“A high percentage of people who wear their religion on their sleeve tend not to follow their religion’s teachings in everyday life.”

(I know, I know – I am very humble.) That happens all the time, all around us: people who are loud and vocal about their religion and who randomly bring up their faith in conversation often turn out to be hypocrites. Granted, there are those who are vocal about their religion and walk the walk – kudos to them, as long as they don’t oppress others in the name of their faith. The people I’m talking about range from petty, backstabbing coworkers who praise Jesus whenever they can and wear giant crucifixes, to famous politicians who play the faith card and claim to be holier than thou, all the while cheating on their wife (or husband!), embezzling funds, and doing all sorts of other decidedly un-Christian things.

It’s quite ironic that our society is far more willing to accept hypocritical loudmouth religious people (not just Christians, mind you – every religion has them), while bashing atheists who lead perfectly moral, law-abiding lives and whose only sin is their refusal to believe in God. Why does it have to be this way? Why is vocal hypocrisy accepted when quiet dissent is demonized? Is it merely because of the religion-based “us versus them” association and unwillingness to punish somebody from your own camp? Is it because this kind of hypocrisy is so ancient and ubiquitous that at this point it’s almost a way of life?

I don’t know, and I doubt anybody can come up with a definitive answer… What I do know is that earlier tonight a highly religious but otherwise average buddy of mine revealed his true colors and, well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty. I didn’t bother pointing out that what he did was just about as un-Christian as it gets. I doubt he would have understood, and if he had, he probably would have just ignored it and moved on…