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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hypocrisy: Part 2

In a letter to the editor of the Post Review, Robert Walz, wrote:

It is a bit strange that the party that promotes "family values," doesn’t walk its talk. Neither McCain nor his running mate, Sara [sic] Palin are good examples. McCain cheated on his first wife, obtained a marriage license for his second before his divorce was final, and then used her family wealth and connections to win a "safe" Republican seat in a state he had never lived in. Sara [sic] Palin, a former Catholic, like her daughter, was pregnant before she married (her first son was born less than nine months after she eloped).

Do they represent wholesome family values? Is the "shotgun" wedding for her 17-year old daughter in anyone’s best interest? How about the DUI her husband got?

Not walking one’s own talk makes one a hypocrite. That is true. However, in his LTE, Walz leads us to believe that hypocrisy is worse than the act that violates walking the talk.

Follow what he says. His paragraph is framed by its first sentence that speaks of not walking the talk. He illustrates this with examples from McCain’s and Palin’s life, who are framed as hypocrites. Their misdeeds make them hypocrites, which is worse than their misdeeds.

Walz isn’t really concerned about the Palins’s fornication or drunkenness or McCain’s cheating on his wife (which countless Democrats do). Those misdeeds are important to identify them as not walking the talk and therefore being hypocrites. In other words, if the Palins and McCain didn’t have the talk, they would not be dastardly hypocrites.

This reasoning makes hypocrisy the significant fault and downplays the misdeeds as insignificant. Walz knows Palin’s husband’s DUI, her daughter’s fornication and her own supposed fornication do not disqualify Sarah Palin from being VP. But hypocrisy assuredly disqualifies her, he thinks.

Walz’s insistence that others must walk their talk implies that a person should never talk about pursuing a virtuous walk in order never to be identified as a hypocrite. Walz’s approach honors those who sin without hypocrisy and dishonors those who preach the pursuit of virtue and end up sinning. How despicable!

In contrast, we should preach what is worth practicing precisely because we do not always practice what is worth practicing. None of us has ever met a person who fully practices what he preaches. And many repent of it when they fail.

Furthermore, if someone can truly and fully practice what he preaches, he isn't practicing anything worth preaching.

One who sins non-hypocritically will never inspire moral excellence in others, but a hypocrite who repents, will. Walz doesn’t allow for Sarah Palin’s repentance; she must forever be a hypocrite.

5 comments:

MisterC said...

What a hypocrite Mr. Walz is - writing and preaching to us all about Family values while being willing to work for and take money from an organization which it's been proven many members activly participated in (while leadership continued to cover up)numerous acts of Child-Molestation: The Catholic Church. In fact how do we know it's not continuing now?

Of course my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek as I type this. My point is to draw attention to the Hypocrisy of Mr Walz, using his own circular logic. Since the Catholic Church was for a long time involved in child-molestation (to the extent they paid HUGE monetary damages), and Mr. Walz has a long-time relationship working with the Catholic Church - even receiving compensation - then he must be guilty by association, RIGHT?!

Based on his own logical arguments Mr. Walz must think so. Unless, of course, he really doesn't believe his own logic and he's just a partisan hack.

Elephant Herd said...

misterc,

Isn't it amazing how easy it is for a hypocrite to call someone else a hypocrite as Mr. Walz does?

We all are hypocrites in many ways and we had better recognize that fact, especially when attacking someone's character.

I think I read somewhere that we should get the log out of our own eye before we try to extract the speck in someone else's eye.

Hypocrisy needs to be identified. I aimed to do it humbly in this case. I hope I succeeded.

Anonymous said...

You so readily attack someone speaking their conscience in the newspaper while you write hiding behind pseudonyms? It's easy to attack and say outlandish things when you have no personal responsibility, isn't it? Do you think it serves the Republican Party well that your official county website contains no transparency? Last I checked the Republican Party is open to the public but apparently it's officials are not. Is this a sign of how you will govern?

Elephant Herd said...

I find it amusing that you attack my anonymity by using anonymity. At least I have a handle; you don’t, unless anonymous is your handle.

Are you not aware that significant literature has been written under pseudonyms? Are you not aware that countless editorials in modern newspapers are unsigned?

You equate a lack of personal responsibility with anonymity. Try telling that to those mentioned above. As for me, I have personal responsibility and integrity.

I am far more interested in the content of a post than an author’s name, the vast majority of whom I will never know on the net. Tell me, how many writers on the net do you know? There are countless bloggers who are worth reading even though they use a handle. There are millions more who use a handle to make comments on what they read on blogs or news articles or commentaries.

At any time you may analyze my posts and argue your case, even anonymously. If my writing is outlandish (as you say), you should not have any trouble exposing that.

But I know you won’t do that because you asked four questions in the five sentences you wrote.

Elephant Herd

Anonymous said...

I know that it is difficult for Republicans to accept responsibility for anything, but condemning the Catholic Church for those priests and bishops for their wrong doing, doesn't exonerate either McCain or Palin for their wrong doing. Palin, like Cheney, seeks to be above the law, with respect to the investigation into her role in the firing of a state official.

For the record, I do work for the Catholic Church. I am a Coordinator for Justice and Outreach. I am an advocate for the poor, for peace, for the sick, for the Gospel message of Jesus ... people that are not part of your base. I also advocate for the unborn. I realize that until this issue goes beyond partisan politics, we will not change the culture of death or greed in America.

I am very proud of our Congressman Jim Oberstar, a pro-life democrat. He will win in Chisago Counties, as most democrats will across this country because of economic mess that Republicans have created with their deregulation, trade policies and huge deficits with their uncontrolled spending on wars of their own making.