pope Francis recently suggested that civil unions between homosexual partners should be established so as to protect their civil rights—personally, I have no problem with that. However, I suspect that opinion of Francis’ is intended to offer ‘cover’ for the homosexual clergy—in that sense, again, pure hypocrisy.
People are becoming more and more disenchanted with both religion and politics, not so much because of what is said, but more importantly, because of the observed hypocritical actions of the ‘sayers’. I am fully aware that this may seem partisan, but Donald Trump is the only president I have ever known who has done exactly what he promised—guess what, he’s not a politician—just a simple, straightforward business-man—he’s a deal-maker—a bargainer. Oh, would that we had more like him. You may not like what he did, and that’s your prerogative. However, no one can truthfully deny that he kept his campaign promises—he proved he’s no hypocrite—I’m just observing.
Wouldn’t it be nice if both politicians and preachers alike could and would ‘speak truth—‘do as I do’, just as Jesus said—“come, follow me”.
There exists an absolute, non-hypocritical, truth, which is explicitly outlined it in my two books Wilderness Cry and Peace in Spirituality. You might want to investigate farther.