An Example of Supreme Hypocrisy
Imagine a young woman, say, a junior or senior in an American High School:
After waking up, and before going to school, she tells her parents that she just had an angel visit her in her bedroom, and the Being told her that she was just impregnated by God Himself. She should not worry, proceed to have the baby, and that wonderful things would come from this.
The parents' most likely reaction would be immediately to contact 911 to report a breaking-and-entry and (if they're brave enough) to report a rape. If they conclude the girl actually "believed" the story, they would begin to consider the need for psychological counseling for their child.
The girl remembers no specific sexual activity, but concedes she may have been asleep, and only awakened when the Being addressed her. After a careful pregnancy test, it is determined the girl actually is pregnant. The parents demand a police investigation. The girl begs her boyfriend not to dump her, and he does amazingly decide to stick with her; this is because he has suddenly become a leading suspect and he very much wants to clear his name from any wrong doing. Not breaking up seems to be the more prudent strategy for the long-run. Luckily for him, though much later, a chromosome test reveals that he is not the father.
The parents constantly attempt to have their daughter carefully reconsider her account, but she sticks by her story. A lie detector test reveals no falsehood as to how she remembers the episode. Abortion is not an option to this family because of strong Pro-Life beliefs, so the family resigns itself to accepting the situation. They have a mixture of feelings which include shame, pity, anger, a desire for revenge (no, make that 'justice'), and an unfailing conviction as to the insolent lie and the evil that some deranged stranger visited upon their daughter.
This same family strongly believes in fundamentalist Christianity. They believe in the literal truth of the Bible. They believe in the immaculate conception of Mary, mother of Jesus. They admire Mary (though do not worship her like some Catholic would), and they consider Almighty God to be supremely good in all His actions.
The difference between these two women is 2000 years. It is always 'safe' to believe incredible things about people that are long dead, but believing them about people here and now is quite another matter. Nevertheless, the unwillingness to "believe" in the present, and the willingness to "believe" in the past, forms an inconsistency which is, at the heart of it, completely HYPOCRITICAL.
It is not inconsistent to reject (or accept) both stories, however.
Jody Nagel
December 24, 2003
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