Marcia’s Law – The Hypocrite
–A person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, especially a person whose actions belie stated beliefs
–A person who feigns some desirable or publicly approved attitude, especially one whose private life, opinions, or statements belie his or her public statements
By Marcia Prichason
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was angry. In fact, he was furious. 66 days after Hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey coastline, Congress refused to vote on the release of federal disaster funds; much needed aid that would assist his constituents as they struggle with the aftermath of that devastating storm.
Christie expressed his utter contempt for his fellow Republicans. He stated that the House of Representatives was hurting the people of New Jersey because they refused to vote on the $60 billion aid request that would enable them to rebuild.
He further vehemently expressed his opinion that the people of New Jersey were being treated like second class citizens. Governor Christie declared that he would do everything in his power to ensure that New Jerseyites are treated with the same dignity, respect, and consideration as everyone else.
The Governor has every right to be outraged. New Jersey is a mess. Homes, businesses, and lives were lost to that storm. In every other case involving a natural disaster, the federal government has acted quickly to provide the necessary funds for recovery.
Yet, while Governor Christie decries the treatment his state’s citizens have received for the disaster, he perpetuates a less than equal status for some of the citizens he purports to protect. Governor Christie refused to sign into law the marriage equality bill that his own state legislature passed. By denying equal rights to the approximately 353,000 LGBTQ individuals in New Jersey, he shows utter contempt and callous disregard for their dignity. And that is what makes him a hypocrite.
With respect to the aftermath of the storm, Governor Christie shows great empathy for his New Jersey constituents. He wants the same treatment for his people that the people of Louisiana and Texas received. In short, he wants equality. But, “his actions belie his stated beliefs.” He doesn’t want the same treatment for people in his state who are LGBTQ. They are, according to Chris Christie’s actions, second class citizens.
The Governor is not the only politician who is a hypocrite. Only recently, for example, has Dick Cheney come forward in favor of marriage equality. It became personal for him when his daughter, who is a lesbian, wanted to marry. Newt Gingrich, too, has recently spoken about marriage equality; indicating that it’s time this country treated all citizens equally. Of course, neither of them spoke favorably about Gay rights when they were seeking or holding political office. It wasn’t politically convenient then. Their recent “statements belie their (previous) public statements.” They are hypocrites.
But, the hypocrisy doesn’t stop there. The Republican controlled House of Representatives continues to spend millions of dollars defending DOMA. They are using taxpayer money to support a position that the majority of Americans now view as obsolete. Public officials are elected to serve and represent the people. They “feigned desirable or publicly approved attitudes” to get those votes and now, egregiously act in direct contradiction to the will of the people. They are hypocrites.
In Illinois, the Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act has stalled once again. The struggle for marriage equality continues. Legislators who oppose the bill maintain that civil unions are enough; gay people should be satisfied with being “almost” equal. Although it is certain that they would vote differently if THEIR rights were “almost” equal, they contest equality for the LGBTQ citizens of Illinois. They are hypocrites.
As fair minded Americans, we cannot take our cues from politicians who are incapable or unwilling to feel either empathy or understanding. They enact laws that guarantee equality only if it personally affects them. It is imperative that every person be treated with dignity, respect, and equal protection under the law. We must, as thoughtful citizens, press for equality. We must let our politicians know that we will accept nothing less.
But, we have to do even more than that. We must do much more if we envision a society in which every individual is accepted, valued, and appreciated for who they are. We must raise our voices and demand equality at every turn. We MUST; if we do not, our silence makes US the hypocrites.
…And I’m just a mom who loves her son…