James Anderson, a retired Episcopal priest and panelist for the Washington Post’s On Faith Forum asks: “Will Conservatives Tell Palin to Practice What They Preach?”
The essence of hypocrisy is pretense, the acting of a part, a presentation of a role or belief that is not the actual stance of the presenter. In my experience, conservative religious groups of every persuasion are not hypocritical. Conservative religious groups normally mean what they say and work hard to live by the ideals they profess. The treatment of women pointed to by this week’s question is, to my mind, not an example of hypocrisy.
Margret Thatcher was the Prime Minister of England for 11 1/2 years. She served longer than any other Prime Minister in the 20th Century. Despite this experience, conservative groups in the Church of England remain, in 2008, fundamentally opposed to women as Bishops. By what process of reasoning does one accept and support a woman as the leader of a great nation and at the same time reject a woman in the role of a church leader?