Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Unethical Hypocrisy: Religion

For this discussion, I will be focusing my attention on a few hypocritical issues within Christianity. That is not to say that there are not hypocrisies to be found in other major religions. However, since Christianity is the predominant faith in the United States, where I happen to live, it is simply the easiest for me to draw from and, I would suspect, the easiest for readers to understand.

Obviously, the low hanging fruit of Christian hypocrisy is the church's stance on homosexuality. I will not go into detail about why religious hypocrisy on homosexuality is bad for society, since it has been discussed more fully elsewhere by many people who are more skilled or knowledgeable than myself. I will merely reiterate that if you truly believe homosexuality to be an abomination as presented in Leviticus, then I challenge you to fulfill all the other 600+ commandments laid out in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In other words, do not get tattoos, do not perform any work on the Sabbath (whether you choose to accept the Sabbath as Saturday or Sunday is up to you), do not eat certain foods (such as shrimp, lobster, oysters, pork, or any foods which combine meat and dairy products), do not wear clothing of multiple fabric types, and do not sit on a chair or sleep in a bed that has been used by a menstruating woman!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Unethical Hypocrisy: Politics

As I mentioned in the introduction to this series of discussions, hypocrisy is a scourge on our society because it withers away our faith in our most vital public and private social institutions. In order to function in a way which serves the needs of the general public, politics relies on all individuals involved being committed to the causes which they claimed to support during their election processes. When elected officials choose to take actions which run contrary to their previously stated goals it leaves their voting constituents with feelings of powerlessness, anger, and regret. Furthermore, acts of political hypocrisy can have a damaging effect on society, and the world at large, since hypocrisy tends to favor the status quo. And it is exactly the status quo which the electorate seeks to challenge each time they venture to the polls.

For at least as long as I have been alive, Republicans have claimed to hold control over the issue of "family values" in the US. Conservatives have lauded their support for Christianity, the sanctity of marriage, and the pro-life agenda among their many claims that they are pro-family. However, it could be effectively argued that Republican support of large corporations and unregulated free market Capitalism seems to run counter to their alleged support of family values. As an example, prior to the government establishing strict labor laws it was not uncommon for workers in corporate factories to work twelve hour shifts which left very little time for parents to spend with their families. If Conservatives had their way in deregulating businesses, it would not be unexpected to one day see a return to the twelve hour work day. Already, corporations tacitly expect employees to work 50-60 hour work weeks (thanks largely to employee downsizing) despite being salaried for only 40 hours per week.

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