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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The eighth deadly sin: hypocrisy

I propose we make hypocrisy the eighth deadly sin. Yes, let’s put it right up there with pride, envy, anger, sloth, greed, gluttony and lust. And while we’re at it, let’s reserve an especially hot corner in hell for those of our political leaders who are persistent and unrepentant hypocrites. (This will be a crowded corner, eh?)

I’ve about had it with the sanctimonious homilies of the reigning leader of the free world and the Republican contender to succeed him.

On one hand, we have a man who almost always ends speeches with the words, “God bless America,” and misses few opportunities to let all at hand know he’s a Christian. Pretty much what the Oxford dictionary had in mind when it defined hypocrisy as “the practice of claiming to have higher standards or beliefs than is the case,” as I see it anyway.

How does one reconcile all that moral superiority from a man who breaks Christianity’s Ten Commandments whenever it suits his purpose? One does not. One can only marvel at the audacity of the man who calls for God’s blessing one minute but preaches war the next.

What about John McCain's professed Christianity and his adulterous relationship before he married his second wife? Isn't there still a Christian Commandment against adultery?

Or, how about claiming America can have victory in Iraq and leave with honour. For the love of Pete, what honour is there in the shameful way America rationalized and executed the war? Guantanamo Bay is very much part of the Iraq war, and there is no honour there, Mr. McCain. Any meager bits of honour that may be salvaged from that shameful war will be stained with red.

What about the Commandment that Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor? Doesn’t this pretty well rule out lying — if one’s a Christian? Apparently not for some Christians. President Bush seems to have been less than truthful when giving his reasons for going to war in Iraq. And McCain regularly twists words and tells half-truths about his opponent, Barack Obama.

And here’s my favourite: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods. Hmm, does oil fit the definition of “thy neighbour’s goods?” You bet it does!

And according to recent polls, the world might just get four more years of this. Too bad, eh?

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