Jeff Lower recently did a post accusing the “religious right” of “hypocrisy”
I don’t deny that the religious right can be guilty of hypocrisy, although the “religious right” is an umbrella term. Presumably Jeff means certain members of the religious right, and not the religious right as a whole.
i) Why does Jeff attribute this to the “religious right”? He gives a quote, but none of the spokesmen in the quote are self-identified members of the religious right. Is Jeff just assuming that only a religious right-winger would be opposed to the ceremony?
If so, I don’t see how that follows. The spokemen might simply regard the ceremony as a violation of states’ rights or the rule of law. Indeed, isn’t that how they frame the issue?
In principle, someone who supports the notion of homosexual marriage might still object to an extralegal ceremony. (BTW, I’m not expressing a legal opinion on the circumstances of the ceremony. I’m merely drawing attention to how the quoted spokesmen cast the issue.)
ii) Perhaps more to the point, isn’t the stated objection that the homosexual marriage was performed by military personnel on a military base?
Therefore, it’s not an objection to a purely religious ceremony, but the way in which gov’t resources were entangled in that ceremony. If it were performed in a Disciples of Christ church, it wouldn’t necessarily provoke the same reaction.
Indeed, don’t organizations like the AU, ACLU, and People For routinely draw that distinction? Conversely, don’t many Baptists draw that same distinction?
So I don’t see that Jeff has successfully pinpointed the objection. He might think it’s hypocritical on other grounds, but not on the grounds he gave.
iii) Finally, the charge of “hypocrisy” seems overwrought in this context. No doubt politicians can be hypocritical, but Jeff is charging them with hypocrisy for an inconsistency that he perceives, not one that they perceive. Most politicians aren’t intellectuals, philosophers, or logicians. Even if (ex hypothesi) the spokesmen are inconsistent, that doesn’t mean they are consciously inconsistent.
How does Jeff define hypocrisy? If you hold an inconsistent position, even though you’re not cognizant of the inconsistency, does that make you a hypocrite?