Notes Book

Saying one thing and doing another

Talking about Iraq, George Bush said, "This is not a game of saying one thing and doing another."

He was basically talking about hypocrisy. As a Christian, this is something he should be concerned about. One of the most famous bible verses on this subject is:

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

There are many others, and none of them have kind things to say about hypocrisy. Most condemn the hypocrite to some kind of punishment, but this one just very clearly describes the disease, which is probably a more effective condemnation than mere proscription.. There are 11 mentions of hypocrites in the old testament, so Jews have no excuse either. There are 25 hypocrite citations in the Koran, so the Moslem world should also be on board the no-hypocrisy bandwagon.

Why does hypocrisy get such a bad rap in religious texts? Hypocrisy interferes with teamwork, and teamwork is the premier survival skill for humans. Logic requires that all similar items be described by similar terms. If we have a group of people who call a spade a spade competing with a group of people who sometimes call a spade a spade and sometimes call a spade a heart, which will win the game?

Our religious texts are compilations of thousands of years of verbal traditions. We ignore such wisdom at our peril.

If the opposite of hypocrisy is integrity, and integrity requires that we describe similar items with similar terms, how does our society meet this test of integrity?

We deny Saddam Hussein the right to own weapons of mass destruction, but we have the largest stockpile of such weapons in the world. We say he does not have the right to have weapons of mass destruction because he has invaded his neighbor, while we have invaded Granada, Panama, and Haiti, to name a few, and have had covert black ops in at least tens of countries. Who knows what our government is doing even as we speak.

We accuse Saddam of "gassing his own people". He did this during a civil war. We hold Abraham Lincoln to be one of our greatest presidents, but he also ordered the killing of rebellious civilians during the American Civil War.

The Bush Administration castigates Arab Regimes for lack of transparency, but won't even release the list of people who attended meetings to set energy policy, much less revealing what went on in the meetings. At the same time the Bush Government is grabbing greater and greater powers to peer into more and more of the private lives of United States citizens.

President Bush said. "These Prisons are huge, and they use them to break up families and ruin lives." Actually, he was not talking about the drug-prison-industrial-complex in the USA, but prisons in North Korea.

The government reserves powers of taxation, imprisonments, and murder to itself, but denies them to it's citizens, and most of the citizens agree that that's reasonable. We have a government of hypocrites because we are a nation of hypocrites.

There are those who would say that I have a "blame America first" attitude. I don't. That would be just as big a mistake as not blaming America no matter what it does. There is plenty of violent and stupid behavior all over the world, but I can best minimize it by first getting it out of my own life, then the lives of my family, my community, and my country. If I am successful, my family, my community, and my country will have peace and prosperity.

Maybe Bush should have said: Life is not a game of saying one thing and doing another. If you think it is you will loose.

It's remarkable to me how the whole Iraq operation is like a drug bust. The hypocrisy in both situations is rank. The government supports tobacco and liquor which undeniably take hundreds of thousands of lives every year, but criminalizes relatively harmless marijuana. Smoking marijuana is bad for you, they say, but it is not smoking that is illegal.

Our government has now gotten to the stage of getting the search warrant for Iraq. If the drug bust analogy holds, the next steps will be planting evidence, seizing valuable assets, and taking hostages.

The American people do not need to fight with the people of Iraq. The people of America and the people of Iraq need to work together to reform or remove oppressive and hypocritical governments in both countries. It does not matter which government is worse. What matters is that both governments are bad.