Blasphemy vs hypocrisy | Inquirer Opinion
LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Blasphemy vs hypocrisy

/ 04:10 AM July 31, 2023

Caloocan Bishop Pablo David, head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said “Christ may indeed be blasphemed by people who mock his icons and his teachings.”

There seems to be a semantic misunderstanding of the word blasphemy such that many people confuse it with the word hypocrisy. Blasphemy is “the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity, or sacred objects, or toward something considered sacred or inviolable” while hypocrisy is “the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence, in a general sense, hypocrisy may involve dissimulation, pretense, or a sham.”

The viral video of drag performer Pura Luka Vega wearing an outfit to appear like Jesus Christ while performing a remix of the traditional “Ama Namin,” the Filipino version of the Lord’s prayer, may be considered as blasphemous. But, “people who come to Church regularly but cannot recognize His face in women and children who are abused,” and people who neglect “the plight of the victims of extrajudicial killings (EJKs), the homeless, and the poor” may be considered as hypocrites and not as blasphemers.

It should be helpful to ask for clarification as to the meaning of the words blasphemy and hypocrisy as many find it annoying to be branded as blasphemers like the Pharisees.

Jesus Christ has this to say to hypocrites: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.”

REGINALD B. TAMAYO,
Marikina City
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TAGS: blasphemy, hypocrisy, Letters to the Editor

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