- n. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
- n. An act or instance of such falseness.
I’d like you to consider for a moment a religion. This religion has a core set of beliefs such that one’s choice to disbelieve them puts them outside the boundaries of that religion. To be within this boundary makes one orthodox, and to be outside the boundary makes one unorthodox.
There are other beliefs important to this religion around which its adherents disagree, sometimes vehemently. While those holding differing views may be in error to one degree or another, their particular belifs, however deviant from the accepted norms, do not disqualify one from membership.
Let us consider a second religion. This religion was founded on the beliefs of a self-appointed prophet who claimed to have special revelation from the Divine. This religion claims it is the true manifestation of the first, yet its central beliefs, as stated by its founder, place it firmly outside the bounds of orthodoxy.
This second religion is labeled a cult by members of the first, or by others still it is labeled another of the many religions in existence. Regardless what label is applied, and regardless what similiarities it has with the first, it is at best unorthodox, and at least a different religion that borrows ideas from the first.
Let us now consider a vocal minority of orthodox members of the first religion who exercise their right and ability to participate in the political sphere of their culture. For a number of years, through several decades, they have supported a political faction made up primarily (but not exclusively) of members of their religion. That religious heritage has been a mainstay of their support for the political faction.
This group has actively campaigned in their culture to have their ideals ratified in civic law. In the same way, they have actively campaigned against ideals that they believe are contrary to their religious belief, in matters both orthodox and important.
Now let us consider a contentious election season in a time where the population has become polarized along the line of two opposing political philosophies, yet dominated by individuals with a will to power who will use those philosophies to their own corrupt ends. On one side is an individual who proclaims membership in the first religion, yet demonstrates practices from an interpretive stream which is greatly opposed in many ways to our vocal minority among the orthodox. On the other side is a member of the second religion who espouses a political philosophy that more closely aligns with our minority.
A primary tenet of our vocal minority is to consider the Divine figurehead of their religion to be the true ruler of all people, and to subordinate themselves to any other power that is in conflict with this ruler is to commit an act of gross sin. As such, they have vocally opposed the second religion as a dangerous cult. Yet in this political election, they are giving wholehearted support to the member of the second religion. In itself, this is not necessarily a forbidden position in the public sphere. However, prominent members of the vocal minority have suspended their critique and scrubbed reference to it during the time of the election, for no other apparent reason than the desire to help the candidate win on the dubious promises to implement law that supports this minority.
In essence, their willingness to compromise their long-standing critique of the second religion for an act of political gain puts them at odds with their closely held beliefs. This puts them, in practice, of commiting an act which they claimed (until recently) was unacceptable. In other words, it is an act of hypocrisy. Whatever justifications are offered, they are accepting the notion that the ends justifies the means, yet they do so at the risk of acting against the core beliefs of the religion they claim takes priority against any political system.
Call it whatever you wish. It is disgusting, and it is why a person like myself decided to forsake affiliation with such a political party several years ago. Even more, it is why a person like myself is on the verge of leaving behind any affiliation with the vocal minority position of the religion. This is not to leave one’s religion, but to value one’s orthodoxy and allegiance to the true ruler over any temporary perceived benefit, especially when history has demonstrated that such allegiances often fail to yield any real benefit, and are in danger of becoming, if in fact they are not already, a form of idolatry.