Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Duggars, Hypocrisy, and the Left

Allan Brocka: "A Tweet so that the world may know I am an idiot." 
The unmitigated schadenfreude after it was revealed that 12 years ago one of the Duggar's sons was involved in forcible fondling of other minors is morally repulsive to watch.  Here is a family against everything progressives stand for and, look, they have a sinner in their midst!  Gotcha! Isn't it great! (Or at least someone who was a sinner 12 years ago before he grew up and got married.)

And as always, enter the left's mindless script of "self-righteousness" and "hypocrisy."  Of course anyone who knows what hypocrisy is, knows that there is no evidence here at all that any of the Duggars are hypocrites.  But most progressives don't seem to know what hypocrisy is (which is not to say that they are not guilty of it.)

This brings to mind a post from the Maverick six-years ago.  Here is an excerpt:

I am suggesting, then, that hatred of religion is at the root of the Left's excessive and unbalanced animus against hypocrisy.  Of course, I am not implying that hypocrisy is good; it is plainly bad.  But what wants explaining is the Left's mindless fury at it and those who seem to exhibit it.  In her fine essay, "Let Us Not be Hypocritical," Daedalus, vol. 108, no. 3, Summer 1979, pp. 1-25, Judith Shklar points out that every other vice and every other evil can be excused after it has been duly analyzed and understood, but not hypocrisy, which to many today appears as the summum malum.  Why is hypocrisy singled out as the worst of evils?
It is worth noting that hypocrisy is not among the Seven Deadly Sins:  pride, lust, anger, avarice, gluttony, sloth, envy.  Does that tell us something?  I'm not sure.  Does it tell us that religionists are less appalled by hypocrisy perhaps because of a sober acceptance of human wretchedness and of the unavoidable gap between what we are and what we ought to be, a gap not to be bridged by human effort alone?   I am also struck by the fact that hypocrisy cannot be easily subsumed under any of these heads.  Hypocrisy is not a species of pride or lust or anger, etc.  If it is a sin, it is is a sin against truthfulness. But on second thought, perhaps hypocrisy can be understood as a type of pride.  The proud man, blinded by his own excellence, cannot see his own faults.  Lucifer the light bearer's very phosphorescence hid from him his finitude and creaturely status and transmogrified him from light bearer to Prince of Darkness.  Lacking humility and incapable of accurate self-assessment, the proud man imagines himself to be better than he is.  He is arrogant in that he arrogates to himself qualities that he does not in fact possess.  But this doesn't really support the notion that hypocrisy is a species of pride.  The proud man, blinded by his excellences, is blind to his faults.  But it seems that the hypocrite must be well aware of his faults so that he can hide them from others.  He must know his true motives in order to dissemble them. 
Another point worth noting is that in our culture, dominated as it is by liberals and leftists, most of the Seven Deadly Sins are not reckoned sins at all.  Given that sin is a religious concept, there cannot be sins for those who deem religion buncombe from start to finish.  But one can believe in vice without believing in sin.  I think it is safe to say that most Americans today do not consider any of the Seven Deadly Sins to be vices, with the possible exception of sloth interpreted as laziness rather than as acedia. 
TB: Bill might be right that hatred of religion is at the root the matter.  But I would add that it is a hatred of religion which particularly manifests itself in strict moral codes (e.g.) antithetical to the deliverances of the '60's.

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