Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Dr. Ronald E. Hall: A Christian Right to Hypocrisy or the Christianization of Sin  

 

hypocrisy

*Contained in the Holy Bible, a hypocrite is one who professes to believe in something that does not carry out in their behavior. “The prophet Isaiah condemned the hypocrisy of his day: The Lord says, ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men” (Isaiah 29:13). The Bible also calls hypocrisy in Christian teachings a sin (https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-hypocrisy.html ).

The word hypocrisy comes from the Greek “ithopoios” for “actor” (https://www.wordhippo.com/what-is/the/greek-word-for-4ed3655ea94ba4904713fc58f3ac7a5e8d0cf472.html).  In simple terms, the hypocrite portrays him or herself as something being actors that in real life by what they do they are not (https://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-hypocrisy.html?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email).

One of the ultimate documents pertaining to sin in which all Christians believe is the Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20:13 number six of the Ten Commandments states very clearly: “Thou shalt not kill.” The Christian Right appearing hypocritical has proven an inability to carry out in their behavior what they profess in their Christian teachings. Their exploits are dramatically illustrated in so-called Bible belt states, which overwhelmingly disregard the sixth Commandment in support of the death penalty. According to a 2011 Gallup Poll the Bible belt includes Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina (https://www.thoughtco.com/the-bible-belt-1434529 ). Of all the aforementioned states, Texas has executed the most in 500 persons since renewal of the death penalty in 1982. Well below and second to Texas is the state of Virginia where 110 persons have been executed since 1976 (https://mic.com/articles/51647/kimberly-mccarthy-10-states-that-have-executed-the-most-people-since-1976#.KO7TkVi9A ). More than half the citizens in the state of Texas (53%) identify themselves as Christians (https://www.houstonpress.com/news/texas-number-14-on-list-of-most-christian-states-houston-ninth-most-religious-among-cities-6747640 ) while in Virginia 73% of citizens identify themselves as Christians (https://www.pewforum.org/religious-landscape-study/state/virginia/ ). The fact that Texas and Virginia are states where Christians dominate the population while executing more of its citizens against teachings of the Ten Commandments is no doubt hypocritical. Despite “Thou shalt not kill”, some among Texans and Virginians rationalize such killings as Biblical instruction notated by an “eye for an eye.” But such a hypocritical interpretation of scripture for purposes of execution as mentioned in Isaiah are merely “rules taught by men.”

Given modern-day Christian hypocrisy, America risks descent into the Rome of yesteryear. It sits alone just as Rome in its time perched as the greatest civilization of the modern era. No army or military force currently in existence has the capability to conquer America’s borders. However, similar to Rome, America has the potential to fall. That fall as occurred in Roman history may come according to historians in the hypocritical exploitation of Christianity coupled with moral decadence.

hypocrisy_quote

Since its founding America has identified itself as a Christian nation. The Holy Bible is the text which contains the Ten Commandments that in spirit has guided the essence of American laws, American policies and even the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The problem is not the Christian doctrine itself but its hypocritical exploitation by rogue factors. Men who manage to wrestle control of the patriotic consciousness and gain the support of those who would call themselves Christian, Christianize sin in what they profess without being held accountable for what they do. Subsequently, they then normalize moral decadence when they commence to “grab [women] by the p***y” or diminish our democracy by hypocritical accusations of “fake news.” “Thou shalt not kill” is eventually followed by the Commandment breech of “thou shalt not lie” (https://www.rwf2000.com/ten.htm ). In doing so lies too become sins Christianized and celebrated, as mere political theatre by “birther” Christian Right hypocrites. Their hypocrisy was dramatically aimed at our 44th President.

In a quest for political sway both Democratic and Republican political operatives began circulating rumors that Barrack Obama was not born in the U.S. and thereby ineligible to become president. Supposedly, the 44th president’s mother while pregnant was living in Kenya and not allowed to travel. Obama was then according to some born there. In fact, President Obama was born in Hawaii. The actuality of a lie was exposed upon release of his birth certificate (https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/rss_viewer/birth-certificate-long-form.pdf ). Still to this day Christian Right hypocrites push the birther lie for political reasons acting out moral decadence and in breech of the Ten Commandments Christianize sin.

At dawn of the Roman Empire, no such religion as Christianity existed. At dawn of America Christianity was a factor in every deed of the Founding Fathers. Their Christian doctrine as written no doubt lifted the aspirations of men and hence the civility of society at-large. Inspired by their faith signatories of the U.S. Constitution such as Ben Franklin of Pennsylvania and Alexander Hamilton of New York created what would become the nation’s guiding doctrine. In order to form a more perfect union by that Constitution doctrine was added 10 amendments in 1791 referred to as The Bill of Rights. In essence, The Bill of Rights was intended to provide a check on the power of government (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/bill-of-rights/what-does-it-say ). As Stephen Brennan notes in The US Constitution and Related Documents “the government may not punish or otherwise sanction you for saying whatever’s on your mind …” (p 139-140). One such Christian American in objection to hypocrisy today has chosen to assert his Constitutional rights. He is NFL professional athlete Colin Kaepernick.  Kaepernick is by action a Christian demonized and ridiculed by Christian opposition for being. His decision to assert his Constitutional right and kneel in protest of police brutality has been met with hypocrisy in disfavor by much of the “Christian” community. Political operatives have similarly expressed hypocrisy in the angst of their populist disproval.

Whether breech of the Constitution or breech of the Ten Commandments, hypocrisy in America has led to the Christianizing of sin. Some among self-identified Christians by their actions are actors who honor sacred doctrine merely with their lips. Doctrines sacred to American ideals such as The Ten Commandments and the Bill of Rights are born from sacred sources meant to tame the coarsest instincts inherent of mankind. Once our sacred doctrines reach the point of being dissolved, mankind and the sovereignty we call America will be left to the basest of human instincts void of moral character.

Great civilizations being immune to external conquest have come and gone over time. Their military might made them great but not everlasting (https://factsanddetails.com/world/cat56/sub368/item2082.html#chapter-7 ). Therefore, great civilizations such as ancient Rome are inclined to fall, not by external conquest but by decline of the internal workings that counteract moral decay. In America, Christian Right hypocrisy directed at sacred Christian doctrine will nourish increasing tolerance for the Christianization of sin. Our only alternative to the fate of Rome lest we fall is then to forsake the rules taught by men and bring Christianity to life not in what we prefer but in what we profess as sacred in our words.

ronald e hall
Dr. Ronald E. Hall

As an internationally known scholar, Dr. Ronald E. Hall testified as an expert witness in the nation’s first skin color discrimination case involving African Americans i.e.: Morrow vs. IRS. Shortly after he co-authored the widely read Color Complex: The Last Taboo Among African Americans. In 2003 Dr. Hall received the Adele Mellen Prize for Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship for Skin Color as a Post-Colonial Issue Among Asian-Americans. Because of his expertise, Dr. Hall has been sought after by various agencies for lectures at home and abroad including Stanford University (Palo Alto), McGill University (Montreal), Pennsylvania State University (State College), Oxford University (United Kingdom), and the U.S. Congress (Washington, D.C.). Dr. Hall’s work has been featured by numerous media such as TIME, The Boston Globe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Detroit News, The Chicago Tribune, Essence, The Sally Jesse Rafael Show, Oprah, and BET. In January 2015 Dr. Hall appeared in the Oprah Winfrey documentary “Light Girls” regarding skin color and African-American women. Additionally, Dr. Hall has worked as project associate for a number of urban education school projects focusing on issues related to school reform primarily in the state of Michigan. His role included oversight in the collection of qualitative data and conduct of focus groups. He has also served in the capacity of grant assessment for the National Science Foundation. Contact Dr. Hall via: [email protected].

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