Friday, June 26, 2009

All have sinned and fallen short....

"Sir, are you so grossly ignorant of human nature,
as not to know that a man may be very sincere in good principles,
without having good practice?"
Samuel Johnson

Responding to the glee with which many have reacted to Governor Sanford's admission that he has sinned against God and his family, James Bowman observes that those who accuse him of hypocrisy can only do so because he actually has moral standards to fall short of:
.... To watch these hypocrisy-haters sneer, you’d think that the only way for one to have moral principles was always to observe them oneself. But, clearly, that cannot be the case. If it were, there would be no more moral principles at all, since it is in the nature of humanity to fall short of them. That’s why it sometimes seems that doing away with moral principles altogether is precisely the goal of those in the media and elsewhere who are most savage against hypocrisy. What they hate is not that someone has fallen short of his own standards; it’s that he ever dared to have any standards in the first place. (emphasis added) [more]
Joe Carter:
In the eyes of the media, Mark Sanford has committed the unpardonable social sin. No, not adultery—is that even frowned upon anymore?—but the sin of being a hypocrite. ....

Sanford may very well turn out to be guilty of hypocrisy if he refuses to resign. But he is repeatedly being refereed to as a hypocrite for the wrong reasons by people who are apparently ignorant about what hypocrisy is.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines hypocrisy as “The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.” The British literary critic William Hazlitt once explained, “He is a hypocrite who professes what he does not believe; not he who does not practice all he wishes or approves”

By all appearances, Sanford does indeed believe in marital fidelity. His failures so far are due to his behaving in a way that does not comport with those values; a matter not of hypocrisy but of moral inconsistency. .... [more]
Virtual Tar and Feathers by James Bowman - The New Criterion, First Thoughts — A First Things Blog

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. I will gladly approve any comment that responds directly and politely to what has been posted.