In Praise of Hypocrisy

“US anti-gay rights senator Roy Ashburn admits he’s gay

A conservative US state senator who has voted against gay rights measures during his 14 years in office has confessed he is gay.....Mr Ashburn said his votes reflected the way his constituents wanted him to vote, not his own "internal conflict". ” source: BBC

If that is true, then it is laudable enough. Putting aside his own proclivities to be representative is indeed praiseworthy - or perhaps he liked the benefits that comes with being a senator enough to confine his sexuality to the disrobing room.

But then again, I often wonder why it ought to matter if an anti-gay rights or anyone for that matter lives a life other than that which s/he vociferously promotes. People might say, you have to practice what you preach. To that, I would say, ‘you are in a better position to preach if you’ve had good practice in that which you stand up against, especially if one is able to learn from her/is personal practices enough to learn about the evils of such ways, even whilst indulging in it - something like older persons telling kids that they ought to never smoke as it is bad for their health, whilst puffing on a Havana. I suppose children need role models who practice what they preach as they are inclined to learn virtues by its association with people they like. But for adults, I would say, the inverse ought to be true. To pay attention to the point despite the practice of its purveyor is a practice in being objective.

So what if Martin Luther King might have kept a bevy of women for amorous pursuits; so what if it is found that Jesus actually fathered enough kids to populate a kibbutz and a half - which might give ‘the passion of Christ’ meanings other than that promoted by the church; so what if a couple of his male disciples were engaged in some heavy duty and very energized workout atop each other in a tent within a stone’s throw of a proselytizing pharisee; so what if we find out that homespun-clad Gandhi was actually a multi-millionaire with a couple of thousand acres of prime land in the choicest locations in India; so what if we were to discover that Pope Ratzinger was actually a member of the Schutzstaffel back in the 2nd western-initiated world war; or that Emmeline Pankhurst secretly enjoyed giving her hubby the odd spank and tickle whilst clad in a stud-studded latex SS uniform and hurling expletives in German?

If we expect everyone to practice what they preach, it must generally be because we’d rather spare ourselves the tedium of thought that comes with the objective consideration of things despite its source, and simply follow the crowd rallying around some prominent figure like some good little fan or confucian. And perhaps, in these figures practicing what they preach, we, in a way, feel it alright if we don’t do as they preach so long as we can live vicariously through the lives of some saint and claim credit by association and party membership. In other words, we expect our hallowed leaders to practice what they preach so that we might be relieved of the need to think and just follow them for their prominence. And when they are discovered to lead not-holier-than-thou lives, to spare ourselves the feelings of idiocy that comes with following the prominent for their prominence, we shout them down as hypocritical sons of B&*$h#s.

Of course, some would say, we need to know about their private lives in order to discern their 'hidden agenda'. And by doing so, we will know if we ought to pay them much heed at all. But this just opens up the possibility of great ideas being discounted just because the individual is discovered to be leading less than a laudable life. Anyway, the 'hidden agenda' only works if we are inclined to simply follow this or that individual for her/is prominence, or leave the business of, say, politics to the 'professionals' and 'experienced. In that, we are relieved of the need to consider other views be they supportive or oppositional. It is, generally, only under these conditions that the 'hidden agenda' works. Hence, the fault lies not in those whom have a 'hidden agenda' but in us for being blinkered in our consideration of our ideas.

I, personally, would rather listen to the sermonising of the devil as he is more well-experienced in evil ways to speak about the evil of such ways. A saint may be able to point the way to the heavens, but a sinner is better equipped, by experience, to point out the snakes that leads to our slide down to square one whilst ascending the ladder.

As for hypocrites, I thank the Gods for them, for they, in their hypocrisy, force us to practice our status as adults whom are able to appreciate the point despite the source.



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