Sunday, February 04, 2007

386 Hypocrites, what Jesus said

Yesterday I was watching an animated, interesting speaker on Book TV, Walter Benn Michaels on his book, "The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality." He was speaking to a group of students, I think it was Yale or Harvard, but that doesn't really matter. They were good listeners with well-thought out questions. At first I thought he was a conservative because he was outlining the hypocrisy of some liberal causes (like a law suit on behalf of women because a woman was earning $1.2 million and her male colleagues in the same field $1.6 million). But no! He was a liberal challenging his own troops to make a difference where it counts. Finally one young man asked if the fact the author was earning $200,000 a year didn't make him a hypocrite to be speaking out in favor of leveling salaries to make working people more equal.

Great question, he responded (he said this to everyone--I think they teach you this before book signing tours even though you'll hear it 100 times). But I only make $175,000, he replied at which time he went on to justify sending his children to private schools because given the times (or was it the city where he chose to live or the moon spots or classes they needed in basket weaving) it was the only rational thing to do. Meanwhile, his excellent income left him free to criticize inequalities in the public education system (he didn't add that, those are my thoughts) including the NEA.

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are." Matt. 23:13-14

Still, he was less a hypocrite than most (although God doesn't grade on a curve, I do). Also, there was no indication he was a believer or even a Christer (Easter and Christmas Christian), so Jesus was speaking to us, not him.

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