A small sampling of other letters

"Hypocrisy is #1"

From: gloryguitar@comcast.net
Subject: your wrong
Sent: 04 Apr '06 21:22

If hipocracy was a religion of it's own it would be #1! your statistics are unvarifiable, and unfortunatly far from true. Sorry for the disapointment.
Our Response:
Thank you for very much for taking the time to write.

I appreciate all sorts of feedback and information.

I'm not really sure what page you are talking about, as Adherents.com has thousands of pages and dozens of separate sections, along with hundreds of articles. If you have any questions, I hope you won't hesitate to ask.

- webmaster, adherents.com

Webmaster's Comments:
I never heard back from this person, and I'm not really sure what they were talking about. It seems they were agitated about something. Perhaps they saw a statistic they didn't like.

As always, we don't make claims that our statistics are "true." We point out the source of our statistics, such as Census data, surveys, organizational reporting, polling, etc., and we provide statistical citations in context with data from other sources. We have also written many articles that combine these data and attempt to provide additional insight and tools for interpreting the data.

What all this has to do with "hypocrisy" (which is what this correspondent presumably meant, despite the spelling in the letter), I'm not certain. Jesus said, "But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in." (Matthew 23:13) Perhaps this correspondent was attempting to echo this biblical pronouncement.

On the other hand, if by "hypocrite" this person meant "people who have ideals they don't always live up to," then, yes, I would say that this is a common condition. I would hope that it is a universal condition, and certainly it is the condition of any person of character, ethics and values. Whether a person is a devout Catholic, secular Humanist, Buddhist, Muslim or anything else, even the most well-intentioned people in the world don't always live up to their ideals. But the most dangerous and harmful people in society are those without ideals, values or high standards. If the behavior of such people always coincides with their lack of standards and values, then they may indeed be immune from being called "hypocrites." But such people cause a lot of problems for the rest of us.

Of course, it is no accident that "hypocrisy" was misspelled in this letter. This tends to be a charge levelled most frequently by less-educated and younger people. Most of the time the "hypocrite" label is used by people who are themselves trying to get away with something they know they shouldn't be doing, or something they know that most everybody else believes is wrong. Such people fail to acknowledge that by calling people names that are better applied to themselves, they are, by definition, the worst "hypocrites" of all.

People whose sincere intention is to improve themselves and society don't go around calling people names like "hypocrite" or "fatso" or "dummy-head." Rather, such people point out where there are flaws or what improvements can be made.

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Web page created 6 April 2006. Last modified 6 April 2006.