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May 24

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Think before tossing around the hypocrisy label

By James J. Jackson

The recent admission by Arnold Schwarzenegger that he fathered a child with a household employee, has sparked many emotions, from anger, to indignation to indifference. Political pundits were quick to shout, ‘Hypocrisy!’, declaring that ‘another’ Republican has been caught violating the family values they often preach.
Many prominent people jumped on the bandwagon. Former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, opined that this act signals the need for more female governors, and her husband added that we should somehow replace male genitalia with brains. Hypocrisy? For sure, but the hypocrisy is everywhere, not just in the hearts of men or high profile people.
How long before someone lists the names and party affiliations of those caught in trysts or other crimes, then tallies the numbers in each major party and declares the party with the longest list to be more morally corrupt than the other. One pundit even stated that, since the Republicans cling to the moral high ground, they must be held to a higher standard of integrity, but since Democrats rarely demonstrate moral superiority, they should be given a pass for such indiscretions. Right.
Such human tragedy should never be used to impugn an entire group or class of people, nor should it be used as a banner to convince voters that the party that is not involved in the instance at hand is more deserving of their vote because they did not get caught-this time. Many of the same people who point the finger of blame and lack of moral integrity see nothing wrong in offering $500,000 in prize money to the photographer who offers a photo of the innocent child involved in this mess. Nor do they find anything wrong with giving a former politician, caught in a prostitution ring, his own television news program.
Still others simply rejoice when anyone who is seen as powerful and influential takes a fall, such as in the recent arraignment of Dominique Strauss-Khan, the head of the International Monetary Fund. If guilty as charged, he is more to be pitied than admired or castigated, but his lifestyle (living in $3,000 per night hotels, while dictating his Socialist rules to others), screams ‘Hypocrisy”.
There is more than enough hypocrisy to go around. We should not waste time looking for sin and hypocrisy in the lives of others, regardless of political persuasion, or any other standard. The Bible tells us, “.All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”. As such, we have no right to look for sin areas in the lives of others. We are also warned to examine the ‘log’ in our own eye before pointing out the ‘speck’ in the eye of another.
We all sin. We may not all commit the same sins as Arnold and Strauss-Khan (adultery, rape, cheating, lying, covetousness, etc.), but, we all daily break God’s Commandments, and fail to embrace the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ in our lives. The spiritual fruit of ‘Self Control’ is often the one whose absence leads us into many of the public and hurtful sins people like Arnold have fallen into.
God has given us tools to avoid such pitfalls as these men are facing. He wants us to guard our hearts and to gird ourselves up with prayer, and to decide that certain actions will not be a part of our lives, thus preparing ourselves to avoid such temptations when they arise.
We (both genders) are all guilty of hypocrisy from time to time, but prayer, repentance and striving to turn away from offenses against God will help us avoid pitfalls and hypocrisy about others’ failings.

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