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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To hypocratize or not to hypocratize - that is the question...

I don't know if hypocratize is a word; I don't think it is. However, I am going to make it a verb and use it anyway.

Every once and awhile, I delve into the murky world of opinion letters in my local paper. While many that write there are probably to the right of Glen Beck and have posters of Ann Coulter on their walls at home, some are to the left of Dianne Feinstein and Howard Dean. As regular readers will know, I am definitely a man of faith - but I also like to think that I am a man of reason.

This morning, I couldn't help myself - I had to respond to a letter writer who lambasted the folks that gathered at the Pensacola courthouse downtown to pray and walk in support of Frank Lay and Robert Freeman. You can see the letter that prompted my response here - entitled, "Would they defend Muslim prayer?"

I wrote last Friday about the outcome of Lay and Freeman's trial, so I won't go into that again. But I thought Mr. Caine's opinion letter and my response (below) might make an interesting epilogue - although I'm sure the issue of prayer in schools and in the public square in general, will be news for the foreseeable future.

Call me intolerant if you think I'm intolerant - but don't call me a hypocrite if you mean to call me intolerant!

I enjoyed the dichotomy of Mr. Caine’s opinion (Would They Defend Muslim Prayer? Letters, 23 September 2009). On the one hand, he cries, ‘Hypocrites!’ among other things, when referring to the supporters (he calls them protesters) at Frank Lay’s recent trial. But then, he proceeds to name-call, using every buzz-word and derogatory term I’ve seen in the papers over the last six months.
So, if people who support Christian prayer are hypocrites (a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess…), why were they at the courthouse engaging in Christian prayer?

If you’re going to put down a group of people, shouldn’t you call them by a name that you really mean? Mr. Caine’s letter screams his opinion that Christians are intolerant while espousing that, on the other hand, folks like him are the pillar of rational, intelligent behavior.

Christians supporting Christian prayer is not hypocritical, Christians supporting Christian prayer over Muslim prayer is not hypocritical. Calling Christians hypocrites, when you really mean to call them intolerant, while you yourself exhibit intolerant behavior? Now that’s being a hypocrite.

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