Warning: Politician Ahead!!!

Image by The Rocketeer via Flickr

A few years ago I heard a Democratic congressman from a district adjoining mine speak. He told a story of two men having a conversation. One man admitted he liked to drive ten miles an hour above the speed limit. This man was well-respected in the community and a churchgoer. The other man then said, “I just lost all respect for you. How can I have any respect for a man who is a hypocrite?”

What is ironic about the congressman’s story is that he is a strong supporter of abortion. In his political campaigns he makes a great deal of his attending church and his religiosity. Yet he supports the de facto (if not de jure) unlimited right of women to murder their unborn children.

The irony is that the congressman would call someone who drives ten miles an hour above the speed limit a “hypocrite,” yet he does not recognize his own hypocrisy in supporting abortion. Now if he did not claim to be a Christian; for example, if he were an atheist, I could respect him. But since he claims Christian identity and supports what is, in effect, murder, I cannot have such respect. He majors in minors (the venial sin of breaking the speed limit) and minors in majors (the mortal sin of abortion). Yes, there are liberal Protestants and liberal Roman Catholics who support abortion–but I have infinitely more respect for an atheist or agnostic than I do for a theologically liberal Roman Catholic or Protestant. The atheist or agnostic, at least, is honest in what he claims to be.

The situation in secularized Western Europe is better in a way, since the Christians there (other than some of the state-supported clergy) take their religion seriously. But in the United States, which is technically the most Christian country in the industrialized world, it is popular in some areas of the country to use religion as a means to power. Very few Southern politicians, outside of liberal urban districts, would be elected if they were openly irreligious. So they flaunt their religious identity and condemn hypocrisy–and they themselves exemplify hypocrisy in their anti-Christian political stances. They ought to be ashamed.