Hypocrisy and Projection are related to each other:
“Hypocrisy is a failure to act in accordance with the standards you claim to hold.
“Projection is instead attributing/accusing others of that which you yourself feel or do, usually falsely.
“They are tangentially related, but hypocrisy is contained to your own behavior, while Projection is about you and your behavior towards others.”
What I have observed lately in politics is something that goes beyond hypocrisy and projection – the combination of the two. It’s not only a failure to act in accordance with the standards claimed, but also attributing and accusing others of doing this.
I see this in the arguments being made on a variety of subjects. Certain politicians have become very good at this – making claims that are exactly the opposite of what they do. These usually circulate around the following of certain laws or the Constitution. The reality is far different than the claims of course. In fact, so far different that it is very much the opposite of what is being claimed and projecting onto ones partisan opponents the very “sin” that the claimer is actually committing.
The claims of stolen elections is a prime example – claiming that the other side is stealing an election, while at the same time the claimant is doing everything they can to overturn a result. Even just saying this is now controversial because people have become so aligned with an ideology that their sight is blurred. Loyalty to party become of utmost importance – as if a party is the bearer and the one who determines what the truth is. But should we be surprised when so many have fallen for a theology where the ends justify the means? Pontius Pilate’s question for Jesus starts to make sense when the ends justify the means is the basis of our lives – “What is truth?”
Sometimes I wonder about Christians. I wonder what it is they really worship. Especially when I observe hypocrisy projection. I don’t know what to make of it. It saddens me greatly. It makes no sense.
And I have to remind myself – there is little point in trying to make sense of it. It’s not a logic thing. There is no logic to it. It’s about deflecting. It’s about scapegoating. It’s about tearing down someone else because I can’t handle how broken I am. Instead of looking at oneself, seeing the brokenness, and seeking healing, the tendency is to attack and project to make someone else look worse. To put other in worse pain than we are because we think that will somehow make our pain lessen. Somehow we think that makes us look better. It doesn’t. It makes us look empty and pathetic. Why don’t we just end the pain and suffering for all, including ourselves – that would make more sense, rather than inflicting pain on others.
I wonder how many Christians actually want to follow Jesus. What I mean by that is looking at what Jesus calls on his followers to do, and then going and doing it. Things like feed the hungry, care for the poor, house the homeless, welcome the stranger, care for the sick, clothe the naked, free the oppressed. These things don’t match up with so much of ideology. Jesus’ way conflicts with ideologies, with partisan loyalties.
I wonder how many Christians would much rather prefer a Jesus who didn’t ask for anything, didn’t change anything, and had no impact on society or the world, let alone people’s lives. A Jesus who was spiritual, but not religious. A Jesus who was interested in proclaiming a gospel of a nation or a party. A Jesus who loves money and success. A Jesus who ends up being the customer service manager of heaven making sure that everyone is satisfied. A Jesus who says one thing, but doesn’t really buy it. A Jesus who claims “love your enemies” but has excuses for why we don’t have to. A Jesus who claims non-violence, but doesn’t really mean it. I’m not sure why we want this type of Jesus anyway. What’s the point? That Jesus is no different than anyone else. Not transformative. Maintaining unjust and abusive status quo. Demands nothing. Why bother with that type of Jesus? Seems like a waste of time, energy, and resources to follow that type of Jesus. I have better things to do with my life that follow a Jesus who comforts the comfortable and condemns the afflicted.
Yet, why do we seek out this Jesus? Why do we seek out a Jesus who embodies an ends justify the means theology? A Jesus who believes that only the strong survive, in spite of everything that Jesus taught and how he lived while walking the earth? A Jesus who is the antithesis of who Jesus actually is? A hypocritical projection of Jesus?
I have no energy or time for such a Jesus. There’s too much at stake. There’s too much suffering and abuse in the world for that kind of Jesus who is worthless. There’s too much excuses being made in the name of Jesus – but which Jesus? Not the Jesus of Scripture. Not the Jesus who calls on people to care for the poor and outcast, to feed people, and set people free. Not the Jesus who calls on us to welcome the stranger and love our enemies.
I don’t know what Jesus so many Christians are worshipping based on what I see. If they will know we are Christians by our love, then what is it that they will know we are by our hypocrisy, fear, hatred, loathing, scapegoating, lying, loyalty to partisan political party, and projection? It’s not a Jesus I’m interested in following or devoting any attention to. It’s not Jesus. I’m not perfect. I’m a hypocrite. And I project. I don’t need a savior who does that too. I need a savior who will save me from myself and my hypocrisy and projection. And so does the world. That’s the Jesus I want to follow. That’s the Jesus I need.