I’ve been thinking long and hard about the words hypocrisy and hypocrites. Here are two standard definitions for hypocrite:
1. a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
2. a person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, esp. one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements.
Here are two standard definitions for hypocrisy:
1. a pretense of having a virtuous character, moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc., that one does not really possess.
2. a pretense of having some desirable or publicly approved attitude.
I guess I really like the second definitions for both of these words. Or at least they will serve as an example of what I want to talk about.
Some people make a big show about their hate and disgust of gays and lesbians, but I always have to wonder why they are like that. There are numerous examples of hypocrites in the Christian anti-gay movement who are closeted gay and lesbian themselves. Let me name at least one name: Ted Haggard. He certainly put on a good show for his people. He could give a good talk about the horrors of homosexuality. But then he would go to a male prostitute. That is what a hypocrite is. They put on a face for the public, but their personal life or their personal history tells something very different.
So the next time someone makes an attack on gays and lesbians, maybe they should think twice about what possible responses could come out of this. Ted Haggard lost his job because of his lies. He was supposed to be this great Christian minister. Instead he was a great liar until it all blew up in his face. Lots of money was lost. When you make your living vilifying other people, you better make sure that your private life is not like the people you vilify. If it is, then you should be prepared when dirty little secrets are exposed.