Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

The inherent hypocrisy of liberal ideology

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | May 05, 2023

Recently an unhappy reader wrote to tell me that I am “frightened,” “sick,” “unbalanced,” and “downright evil.” Why? Because I was “judgmental” in my comments on Senator Kaine.

Does it strikes as perhaps just a bit ironic that someone who has never met me could pass judgment on the state of my nerves, my health, my psyche, and my soul—because I am judgmental?

But this has become a fairly standard practice among liberal polemicists: accusing their opponents of doing exactly what they themselves are doing. Thus:

  • The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) claims to promote tolerance—by encouraging the public not to tolerate the views of “hate groups.” The SPLC has gradually expanded its listing of “hate groups” to include more or less any institution that espouses views contrary to their own hard-left ideology. Thus Christians, Muslims, and opponents of illegal immigration are lumped in with racists, anti-Semites, and white supremacists—all to be denied a role in public debate.
  • Members of the international elite fly abroad in fuel-guzzling jets, arriving in style in convoys of SUVs, to speak at conferences decrying the unnecessary use of fossil fuels.
  • At a US Senate hearing, a liberal lawmaker whose considerable family fortune is derived from fossil fuels casts doubt on the work of a scholar employed by a think-tank that takes donations from oil corporations.
  • Self-appointed “fact-checkers” prowl the social meda, selectively flagging posts with which they disagree, insisting that they are inaccurate, but offering only opposing opinions rather than facts.
  • Liberals complain that books promoting homosexuality have been banned from grammar-school libraries, while working steadily for the removal of books that promote family life.
  • Campus agitators demand respect for their academic freedom, while refusing to grant academic posts to scholars who espouse unpopular (that is, conservative) perspectives.
  • Self-described opponents of “racism” demand special privileges for certain races.
  • Family-planning agencies charge that the Catholic Church is imposing her religious views on the poor in Third World countries, while placing restrictions on foreign aid to countries that do not comply with contraceptive programs.
  • Mayors and governors seek wide-ranging “emergency” powers, temporarily setting aside constitutional restraints on their authority, because they perceive a threat to democratic rule. (Has any political executive ever sought to decrease his own authority, or relinquished “emergency” provisions voluntarily?)
  • Proponents of “diversity” call for respectful inclusion of all groups and viewpoints—except for conventional ones.
  • Democrats in Washington decry the “conspiracy theories” of Republicans who question the integrity of elections, while themselves insisting that Republicans have worked with foreign nations to undermine the integrity of elections.
  • Liberal pundits charge that powerful interests are working to intimidate minority voters, while angry mobs prowl through cities threatening violence against anyone who resists their demands.
  • Advocates of draconian Covid-lockdown measures tell skeptics to “trust the science,” but refuse to allow questions about the efficacy of vaccines or the severity of the epidemic—thus demonstrating their own lack of confidence in the scientific method, which is based on questioning experimental data.
  • Defenders of abortion, euthanasia, and transgender surgery base their arguments on the principle of bodily autonomy, but reject the notion that an individual has the right to resist being injected with experimental drugs.
  • And of course the abortion lobby demands that everyone has the right to choose—except the unborn child, the father, and the doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and taxpayers who do not wish to participate in killing.

Hypocrisy is not an occasional failing of the liberal ideologue; it is an inherent characteristic: not a bug but a feature. So when a liberal critic complains that your attitude is unacceptable or your argument is unfair, step back and reconsider. Chances are, he’s doing exactly what he charges you with doing.

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: rameyersjr9828 - May. 16, 2023 6:48 AM ET USA

    Excellent, as usual.

  • Posted by: miketimmer499385 - May. 05, 2023 6:12 PM ET USA

    Keep it up, Phil. We think they are mistaken; they think we are evil. As for Kaine parading around as a faithful Catholic, he has outed his pastor as one of them if he puts up with his mistaken theology. I fear that there are many more pastors (and bishops) hiding in the woodpiles across the country. It is hard to be charitable and I think you have adopted the right response.